How To Submit Music To A Record Label

Submitting to a record label is only the first step to getting signed. Follow these steps to get your music into the right hands.

1. Do your research.

As a musician, you should always make sure you know what record labels are at the forefront of your chosen genre. A hip-hop label won’t be interested in your EDM EP.

Make a list of labels that put out the best in your genre and gear your submission for them.

2. Submit original material only.

While you may get a standing ovation whenever you play your cover of “Freebird” live, record labels don’t want to hear it. They want to hear your unique sound, your unique voice, and the way those two things mesh together.

Bottom line, submit only songs you have written, and it goes without saying to make sure they are your best.

3. Follow the rules.

This is a big one that a lot of aspiring musicians ignore: following the rules. Most record labels have guidelines on how to submit material. The biggest way you can hurt your chances of being heard is by not following them.

Record labels receive thousands of submissions every single week. That is a lot of material to go through, and if they can find an excuse to move some immediately to the garbage, they will. Follow the rules to get your music heard.

4. Personalize each submission.

Much like when applying to jobs, generic query letters are easy to spot and send red flags to whoever might listen to your demo. Go out of your way to find out exactly who that is, or at the very least their title.

Mention why you are submitting to that label in particular, and tell them something they can do that no one else can. Let them know that the letter they are reading is unique to them.

When you follow these steps, submitting your demo to record labels shouldn’t be a scary process. Just remember to do your research, submit original songs only, follow label guidelines, and personalize each submission.

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Anthony Mauro is a San Francisco State graduate who splits his time between the Bay Area and San Diego. He spends his free time thinking long hair is cool, playing video games for an online audience, and writing short stories, comic books, and novels.

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