Do you submit your works to a record label without knowing what it is they are looking for? If you do this you are wasting valuable time that could be used to get your works to the right label. Do you want to get more “yes” and less “no”? Then look at it from a record label's perspective.
Let's say you are running a Hip-Hop label. For you to find the right music for your label you need to audition music in that genre. You get 100 hip-hop submissions a week. You have to go through each one to determine whether or not it will be a good fit for your label. You have time constraints trying to coordinate this task with other business as well as personal tasks. Now someone sends you a country ballad, figuring “you are a label. You will be able to help me get my song out there”. You take the time to open their file only to discover it isn't even close to what your label is about. You just wasted time you could have used for creating success for your artists. Are you going to take more time to reply to them? Not if you care about the success of your artists and label. When you see that person's name in a message or email again are you even going to open it? Probably not. If someone doesn't care enough about your needs to take the time to do their homework why waste more time with them?
Here's another scenario: What if you had a system for managing your time? Say for instance, you have a submission process that streamlines the task of finding the right people to work with. Something like a website portal specifically for submissions. Someone tries to send you something in a Facebook message. What does this tell you about that person? They don't know how to, or refuse to, follow instructions. Would you work with them if you owned a label? It doesn't matter how talented they are. This type of person almost never turns out to be a good investment of time, energy or money.
Remember, although music may be a fun hobby to you, it is a business to a label. If it is run chaotically in a non-business or disorganized manner the label would go bankrupt. Labels are not looking to give hand-outs. They are looking for business partners. If you don't know how to conduct business and show disrespect for their protocol, do you think they will want to partner with you?
Labels don't generally share their needs with the general music population. Sometimes it takes a little time and research to find out what a label's needs are. If you have skills and resources that can fill those needs you can form partnership collaborations that will benefit both of you. If you can't fill them, look for another label that is looking for what you have to offer. For instance, if you are a producer, songwriter, publisher, PR person, attorney, accountant, or anything else, look for a label that needs what you can bring to the table and offer to form a collaborative partnership whenever your services are used.
So how do you find out what a label wants? One of the best ways I have found is by subscribing to a tip sheet. There are many tip sheets. Some are for major labels and some are for independent labels. Major label tip sheets can be cost prohibitive to most, but prior to starting this label I have had some successes with Bandit A&R newsletter, which is affordable to the average musician on a tight budget. They list briefs for indie labels, publishers, music supervisors, artists looking for songs, managers looking for artists, and more. If you would like to take a look at Bandit A&R Newsletter, try out one free issue, or subscribe to it, you can click on this link: https://www.banditnewsletter.com/. I am not affiliated with Bandit A&R newsletter and receive no payment for this referral. My only reason for posting this link is to help musicians connect with the right people.
If you would like to find out what we are looking for there are two ways. If you are already in our inner circle, as are all members of our private facebook group, briefs are posted in the group whenever we need something. If you are not a member of our private group, go to our submission portal. To keep up with general news of label activities, join our spam-free (moderated) public Facebook group.
The attached video is from 2014, but still valid today. Be sure to check out Rick Barker's courses.
Write Away Magazine
Be sure to check out the UK online magazine "Write Away" where you will find articles about our artists and label. Each new monthly issue comes out on the 4th of every month.