Our best tips on how to get signed by a record label in 2023
The successful method on how to be signed by a record is a topic that many upcoming music artists try to ask themselves searching for answers on the web and to more expert artists. The answer is: I don’t know.
Or better, there isn’t a perfect recipe for that. I think the best you can do is getting into the mentality of a major label scout, trying to find the best artist that can sell the most in THIS moment, because is what (major) labels do, make money with your music; 2023 will gradually show new announced interesting possibilities in this sense even without a record label, but this is another extended interesting topic I will not talk about in this post.
I can only say that there are 3 fundamental points you can’t miss, before even thinking to submit your music to a label.
Appearance is key, yes. Unfortunately the first impression is really important. You have to appear professional, self-confident and sure of what you do. Labels need to know your music production is not a hobby but your ideal career, and that you already do all your best to get heard by the most people possible with all the means at your disposal. Take care of your social media pages, and if you don’t have time or will, try to focus only on one social media page where you will put all your efforts in.
I suggest Instagram, Twitter and above all, TikTok.
Make beautiful, useful to the others, social media posts: don’t post only self celebrating posts, with your new single wonderful artwork made on MS Paint with badly stretched photo of you. About this point, investing in a reliable graphic designer could make your life easier, there are many with very nice rates on the web. If instead you want to invest time and efforts learning basic graphic design software skills, it’s fun (at least to me) and if you stay minimal you can make great things. Studying colour combinations, item positioning geometry and all the basic illustration tasks could be enough to develop your graphic design skills.
You have to appear professional, coherent, pleasant to see. This is valid in any form you want and in any genre you are, even if you are the dirtiest punk guitarist on planet, you can take advantage of your appearance in many ways.
An example of a wonderful artwork here:
The music you show to the worldwide audience, to be submitted and potentially get signed by a record label (except underground niches where quality is not at first place) must have a high quality production and industry standard mixing and mastering: Hip Hop, Pop and any other mainstream Urban music genre songs follow trends/standards of sound, loudness, character, effects.. and your song should orbit around those trends. It doesn’t mean you have to have the exact same sound, the goal is to sound as professional as a top chart hit, with a similar loudness of top 40 charts songs.
All starts with a top quality beat or instrumental (many customizable beats for sale here), the first fundamental step to have a song that will sound big, professional, with beautiful progressions and solid arrangement choices, not just a boring loop.
The next step, if you focus on making a product meeting those standards, is recording your vocals. Make sure to record at a decent audio quality at home, even if booking a studio recording session will grant that you have all made as it should.
Once done that, you have to be sure to mix your vocals properly with your beat. If you think you are good as mixing engineer, you can try to make it sound like a top song, but remember that this takes away a lot of time for your creativity, when those tasks that can be quickly done at high quality levels by a professional mixing and mastering service team with trained, skilled ears that work every day on multiple songs and, most important, never heard your song before and will catch details you can miss due to the hundreds of times you heard it (ear fatigue).
(Yeah, this was a quick self-advertising, touché! )
Same thing for videoclips. If you don’t have the skills and you can’t afford a decent video-maker with professional equipment (even if every iPhone records great videos at this time) or editing/VFX skills, I would suggest to hire someone for a lyric video instead (cheaper), or use beautiful free-of-use high quality psychedelic videos if you are into Electronic Music production, for example. Your single published as YouTube video will have a more effective appearance than the auto-generated distributors video, with a more affordable price.
Anyway, there are exception, where the song idea is superior to any video, so any decent quality would work.
(Here’s a clear example that goes totally against all I wrote until now and the next section. You like it or not ,this is going really viral without any record label. I don’t think they did a deep research about going viral or how to get signed by a record label, maybe it’s just pure luck. And you need it, a lot!)
This is maybe the most easy of the three: before contacting any record label, be sure you have release quality music with consistence, quality and a good appearance. A record label will see that you have a music background and passion, and a project for your career. If you send the first song that you did that you think is “awesome”, even if it is, the chances you get considered are limited.
Attend to concerts, try to get the most gigs possible even if in small locations. You will know a lot of people, have fun, learn to stay on a stage and to interact with the public. Maybe some label manager will be there having a beer and will notice you, if you make quality music.
So, there’s no secret sauce or answer to the question “How to get signed by a record label“, but those points will help you to keep focused on the right behaviours.
If you are interested in our professional mixing and mastering services, or to have a custom instrumental production, you can listen to some of our works and have a tour on our services page, or contact us for a (free of course) feedback on your song!
I leave you with one of our latest work, enjoy!