How to get your songs heard?

by Leilah Hazarika | A&R at Artist Originals

Best Practices : Easy 3-step guide to getting your demos heard 

Here’s the good & bad news. The good news is that most of label are actually listening to the demos they receive. The bad news is that the large volume of submissions makes it a challenging experience for both the artist and the label.

So what can you do to stand out?

Step 1: Research

Find a record label that is known for supporting artists in the same genre as your music to boost the chances of your demo getting heard.

Here’s a list of questions that you can use to guide/navigate the process:

What does their catalog look like?

Do you relate to the other artists on their roster?

Which genres are they currently investing in?

Do you like the campaigns they’ve executed?

Have they created bespoke campaigns that reflect the artist’s vision?

Pro Tip: Seek advice from peers who have released music on labels: how they went about it, what were the terms offered, and most importantly feedback on your track before sending it out to the A&R.

Step 2: Preparation

First things first: make sure all your social media, website, streaming profiles are all up to date. It matters in a digital-first age as that is the gateway for the label rep to get to know you.

Choose one track you want to send, make sure it’s release-ready quality. It doesn’t need to be mastered but please don’t send voice notes. The scout is going through multiple demos and you realistically only have up to a minute to grab their attention.

Here’s a checklist:

Keep your bio and pictures updated

Keep your social media URLs consistent

State your preferred mode of contact

Make a private Soundcloud link

Step 3: Reaching Out

Use the right channels to communicate or send demos across is crucial. Every label has a specific way they would like to be communicated with. Their websites usually have that information.

If they don’t and you’re sending a cold email – Imagine you are meeting them in person: introduce yourself, give relevant information about you and the song along with a private link to listen to it. 

Absolutely do not: reach out to them on their personal social media or call them without any prior intimation, even worse CC every A&R on your contact list in the same e-mail. All of the above makes you look unprofessional.

The process can be daunting and confusing, but these guidelines should help you get a foot in the door. Pleaseremember: this is a two-way process. While the label reps are always looking to scout new talent, the talent must scout the right home for their art too.

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