Record labels, music releases and A&R


Is anyone familiar with record labels or music releases in general?

I’m asking because I’ve been contacted for signing a contract with a record label again (I think it’s the 5th time now) and I should deliver “unsigned songs” (whatever that means) to a specific email, but I don’t know what to think about this. It seems suspicious to me, like always when someone “from the internet” wants something from me without spitting some details. The guy is talking about “A&R” and I would be contacted after the delivery of the song/s. Does anyone here know anything about “A&R”? All I know is “A&R FAX Records” from back in the 90s which is another label which wanted to sign me back in the 90s. But “A&R” seems to be something different. It seems that it’s not a label but a kind of “contact person” to get in contact with several labels. Is that right? Does “A&R” stand for “artists and repertoire”? Does anyone here have any experience with it?

Thanks in advance. :slightly_smiling_face:

My understanding is that A&R are the talent scouts of the music industry. I’d be wary of sending unsigned songs to an unknown mailbox, but I’m a sceptical person.


Just like me. :slightly_smiling_face:
I would never send my songs to anyone without knowing what’s happening next.


you can “scramble” your song

some part in 22 Khz



some part in 22 Khz

you can “scramble” your song

This sounds like utter, complete, total bullshit.

At some point you will be asked for money. Fees, etc. You will be promised amazing returns, though!

If you don’t actually know someone, or know someone who can vouch for them, assume that everything via the Internet is utter, complete, total bullshit.

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I think you’re basically right with everything you wrote.

But I wouldn’t say everything is bullshit. Once I released something on a record label which contacted me before via PM on Soundcloud, just like the “A&R guy” right now. Before I dropped my song I could make sure that it really exists, that it’s not kinda fake, that it has its own website, that there are releases of many well known artists who also have accounts on Soundcloud and else and that there’s a connection between this studio and others. Furthermore I talked to the owner for several times so I knew exactly what’s happening with my song.

Meanwhile I’ve found out that the “A&R guy” who contacted me days ago must have something to do with a record label called “MojoHeadz Records”. After some research it seems that this is a real record label, but I’m still not convinced. As I wrote I would never drop a song without knowing what’s happening next. There are so many labels which only release digital songs, no vinyl records. And the question comes up why someone should release something on a label which only sells digital songs. Instead of releasing something on this label and share the small profit you can release something yourself and keep all the profit. But anyway, no one can expect great success with music like I’m producing, certainly not a big profit.

So the bottom line is that “A&R” could be a talent scout of the “music industry” or it could be someone suspicious who wants to make profit with your music and perhaps wants to mess with you.

Thanks for your answers, guys. :slightly_smiling_face:
Now I have to think about if I should drop a song in low quality or not.

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This smells fishy.My guess is they are looking to exploit you and your music.There was someone here in the forum that made a competition a while back looking to scam people like that, tried it with me but failed miserably.Record labels will meet with you in person or if that is not possible via skype and stuff like that and they will give you their credentials from the start

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Well that’s the key thing. If you can get some verification, then maybe it’s OK.

What isn’t clear to me is what is the advantage of using a label at all.

Does it get you more income? How?

Does it make it easier/cheaper to release on physical media? How so?

I’d like to find a guide that explains what exactly is the value proposition labels can offer an artist, and how an artist can verify that any specific label can actually provide that value.

Seems like an interesting story. What happened? And what kind of competition did he initiate?

What if the record label is based thousands of kilometers away from the artist?
What if the artist doesn’t use Skype and else?

Resources and promotion budget, network and connections, reputation and influence, easier business.

The only way getting more income if you’re signed by a record label is if your music gets more promotion, advertisement, a better circulation and distribution of your music and more popularity.

It’s only cheaper if the number of copies is higher, otherwise not.

That’s the question. How can an artist verify that any specific label can provide that value? I think that’s impossible, except you know the scene of a specific music style and the popular labels within this scene. But nowadays labels were shooting up like mushrooms, so in my opinion it doesn’t make any sense signing a contract with any “internet label” which is selling digital copies.

I will not name them here in public because i dont want to start a “war” but i will send you a personal message about it

Now days most people especially music producers have access and knowledge on how to use the internet and apps but if they dont i bet they have someone close to them to help them.

total bullshit.
I get stuff like this all the time:

Good day ,

I found your songs through a trusted A&R platform, and hope it’s alright to contact you this way.

I’m an A&R representative at SRL, an artist relations company representing independent musicians and labels around the world. We are looking for artists to sign, and I’d like to invite you to audition.

Subject to a successful audition, SRL will get your independent releases heard by entertainment industry professionals and fans around the world, and help facilitate music licensing and distribution deals, live events bookings, record label and music publisher deals and more. You will receive a detailed agreement once your audition has been successful.

Please do get in touch, it would be a pleasure to hear from you. In the meantime, you can also find out about the audition and obtain an audition ticket at

just reply with:

Is his an automated e-mail or is this sincere?

Best regards, blabllablaa

Of course! But what if they don’t want to hold their faces into any camera and if they refuse getting a camera connected to their computers? It has to be correspondence or a phone call.

Nice message! This “A&R guy” right there wasn’t even able to tell his name or to say good bye. At least he wrote in whole sentences. I replied to the one who contacted me by asking if he’s talking about “A&R FAX Records” and if it is still alive. I know that it’s not existing anymore since 10 years.

Maybe I should also run a label. The method of how to create a label nowadays:

  • Create a bandcamp account and/or a website
  • Call it “your name” and “Records”, so in my case “TNT Records”

Congratulations! You’re a label owner now!

it’s even better to sell your stuff on bandcamp than being signed and got your music streaming on spotify.
spotify will offer you not that much. The way to earn a living in music these days is being good at social media (blegh), getting hyped up, getting gigs, and djing.

The days getting rich by producing good music and selling it are over.


Exactly, there’s nothing more to add. :+1:
And not being on Spotify is a no-brainer, they can shove their 0,003 cents per stream up their asses.

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