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Industry Insider: So You Wanna Get Noticed By A Label: Tips From An A&R Rep.

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Streaker Records co-owner and A&R rep Rob DPiazza shares his top tips for bands looking to break into the music industry in this fantastic guest blog. Check it out after the jump.

Being on the front lines for Streaker Records at many festivals and tours, We have been directly responsible for over 30 Billboard chartings as well as numerous number 1 regional placements for relatively unheard bands. I always come across the guys and gals pushing their burnt CD to anyone that will give it a listen or even for free. Here are some tips that you can do as an unsigned artist to increase your chances of being heard by the people that can help your career:

1. TOUR! Play every show humanly possible without over-saturating a market. Look at a map, plan a good routing and do whatever you have to to play as many shows as you can because you never know who will be in the crowd listening that night. Also, this is going to be where the bulk of your CDs are sold. CD sales = Happy Labels because it shows us people are willing to invest in your band.

2. TRACK EVERYTHING. Designate the one guy or girl in your band that is good with numbers and have them track every CD, t shirt, poster sale you get. This will be good for the band to know exactly what they have coming in money wise  but like i said above it gives the labels a good idea that people are willing to spend money on you. If you have 50 people show up to your show and 35 of them buy something, and you do that consistently we think that if you get in front of a thousand people 700 should buy something.

3. HAVE A KILLER SHOW. Spend a little time and effort into what you do. Its called pride people. Spend some cash and get a light show. Maybe not for every show but at the very least your home shows where you should be killing it anyways! Don’t just go on stage in front of a mic and be bland. I want fan interaction! I want to see people moving! (yes that includes you bass players). Guitar spins, Running all over. Now I’m not saying look like complete chaos on stage but give me something to watch otherwise I’m gonna find something else to look at.

4. CREATE AN ORIGINAL PRESS KIT. Make sure its professional but also engaging. This isn’t your 7th grade science fair project this is your potential careers we are talking about. If you have a video on youtube with 90000 hits i want to know about it, I want your bands bio, a professional band photo not one that your girlfriend took with her bedazzled iPhone. spend the cash, find a professional photographer and get a legit shot. I want to know your tour history, social network fan base, as well as big bands you have played with and current up to date album sales.

5. HAVE A PROFESSIONAL RECORDING. For the love of god please have a professional recording. If I listen to 100 bands a day and you sound like you recorded your track in your garage during a rainstorm with the washing machine on, chances are I’m gonna stop listening after 5 seconds. We are in the music business, most people like to bust balls and have a good time but MUSIC, especially the recording aspect of it, is one thing we take very seriously.

6. BUILD A TEAM. We get it not everyone has Billy Mann as their personal manager but get someone to represent you. It could even be a lawyer. This again shows us someone is interested in investing time and money into your band. I get so many emails from bands that start :

“Hey bro! check out my band we are bad ass.”

This is not professional. I’m not your “bro” or your buddy you watch football at the bar with.  I’m your potential employer in a sense. Write to me as such until we have established that relationship where we can bullshit with each other. Trust me you will know when that time comes.

7. PERSISTENCE. You are gonna receive a ton of No’s in this industry. That’s life. Learn from this and become better at what you do. If you are not happy with that no. figure out a way to turn it into a yes and achieve that goal. You may not think it but people talk and we all hear about the hard working bands out there. Our fans tell us and industry people talk to each other. Studios will tell us about a band they are working with all the time. That being said we hear all the negative things too. So don’t burn bridges. This business is too small to not have options available to you.

So that’s it! Try to make it short and sweet for you guys. These are just a few of the things I look for when I talk to a band. Think you have what it takes, drop me a PROFESSIONAL EPK and maybe you could be the next band on Streaker Records.

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Angela Mastrogiacomo

Founder of Infectious Magazine & Muddy Paw Public Relations. Lover of passion, ice cream, and books.

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