Want a record deal? Here is what you need to do.
To get signed, it used to be enough to simply have a talent and bump into the right person, or by sending your demo into a label, but not any more.
With the changing landscape of the recording industry, A&R’s are a lot more hesitant to sign unknown acts, so unless you can prove to the record label that there’s a good chance they’ll recoup the money they invest in you, its very unlikely you are going to get signed.
So, what are A&R’s looking for when they’re getting ready to potentially sign someone? Here are a few things you can to do to increase your chances of getting their attention.
1. Having an amazing draw at your shows
If you want to get a record deal, you need to prove that you can draw in big crowds to your shows. These crowds pay for tickets and show up at all your gigs. They buy your merchandise, sing along to your lyrics, and go home and tell everyone how amazing you are. These are the type of fans every label likes to see.
2: Sell Units (Physical or Digital)
As well as selling out live shows and making good money on merchandise, another thing record labels want to see is you selling units. This shows that people are willing to support you, and your fan base is still willing to spend money on your music. You won’t be expected to sell anywhere near the amount that major artists do. Record labels realise that there’s only so much promotion you can do as an independent artist. Despite this, they do want to see some numbers. If you can prove you can sell a good amount of songs, A&R’s will be more interested considering you for their label.
3: Have a big, engaged fanbase.
Having large numbers is a good thing, but not enough by itself. Having a large number of Twitter followers for example, who never retweet you or mention you in their feed, is ultimately worthless. If you have 17,000 people on your mailing list, but no one reads any of your emails for example, your list is pretty much garbage. The goal is to build a big, loyal and engaged fan base. Anything less, you’re just wasting your time.