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16 Things to Avoid when Approaching a Record Label


Intro (list below)

After I have written my last blog about things you should do, when approaching a record label, I will now focus on the things you should avoid. There are many things you should definitely, by now mean, never ever do when you contact a label for a record deal.

I think these industry insights will make you laugh – but seriously! It happens on a daily-basis and makes skipping through applications even harder for record labels.

You want to stand-out? Then read the list first and then check my last blog once again. Are there things you can avoid and thus improve your application? Great, I am glad that I am able to help.

Moving on, everything from the to do list is done and prepared? You found the labels you want to apply to? Awesome. So let’s look at the list of things you should NOT do, when approaching a record label.

16 Things to Avoid when Approaching a Record Label                                                                                        

  • Don’t describe your own music with superlatives, try to be honest and let other people read your application before you hand it in. You might get additional insights and valuable feedback.
  • Don’t write your own Bio. Let other people do it for you. They have a better perspective on you as an artist. But don’t worry you can add a description and build a story around it - gives it a personal touch. 
  • Avoid using headlines such as “Check-out my music – it is awesome”. Let other people evaluate if it is awesome.
  • Don’t send unfinished tracks or demos.
  • Don’t send a phone video or YouTube link of the track(s).
  • Don’t annoy people, one message in the beginning and another follow-up message are more than enough. Remember to make a good first impression, which lasts.
  • Don’t send your applications via Facebook messages or pages, as well not through Soundcloud. Make sure you send an E-Mail or use the website form of the record label.
  • Don’t assume that everyone knows who you are. Introduce yourself if you reach out for a specific record label for the first time.
  • Don’t send copyright-secured material !!! (such us remixes) - only if you have the written permission to do so by the copyright holder. A record label might ask for the written proof.
  • Don’t send the same E-Mail to more than one label, don’t forget it is an industry and people know each other and talk to each other about artists and thus spread positive or negative word-of-mouth.
  • Don’t send too many tracks! Make a selection of the ones you favor the most, maximum of three tracks. In case the label is interested, they will let you know and ask you for more tracks.
  • Don’t spread negative word-of-mouth about a label, which is not interested in signing you – There might be the chance in the future. Which will most likely be zero, if they find-out and read your negative posts.
  • Don’t send the track to more than one record label. You might consider to send the application to one label at a time. Because what if two record labels like the track and want to sign it both, at the same time?!
  • Don’t send your track in one email to several labels in one “TO:” Address field. People will immediately notice and put your message into the trash.
  • Don’t get too excited, when you get signed. It will be most likely the case, nowadays, that the promotion of the release is up to you. You gotta work hard to be in the position to ask for example for gigs, which are not automatically guaranteed.
  • Don’t be too enthusiastic and dream about big money. In real-life the music industry is really tough and you will most likely only make little money, if you make money at all. Especially in case that you are unknown and have to establish yourself as an artist, first. But you and your popularity can grow, but you gotta make sure you got you’re A-Game on and that you are ready to work hard for your success.

Some of these bullet points made you laugh, because you would never do such a stupid thing? Seriously, I came across all of them, on a weekly-basis, by different artists across the world. If you really have the desire to get signed and be able to stand-out, you should consider my two lists, of DO’s and DON’Ts and proceed during your application in the same way as described.

Even though these lists are no guarantee for getting signed immediately, I hope they will help each one of you, even if it might be just a tiny little bit.

Please let us know what experience you have made with things you should avoid, maybe you have experienced situations and learned from them. Feel free to share them in the comment section - everyone will benefit from these insights.

As well I am interested in which other topics you are interested in concerning record labels, social media marketing for artists, and other business related topics for musicians and labels. Maybe there are people out there, who are interested in building up their own record label? Please let me know, I will see how and where I can help. Drop me a line at: productionmusiclive@gmail.com

KonsI'm Liam K, a passionate DJ, Producer, Visual Artist, Head of Label and Blogger. Many musical genres had an influence on my path to being a musician, starting with my beloved and beautiful Hamburg, Germany. I also have lived in five countries abroad in the past six years, Boston, USA, Maastricht, NL, Seoul, KR, Brussels, BE, and currently in Vienna, AT. Fascinated by Electronic Crossover genres as well as multiple facets of Techno and House music I incorporated live elements in my sets, playing live gigs with saxophonists, drummers, violinists as well as rap support.



Keywords: Things to avoid when approaching a record label, do not to these things when you apply for a record deal. Otherwise your chance are zero that you get signed.

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