It’s time folks! This article is long overdue and definitely represents the feelings most of the DJ/Producer community has towards labels. They sit there acting all high and mighty, dictating what you need to do in order to get your music to stand out and be heard. Yet, when you go through with this process, you don’t get any responses back. In fact, the average DJ/Producer will often never hear from a label after they submit a demo. So in retaliation this is for the labels.
I strongly dislike labels that:
- Don’t bother to respond to demo submissions but have the audacity to add you to their mailing list without your permission. Shouldn’t there be an option to sign-up in the event a track is declined? Nobody wants to read about a label that rejected them.
- Try to go the devious scheme route and con talented but naïve DJs/Producers out of their hard earned money. For example: We’ll push your release but you need to pay us $1,000 and/or have at least 200 physical copies of your EP or mix set. Although that sounds like a huge scam, not everyone is as knowledgeable as we would like to think.
- Have a rude A/R working for them. Really?! You’re going to put the devil in charge of demo submissions? How does that make ANYBODY want to submit their stuff to you?
- Charge you a submission fee in order to listen to your tracks. Now correct me if I’m wrong…but don’t people get paid to listen to tracks? Charging the artist doesn’t weed the go getters from the hobbyists. It just weeds out the stupid from the non stupid. (Yes I’m stupid because I’ve fallen for this before.)
- Constantly state they can’t answer all submissions but take frequent vacations and party like rock stars. So you mean to tell me they can’t hire someone to oversee the demo submission process…but they can go all out every weekend? Hmm…
- Only pump up one artist just because he had some great sales. That’s nice and all but I thought a label was a group of talented individuals who were working towards a great musical goal? Why not just call it “So and So’s Label” if that’s all you push…all the time?
- Refuse to show monthly profits and delay paying DJs/Producers on time. As much as people enjoy making music, I’m pretty sure everyone wants to get paid at some point.
- Force you to create blasé, uninspiring music just because it sells well. What’s the point of signing to a label if you can’t be who you are?
- Don’t master finished wav files…then complain about the sound quality on beatport and other sites. (I can’t express my annoyance enough.)
- Have extremely dishonorable contracts that basically shaft anybody who signs them. These contracts work against the DJ/Producer in order to maximize label profit. I strongly dislike signing anything that gives away my track rights/entitlement forever.
So there you have it. That’s my list and I’m sticking to my points. I think these are the biggest problems with labels today and I would love one of them to step up and admit fault. I know its hectic running a business…but if you’re going to do something you love with passion, it should be done right.