Posts Tagged ‘Musicians’

Finding Record Label contacts with music A&R reps

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009
adityasnv asked:

Who Are A&R Reps?

A&R representatives (an acronym for Artists and Repertoire) are record company personnel whose job it is to discover new talent and help develop careers. The further A&R reps can climb up the corporate ladder and the bigger their salary, the more stressful their job, and also the more fearful they become of losing it. They have a great responsibility to make money for their companies and to justify their career positions. For this reason, A&R reps often follow trends, look for "sure things" or wait to see what A&R reps at other labels are pursuing. Contrary to popular belief, most A&R personnel do not have "signing power." Once an A&R representative finds a potential artist, they have the difficult task of getting the approval of their record company presidents-and getting approval is often the hardest part of the job! The average life-span of an A&R rep at a label is three years.

A&R is the department of a record company that finds and or develops bands, songwriters, or musicians.  More often than not A&R reps help out with a bands artistic and commercial marketability.  Think of the A&R Department as the middleman between the band and record label.

A & R Department Responsibilities may include some or all of the following:

Locating bands, songwriters, and musicians for their record label Negotiating contracts for a band or artist Finding producers for recording the band Locating recording engineers Scheduling time to record the band Locating songs for a band from music publishers with whom they have relationships Listen to demos from bands

A&R Reps from major or larger record companies usually only listen to solicited demo submissions from musicians.  A solicited submission is one that a music company only accepts from known or reputable contacts with whom they’ve networked in the past.  Smaller record labels may accept both solicited and unsolicited (anyone can send demo) demo submissions.  A great resource to tell what record companies accept unsolicited and solicited submissions are the Songwriter’s Market books.  They give you information on what record companies may need with a demo submission and how to submit your band demos.

How to Find an A&R Rep

Finding a Record Label for Your Band

OK, by now you should have read and taken the appropriate steps for How to Get Signed. Your band is prepped and ready to go. Now you just need to connect your unsigned band with the label and A&R Rep ready to sign you. How do you find this mysterious A&R Rep and perfect label?

1. Send a Press Kit

Search the web for appropriate labels and use contact directories such as CMJ Directory, The Musician’s Atlas, or the Musicians’ Guide To Touring and Promoting The directories contain lists of record labels, clubs, radio stations, and press outlets for you to send your band’s press kit. But before you start sending your demo package (press kit) to every contact you see, you have to answer 2 big questions first:

Does my band’s music fit with this label’s style of bands?

Assuming that you like your band’s music, if you like the bands on the label then chances are the music is similar enough. Yes, labels are looking for bands that are different than what they already have, but not radically different. If you’ve never heard of the label, make sure you listen to some songs of the bands on the label first. You don’t have to take too much time on this, but enough to know if you’re a good fit or not.

Is this label accepting unsolicited demo packages and press kits?

If the answer is yes, then call to confirm. Simply tell them you’re sending a press kit and ask who you should put it attention to. (You don’t want half your press kits trashed because the directory or website you got your initial information from is now outdated.) If the answer is no, then try another label. Or try and make a face-to-face connection with a rep on the label. Even if your band isn’t playing, festivals (and other music industry events) are still a good place to make some contacts. Ideally you’ll find one or two reps that you can get the go ahead to send a kit directly to their attention.

2. Play Showcases

The big music festivals such as South By Southwest (SXSW), North By Northeast (NXNE), CMJ, etc.are a great way to show off your band and talk to a lot of people. And you need to do quite a bit of meeting and greeting. You want to try and get as many people as possible interested in your band before you play. That way you aren’t just hoping they happen to see you when you’re on stage. Of course, don’t go overboard. Don’t be obnoxious. Be professional, but market your band before, during, and after your set. Know ahead of time what results you want, and then do everything you can to make that happen. Your chances of success will be substantially greater.

3. Follow up

If you haven’t heard anything yet, call back the people and labels you sent press kits to and ask if they had a chance to review your material (wait 4-8 weeks after you send your kit before calling). If they say ‘Yes, we want to sign you’ then start celebrating. If they say ‘No, we haven’t reviewed it yet’ then ask when would be a good time to call back. And if they say ‘Yes we reviewed it, we’re not interested’ then ask them the hard question. Ask if they can give a little more specific feedback. You can’t get better results if you don’t know what to improve upon. If several people are telling you the same thing, then you’ll know what you need to fix, change, or approach differently.

Your line of attack when approaching A&R needs to be planned out and to the point. Give or play your demo and invite them to a gig. Make sure that demo is impeccable because more than likely they are only going to listen to a very tiny portion of it. If they liked it, then they just might show up at the performance. Keep in mind that this gig needs to be an impressive one. Make sure you have a fan base there and a good vibe going with the crowd. This is crucial because you not only want to sound good, you want the crowd to be into you as well.

No matter who you are if you are wanting to know how to get signed or how to get a record deal then take to heart the tips offered above. A&R reps are not the only way to score a record deal but they are most definitely one way and it is a way worth trying more than once. There are tons of labels out there and even more A&R reps so get to work and the first place to start is with an awesome demo!


Ten Tips for Starting Your Own Indie Record Label

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009
Kc Smith asked:

A lot of people dream of starting their own independent record label, but for most it is a fantasy that will never become a reality. However, there are a number of musicians and music fans out there that are creating their own alternative to getting a recording contract with a major record label. These folks put a lot of hard work and a bit of their soul into producing, promoting and distributing the music that means so much to them.

Here are a few how-to tips (in no particular order) based on what they’ve learned:

1. Check with your local government to see if you need any licenses. The people at the licensing department are used to dealing with folks who know very little, and they are a great source of information.

2. Learn as much as you can about the music industry. If you’re going to be a player, then you need to know the rules of the game. Once you understand how the industry works, it’s easier to take your place in it.

3. Find talent. If you’re planning to release your own music, then you’ve already got this one licked. If not, then you’re going to need to convince some band or musician that working with your label is in their best interest. (Following step number two above will help you sound a lot smarter during this conversation!)

4. Get yourself a web site, and make sure that people can order your products online. You might consider selling merchandise for your label or band in addition to music.

5. Make sure that you’re creating a good product. While one of the benefits of starting your own indie label is that you can produce any artist you desire, if you want to make a profit, you should probably consider the actual talent of your talent!

6. If you can swing it, get yourself a barcode to mark your products. This will help official sales numbers for the label. If one of your albums starts selling really big, it could actually end up on the charts because it was being tracked.

7. Create a business plan. This is pretty much essential if you’re looking for funding. If not, it’s still a good idea because it forces you to sit down and think through all the how-to aspects of starting and running an independent label.

8. Keep accurate records of your sales and expenses. You will have to file taxes on your business, and this will be infinitely easier if you have kept track of your income and “out go.” Setting up a checking account for all your business transactions can be really helpful for this purpose, and you’ll get updated statements from the bank.

9. Get some decent contracts for use with your talent and other vendors. There are plenty available online, so do some research to find out what will be the most useful for you and your label.

10. Get business cards made. Be sure to include your name and that of the label, along with any contact information. Don’t forget to include your web site address (for those online sales). In addition to having business cards made, make sure you have business cards with you at all times. Give them to prospective talent, possible business connections, and your family (they’ll be really impressed). Having business cards helps make you more legitimate, and they are a great marketing tool.

Monetizing Your Digital Record Label (Part One)

Sunday, June 7th, 2009
Da Architec asked:

We know selling music online gives us the control over our music. But selling music online is no easy task. Selling music on CD, directly to the consumer (out the trunk) maybe a littler easier to move, that’s if your music is good and if you have good salesmanship skills.


With all the digital music distributors and resellers online, it almost impossible to know where to place your music. Some promise they can place your music on iTunes, and then you have a distributor like Ioda. That can place your music on over 300 plus, online and mobile music and video content providers.


This does not mean your going to sell music. You will be placing it with hundreds, maybe thousands of other musicians and artist doing the same thing. That means more competition.


Ok, my point here is we know times are tight, it cost to produces and promote a record for resale. You have to convince the fan to purchase your music, and its not easy. Please go to  and sign up your email, or get the RSS feed to view our blog and upcoming articles about the music business.


If your looking to getting funds to produce a record, or looking to make legitimate money with your web presences. I’ve included a few resources to help monetize your digital record label. I use these for my business, and they work.


Sellaband is a music social network that can turns your fans and listeners of bands into their producers, asking them to invest in a band or artist they support so that they will be able to get a recording opportunity. Every single investor that supports a successful band will take home a small cut of the profits made by them. Artists not only get financial support but also share 50% of the ad revenue coming from the free downloads of their music.

YouLicense is an online music licensing marketplace”, it is worth a try. They license your music to films, television, commercials, websites etc. and take only 9% commission for the service.

Rumblefish licenses your music to film, TV, video games, advertising and marketing campaigns, podcasts, video blogs, background usage etc. Non-exclusive licensing agreement, 1-year term, you retain full ownership to your songs and you get 50% of the net licensing fees.

 Make Money from Free Ads

There are hundreds of websites that offer you the opportunity to make money by place ads on your website. But which are the best sites to earn income from. How do they pay? How long does it take to get my money?

If you have these questions in your mind, that cool, it’s expected. I will list a few websites that are legit, and will pay you by check or online.

How would I get paid online?  Well I use Paypal is a free online payment system, like a merchant account, that allows he user to send or receive money online. You can auction and accept donations as well. The thing I like about paypal is you can invoice payments via email. Also a lot of affiliate programs send payments via paypal; the money goes straight into your account.


How do I make money from free Ads?

Well first you will need to overstand a little about HTML codes, its not hard at all, you just have to basically copy and paste codes in you website or blog. But these ads can be place as banners, skyscrapers, block ads, etc. Some pay per click, some pay by impressions, some are videos, etc.

Since we are music related we will stay on the path, but not all ads will be exactly music related.


If you’re looking for an easy way to keep track of your fans, by email and text, I recommend you use You can sign up for free. What I like about Fanbridgeb is you can send out text and emails to your contacts from your computer or blackberry. It’s very easy to use, and you can make money as an affiliate. I know. I use Fanbridge for my business.


MusicSubmit - These guys have a number of services for independent musicians. Internet promotions, Radio promotions, tour promotions, etc. You can also make money as an affiliate by placing an ad on your website or in your email.


Bidvertiser - Place a Referral button or a text link on your site and you will start to earn money when a user clicks on your button or link and signs as an advertiser or a publisher. When a user signs as an advertiser and first spends $10, they will credit your account with $5. When that same advertiser spends $50, you will be credited with an additional $20.

 To Be Continued