Intro (list below)
16 To Do’s:
- I know it is hard to think in terms of genres, but you got to make sure that you are approaching the correct labels which fit and distribute your style of music. Search for charts and check-out a couple of websites. Listen to the other artists released on the specific labels, do they fit your style? Could you imagine to play a DJ set alongside those acts, without having a genre gap between your tracks and the ones of the other artists at the label?
- The next step is to make a list of 5 to 10 labels that you are interested in. Rank them and save it as a file – you can for example create a database with it later on.
- Read the Submission Guidelines on the website of the label and make sure you stick to them – there is no way someone will even consider reading your application, if it does not fulfill the minimum requirements mentioned by the record label.
- Read through the website and take notes. You should mention something from the label, e.g. what makes them stand out and say WHY they are the right fit for you and vice versa.
- Find out who the contact person is, in case there is none, make sure to write your E-Mail gender neutral – you never know, who might read your E-Mail in case you send it to an info@ email address. Personalization is crucial, correct spelling, e.g. of the names, is very important – attention to detail!
- When do you send your tracks to a label? You are most likely to finish a new track by the end of the week or during the weekend. Did you consider the timing when approaching a record label? Timing is really important. The best days to send you E-Mail to a record label is between Tuesday to Thursday. Why? Because during the weekend many E-Mails are received and processed by Tuesday. On Tuesday afternoons the staff of the record label have an empty inbox and are ready for new projects. On Friday, the staff are most likely to work less hours and prepare themselves for the weekend. New E-Mails and tasks received on a Friday are most likely to be postponed for the upcoming week. Of course, during the weekend no one will take care of their inboxes and bother reading new E-Mails received during these days.
- Be professional. A record label is a business and has economic interests and is most likely run by people who want to earn money in a really competitive and tough industry. Therefore, try to think like a label and behave like an applicant you would be most likely to consider for your own record label.
- The Topic/Subject line should be easy to understand and clearly written.
- Be pro-active and make it as easy as possible for the reader.
- Introduce your music with all relevant aspects, such as Artwork if you already have one, Links (such as Social Media, Soundcloud), featured artists and Genre.
- Make a selection of up to 3 tracks to catch the attention of the label.
- Make sure you send direct links – better than mp3 (will be ignored due to the possibility of viruses).
- Set the track settings to “private” and don’t use already published tracks – Labels want unreleased material.
- Make sure the track is a good quality recording!
- Make sure you stick to deadlines or communicate before the deadline in case you cannot meet a deadline and need to postpone. Remember to be pro-active and professional.
- LAST BUT NOT LEAST: BE CREATIVE – You are an ARTIST and you want to make sure you stand-out.
Send a Reminder
I'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: How to approach a record label. How to send your demo files to a record label. How to get in touch with a label. How to find a label.