Going Commercial.

Hey all. So I’ve managed to scramble together enough songs for an album release and some of it doesn’t sound like garbage to my own amazement. So I was thinking I might test the waters by contacting some labels, possibly after I’ve replaced the bottom 4 songs with better material.

Could anyone recommend any particular labels (instrumental electronica), or give advice on how to proceed? If I’d start up a last.fm section with my music for instance, would the fact that it’s out there already be considered a good or bad thing by a label?

I’ve already had some loose interest which is why I’m eager to try to take it further. I’m pretty sure I’ll end up with a lousy deal or release it for free but a man’s got to try right? :)

Thanks for any help.

It really depends on your music and what you want with it. Is it dancefloor-material? Easy-listening? Who’s your audience? You’d like to see your music pressed to plates and played in clubs? Then, your best bet would be handing out your demo to DJ’s, rather than labels. If your tunes hit the dancefloors, labels will follow. Afterall, DJ’s are often a labels audience and if DJ’s wnat your tunes, labels will want it.

I heard if your tracks are “released” in any way. youtube, myspace etc. the label wont have any intrerest in these anymore. In this case, why should he release his songs? And what kind of Djs are you talking about? His locally related Djs?

Well, I doubt that… think about it: if people KNOW the track, they will want to hear it on a dancefloor. What other way to hear it on a saturday night, than let it be spinned by a DJ? A DJ buys the record, not Jack Next Door. Now, a DJ needs to know what’s out there and that is a label’s job. The ‘better’ the label, the bigger its network. Thing is: labels need DJ’s. So if a DJ spins your tracks, a label might think: hey, people want that dude’s track played in clubs, let’s press it and sell for profit! It is in a label’s interest that the artists they represent have a reputation; people need to know it before they like it. If they receive a demo from a dude who pops up everywhere they look, they are more likely to sign him, it will save them a lot of time and effort promoting him. Since unsigned artists often lack the network, they need to think of other strategies to be heared: youtube, soundcloud, you name it. In the end, like I said, it’s the DJ’s that will pick up the records, they won’t spin an mp3 they ripped off youtube, even MP3-DJ’s have a standard of 320kbps mp3s. And unless you have a magic way of reaching the biggest, bad-ass DJ’s in the scene, yes… local DJ’s is a good choice. Afterall, tis a big world with tons of guys who want their stuff played and released, so if you’re amongst them, be prepared to step up and face the competition. From here on, music is a business.


Depends on where the profit is going ;)

K there, Mr “Everything is music” :P

Do your damn homework! That was Foo! See where my doubt in science comes from? ;)

Funny how that works… I just lost the tiny bit of interest I had in labels haha ^^


Do they? The stuff you linked to totally depends on 3rd party sites… what are they actually doing, besides offering an umbrella for people to gather under? (which is a popular concept and important for many, but not me)

I’d rather have ears than money. Actually, I don’t think it’s even possible to sell my tunes because, uhh, my gist is “it’s all a lie, you’re slaves and you’re being butchered and peed upon”, and that just wouldn’t work on iTunes, you know? Haha. But still, being an artsy little family doesn’t sound like fun at all either (to me). If getting the stuff out there, and getting people to listen to it, is the “profit” we’re speaking of, I’D WANT MY LABEL TO BE AS GREEDY AS POSSIBLE.

Science relies on the observations of many, not of one ;)

Also, I am not science :P

That’s no excuse for not doing your homework, sir! You are a disappointing scientist! ;)

Argh! Stop hijacking my hijacking of this thread!? <_<

Traditional labels want to monetize your music, which is why they don’t want it released prior to their release. New label paradigms are arising though, which basically act as marketing comities for likeminded artists, where the artists themselves take care of the business end of things… these labels are much less restrictive, but make you do more work to get to where you need to be.

Wut? How so? LOL? And who is “us”? Haha… and it’s kinda ironic considering the content of your post:

“I’d rather have ears than money.” + “If getting the stuff out there, and getting people to listen to it, is the “profit” we’re speaking of, I’D WANT MY LABEL TO BE AS GREEDY AS POSSIBLE.” = me wanting bucks??? LOL!!!

If anything I said rubbed you the wrong way, uh, argue against it… lol…

hmmmmkay. o_O

Thanks for all replies, think I’m getting a slightly better picture… And yeah, by ‘going commercial’ I meant with any chance of actually seeing any income coming back my way. That’s my main concern with putting things online myself, that wasn’t meant to be in a way of attracting attention from potential distributers/labels btw as someone thought, more something I’d do if all else fails. But if I’d do it before it gets to failing point, it’d be good to know if it could hurt me. Seems like I’ll stay away from doing that for now.

Also my discription of my music genre was vague for a reason. Most of it is not an a dance friendly bpm and the songs range from moody melodic piano tracks to Death in Vegas style tracks (that does not mean quality wise btw ;). I didn’t expect my genre choice to be of that much importance anyway, but I like to keep it melodic at least.

And to answer Kaneel’s question about how long I’ve been doing this for, I’ve been writing music for about 20 years now, played live for a bunch of them with some rock bands but am back tracking after a ten year break. I figured my question would come across slightly naive however so no worries. :) I just haven’t really been into pursuing anything outside just doing this for fun til now.

Sounds like I’ll either need to dancify some tracks or just send things out there as right now a dj wouldn’t have much use of 95% of it… ‘Luckily’ an ex is working at Universal Music and hangs with rock stars… oh feck. Didn’t need that dilemma on my hands…

Well, need to polish them all anyway still. Think it was Martin Gore who said he writes about 60 songs for each album. Polish polish rewrite polish scrap polish… sounds wise.

Ok, so what about sites such as http://www.boomkat.com? Bad idea? Go down such routes once other bridges have been tried and likely broken?

I see no contradiction between being part of a ‘family’ but still wanting bucks for what you do by the way. I figured most of us would love to do this for a living (even if it’s very unlikely to happen)? Greed doesn’t have to be the reason for wanting cash anyhow, pro or not pro.

Cash is king and music is life… or some crap like that.

Was expecting someone to ask actually… I do sound fresh haha.

Anyway, Boomkat do take a look at unsigned artists too (bottom of their faq page). It’d be interesting to hear if it’d be damaging to do that yourself if you still want someone ‘bigger’ to pick your album up?

Live does seem to be the starting point for everyone I know too. One reason for asking here is I was hoping to hear of other ways online. Maybe the old way is still the best.