You Are Not Ready
One of the most common mistakes artists make nowadays is sending unfinished material to professionals who are looking for finished product. Most do this with hopes of being discovered, or thinking that the A&R, or Music Supervisor, on the other end will see the potential in their work, and give them a shot.
That does happen, but it’s extremely rare, and usually happens when an artist has a completed project that’s retail/broadcast ready. Demo songs typically don’t work anymore. We need professional mixes, or at least broadcast ready recordings.
You Do Not Believe!
When you believe, you can achieve. Sounds corny, but it’s true. Most artist lack the ability to believe that they will get a break in the business. It’s mostly due to a lot of bad information, being burnt by so called industry professionals, and being literally ran into the ground while trying to break into the industry.
You have to be patient, while being persistent, and it’s a very delicate balancing act. It’s true that believing is only half the battle, and there are other things that have to line up for the magic to happen, but if you do not believe in yourself, and your work, no one else will.
You Do Not Have The Right Connections
So, you have some great music, you’ve spent money on your craft, and invested into your sound. Your recordings are quality, and industry standard. Your music is just as good if not better than anything that’s on the radio. So why are you still working a 9 to 5? You live in a small place where the industry doesn’t look for talent. You don’t know anyone outside of your circle that can connect you with the right people.
Have you ever heard of the internet? The internet is an indie artist’s number one asset when it comes to making connections, and promoting their craft in today’s marketplace. Find numbers, and email addresses, and start a dialogue. Never send mp3 files of your music without getting permission first, it will probably just get deleted, but don’t be afraid to call, or send a brief email with clear questions.
You Are Not Trying The Right Way
As an artist you have to be willing to take chances, because one thing is certain, no action, equals no results. At least make an attempt. Now some artists are getting it right, and nothing seems to be happening, but behind the scenes the industry is watching.
You would be surprised how many A&R’s are checking out your work on a daily basis. Some days we will listen to as many as 50 songs a day and we are a small publishing company, representing music from 50 plus artist, so imagine the number of songs a major label is listening to daily.
Major labels are always looking for talent, just as we are, and we are signing about 75% of the artist we find. No major label can say that, so maybe you’re just not looking in the right places. Make yourself a checklist, and starting marking names, and tasks off the list.
Be friendly to everyone, because you never know who you may be talking to. Follow up on all of your contacts, once every 2 to 3 weeks. Only send music when it’s requested, or permission has been given. Unless you are certain it is what they are looking for, never send the same music, to same person twice. Always do your research first before reaching out, and stay up to date on what A&R’s, and Music Supervisor’s, are looking for.
You Do Not Have The Talent!
There are those artist’s who should never give up their day job. Sure they try hard, and yes they are dedicated, but not everyone has what it takes to make it. Many of these no talent having artists are taking up the time of the people who can help the artist who do have talent.
The funny thing is, the artist with the least amount talent hustles the hardest. Probably in an effort to make up for their lack of talent, while the most talented artist hardly hustles at all, because they feel like it should be given to them.
When a talented, hard working, stay on the grind artist, comes along we try to snatch them up, but they are rare. The truth is, we prefer hard working artist, over artist who have a sense of entitlement. You ever hear a song on the radio, and think “I sound better than that”, how did they get a deal. They had talent, and they worked hard!