If you are an artist that makes good music, you probably feel the urge to take your music to the next level, and get signed with a record label. But first, you need to get record labels to notice you.
This is a critical moment for every artist that wants to promote his music and make a living from it. Record labels are the means for artists to get their name known in the circles of the music industry, and the music fans in general.
They provide support to their artists, both on financial and management issues, and they make sure that they provide the artists with as much promotion as possible, in order to make them acceptable by the audience, and eventually profit from them.
How to get record labels to notice you
To attract the attention of a record label, you have to prove that you are able to make good music, and build a small fan base. They can see the potential in your music and the fans that you attract and help you improve the quality of your music and promote you to expand your fan base.
On your side, you have to make sure that you take all the steps necessary to attract the record labels’ attention on your music, and eventually get signed.
Study and learn from artists you admire
Established artists are already successful for a number of reasons. You can study those reasons and apply what you learn in order to improve your music, your image and the general perspective you have towards music.
First of all, you have to study their music. Their styles and techniques and how they apply them on their songs. Pay close attention to how they structure their songs and try the same structures on your songs as well.
Make sure that you study carefully the way they write their lyrics, and how they present them on the microphone. There is a wide variety of methods to write lyrics for a song, and each songwriter has his own.
It is advised that you make a list of your top favorite artists, acquire all of their albums and listen to them chronologically. This way not only you learn about their music, but you can have a more detailed picture of their careers and the evolution of their music skills.
Apart from the well-known artists, you can study your current competition too. Younger artists, about your age or older that have started building a name in the music industry.
You can distinguish the ones you like, listen to their songs and note down the parts you find interesting. This way you can experiment with your own music and see if it possible to experiment with some of their methods and be inspired to create your own.
Furthermore, you could get in contact with these artists, get to know them and discuss with them about your music to exchange ideas. You could also work with them, so that you can benefit both from the music knowledge of each other.
In order to attract the attention of record labels, you have to watch your every move and be professional even if you are making no money at all. Record labels and manager need to see an artist that they can depend on.
This means that you have to be willing to work hard, listen to other peoples’ advice and evolve your music constantly and patiently.
Getting signed to a record label cannot be achieved overnight, you have to prove your values and your music skills, and be ready to take action at any given moment. Take care of your image and respect your work, so that you can earn their respect too.
Improve your music
Practice is the king. It is essential that you practice constantly, and it is suggested that you do it on a daily basis. Practice makes you a better musician, songwriter and singer.
You can adjust your schedule so that you can make time for daily rehearsals, make music productions or write lyrics. Test new sounds and ways to build your songs so that you can find out which ways work better for your music.
Record your rehearsals and listen to them later so that you can practice and improve on the parts that you did not do well. Take a video camera and record yourself while playing live. Watch closely to your performance and take notes on what you could change to make it better.
Your image is very important when it comes to record labels, and every beginner artists has performance issues in the beginning. Make sure that you do not ignore them and try to improve as much as you can.
Define your music style and genre
Record labels are looking for artists that know what type of music they want to make. You need to be sure about the genre you have chosen and stick to it until you gain substantial amounts of experience.
Consider about the possibilities of your music considering how far you can make it, the audience it refers to and the chances of a record label being able to see these possibilities in the music you make. You should make your music approachable by as many age ranges as possible.
The purpose of music is to entertain people, and you cannot achieve this if you deliberately devote your time on a style of music that only a small number of people can tolerate. That is unless you truly like that type of music, so that is what you should do.
Practice in a studio
Either search for a studio or build your own home studio. Practicing in a studio environment is a great idea because it will change your perspective about the creation process of a song.
The sound engineer can help you if you have issues concerning the structure of your songs, and they can give you useful advice on how to make your music sound better. Even if you don’t have the appropriate budget to mix and master your music yet, it is a great idea to have your songs recorded as demos.
Recording or rehearsal sessions are very cheap even at the most professional studios. Having your songs in a demo version will give you the opportunity to listen to them as many times as you want and identify the good and bad parts of your song.
You can adjust your song and eliminate the bad parts so that you can create the perfect version of it. Having your songs in demo version can be very important, in case that a record label representative asks to listen to your music.
Keep in mind that you should organize your studio time according to your budget. Do waste time talking or trying new equipment. Stick to your schedule and work on your songs for as long as it is necessary in order to achieve the best results.
Focus on your own work
Being able to make covers songs is great, but this way you will not earn the trust of record labels. They need to listen to your own authentic creations and determine whether or not you can supply them with the right music material to work.
Record labels are looking for the best ways to promote your original song as a newcomer. You should showcase them your best songs and present them in such a way that you can convince them they have the potential to reach large audiences and make sales.
Keep in mind that you should focus on providing them with your most successful and practiced songs, so that you can increase the possibilities of them liking your work. It is a bad idea to include recent songs that you have not worked to perfection yet.
Advertise and share your music
Use social media to enhance the visibility of your music and let people get familiar with you and your work. Get connected on social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Tumbler and Google+.
You can also take part in discussions in a wide variety of forums. There is a large number of music forums available online. You should find the most relevant ones to your music genre, read the most important articles and start discussions with other forum members in order to exchange ideas and perspectives.
Upload you songs and share them on every social media platform. Make sure that you display a professional image of you and your music, and that your name is always clear to your audience.
Furthermore, you can create videos that you can share both on Youtube and on Facebook. Videos tend to work better with people, because when they are able to see who you are they trust you more and stay engaged to your music.
You can also use music libraries and platforms to share or even sell your music. Some of these amazing platforms are Soundcloud, Bandcamp, CD Baby, Ditto, Audio Jungle and more. Make sure that you have professional looking graphics for your projects, and upload them with all your details as an artist.
Organize live shows
In order to get noticed by record labels you have to take action. You cannot wait to be invited to live shows, especially when you are at the beginning stages of your music creation. Take the matters to your own hands and organize your own live shows.
They do not have to take place in large venues. You can book small bars or live stages that know for sure that gather the appropriate audience for your music genre.
You can gather similar artists and bands to play at the same event. The more people you invite the further you spread the word, and there are more chances that people with influences in the music industry are going to show up.
There is no need to plan a tour or something bigger like a festival for now. Your purpose is to organize such small events regularly, and start building a local audience at first. After you have built your initial fan base with people that like your music, you can expand.
Try to acquire some useful connections and ask people if you can play in similar live shows with a broader audience like festivals. Find out similar bands that play such live shows and start discussing with them whether it would be possible for you to be part of these festivals.
To do so, you should be aware of the type of audience that goes to these festivals and make sure that your music is not irrelevant to their line-ups.
Reach out to record labels
Your final step is to make your move and reach out to labels on your own. Record labels receive thousands of demos daily from newcomer artists and bands, and sometimes even the demos of artists with great potential get buried under these huge masses.
Be patient but determined, and constantly reach out to record labels without becoming annoying. Make a list with your favorite record labels that have similar artists to your genre and your music style, and contact them first.
Always have a CD or a USB flash drive with your demo songs available, in case someone from the record labels decides that he wants to listen to your songs. Be persistent until you are given the opportunity, and then make a nice presentation of you and your work, without over exaggerating.
If despite your persistence, you cannot get in contact with anyone from the record labels you have chosen to reach out, do not get discouraged. This is very usual in the music industry and it is not personal. The record labels have tons of work promoting their artists and auditioning newcomer artists as well.
You should consider hiring a manager who is an expert at making those connections for you. Make your research, and find out who is the most capable of handling your image and your music.
Help him discover what you are looking for, guide him so that he gets to know you and your aspirations better and let him do the job. He will either manage to book you better live shows to bigger festivals and eventually a meeting with some record label to showcase your work.
This is the guide with the essential steps an artist has to take in order to get signed to a record label.
Make sure that you work, be persistent and follow them to every single detail, so that you can increase your chances of signing a contract for a record deal.
Start pursuing your career now!