• Phil McDonald

Record Labels - Getting signed

Last week I wrote about Record Labels, what they can do for you and what they can't. This week I thought I'd wrote about actually getting signed, getting that record deal, giving your career that kick that you need and taking it to the next level. So how do you actually go about getting signed?

Good question, needless to say, there isn't one easy answer.

The first thing you need to do is to make sure you'r ready to make that leap. You may have been thinking about a record deal but are you in the position that if a record company came knocking, you're actually ready to go? Do you have enough material? Is your stage craft honed? These are important considerations and can make the difference between a label showing real interest or passing you by. You need to make sure your media side is up to scratch too. A good digital media pack is a must with a great bio (not your life story) professional pictures and links to your music. Having all of this stuff ready to go shows you're serious about your career and that you've given some thought to the future. A record label doesn't want to take on an artist who is going to be a lot of work for them.

If you're actively looking for a record deal you need to try and be everywhere. By this I mean you need to be gigging as much as possible, be featured in your local press or being reviewed by music blogs and printed press. You also need to ensure you're consistently releasing material. Keep it fresh. Don't rely on an EP you brought out a year ago even if it is great. By releasing new songs on a regular basis you're showing a potential label that you worth investing in as you write a lot of material and you're putting it out there.

You're going to need to put in the legwork. Do your homework and contact journalists, bloggers etc and make them aware you. A favourable write up or blog article goes a long way and you never know who's reading it. Approach record companies directly but do do respectfully. An email or phone call to ask if they're currently accepting submissions is a must. Record labels don't have an unlimited roster and some may not being looking for new talent at this time. Only send your material if invited to do so. No one likes unsolicited mail.

Above all, remember this takes time. Keep going and don't get disheartened if you get rejections. Everyone does. Decca Records turned down The Beatles. Sometimes it might seem like you're on the verge of a deal only for it to fall through. It happens. I once played a showcase and Universal were interested. Interested but didn't sign the band. Don't give up, keep going and you'll get there.

I talk about this in more detail on this week's podcast which you can listen to here or via your favoured podcast app.

As ever, thanks for reading.


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