How to Find a Record Label and Get Signed
Getting signed to a record label is the ultimate fantasy for many musicians and bands, but if you are serious about achieving this goal, you will need to work hard and treat your musical career in a professional manner. Any band can dream of being spotted unexpectedly, but if you make an effort to pursue your career actively, you can significantly increase your chances of success.
The most important thing you can do to ensure your success will always be to work on your music. The better your music becomes and the more experience you gain, the more likely you will be to get signed by a record label and to achieve success. You will need to work on your live performances as well as practicing your skills and creating good material. Building up a reputation for your music, even if it is only in your local area is also important. If you invite a rep to a live show in order to convince them to sign you, it is best to have a lively, enthusiastic audience. You can also use the internet to reach out to your audience and to record labels. Both your live and online success can help to increase the chances that you will catch the attention of a rep, and that they will want to sign you if they meet you.
Another important way in which you can increase your chances of being signed by a record label is to work on your look and to ensure that you produce a professional impression whenever you perform in front of a rep or meet with someone from a record label. You need to make sure that you look ready to be signed. You may want to focus on fitting into a particular niche and cultivating a particular image, or work on becoming a more marketable prospect for a record label, depending on your ambitions.
If you are trying to attract the attention of a record label, then you will need to have a high quality demo package to show them. Your demo pack should contain a cover letter, a photo of you and, if you have them, photos of your live shows, and biography and a demo CD. If you have any press cuttings about your music, you should include copies. It is also a good idea to focus on your experience and success in your cover letter, to show that you will be a good choice for the label, from a business perspective. It is also a good idea to show how you are a good fit for the particular label that you are contacting, so you should tailor each cover letter to the label. Similarly, addressing your letter to the right person within the label can help to show that you have researched the record label and made an effort.
When you are ready to start approaching labels, you should do some research in order to find the right labels for your music. You can locate the names of A&R reps in various sources, including on the internet and in specialist directories produced for the music industry. You should try to find a label that will be interested in the type of music that you play and which will offer you the sort of support you need. Some bands will fit in well at a major label, while others will be happier at a smaller, independent label. You need to find a label that is right for you, as much as the label needs to find musicians that will be right for them.
Once you have chosen a rep who you think will be interested in your music, you will need to get them to listen to your music. You can submit your demo package to them. You can also arrange a preview concert and invite a number of different reps from different companies to come and see you play. If your meeting with a rep is successful and they want to sign you up, you will need to be ready to deal with the legal and financial aspects. You will need to find a lawyer specialized in media topics, ideally one who specializes in entertainment law, to look over the contract before you sign it. You will also need to find a manger to represent you. You should take the time to find the right manager as they will play an influential role in your career. You may also want to consider finding your manager before you are signed to a label.
If you are hoping to get signed by a record label then you need to be ready to sell yourself and your sound. Start marketing yourself to local venues, online or to music websites and magazines that may be willing to give you a good review. You should also expect to spend your own money to produce music and demos before you find the right record label.