I’ve talked about labels in multiple posts, but I’ve always assumed you know which label you want to sign your tracks to, but that’s not always true. Therefore, today we’re talking about how you can find the perfect label for you and your tracks, and also how do you keep yourself aware of new potential labels that could be interesting to you:
4 THOUGHTS FROM ME
1. Make a playlist of your favorite songs and list the labels. If you don’t know where to start submitting your tracks to, make a playlist on Spotify with 10-20 songs you really love, then check and list the labels that are releasing these songs. his might only include very big labels which might be too big to target right away, so, second, check older songs from 3-7 artists you really like, and check on Spotify which labels they have released when they were beginning, when they were starting to get recognition, etc. With these two options, you’ll be able to find your dream labels (from the songs you love), but also labels where artists have begun their careers, which is a plus since it is a sign that these labels release songs from newer artists. Now that you have options, make a list of your dream labels, desired labels and safety labels, and then put these labels in the order in which you’d like to start sending tracks.
2. Talk to friends and check where they are releasing their songs. Now that you have a list and a priority order of these labels, check if any of your producer friends have released with these labels as this could be a way to find to new labels you haven’t seen before. For example, a recent friend of mine released on a label called ‘Lilly Era’, which opened my eyes due to the insane amount of plays he had and made me consider that label for future releases. Second, having friends in the label won’t get you in since it 100% depends on your music being a good fit for the label, but your friend could introduce you to the A&R, which helps when (1) sending demos to the label as A&Rs tend to pay attention to friend recommendations, and also, if you’re rejected, (2) understanding why you were rejected since A&Rs tend to be more friendly with friend recommendations. Another way friends can be helpful is that you can do a collab with them, and this can get you in that label.
3. Understand what the label is able to offer you and, if you release with them, put them to the test. Now that you have a list of labels, understand what they will offer to you and to your release… Some labels are amazing with Spotify/Apple music plays, some labels are amazing with DJ Supports, some labels could open up space for long-term relationships, some labels treat you so well and give you feedback so good that you see your music improving with them, some labels will fulfill your lifelong dream, etc. Try to understand what is each of these labels you listed bring to you so you avoid frustrations in the future of not receiving something you were expecting. For example, Sekora is a label I’ve recently released on with amazing A&Rs, the owner (UOAK) is really nice, the streaming numbers are good, and I like the flexibility and the way they treat me, so I’ve been sending songs to them more often.
4. Understand how well the label is performing with other artists like you. It wouldn’t be unusual for a label to perform drastically different from their current artists and you, so understanding how the other artists currently on the label are performing is crucial to understand what I just mentioned in item #3. Not only can you get a lot of public information from them like play count on streaming platforms, DJ supports on 1001tracklists, but you can also ask them directly about what the experience was like, how much did the label help with promo, and how much did the label help (or were a pain) with feedback, etc. Back to item #2, it is always easier to get this insider information from friends, but, if you don’t know anyone, try to reach out to smaller artists on that label as they could respond to you and help you out!
1 QUESTION FOR YOU
What should you value the most when looking for a label?
1. Streaming numbers: For most producers, streaming numbers are crucial to have a ‘successful’ release. It’s not only what composes a successful release, but it could be the measure you’re looking for and that makes you happy with a release;
2. Label Effort: This is really important as the more you receive in the promo package, the less you’ll need to do it own your own to promote your track. Some labels send you only a cover photo, and some send a lot more, which is always good when posting about the release. At the same time, this could be translated as label feedback and how much they help you develop your track, or even how picky they are with your track;
3. Opportunity for Gigs: If you’re looking for a label that could help you with gigs, try to find labels that could help you in your location and that have other artists they promote as a label from a foreign country likely will have less influence than a local label on booking gigs.