How to Face and Crush Rejection as a Music Producer

As music producers, we constantly face rejection, and sometimes that gets under our skin and takes our motivation away. However, we can’t let this happen. Therefore, here are a few things that I recommend you doing to make rejection less impacting to you as possible…


1. Learn how to deal with rejection to avoid halting your creativity and your motivation.

It’s impossible to mention any other advice without dealing with the rejection first and moving past it. In a way, the faster you can dust yourself off from this rejection and get back to producing, the easier it will be to get back on the path that will lead you to approvals since you have to put yourself back in a good mentality to allow you to make the music that you want.

It’s not easy, but, at the same time, it’s something that you will need to learn how to live with since it probably won’t be the last rejection you’ll face.

  1. Don’t take it personally or take it as YOU suck. Rejection only means that THIS specific song is not hitting the needle, and you can always do another one;
  2. Take it as a learning process and try to understand the reasons for the rejection. Sometimes labels are vague in their response, or sometimes don’t respond at all, but you can always ask for feedback from other people and get their opinion on your song. Then, learn from this and adjust it for your next song;
  3. Detach yourself from the result and focus on the process. Most of us make music for the fun of making music, and even if we want to sign it to a label, remember that the focus should always be on making the best song possible, and labels/releases are a consequence, so refocus yourself on the process.

2. Make rejection irrelevant by constantly working on multiple tracks.

During my career as a producer, the moments that rejection hurt the most were the ones when I was focusing solely on one song for a long time and got too attached to the song, and then when rejection came, it felt devasting and got me a bit lost as well. At the same time, the moments that hurt the least were the moments when I was working on several tracks at once, and ‘letting go’ of one song was just a matter of focusing on another song.

For example, I have two friends who have a duo and they said they have 50 songs done and ready to be sent… Do you think one rejection would affect them the same way as if they only had one song sitting around? So:

  1. Create, create, and create, and the more music you have, the easier it will be to choose your best ones to send, but this can also soften the impact of rejection as you can always submit another song;
  2. Create a consistent schedule of releases, as a rejection will be a lot more impacting to you if you don’t have anything scheduled for the future and you’re solely relying on this song to ‘get back on track’.

In a way, the more options and scheduled releases you have, the less a NO from any label will mean to you, as you won’t be trying to ‘get back on track’ since you’ll already be moving forward.

3. Make strategic collabs to try to barge in your desired labels.

It’s insanely hard to get into the biggest labels of the industry, but when you can collab with someone who is already in that label it can be a bit easier. Of course, the quality of your song needs to be there regardless of the collab, but since your collab partner already has a direct contact and a relationship with your desired label, it will be easier to get a hold of these bigger labels compared to when you were sending it by yourself.

Why though? Because the A&R already knows your collab partner, and therefore is more likely to open his email than from someone he has no relationship with, right? But, how to get collabs like this:

  1. Develop relationships with multiple artists in the industry and, as they are progressing along, it will be easier to collab with them;
  2. Try to connect with bigger artists in the industry by meeting them in shows or doing something that will get their attention. For example, a friend of mine made a bracelet with a USB drive that had his songs in it, and that got the bracelet got the attention of a headliner of the show, who later played his songs and even made a TikTok about it;
  3. After you develop relationships with producers, attend their shows and you’ll possibly meet bigger producers backstage, which is how I recently met Le Youth;
  4. Send them a good idea for your next song and they might take you up for a collab!

4. Embrace your rejection and channel this emotion to make songs.

It’s human nature to get upset, to feel hurt, and to be mad. As producers and musicians, we’re constantly having to show a different side to our personalities. With a focus on social media of always being on top of things, and in a good mood, sometimes it’s OK to just be upset and angry.

So go ahead, and get those emotions out. Therefore, if you can’t find a way to get yourself to feel better, then use those strong emotions by expressing them in music. Write something angry, or upset. Let it come out in your process, and use that to express yourself and those emotions in a constructive way.

Powerful emotions can lead to powerful music, or they can be a release of built up problems that need to have freedom to get out, to make way for your creative energies to return back to the creative state you enjoy being in. So sometimes, just let yourself feel those things;

Remember, while it’s OK to use those emotions in music, you don’t want to use them by retaliating or directing them back at an A&R, especially if they’re giving you feedback. If you’re upset at your first reading of what the A&R said about your song, go write something with that emotion first, then go back and re-read what they wrote. You may see it in a totally different perspective after taking a break.


What else should you to do move past a rejection and avoid them in the future?

1. Regain momentum by focusing on having fun.

If a rejection got you depressed, focus on regaining your momentum by making what’s comfortable for a while. Avoid anything that could let you down and just focus on having fun, as this is what will make you regain momentum and confidence to start releasing again, which is something you can read more over here.

2. Make sure you’re doing your research and sending songs to the right labels.

If you make the perfect song and send it to the wrong label, rejections will likely keep on coming. Do your research before sending your track to a label to make sure it’s a great fit for them since, otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for rejection in the future.

3. Be persistent:

It’s not a rejection that will ruin your career, nor ONE signing that will make your career explode. It’s constantly releasing music and increasing your odds of people listening and connecting to your music. You are totally allowed to feel emotions about rejection. It’s human nature, and getting upset or having strong feelings is a valid response. The way to use this emotion to fuel your creativity and make your next song even better!

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Leo Lauretti

Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Leo Lauretti has been producing since 2013. With releases on SONY Music, Armada, Enhanced Music, Leo Lauretti accumulates multiple supports from artists like Above & Beyond, Ferry Corsten, Cosmic Gate, Nicky Romero, and many others all over the world.

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