The first and most obvious point is if your tunes aren’t up to current standards then no label will sign them. So it’s very important not to hassle producers and labels just because you’ve completed your first track. If a label has several average tunes submitted to them by one artist over a period of time then they are unlikely to listen to your material again. So don’t blow any opportunity until you are sure that your music is marketable. This is where friends, dj’s and clubs come in handy. Listening to your music on a club sound system will give you a very good indication of quality, particularly if you can reference it against your favourite producers music. Getting opinions from dj’s and friends will also help.
The two most important things to remember are: are my tunes marketable and is the production up to a high standard? There is no point giving a hard tune to a label, which specialises in liquid. If a label can’t sell your music then they won’t be interested – no matter how good your tune is. Secondly these days it is very important to have a high production standard. How does your tune sound next to your favourite producers tracks? If it pales in comparison then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
Start off by giving your tracks to dj’s that are not so established, they are most likely to give you honest feedback. This is the period of time where you should be honing your skills in the studio. Realistically it takes five years to learn the art of production, even if you are a musical genius.
When you are confident that your tunes are of a releasable standard then it is time to do some networking. Today the most effective way of having a tune signed is by AIM. Every producer and record label has an AIM address, the easiest way of finding these addresses is by asking or emailing the label. The trick is not to hassle anybody, this is a big turn off. If you submit your track and somebody likes it, they will contact you. So don’t bother contacting them to ask for feedback.
If you don’t have any contacts then visiting dj’s when they perform is the best way to start. Drop off a CD of your material either before or after the dj has played his set. You don’t need to say anything, just hand over your CD and make sure it has your contact details. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear anything back. Dj’s regularly cut tracks and put them in their set without telling the artists. The trick here is to get your name out there and more importantly to have it associated with quality material.
If you material is good enough and you make an effort to establish a network of contacts, it will only be a matter of time before you are negotiating your advance.