Shopping Your Music To An Independent Label

Written by Lenny Diko (2010) (CEO OF UIYB RECORDS) As an independent label CEO (which really doesn’t stand for a whole lot these days), I am still approached probably 5...

Written by Lenny Diko (2010) (CEO OF UIYB RECORDS)

As an independent label CEO (which really doesn’t stand for a whole lot these days), I am still approached probably 5 to 25 times daily by local and international artists looking for “record deals”. What is a record deal these days anyways? Well, for us at UIYB Records it usually means a marketing budget + digital distribution (sometimes physical) + and some show bookings… If it’s an artist who is fairly established we get into working with our sister companies on things like branding & booking agencies. Good music just isn’t enough so I figured I would write something quick to assist any artists out there who might be reading this on the best way to approach someone like me, who has the resources to get your music to the next level.

  1. Creative Approach- Do not send a “please sign me”email with a link to your myspace and a brief bio! Anyone running a label would probably agree with me that they HATE phone calls, but sometimes a voice mail or something that really shows you went out of your way to get at me really helps. Especially if its an international artist, the fact that you paid for a long distance phone call is enough for me to give you a second listen.- if you send an email, make it creative (but definitely also make sure it does not get treated like spam), get someone to draw a picture, write something that will catch the recipients attention.

  2. “I will make you money”- this is an absolute MUST. An Indie label usually puts out on quality music that generally fits in their target market, that goes without saying but the bottom line here is MONEY. Can you make them money? If you are given the opportunity and the label’s resources will you work your ass off for it? In the small business kingdom of independent labels if the label makes money, and they are good people, you are going to make money.

  3. Websites- this is a simple one, make sure you have all of the latest websites (youtube\myspace\facebook\twitter) etc, and work them! Make sure you have a lot of followers on twitter, make sure your youtube has quite an amount of views! Research ways to promote yourself before you ask someone else to promote for you!

  4. Do your research!- This all being said, make sure you research the label you are attempting to contact, google is key here. Names can be googled these days and forums and other social media websites enable you to find out how someone is perceived very easily. Make sure you are attemping to work with good people! There are shady business people at all levels out there, do your research!