Revealed - the secret to
getting a recording deal
TV programs like American Idol, Pop Idol and Fame Academy have
all proved two things - there's a lot of talent out there, and
anyone is capable of making the big-time. So, if you are as ambitious
as you are talented (and why shouldn't you be), then you won't
be satisfied with earning a few measley pennies singing around
local venues for the rest of your life.
No, what you really want is the ultimate prize in the music business
- a recording deal with one of the major recording companies (and
the fame and millions that comes with it)! So, how do you get
started? Well here's how...
The first thing you need to do
is have recordings of yourself singing. I know this sounds obvious,
but it's a waste of time telling people how good you are - either
they won't believe you or they'll just think you're being egotistical.
So record yourself and let them HEAR you sing. My article on "Recording
an album on a tight budget" will help you make an album
without incurring the large costs usually involved in using recording
Don't forget that when you've made your recordings, always carry
them around with you at all times (an iPod is ideal to do this)
so you will be in a position to offer to let anyone hear you,
at any time. This is very important because the music business
has millions of hopefuls out there trying to do make the big-time
just like you, (and the ones who make it through are simply the
ones who are in the right place at the right time) so get the
edge by always being prepared.
So, you've got your recordings
in your pocket and you're keeping a constant lookout for opportunities..what
next? Well, it's time to promote yourself now and here's how to
do it - pay particular attention to this paragraph because the
music industry today doesn't work the way it used to so don't
listen to so called experts who claim to "know the business"
- if they haven't been around the industry in the last year they're
out of touch.
You see, many years ago artists would jump on a bus or a train
down to London and walk the length of Denmark Street knocking
on doors, armed with a cassette under their arm, asking to see
the A&R man and hoping he'll like them enough to give them
a record deal. Many of todays big name recording artists made
it famous doing just this, but that was then...this is now.
Today the big record corporations are no longer centred in one
street in London. They are scattered all over the globe. Certainly,
you could find out the addresses of all the main record companies
and send them copies of your recording but it's unlikely the A&R
man will even receive it on his desk let alone listen to it, so
don''t waste your time and money doing this.
A&R men have always been lazy and up until a year ago, their
method of "discovering" new talent was just to sign
new artists from smaller independant labels. Their way of thinking
was that if a small label had a band already signed and they were
selling a few albums, then the ground-work was already done for
them. So all they had to do was "buy" the artist off
the small label and their job was done! Although this method of
signing artists still exists today, it's less popular because
something even better has come along for the lazy A&R men...the
With the internet, it's now possible for an artist to get exposure
without the backing of a big major record label - all you need
is a website with some pics, a bio and a few sound samples of
you singing, right? Wrong!
An insider at one of the biggest UK labels revealed to me that
in the last year the A&R men have been secretly using the
internet to find new talent - but they haven't been looking around
singers or bands websites and listening to their audio samples.
No, instead they've been keeping a constant eye on...wait for
If they spot you on Myspace and you have 1,000 or more Myspace
friends, then they know you already have a considerable fan base
so have proved your talent and popularity. Not only are you just
ripe for signing, because you're not already with a small independant
label, they don't even have to spend money "buying"
you out of your present contract thus saving them money.
So, it's time to take the bull by the horns and go to the next
level in your career. Get some songs recorded and get yourself
as many friends on Myspace as you can.
There's no guarantee that the A&R men will be beating a path
to your door, but it will certainly give you the edge on all the
others who are also trying to make the big-time...and in the music
business, you need to use every trick in the book to stay ahead
of the curve.
Remember, just as a burglar will walk by a house with a dummy
alarm box on the wall and rob the house next door instead, A&R
men will always go for the easiest option too, so take advantage
of this and make their job easier for them...that's what they
want, and they may just thank you by making you a star and writing
you a big fat cheque!
Article Written by Kenny Campbell
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