A&R and Manager Advice

How to Contact Major Record Labels

How to Contact Major Record Labels

"Have you ever wondered how to make your music heard by the right people? Many aspiring artists dream of signing with a major record label, but don't know where to start. In an ocean of sound, how can you ensure that your music gets noticed by executives at these massive companies? That's what we'll be exploring today in our guide on how to contact major record labels."

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The Importance of sounding professional

First things first, maintaining a professional demeanor is essential when approaching record labels. Remember, every interaction and piece of communication you send is a reflection of you as an artist. From the quality of your music-proof to the way you present your ideas, everything matters.

Understanding Record Labels

Major labels have the resources and talent to turn your music into a global hit. But it’s not as simple as dropping an email with your SoundCloud link. Understanding how these labels operate is crucial.

  • Educate yourself about the specific label
  • Understand their artist lineup
  • Know their music style and see if your music aligns with theirs

Remember, research is king when it comes to reaching out to record labels.

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

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Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

trustpilot 1

Creating a Perfect Pitch

Your pitch is your sales message so it needs to be compelling, brief, and to the point.

Do

  1. Introduce yourself and your music
  2. Express why you are different
  3. Include links to your best work
  4. Express your ambitions

Don't

  1. Make your email too long
  2. Be arrogant or overly pushy
  3. Send unpolished or unfinished work

Your pitch is essential in grabbing the attention of a label.

How to Contact Major Record Labels Example:

"Subject: Fresh Talent - [Your Name] Looking to Collaborate with [Label Name]

Dear [Name of A&R Rep],

I hope this message finds you well. I'm an aspiring [genre] artist with a unique sound that aligns with [Name of label’s] signature style. After thorough research, I am confident that my music can add a distinct facet to your eclectic ensemble of musicians.

Attached are links to my top tracks. [(Link) Song Name 1], [(Link) Song Name 2] and [(Link) Song Name 3]. My growing [local/national] fan base, social media presence, and commitment to creating distinct music make me an asset to your label.

Thank you for considering my work. I am looking forward to a potential collaboration and creating great music for your audience.

Best,

[Your Name]”

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the first steps to take when contacting a major record label?

The first step is to research the label to ensure your music is a good fit for their genre and style. Next, prepare a professional press kit, which includes your bio, photos, music samples, and press coverage. Note down the contact person for new talent if available on the label's website.

Can I contact a record label without a music manager?

Yes, artists can contact record labels directly, although having a manager can add credibility and they often have existing relationships with A&R representatives.

Do record labels accept unsolicited material?

Most major labels do not accept unsolicited material for legal reasons, preferring to work with artists who are recommended by someone they trust. However, some smaller labels or subsidiaries may be more open to unsolicited material. Always check the label’s submission policy before sending anything.

Should I send a demo or a finished album?

It’s usually best to send a high-quality demo featuring your best work, but make sure it aligns with the label’s submission guidelines. A demo should showcase your potential, but a finished, polished album could be beneficial if you have it.

How can I stand out to major record labels?

To stand out, ensure you have a strong and unique brand, a good social media presence, and a consistent following. Show that you’re serious by playing gigs, building your fan base, and constantly improving your music.

What should be included in a press kit?

A press kit should include a professional bio, a high-resolution press photo, samples of your music, links to your social media profiles, music videos if available, press coverage, and contact information.

How important is social media for getting signed to a label?

Social media is crucial for demonstrating a following, engaging with fans, and showing labels that there is a market for your music. A strong social media presence can significantly impact a label’s interest.

What is an A&R representative and how do I approach one?

A&R (Artists and Repertoire) representatives are responsible for discovering new talent and overseeing the artistic development of recording artists. To approach an A&R, attend industry events, try to get an introduction through a mutual contact, and ensure your online presence is strong and professional.

Is it better to contact a label directly or to network with industry professionals first?

Building a network within the industry can often lead to better opportunities to get your music heard. An endorsement from a trusted industry professional can dramatically increase your chances of being considered by a label.

What's the best way to follow up with a record label after submitting material?

Wait for the time frame they’ve outlined for responses, then follow up politely via email. If they haven’t specified, waiting 4-6 weeks is standard. Be courteous and express your gratitude for their consideration.

How often should I follow up with a record label?

Don't follow up too frequently, as this can be seen as pushy or unprofessional. If you haven't heard back after your initial follow-up, it may be worth one more attempt after a few weeks, but then it’s best to move on and try other opportunities.

How can I find out which record label is right for my music?

Research labels that specialize in your genre or have artists similar to your style and sound. Check the label’s roster and listen to their artists to get a sense of their brand and identity.

How crucial is it to have a music lawyer when dealing with record labels?

Having a music lawyer is very important when signing contracts, to ensure your interests are protected and that you understand all the terms and conditions of the deal.

Are there any costs involved in submitting to a record label?

Typically, there should be no costs involved in merely submitting your music to a label. However, there may be costs related to creating a professional press kit or mailing materials.

How do labels typically prefer to receive submissions?

Many labels now prefer digital submissions, such as through a link to a streaming platform, though some may still accept CDs or vinyl. Always follow their specific submission guidelines.

Are demo listening sessions or showcase events worth attending?

Yes, these events can be valuable opportunities to get direct feedback from label representatives and can help you make important industry connections.

Can I submit to multiple record labels at once?

Yes, you can submit to multiple labels simultaneously, but keep a record of where you’ve sent your music and any responses you receive.

What do record labels look for in new artists?

Labels typically look for talented artists with a distinctive sound, a professional approach, clear potential for commercial success, already developed material, and preferably, a proven track record of building a fan base.

How long does it usually take for a record label to respond?

The response time can vary greatly from a few weeks to several months, and in some cases, you may not receive a response at all if the label isn’t interested.

Can getting signed to a major record label guarantee my success in music?

While getting signed can provide significant opportunities and resources, success is never guaranteed. It takes continuous hard work, talent, perseverance, and often a bit of luck.

Will a record label handle my marketing and promotion?

Most major labels have marketing and promotion departments that will handle the promotion of your releases. However, you’re still expected to be active in promoting your music and brand.

"Understand that getting the attention of major record labels takes patience, effort, and persistence. Use this guide as a starting point, and be ready to learn as you go. Above all, remember to keep honing your craft, producing great music, and sharing your passion with the world because, at the end of the day, that's what truly matters. If you found this helpful, kindly share it with others. Be sure to explore our other guides on Lyric Assistant for more music industry insights."

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

trustpilot 1

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

trustpilot 1

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About Toni Mercia

Toni Mercia is a Grammy award-winning songwriter and the founder of Lyric Assistant. With over 15 years of experience in the music industry, Toni has written hit songs for some of the biggest names in music. She has a passion for helping aspiring songwriters unlock their creativity and take their craft to the next level. Through Lyric Assistant, Toni has created a tool that empowers songwriters to make great lyrics and turn their musical dreams into reality.

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