How To Choose A Record Label

In lieu of being scouted, many aspiring musicians are turning to independent record labels to get their sound out and into the world. But how do you know which companies will treat you right? Here are five things to consider when choosing a record label.

1: Size

How many artists do they represent? The exact number is less important than the executive-to-musician ratio. It’s all right if they oversee hundreds of bands as long as they have enough agents to handle them all fairly.

2: Genre

What kind of music do they push? If you’re a gospel singer, make sure you’re getting a label that knows how to advertise gospel music. You don’t want to be misrepresented by a company that doesn’t understand your sound.

3: Previous Successes

If the label hasn’t produced anyone you recognize, keep walking and find another one. While you may be the artist to buck the trend and put them on the map, it will require much better luck than putting yourself in the hands of an established star-maker.

4: Contacts

The bread and butter of any company is their contracts. How generous are their terms? How much money will you receive upfront, through revenue, for promotional purposes, et cetera? What if you want to break the contact someday?

5: Staff

It takes a village to run a record label. You’ll meet everyone from lyricists to publicists to producers, and all of them might have some say in the completion of your album. Make sure they’re a friendly bunch before you sign your future to them.

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