It’s the light at the end of the tunnel for some producers, sending songs off to a record label with that dream of getting signed and releasing your music to the big wide world. However, there are respectable ways of doing it and there are some tactics you should try to avoid if you want to have a chance of your music being listened to. Let me share my thoughts from what seems to be a hot topic in my Facebook news feed at the moment.
The classic “Spam & Run”
Ugh, nothing is more off putting for a record label, music promoter or blogger (such as me) than a plain old link sent in a private/direct message with no personality to it. If you adopt this method in your approach then the chances are, you won’t get it listened to. If you want to stand out, at least make an effort by starting a conversation and engaging with the label/blogger before you send over that massive track you have spent hours working on. This is still no guarantee but it will put you ahead and who knows, you may develop a friendship with that label/blogger.
Another thing I would add is that if you want to get involved on a label, show interest in some of the uploads and releases that they’ve pushed out. Leave a comment on SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, drop a like, all that good stuff and keep that up regularly, not just a one off. If you are persistent on this front then you will get noticed!
“Hey bro, cool track, we gotta collab!!”
Nope, we don’t. When you get a comment like this on your tracks, it’s often by someone who just wanted to get more followers. More specifically YOUR followers that you’ve spent years getting built up through hard work and sheer persistence. Now, I’m not saying dismiss EVERY message you get like this because if you trace back to the person’s profile and they have a complimentary style to yours then that’s a good starting point. Get the conversation going, add each other on Facebook, Twitter etc. From my experience, when I have responded to these types of messages, it falls silent on the other side so I have developed a strategy.
As a solo artist, I’m used to doing my own thing. I work during the week which takes up most of the day, I get back home, get out of those yucky work clothes, have dinner and then only have a couple of hours in the evening when I’m already tired to try and work on music. So a simple EP idea of “I do two tracks, you do two tracks and we remix one (or both) of each other’s tracks for an 8 track EP” seems to be a good tactic to get a nice blend for the “collab”. It doesn’t take too much out of you and you have the ability to get songs made quicker than bouncing music projects back and forth, making sure you both have the right VSTs and so on.
The “mass tag”
Effectively, this is the same thing as the spam & run tactic, just in the public domain. I know Facebook is very limiting to who it shows posts to and sometimes, seeing the responses being next to nothing on something you have spent hours, days, weeks, even months over is so depressing. Especially when someone posts a video of a cat or some girls in a bikini that gets a huge response from our “thirsty” cousins. My advice here (more a personal preference) would be, don’t be lazy, send a nice message to your friends/music producers/bloggers who you want to listen to your creation and you will get a more organic response.
Call me old fashioned but it makes a difference when you add that personal touch. We all have busy lives and as music producers, we’re itching to share our work, get it heard and spread the love but keep your integrity, be true to yourself and stay humble.
What are your experiences with these “phenomena”? Do they annoy you as much as me?! Any other tips and tricks for approaching labels and bloggers?
Let me know in the comments below 🙂
Take it easy