How to get signed to an independent label? / pros and cons

How to get signed to a major independent label?

How do you go about getting signed to an independent label?
Getting signed is tricky even if its just to a small independent label like grind scene records. Simply for the fact that you need to be a good investment for them because if you cant make them any money or make high quality music they have no reason to sign you.

 

How do you prove yourself to a record label?
there are a few ways that you can prove your worth to a record label one of the best ways is prove that you can sell records. so if you can show the label how many copies of your past releases you have sold that will help. another way is to show that you have a large fan base this can be evidenced in how many likes on your Facebook page, followers on twitter account, subscribers on your youtube channel, and the views on your video.
So when you have collected all this information the best way to show it to a record label is an electronic press kit. You can ether make this your self or you can hire a PR company to create one for you. hiring a PR company to create a electronic press kit is a good plan because it will cost at a maximum £200 and they will have all of the appropriate contacts within the industry this will greatly increase the chances of your bands press kit being seen by the record label another good way of sending your press kit to a record label is to send a physical copy as well as a CD to the record label by post. of you make your envelope very eye catching this can also help in your press kit being looked at by the label.

 

Will the record label get back to you?

If the record label like your music and you have effectively proved your worth to the record label they will get back to you and from there you will start to discus your contract with the company. if your press kit had made it to the label and they like you but they cant sign you at that time you may get a message from them explaining that they cant sign you at that time but they may ask you to keep sending them press kits and demos as you create them.

See below e-mail i have received from record labels over the years

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How did I become signed to grindscene records?

In 2013 after recording my first full-length album I contacted grindscene to ask them if they would be interested in releasing the album. They messaged me back and told me that they liked the album a lot but could not release the album at that time because they where working on the releasing basement torcher killings and cancerous womb albums but asked me to send them anything I did over the next few years. So I put the album out myself as a limited run of 50 CDs using ACD Sleeve to create the packaging for the album.

Then in 2014 I wrote the EP that would become my debut for grindscene after recording the 2 songs at stuck on a name studios I sent the tracks the label and asked them if they would be interested In putting both tracks out as an EP and they replied saying that they would be interested in releasing the record. After that we began to discus what the deal would in tale.

What was the deal like?

My deal with grindscene is very simple I have never had to sign a contract and I have never had an advance from them. They get first refusal on any music I make but if they don’t want to put it out am free to go to another label or release the music off my own back. Over time the deal has moved to working a lot more like a distribution deal this I like a lot more than any of my other deals because I have gain complete control over my career and how my music is handled.

How was the first release handled? What did grindscene take care of?

We diveised that the best deal for both me and the label at the time would be for each of us to pay for our own share of the CDs so I paid around £400 for 400 CDs and the label paid £100 for 100 copies of the CD. Then we talked about promotion for the record we also decided to split the cost of this I paid for and arranged a music video to be made for the title track this cost around £500 and the label paid for the promo campaign that the cost of which was around £300. They also arranged distribution through code 7 so that the CD would be available through HVM mail order all over the world.

What Are The Pros And Cons ?

Pros

They will actually like your music

Indie labels tend to have a lot more freedom within there contracts If there is a contract of course they don’t tend to pressure the artist to sacrifice there integrity and change there sound to achieve chart success. So if you sign to an indie label it is usually because the label is a big fan of your music. This means that they will work very hard to make your band successful because they believe in what you’re doing.

Close relationships

Because indie labels have a small amount of staff and a small roster of bands, so because of this it’s easier for the musicians to develop a close working relationship with the company. This does not mean that the artists can go to the label and ask for whatever they want but they will have much more control over there career signed to a indie label than being with a major

artist friendly deals

many of the non major independent labels don’t tend to used complex contracts when signing bands. they tend to do business on little more than a handshake and a profit split agreement. also you wont fined many indie labels demanding any creative control over their artists. also they don’t very often tie there artists in to multi album contracts

Cons

deep pockets (na just kidding)

while some independent labels are doing well financially but a majority of the indie labels are struggling to stay afloat. this means that they do not have the money to fund a record release to the same extent as a major label. They also cant really afford big advances  large recording budgets, and tour support. So in the end you have to remain financially invested in your own music career but at least you keep your integrity.

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