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The Record Deal –
7 Step Guide to What Record Labels Really Want
By Ken Cavalier

If you have made the decision to go it independently as a musician, artist, or band, then the notion of going after a record deal may be something that you’re just not interested in.  Well as I have discussed in previous articles, obtaining a recording contract with a major record label or high profile independent record label may not be all it’s cracked up to be.


However, if you are an unsigned artist or unsigned band, and this is what you want to go after and it is part of your music career and music marketing strategy then you should have some idea as to what record labels are actually looking for as a prerequisite to even consider signing an artist.

Being directly involved with the music business today as I’m sure most of you are if you’re reading this article, you should be aware of how it has changed over the years.  Many record labels have disappeared and the one’s that remain have totally ramped up their A&R process and have added increased scrutiny to the way they make signing decisions and the kind of record deals they will offer.  So you may be asking yourself the mystery question “How to Get a Record Deal” There are many things labels look at but to summarize the top 7 reasons why a record label signs an act, here is what they look at and essentially what labels want:


  • The Act Must be Fully Developed With a High Profile Memorable Image
  • The Artist Must Have a Story and History of Press and Media Behind Them
  • The Act Must Have an Expanded Fan Base in the Thousands
  • The Artist Must be Doing Meaningful Touring on a Regular Basis
  • The Act Should Show a Significant Amount of Independent Record Sales
  • The Artist Should be Well Educated in the Art of the Music Business
  • You Must Have Great Songs and the Ability to Keep Pumping Them Out


Now as I mentioned there are many factors they take into consideration.  Just having secured the above 7 elements will not necessarily assure you that a record label will be interested in signing you.  But before you even consider delving into the process you need to be aware and have in place these 7 elements as a minimum requirement. 

The process of gaining the attention of any record label today is tough – no doubt.  If you’re not sure exactly what to do or how to do it, you should consider seeking professional guidance and artist development expertise from a qualified artist manager or management consultant that can help you in the preparation of presenting yourself to the record labels.  You only get one shot at one particular label – making the first impression is crucial.  Good luck.

©2016   Ken Cavalier   All Rights Reserved Worldwide


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