mardi 26 octobre 2021

Demo submission guidelines

You are a young artist and want to submit your music to labels, including us, here are some guidelines, we highly recommend you to follow, If you want to catch our attention. I really think this applies to most labels at least in the indie, rock, pop areas.

General considerations: put yourself in our shoes.

We are musicians ourselves; we’ve been in the same situation as you, we’ve been teenagers making music in our bedroom and trying to attract the interest of labels we love, we know exactly the frustration to receive negative feedbacks or not any answer. Therefore, if we always try to answer, please be cool, try to help us by making us the easiest way possible to communicate, follow, and to not loose time doing it. These guidelines are here to help you make it easy for the labels you want to interest.

1)      Always listen to our music before submitting

It seems obvious, but you can’t imagine the number of music that is totally unrelated to what we are doing. Even if we are interested in many music genres on a personal level, take into consideration that building a label means building a following from key opinion leaders, journalists, or just our clients. Releasing Jazz or Hip-hop would mean we would have to re-do everything we are doing for the last 7 or 8 years, looking for press contacts, radio DJ, journalists that can be interested in your music, it’s incredibly time-consuming work, introduce them to us and the music we release, to our brand, being known as a genuine and good provider of artists for them. It generally also means different distribution networks, and since we have an exclusive contract with our distributor, it means your jazz record will be lost in the middle of rock, pop and indie albums, which is definitely not optimal for you right?

It’s always hard to understand the editorial line of a label, so the best is to submit your music to the labels that released music you like, or you’ve been influenced by, going too large is like tossing a bottle in the sea and is mostly useless.

2)      Always submit unreleased music

Even If we are mostly a vinyl label, digital is part of our revenues, if your music is already on Spotify or Deezer, it will be considered as dated by these platforms’ algorithms. So if you want to attract labels, submit mostly (one song on a full release is not really an issue) music that never was released. If it’s just on bandcamp, no worry then!

3)      Always contact us through e-mail (Groover/Submit-hub are welcome too) and say somewhere why you’re contacting us.

E-mail are efficiency proved, we can easily manage our files, following the messages and their historic, search through them, marked them as important or “in progress”. Tools like groover or Submit-hub are welcome and cool because they give you a standardized way to make feedback, but please NEVER EVER submit through Instagram. Facebook is not recommended.  

We sometimes receive emails or messages with no subjects or just a link… that’s super rude… if you are submitting music and want feedback, the minimum courtesy is to write why you are contacting us ("demo submission"...)

4)      Always submit stream link

Ideally use soundcloud private links, which is by far the most useful way, so your demo can be listened when we ride the subway going to our daytime work (because like most of you we do have a 9 to 5 job, the label is done only on our free-time). Bandcamp is all good too. But please NEVER SEND download links with MP3s and WAV, they will be lost in my computer HD, the link will be broken within a few days, and by the time I download them, I’d pass to another email and forget about it. So Soundcloud is the answer, it’s generally free so go for it.

5)      Please make a little description or bio

We are a label, not journalists, no need to have a full well written state-of-the-art biography, we just need to know a few things about you: members, do you make concerts, since when the project exists, where do you come from, did you already released music and a small description of the music itself is more than welcome (indie pop ? indie rock ? shoegaze ? influenced by something, go for it we are interested to hear)

In our music niches, that exist for more than 40 years, originality, what makes you unique, really relies on very small details, an interesting production, a lovely voice, an ambiance, some bizarre instruments etc. Describing it, including your influences, will NOT make us think that you are copycats, or un-original, it will just help us to understand you and your art and gain some precious seconds in our feedbacks or listening experience.

EPK, Videos, Following data,… not mandatory. It’s not something that will really have an influence on our choice at that point, later maybe.

Social Networks links are welcome. I like to follow bands I liked or that I liked enough to want to know more about them in the future.

6)      4 tracks minimum, full album largely preferred

You may read it on the internet somewhere or someone around you told you it was better to begin with an EP… Well, in our scenes at last, that’s WRONG. As far as we are concerned, since we produce mostly vinyl records, albums will always be preferred (it may be different if you look for tape or digital-only release, but I guess that if you write to us it’s because you want to hold that lovely piece of plastic with your music, right?)

EPs are as expensive as an album to produce, manufacture, promote, and generate much less interest from key opinion leaders (most printed magazines for example never review EPs except for confirmed artists), clients... Since EP generally means smaller batch, they are even more expensive to make (/unit) than albums and provide downsized margins, so why not just make it longer as an album, it will be easier for you to create interest from labels, media and it will give you a better foundation to explore your local scene and find gigs.

Also, EP (or single) means your songs must be f*cking AMAZING, 100% killers no fillers, ready to be blasted on the local college/AAA radio, an album can definitely survive more space or experiments.  

Finally, albums show commitment from the band, all labels want artists that will assume their music in gigs, in promotion, in their social networks, so you put all your heart in your music, then show it to me!

7)      After the first feedback

If I said no: please be courteous, you may not agree with what I said or how, sending an email to protest is not cool… We know you put all your heart into your music, that it took a lot of energy, pugnacity, and work to give birth to your baby, but when I'm criticizing, I'm talking about your creation, not you, It's never personal, take it like a way to improve as an artist. Being one means you’ll have a lot of bad reviews, you need to accept it, whatever they’re wrong or not.

If I said yes or seems interested or say that I will come back to you soon, don’t hesitate to revive the conversation, I sometimes forget about it, we are receiving a lot of music and even well organised it’s hard to follow everything.

It may seem long and complicated but the reality it’s actually quite easy: just make it the simplest possible for the label to make his review : e-mail + short bio + link with unreleased music, that’s what you need to remember.

our contact is : requiempouruntwister (at) gmail (dot) com

I hope that It will you find the best home for your music, thanks for reading.