If you are one of those people who think it is essential to have the support and logistics of a label to succeed in music, then it is crucial that you learn to send your demo in the best possible way
Because it is not enough to spam all the record companies and hope to get an answer. This is a thoughtful process that is prepared well in advance.
In this article we will see all the necessary steps to put all the chances on your side in sending your demo to a label.
1. Have a demo to send
Send a demo, yes, but which titles?
Are these songs mixed and mastered (otherwise you can use Landr) and ready to be sent?
Are these your best songs?
As for the number of songs to send, never send more than two songs.
Put yourself in the shoes of artistic directors who don’t want to listen to the entire albums of the hundreds of artists who contact them every week. If they want to listen more then they will ask you.
So be sure to choose only your two best stocks to date. If you are not sure, you can even send only one, if it is excellent.
2. Prepare the shipment
When we ask ourselves the question of the preparation of the shipment, we must also ask ourselves the question of the support. Will you send a CD by post? Or would you prefer to send an email with a link to your music?
Nowadays, we prefer the second option considerably, as CDs are piling up in the garbage cans of music labels.
So make sure you have audio files of a fairly honourable quality (at least 128 kb/s), complete (not 30-second clips), exclusive (present nowhere else) and with filled metadata.
Once you have the titles ready, you must send them.
To do this, never send attachments, but consider using online storage sites (such as Dropbox) or storing your website to allow easy downloading of your files.
You can also do this via streaming services (Youtube or Soundcloud) or a streaming widget on your site via a totally private page and accessible via a link.
It is always preferable to reduce to a minimum the number of steps and therefore additional obstacles between your music and the label.
3. Send to the right music label
You are almost ready to send your works. But who should we send all this to? Is your music for everyone? No, I certainly don’t.
It is therefore important to do your research and determine which music labels best match your universe, your fanbase and your ambitions.
If you do country music, don’t send your demo by a label specialized in post-hardcore.
If you have trouble finding and deciding, feel free to do further research.
On which labels are your favorite artists signed?
Are there people in your network who collaborate with a particular label?
Which labels openly accept spontaneous demos?
There are thousands of labels just for your music. But choose only a few before going any further. And always make sure to treat each case individually.
Tip: do not send grouped emails. Never.
Value the relationships you have with professionals in the sector. It starts from your email to the artistic director of the label.
4. Write a good pitch
It is not enough to send your music by saying “Hello” “Thank you” and “Goodbye”. That’s good enough. But it takes more than that. You need a real pitch.
Even if this may discourage a large number of musicians, it is essential to follow an appropriate structure that enhances the coherence of your artistic project.
Here are some key elements to include:
- A short presentation of your project and the purpose of this message
- The URL to access your demo
- A few words about these titles (universe, composition, emotions, etc.)
- A short bio highlighting the highlights
- How to contact you
5. Send and stay in touch
Is the email ready? Perfect, all you have to do is press send and off you go!
However, do not expect an immediate response. Far from it.
Labels and record companies are constantly receiving more or less good models by email and yours is not a priority.
If three weeks after sending your demo you don’t have an answer, send a simple message (like “Hello, have you had a chance to listen to the tracks I sent you? I would very much like to have your feedback on this subject”), to show them your determination and to keep you in mind.
You can even go even further by following them on social networks and contacting them individually.
If you don’t have an answer or it’s negative, don’t despair.
You can try again later, when your project will be a little more mature for the label.
Moreover, this does not prevent you from always making a living from your music and developing your career as an independent artist. So don’t give up and persevere!
Starting labels can be a rather thankless task. But if it fits your musical project, get 150% into it and prepare yourself as best you can.