SUBMIT MUSIC TO A&R'S: 7 KEY TIPS

Submit Music to A&R

Written by Jaron Lewis

Getting your music to the ears of an A&R executive will require at least as much effort as you have put into making some amazing tracks. There is an adage in business that says ,”If you build it they will come.” When it comes to the music industry nothing could be further from the truth.

The idea that if you make great music they will listen to it is wishful thinking. Below are 7 ways to submit music to A&R’s. However, If you are looking to submit your demo to a label please click the highlighted text for a list of labels currently accepting demos. Just know they all require a measure of preparation, follow-up and general hard work.

1. MAKE A PLAN

Let’s first makes sure that the first step in the plan is solid. Is your music any good? It can be really difficult to get a sense of how good your tracks really are if other people aren't listening to them. Promote your music online and also get out there and play your music at local gigs, it’s best if they are strangers.

Once they have had a chance to get a sense of your musical style be bold enough to ask, what is that they like? Care enough about your end goals to listen closely, even if it is critical. No one is paying your listeners to say mean things or nice things, so listen and consider their comments.

Submitting Music To A&R To-Do List

2. MAKE THAT CHANGE

Once you have considered the feedback, get back in the studio and re-record any and all of the tracks that need a little sprucing up. This visit to the studio should include fine tuning, that is mixing and mastering for a sound that perfectly represents what you’re trying to deliver. You can’t fail to remember that you will get minutes, maybe seconds from a producer to hear your music, so make it your best effort.

By the way, the key is to have the producer say, something to the equivalent of, ”nice I like this” after hearing your best two or three songs. Sending 25 tracks, is a bad idea, all those songs are not going to be on the same level. You want the “great”, “fantastic” response not the “not bad” response.

3. PRESENTATION

First, before you submit to a music decision maker, they will most likely check your website, your artwork, and possibly all of your social media posts. These all should have a professional look. To avoid any negative assumptions, view the top ten mistakes artists make on social media. When building your personal brand and your social media presence, you should be on Facebook, SoundCloud, Twitter, and any other social media site that will help pump up your brand and attract a following.

The key is to have all sites cross linked with with each other and your email address so that whenever a visitor is in your web space they can get where they want to go including listening to your tracks. The link to your tracks should embedded on all of your sites.

4. LOGO AND ARTWORK

Next, would be great art work. A unique band or artist logo with fabulous artwork goes miles in establishing the band or artists public identity. Whether you have to barter or borrow, take care of the person that is going to handle all the visuals. If they do a great job, their work will essentially be priceless for the kind of return that a successful artist or band might enjoy.

Click here for some affordable services for making your own music logo and album cover art

Rap and Hip Hop Logo Design

Image via www.freelancer.com

5. POPPING WEBSITE

Now that those pieces are buttoned up, it’s time to create a great place to display all of this hard work. That means owning your own domain name. There are plenty of web hosting sites out there like GoDaddy.com or Ipage.com, pick one. What you're looking for is a web hosting company that is stable both in its business and in its network and internet architecture. Of course there is always the option to pay a professional to build a great looking site.

However, it is also possible and more affordable to do it yourself. Check out this article on how to make a music website. Once the music is ready, the social media platform is crafted, the artwork is great and the site is eye catching; now you're ready to reach out to the industry.

6. YOUR SHORT

Do you have an idea how many labels are out there? If you skipped over the list we have for you in paragraph one, be sure to reference it. Also, we have a list of indie labels you can submit to as well. The key thing is making sure they're working with artists that make your genre of music. Before you begin to send out demos there are a few things you need to know about these companies, the most important for the moment is how are they going to treat the demos you send to them.

Some companies have stopped even taking demos, so you don't want to send anything to those not accepting. Most A&R firms will have information and instructions on their site. This information will be if they are currently accepting demos and in what form. Be sure to read carefully, some will only accept demos with a marketing package or will only accept emails that are linked to SoundCloud or some variation of a digital link that protects the company from malware.

Submit Music to Indie and Major Labels

Image via thebaybridged.com

7. MAKE THEM LISTEN AND BUILD THE RELATIONSHIP

Along with their demo policy, they should provide some kind of guidance on how to follow-up with them. Occasional phone calls are okay, other firms prefer email follow-ups. While in some cases, visiting the label at their offices has worked it is a big risk. In most cases it is best to give them time to contact you first before doing anything too bold. Making sure to follow up is a key to the game, but be sure to do it tastefully.

Once you have some kind of contact with someone on your list, you need to be prepared to work that relationship and expand your contacts within the company. Networking effectively is very important.  Yes, you want to stay in touch, but there is a way to do it. Begin to be a presence on their websites and their social media pages, don't take it over, but demonstrate some level of interest in the overall work the company is doing.

Offer congratulations if you notice something positive in the press that they are reporting. Personally acknowledge their press releases as a way of showing you are paying attention to their business. Send updates on your own original submission, and include any new content you may have that stands out.

Stay engaged, put your name in front of them in multiple mediums. “Thoughtful consistency” is a phrase you want to understand and implement into your strategy. If you can do these things, and make music pleasing to the ear, we all will look forward to coming to your concerts and hearing your latest single.

SHARING IS SEXY!

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