Gone are the days when labels could take risks on just any artiste because the economy was smiling then and it was actually easier to invest in upcoming musicians. Nowadays, there’s way more pressure to show results because it’s now more about the business to the label than your passion, so you have to work hard.
Also, music managers aren’t willing to babysit and push you to do your work. If you aren’t mature enough to work when you should and prove your worth, then you would certainly be left behind. There are way too many upcoming musicians out there to be stuck with one who is lazy.
You are not playing the game
Honestly, this may sound unjust, but life ain’t fair. Sometimes you have to play the game right to get ahead.
So how can you play the game a little better?
For starters, don’t always go directly to the front door of a major label. An alternative approach is pairing up with a major manager. That manager will then try to get serious consideration from one of the big three. Sometimes those artists are signed to smaller labels, other times not. But the point is this: there are a lot of side doors that people don’t use.
You don’t exist because there’s no data on you
A lot of times, when you approach a record label or manager and you tell them your stage name, there’s one thing that almost always follows; they check the internet for any data they can get on you.
Imagine how a prospective record label will feel if they search for your name on Google and absolutely nothing comes up? Now let’s take it a step further and see how they’d react if they do research on you and find out that there are little-to-no one listening to you online, going to your shows, following you, remixing your music, etc.?
Forget about your talent because your data matters when you are selling yourself to a prospective label. Without data, all you’ll hear is the dreaded statement; “we’ll get back to you.”
It’s true that people cheat on their social media numbers, but you definitely can’t cheat hundreds of thousands of plays on music streaming platforms like Apple Music, MTN Music +, etc.
Something as small as being one of the regular performers in your school events can go a long way to becoming data in your favour.
“Most major labels don’t sign an artist now until they’re sure they’re on that path,” said Peter Leak of Red Light Management. “They are definitely studying everything. They’re looking at all the data and making sure something’s working before they sign them.”
“If they sign an artist without anything going on, that’s a real gamble.”