A&R and Manager Advice

How to Contact Record Labels

How to Contact Record Labels

Creating brilliant music is just one step to stardom. Getting your work in front of the right audience is another challenge that every aspiring artist must undertake. If record labels are your chosen destination, understanding how to contact them effectively is vital. In this comprehensive guide, we discuss tactics to help you make great first impressions and get your music noticed with record labels.

Understanding How Record Labels Operate

Record labels are essentially businesses that seek to monetize music. They typically have three key departments: A&R (Artists and Repertoire), Marketing, and Sales. It's crucial to understand how these departments operate before contacting them.

A&R Department

The A&R department is responsible for talent scouting and the artistic and commercial development of the recording artist. They can be your gatekeepers who decide whether your material is worth the label's resources. Building a good relationship with people in this department can get your foot in the door.

Marketing Department

The marketing department shapes the image of the artists and ensures that their music reaches the right audience. Understanding the marketing department's role can help you tailor your pitch and demonstrate that your music can sell.

Sales Department

The sales departments are concerned with the commercial viability of the artists. Having a strong background in gig sales and online streams can make a difference.

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

Pitching to Record Labels

Research

Before writing that email or letter to the label, make sure to do your research. Understand their music style, their current roster of artists, and their achievement in the music industry.

Hone Your Pitch

Your pitch should demonstrate that you understand the label's style, showcase your creativity, and prove that your music has an audience. It should also include links to recordings of your music and a brief biography of your band or you as an artist.

Follow Up

Following up is essential. However, be patient and wait at least a few weeks before contacting the label again. Remember to be courteous in your follow-ups.

How to Contact Record Labels Example:

Subject: [Your Band's Name] Submission for [Record Label's Name]

Dear [A&R or Label's name],

I'm [Your Name], an independent singer-songwriter from [Your Location], genre is [Your Genre]. I’ve been following [Record Label's Name] and I'm impressed by how you’ve built success for artists such as [Name(s) of Artist(s) from the Label's Roster].

I believe my music would be a great addition to your impressive roster. [Mention your Unique Selling Propositions]. You can find my music here [Links to Your Music].

Looking forward to possible collaboration.

Best,

[Your Name and Contact Information]

Navigating the music industry can feel overwhelming, but understanding the right way to approach record labels can increase your chances of being noticed. Meeting the right people, solid research, and an exciting pitch can make all the difference.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to contact a record label?

The best way to contact a record label is usually through email. It's important to find the right contact address for your music genre or the department that deals with artist submissions. Always be professional, concise, and include all necessary materials like your music, bio, and contact information.

Can I contact a record label without a demo?

While it's possible to contact a record label without a demo, it's highly recommended that you have a well-produced demo ready to share. A demo is your musical business card and often the first thing labels want to hear before considering a partnership.

How should I prepare before reaching out to a record label?

Before reaching out, research the label to ensure they work with artists in your genre. Prepare a professional and polished demo, press kit, and a well-crafted e-mail or physical package. Make sure you have an online presence with a following or some traction as this can make your pitch more compelling.

What should I include in my email to a record label?

In your email, include a brief introduction of yourself as an artist, the genre of your music, a link to your demo, a link to your electronic press kit (EPK), any notable achievements, and your contact information. Keep it concise and to the point.

Is it necessary to have a music lawyer before contacting a record label?

It's not necessary to have a music lawyer before making initial contact. However, if a record label expresses interest in you, it's wise to consult a music lawyer before signing any contracts to ensure your best interests are protected.

Do record labels accept unsolicited material?

Some labels do accept unsolicited material while others explicitly do not. It's vital you check the label's submission policy beforehand. Sending unsolicited material to a label that doesn't accept it may be seen as unprofessional and can harm your chances.

How important is it to personalize my submission to each record label?

Personalization is crucial. Do your research on the label, mention releases of theirs that you admire, and explain why you think your music would be a good fit for their catalog. Personal touches can make your submission stand out.

What kind of response time can I expect after I contact a record label?

Response times vary greatly depending on the label's submission volume. It can take anywhere from a few days to several months. Be patient, and while waiting, continue working on your music and marketing yourself.

How can I maximize the chances of a record label responding to me?

To maximize the chances of getting a response, do thorough research on the label, follow their submission guidelines carefully, send only your best work that suits their genre, and ensure your promo package is professional. Following up after a few weeks is also acceptable if done courteously.

Should I follow up if I don't receive a response?

Yes, a polite follow-up email after a few weeks to a month is appropriate. It shows you are serious and dedicated. However, avoid being pushy or sending too many follow-ups, which could be off-putting.

Can I submit the same music to multiple record labels?

Yes, you can submit your music to multiple labels as long as it doesn't breach any exclusivity agreements. But it's important to tailor each submission to suit each label’s specific style and preferences.

Should I only focus on major record labels?

No, not necessarily. While major labels have more resources, indie labels can sometimes offer more personalized attention and be more willing to invest in developing emerging artists. Consider what type of label aligns best with your career goals and artistic vision.

How do I know if a record label is reputable?

Research is key. Look at the label's current artists and past releases, read reviews, and reach out to other artists who have worked with them. A reputable label will have transparent business practices and a proven track record of supporting their artists.

What is an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) and why do I need one?

An EPK is a digital portfolio that includes your biography, music samples, high-resolution photos, videos, tour dates, press releases, and contact information. It's a professional way to present yourself to the music industry and is typically expected by record labels when considering new artists.

What should I do if a record label shows interest?

If a record label shows interest, respond promptly and professionally. Be ready to provide any additional information they may request and prepare to discuss contract terms. Consult with a music lawyer before making any binding commitments to ensure your rights and interests are safeguarded.

How often should I update my music portfolio?

Your music portfolio should be updated regularly with new content such as recent tracks, updated bios, new photos, and live performance dates. Staying current demonstrates that you're active and dedicated to your craft.

How do social media and online presence impact my approach to labels?

Having a strong online presence and an engaged following can significantly strengthen your approach to labels. It demonstrates your marketability and fan base, which are attractive assets to labels looking to invest in new talent.

Is there a best time of year to contact record labels?

There's no strict best time, but it’s often suggested to avoid holiday seasons and major industry event periods when professionals are likely to be out of office or inundated with work. Generally, aiming for times when the industry is less busy, such as early spring or late fall, might be advantageous.

What are common mistakes to avoid when contacting record labels?

Common mistakes include not following submission guidelines, sending unpolished or irrelevant material, writing lengthy emails, and reaching out to labels that don't cater to your music genre. You should also avoid spamming multiple departments with the same material.

Can I contact a record label on social media?

While social media can be a great way to engage with labels informally, it's not typically the best platform for official submissions unless the label indicates otherwise. Always utilize the official submission procedures provided by the label.

What's the difference between a single, EP, and LP, and which is best to send to a label?

A single is one song, an EP is a short album of about 3-5 songs, and an LP is a full-length album with about 10 or more songs. It's best to send what best showcases your music; singles or EPs can be more digestible for a first-time listener at a record label.

Don't forget to share this comprehensive guide with your fellow artists and explore more such informational blogs on Lyric Assistant to help you with your music journey.

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

author-avatar

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.

Related Posts