As a young band starting to get some more shows and publicity, the idea of going with the first record label that contacts you might be super appealing. If a record label is interested in you, this might be the only time to work with one. All starts are good starts, right? Wrong.
A very important part of the music distribution process is choosing the right record label for you. A record label is what helps not only distribute music, but also shapes your sound, facilitates in the booking of shows, and provides resources for your band to gain mass popularity. It is important to pick a record label that fits your band’s style, and that is willing to work with you. Check out these five helpful tips to find the perfect record label for your band:
1. Find a label with your style- Each record label is going to have a unique style and genre of music they curate. Find one that fits your needs and sound. Even if you are a niche genre, such as Christian Metalcore or Math rock, there is still a record label for you! Record labels that cover your sound will be already experienced in your genre and will be better prepared to help your band.
2. Connect with a person who shares your vision– Record labels also have a vision when it comes to music. They want to see bands do well, and have a thought process about how to get bands to be successful. This plan might not work with yours though. Before signing on a label, discuss musical choices and publicity plans to decide if you both are on the same page as far as promotion goes.
3. Find a record label in your geographic area- Music has always been really tied down to place, and a record label is no exception. It is important to find a record label near you that understands the music community your band is involved in. Whether it’s the Philly punk scene or New Orleans Jazz, having a record company that gets your community of place is crucial.
4. Find a label with resources that fit your needs- A good record label can put you in contact with people, venues, and equipment that can help your band grow. When looking for a record label for your band, ask questions about where they ask musicians to record, what type of venues they book you in, and how they can help you become as successful as possible
5. Find a label that works with bands you like- When looking for a record label for your band, find one that has covered similar bands you like and see how the record label was involved with the bands success. If a band is publicly praising a record label, you know that means the label is doing something right. If possible, ask to talk to bands the label is currently working with and ask them how they like the experience.