words Al Woods
As a record label owner, Reed Louis-Jeune knows a thing or two about how to get signed by a record label, and he’s here to offer his advice about how you can achieve this goal yourself.
The possibility of scoring a record deal can seem out of reach for many artists, yet there are always the lucky few who manage to get signed up and hit the big time. If you’re ready to launch your music career, read on to discover some top tips from Reed Louis-Jeune of Trill Corporation – an independent music label – that will point you in the right direction for success.
Getting The Basics Right
Louis-Jeune is keen to point out that the first step to success is to make sure that all of the basics have been covered. That means that everything has to be in place before you even try to contact the record label of your choice.
What does that mean in practice? Essentially, Louis-Jeune says that it’s all about the music. After all, that’s what getting signed is all about. The whole point of music is that it won’t be to everyone’s taste – after all, as humans we’re all unique and have our own preferences – but if your music isn’t technically good it won’t be going anywhere any time soon.
Of course, it stands to reason that you think your own music is the best thing you’ve ever heard but that doesn’t mean that others will agree with you! That’s why getting feedback from others is so important. However, Louis-Jeune reinforces the point that you can’t rely on your friends or family members to tell you the truth – of course they’re going to think that you’re great! Find people to send your music to whose opinion you respect but who aren’t so close to you that they’re afraid to give you negative truths. Hard criticism is what’s needed here.
If you get negative feedback, it’s important to not have a defensive reaction. You need to accept the criticism and use it to your advantage. That doesn’t mean that you need to change everything that others think is wrong with your music, but if several people have pointed out the identical problem, that indicates that some adjustments could be in order.
Once you’ve ironed out all of the issues with your track, it’s time to mix and master it professionally. Louis-Jeune says that this can make or break your chance of success. Putting the final touches to your track will make it sound far better than an unfinished one, and is far more likely to get you a second listen.
Present Your Work Properly
You need to make the right first impression when you want to get signed up by a record label, so make sure your online presence is up to scratch. A label that’s interested in you will definitely look you up on social media so make sure you’ve got an artist alias account on Facebook, SoundCloud, YouTube and Twitter and interlink all the profiles. Creating your own website is also a good idea.
Prepare To Pitch
Now you’re ready to pitch, you need to do your research first. You need to bear in mind which labels best suit the style of your music otherwise you’re wasting your time. Make a shortlist and track down your final top five. Next, you need to find out who to approach at each label. This may be easier with some labels than others. Many will have contact pages to help point you in the right direction but you may need to dig a little deeper with others.
Remember, when you send tracks to a label that they’re probably receiving hundreds of them every day so if you can possibly do some networking with the right people in advance you’ve got the best chance of being listened to. So, take some risks and establish connections with people in the right places. Follow them on social media and reply to their posts and comments. You want to be noticed. Consistency is key here. Communicate regularly (without stalking) and invest the time and effort in getting recognized.
Send In Your Demo
Louis-Jeune is adamant that you shouldn’t send in any demo tracks until you’ve reached this point in the process. He’s also keen to point out that only finished, unpublicized and unsigned original material should be submitted (so that excludes edits, remixes, works in progress, reworks and anything that has already been publicly uploaded anywhere).
Avoid sending more than 3 tracks in a single submission and make sure that you send the track in a 320 kbps MP3 format via a streaming and download link (not an email attachment). Also, a minor point, but label your file clearly so it doesn’t get lost. Make sure to send a concise but appealing email message along with it.
Although it isn’t easy to get signed by a record label, Reed Louis-Jeune can say confidently that it does happen, and it happens a lot! So follow his advice and you could be on the path to musical success!