Most record labels are huge corporations that are publicly traded on the NY Stock Exchange just like Ford, GM and Nike and the artists signed to those labels are just products on a shelf. Record labels have huge marketing teams, accounting offices, legal teams (in-house & contracted) and support staff. So decisions to release new projects are based on profit and loss projections not how fire your beat and raps are.
Many music producers still believe in the old fashion way of sending a CD full of hip hop / rap beats to record labels hoping they select beat(s) for upcoming projects. This is like standing in line to get picked for the next episode of American Idol. Let me be the first to tell you, this is an absolute waste of time. I live in Los Angeles for a few years and have friends in VP of A&R positions and they’ve told me first hand that this is a waste of time.
So if you receive a letter back from a record label thanking you for your submission but declines to use your beats this is just a part of their job. Don’t take it personal.
Problems associated with submitting beats to record labels:
1. Record labels establish their roster of new releases in advance based on past albums sells of existing artist and hot new artist they are looking cash in on.
2. A&R’s give producers who are in the loop and have a relationship with the label what’s known as a one-sheet. This one-sheet details the exact type of music the label is looking for their artists and the timeline of when the project is expected to be completed.
3. Many A&R’s have boxes and boxes of CD’s in their office that they never get a chance to listen to them…nor do they have the desire.
4. Many A&R’s have a Blackberry roster of producers they like to use and can call at a moments notice. Many of these producers are friends and people they see on a regular basis at industry events.
5. Record labels are losing tons of money from illegal downloads and bootleg cd’s and use in-house producers for projects.
6. Many times your CD is lost in the mail room.
Like every problem there is always a solution and despite what many people think, the record industry is not some huge maze to navigate. It’s actually a very small community.
9 Ways to Break Into the Music Industry as a Music Producer
1. Move to New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta or Houston.
2. Sign up with eSessions and create profile.
3. Post your business cards at all of the popular rehearsal spots where artists and bands rehearse. (This only works if you can actually play an instrument or write songs)
4. Hang out at all of the popular clubs, bars and restaurants where industry events are held.
5. Contact management companies that represent other major producers.
6. Contact law firms that represent other major music producers and artists.
7. Look for intern jobs at major record label, studios, management companies and law firms.
8. If you are really good at mixing and mastering then I suggest applying for a job or get freelance work with one of the major studios in the cities I named above.
9. Attend every seminar and event related to the industry.