There’s no shortage of people looking for their next big break in the music industry. There’s also no shortage of labels looking for talent, but these companies can afford to be selective.
In order to increase the chances of being noticed and hired by a record label, it pays to be prepared. We’ll go through some of the most important aspects of talent that labels use when looking for ideal candidates.
While some of it may seem obvious, you’d be surprised how many young artists lack some of these basic traits. Understanding these and how to get them will give any young artist an edge. For purposes of this article, we won’t even mention that good music with a unique sound is a must.
1. Proper Branding
Branding and marketing are all about bringing you and your name to the forefront. You need to forge a connection with the rest of the world based on your unique music and who you are.
Everything from your stage name to your manner of dress and even a stage persona are part of making your very own brand. Music is the key, but every artist has a brand.
2. Sell It
Most artists need at least some backing from a good label to make it big in music. In order to get that backing, they usually need to prove they have the power to sell albums and make some money without the help of the label.
This part of the music game is all about the numbers, and labels will be expecting good sales figures before they’ll even consider signing a new artist. Keep in mind that sales should include items like merchandise and other things related to your brand.
Labels want to know that an established group of listeners is already there.
3. Physical Shows
Young artists need to be on a tour circuit or at least playing some shows on a regular basis. It might seem like any offer is a good offer in terms of shows but that isn’t necessarily true. In order to break out, one must choose venues that will offer solid pay—not just free beer or something—in return for services. It may cost new artists a bit to get a booking agent but it will also pay in the long run as an agent will fight to get the best deals.
4. Quality Sound
A new artist’s albums need to sound good. Not only does sound quality and uniqueness of the music need to be exceptional, the proper musical elements need to sound pleasant too. The drums need to sound powerful; the depth needs to be just right.
Don’t skimp on the quality of the track mixes; cheaper deals are rife with various phase, balance, and other issues that will cause your overall sound to be cheap and unimaginative. Go for quality over quantity and release an EP if you need to do so. Labels can spot a cheap mix right away and will pass it up immediately.
Attitude matters in the music business and it is a big part of what labels look for in new artists. Yes, you do need to be firm to get the pay and deals you deserve, but being rude will get you nowhere fast.
New artists need to have a clear outline of goals and then go from there. It’s best to look for the labels and deals that align with your goals to save a lot of trouble in the future.
New artists who keep these things in mind will be much more likely to find a big break.
Article by Josh Gruss – CEO of Roundhill music.