If you are a singer songwriter or even a musician, one of your main dream is to sign a record deal with a record company independent or major to make the world listen to and buy your music . But do you really know what is a Record Company, and what they do as business??.
Before you approach a record label you must understand how a Record label is working as ” Business” in the words Record label you have ” Record” and ” Label” , the word ” Record ” mean the recording of a music and voice of an artist, and ” Label” is the name of the company.
Sony , Emi, Warner, Universal are Record Labels (but Major because they are big corporations).
So what is the business of a record label ? :
- Sign and invest in Artists
- Market, promote Music and Artists
- Sell music and live performance
Those are the main points I am going to emphasize on.
**You have independent and major record label.
Independent Record label mean that they do not depend on the Major labels to do business they do it themselves.
An single artist on its own can register himself/herself as a “record label” but that does not mean he/she has all the time the finance, the connection (contacts) and structure to Market, Promote on the national basis .
So if you want to be part of your friend record label that mean you will be an artist signed on the name of your friend’ company (label) and your friend will use what he/she has most of the time (internet) or whatever connection he/she may have to market and promote and sell music online and then together you can approach established record label to go to an higher level and try to have a record deal.
The major label are big corporations which have the networking (contact) and finance to market and promote an artist on a national or internaltional basis. They can invest higher amount on an artist in this case they are considerated as investors (bank) which give the artist a loan that the artists will take back from sell and everything your music and name can sell..
The Business of the Record Label
- Sign An Artist = Invest Money in an Artist.
When a record label sign an artist is not only to give the artist a document (contract to sign) but the artist become a project for the record label: an financial Investment and asset (that can make them make money) They own your music master (copyright) or everything they pay for except if you have purchased yourself.
An Financial Investment means in simple words, they will spend money for your recording, promotion, marketing to make you sell your music and you as ‘’Artist’’. An Financial investment is also a risk for a record label if they sign an new artist they want to recoup what they had invested.
If a Record label decide to invest money in an artist is because they can see your potential as an ‘’Artist’’ but the most important they can see that you can sell and there is a market there for you as an ” Artist”or they can create a concept with you (a product) to enter this market or you reply to a demand in an existing music market.
Investing in music is the core mission of record companies,” says [IFPI] boss John Kennedy. “No other party can lay claim to a comparable role in the music sector. No other party comes close to the levels of investment committed by record companies to developing, nurturing and promoting talent.”
A record label is not here to make you enjoy yourself on the stage but they are there to make money with your music and you as an ”artist”. So be aware about this..So have a mind of businessman when you approach them.
**Relation between Record Label and Artists
When you ask artists what they think about record labels they always put down the records label because of what they have heard about artists’ bad experience but they do not make an effort to understand what a record business is and what to do when they approach them.
Understand the business is the key to understand how to approach a record label and deal with them.
**How to attract the Attention of A Record Label?
- Work your Artist Profile (image, lyrics, music, concept) read my post about this.
- Make a buzz with your music online and on live. (The record label must hear about your music and yourselves via radio, magazine, press, and more) Your Artist name and music must be everywhere online and present in your music genre local Market.
- Have a real fan base (read my post about this)
Make your proof:
- Do all you can to sell your music and keep the records (your sell online or physical or live music tickets)
Do a Market Research
- Make a research about record labels and choice the ones you want to work with (independent or major) and think about why you want to work with them ?
- Analysis how they market and promote their artist and what is the results in terms of sell.
Case Mr Chimpunk must he go to major or independent label?:
- Choose the record label which sign artists which does the same genre of music of your music or/and looking for original talents.
- If your music is special and original (out of the box)
- Make sure that there is something in you as ‘’ Artist’’ that will interest the record label. (sell and market opportunity ect) think business.
- Check how many artist they have signed in the month, year, in the past and who are they?
- Analysis how they promote and market their artist (marketing strategies and check the results in terms of sell.)
**Have professional creative Promotions tools
- Your Myspace, website, blog, facebook ect.. Make them creative and in a way to sell them to the record label. (you are a product which must convince and impact those who listen to your music and read about you )
- Have a Strong Fan base (real fans who love your music not just pass buy)
**Remember you are a ‘’product’’ Sell Yourself!.
- Learn how to sell yourself and your music as a ” product”
- Your lyrics, yourself (personality), your image all is a ”product” in itself.
- Ask yourself How to get to the music industry and be signed by a record label..do i have to choose the normal way (send music, cd) or by ways related to the music industry which lead to a record label for example Lady gaga start as a songwriters.
If A record label decide to sign you now you have to have a lawyer to read the contract (if you can afford it) or someone who can help you to understand the contract and know about music business. Do not forget to know about Copyright and publishing business too.
Any help and comment about this post. Groov’With Me now or email me
© February 2012 Michelle Galas