How to Approach a Music Publisher or A&R Rep

Daily Tip #103

Getting your foot in the door is one of the biggest sources of anxiety and frustration to new and upcoming artists. Here are two things you can do when approaching music publishers, libraries and labels to dramatically improve your chances of being heard:

#1. Reduce Friction

Minimize the steps a prospective A&R person or music supervisor needs to take to listen to your music. Sending Dropbox links that require signup for a free acount, downloading of a folder, playing mp3’s one by one, and remembering which is which when they want to reply, is just enough of a hassle to prevent that person from listening to your stuff.

#2. Provide them with something of value.

And no – pointing out how wonderful your music is and how lucky they are to find you, does not constitute ‘value’. Think about how you can make their job easier by doing their homework for them. Take the time to learn about that company in advance. What kind of music is in their stylistic sweet spot? What artists or bands are they working with right now? Is there anything in the news or on social channels that indicates whether their interests or priorities are now?

Once you’ve done this diligence, try an approach like “I listened to your catalog or INSERT_ARTIST_NAME_HERE’s work and while I think it’s great, I also believe I’ve found a gap and this is why. I’m the one to fill that gap, and here’s the proof.”. Alongside that short and simple message you should include no more than three links that instantly play (no additional clicking required).

By following these steps, you’ve complimented their work (everybody loves that), helped them do their job by identifying a blind spot, and provided the solution. From there on, your music should speak for itself!

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