Tips for Getting a Record Deal

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Views
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Are you a complete tool, driven by the dollar, devoid of your own personality, easily influenced by others, comfortable in slavery and willing to sell your soul to a corporation? Do you enjoy pretending to perform music that has been stripped of all its humanity and creative expression for the financial benefit of fat cats with even less talent than you? Then you just might have what it takes to get a major label record deal. For those of you still clinging onto some amount of dignity and sense of artistic value, here are a few tips to get you closer to the holy grail of shallowness.

1. Stop putting your heart into your music. Your introspective lyrics and meaningful songs are very appreciated by the college kids at the coffee house. But they aren’t the ones funding your album and your tour with an advance that you have to pay back before you receive any royalties. How are you ever going to be a sell out if you don’t have a heavily marketed and pre-packaged product to sell? Real art does not make for good ringtones. Stop being creative and original; embrace the fine art of being catchy and cliché.

2. Stop making music entirely. There is actually no need for you to work on music at all – the label will provide you with producers and songwriters, to decide for you what you will sound like. If you are really lucky, they’ll even perform all of the songs for you on your album. Instead of wasting time making music, concentrate instead on the things that will truly catch the attention of the labels: your image and apparent marketability. Remember, label execs are businessmen, not artists. What do they know about music anyway?

3. Start selling yourself on the corner. Practice makes perfect.

The music industry is currently more competitive than ever before. With single downloads often selling better than full albums, now more than ever labels are looking for short term hits that will generate lots of revenue before quickly burning out. It takes a special kind of person to be gimmicky, materialistic and small-minded enough to have the “it” factor that the Big Four are looking for. It is only through the persistence and dedication to your dreams of being a puppet and a piggy bank that you can get closer to achieving that goal you so deserve: a record deal!

* This is an article I wrote for Helium, published here. Sorry if you suck at sensing satire.

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