Finding the right moment to send tracks to labels can be a hard task, and you can be cautious or have a ‘go for it’ approach towards it (mentioned in points #1 and #2). In either approach, it’s important to prepare yourself and make sure you’re ready to send your tracks to labels (mentioned in points #3 and #4):
4 THOUGHTS FROM ME
1. ‘Use’ your producer friends as thermometers for sending tracks to labels (the cautious approach). As producers, we always ask ourselves when is the right moment to send music to any labels or to a specific top label you love, especially since you don’t want to make a bad first impression. However, especially when you’re starting, you might not know if we’re ready for this. Ask your producer friends what they think about your song; post it on ‘feedback forums like Bound To Divide’s, Sekora’s, Zen World’s, and many others, and get feedback from producers in your genre. If you receive a lot of praise, it might be your time to send, but if you receive a lot of feedback to enhance your song, you might still need to wait a bit.
2. Don’t hold back and just send it anyway (the ‘go for it’ approach). When I started producing progressive trance, I didn’t know anyone in the field, and much of the feedback that I’ve gotten was from labels. Back then, I was afraid they would ‘blacklist’ my name if it was bad, but that never stopped me from sending it anyway. If you’re REALLY afraid, create a fake name and sent it anyway. Sometimes you will not receive any answer, which means that you still have some work to do, but sometimes they will answer you asking for changes, and then you can come clean with your name. After all, feedback can say your track is awesome, but labels are the ones who will approve it or not.
3. Create a buffer before you start sending. It’s always helpful to have a lot of songs ready to be sent before you send them since, if one gets picked, you already have plenty of others to follow up. A few reasons why you should consider this are (1) often labels will ask you to release the song as an EP, (2) they can ask you for contracts bigger than just one song, and more importantly, (3) having a constant schedule of releases will benefit you greatly and this is done easier when you have a buffer. To put in real numbers, I recommend having 3 to 5 tracks as a buffer.
4. Make a set with three songs, two of them preferably from the target label, put your song in the middle and see how it performs. If playing your song between two others from your dream label makes your track feel weak, empty, or too bassy, you still have work to be done and I would recommend waiting a bit. You can still send and get signed, but why would a label sign a track that even you, the creator, think it’s weaker? This is how I normally test if my songs are ready for clubs or if the mix is ready… just put it among tracks you love and you’ll either say: “perfect.. time to send”, or you’ll say “I gotta fix this”.
1 QUESTION FOR YOU
Often I’m asked if a big label would sign a small producer, and the answer can normally be given by asking the person back… Would you, the label A&R, sign a small artist with an amazing track? Let’s see some examples
1. Ben Böhmer had 3 releases when he was signed by Anjunadeep;
2. No Mana had ZERO releases when he was signed by Mau5trap;
3. Camelphat’s had ONE release when they remixed Fatboy Slim and got signed by Toolroom;
In my opinion, a small act could be perfect for a label if they want to build an act to fit in their label, so don’t be afraid. What got these track acts signed was their music, not their name, artist name, socials or etc.