Edmonton-based record label and events group Night Vision Music is celebrating their five year anniversary with a collection of five new tracks from its most beloved in-house producers, including “Dat Love” from Honeydripper, which we premiered earlier today.
We asked the imprint to give up-and-coming producers some advice in the forms of five essential tips for submitting music to music labels:
Don’t submit music to a label whose sound your music does not fit. It’s a waste of both your and the A&R’s time, and it will probably just annoy them. So if the label mainly releases abstract techno, don’t email them your future house track. Also, make sure your production quality matches the level of the label.
Most labels either have a demo email or a public submission box. If you happen to get the personal email of someone at the label, don’t send your demo to them unless you already know them. Their inboxes are for conducting business, not sifting through demos. If you can establish a dialogue with the people at the label first or have an existing one already, then it is more acceptable to send them demos directly.
If you really like a label, research their sound and make music specifically for them. Listen to all their records and see if you can notice any recurring themes or ideas that run through their catalogue. When you submit your music, mention that you made the track exclusively for them. If you’re sending a Soundcloud playlist, put their name in the playlist title. That will give you an edge.
The first thing A&R’s do when they like your music is look you up online. If your Soundcloud and Facebook profiles look like they haven’t been used in a month, or if your artwork and images aren’t clean and well-composed, they’re probably going to move on. When a label signs an artist, they’re investing in that artist’s music and their brand. Unfortunately following comes into play here as well, because more fans presumably means more record sales. So the bigger real, engaged following you have, the better.
You’re not submitting a résumé to work at your dad’s golfing buddy’s law firm. Be professional, but don’t use business cliché’s like “dear sir or madam,” “to whom it may concern,” et al. Mention you’re a fan, and if you really want an edge, say how much you liked some older release on the label (but be honest). Also, A&R’s receive a lot of music and don’t have much time to review it, so don’t write a novel. Keep it 2-3 sentences, say thanks, and be cool.