So far in this series, we’ve taken a look at what your expectations of A&R guys should be. We’ve also taken a look at the type of music you produce. Today, we’ll wrap up with a few more tips starting with genres.
Do not make up genres.
I’m surprised on a daily basis at how many artists make up genres for Soundcloud. Labels and Soundcloud users like to know what they’re about to listen to. #nice, #LSD, #EDM, and #favorite are NOT genres of music. This practice is a good way of telling A&R guys immediately that you don’t know what you are talking about. EDM is a collection of many different subgenres and those genre names matter.
Also, if you say a track is house music, it better be house music. You have got to know your genres. Some tracks do bridge genres, but a good A&R guy will understand that. A house label cannot make money on a dubstep track. Listening to a dubstep track is a waste of a house label’s A&R guy’s time.
Only post your best stuff.
Clips are ok as teasers, but you want to focus on what your best music is. Crap that doesn’t represent your talent well should never be on your soundcloud page. Keep that in mind. If you wouldn’t play it out, you probably shouldn’t post it.
Write a bio and fill out your links
Do your best to write a bio. Get some friends to help you if you need to. It’s fine if it’s short. It probably should be, unless you have a pretty colorful history in music already. Labels want to know you. Your story is what will be used to help land interviews and promote your release. We can’t always encourage blogs to listen to your new release, but we stand a better chance if we can tell your unique story of escaping a dictatorship, saving every penny you had to buy a 303 rather than just using emulation and even failing to engage the crowd at your first show only to be the one booking shows today. Shoot, even a hook as simple as being a regional hotdog eating champ is enough.
Also, don’t forget to fill out your social links. You should be active at least on one other social site. Twitter will be best to help gain fans naturally. Which brings me to one final point.
Never pay anyone for plays, likes or follows.
If you think you can trick a label into believing that you have 10,000 followers and 40,000 plays on Soundcloud, but yet no labels have released a single track of yours, you are only fooling yourself. An account that has been paying to boost their stats is easy to pick out from the pack. Don’t be afraid to let your music stand for itself. If it’s truly good, it’s good no matter how many people have heard it. If a label is looking for artists with a fan base, you have to understand that by providing them a fan base of bots is a form of fraud. You are misrepresenting yourself in hopes of financial gain or fame. If a label is going to invest in your future, they deserve to know the truth. If you don’t have a fan base, the label can help you grow one. Just be upfront and honest with them. It’s much easier than lying or getting caught in a lie.
That’s really about it. I hope these few tips help you get your next track signed. Though my list isn’t exhaustive, it should have covered most of the basics. Feel free to leave your comments and let me know if the advice works for you.