How do you submit a demo to a record company?


Quick Answer

Submit your demo to a record label by researching appropriate labels, learning about their demo submission policies, crafting an appealing demo package and following up with the label after submitting the demo. Following these steps does not ensure that a label will listen to a demo, but it can help you distinguish your music from other artists.

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Full Answer

Researching different labels and their musical aesthetics is the first step to submitting a demo correctly. Look at your favorite artists, particularly those who play similar styles of music, and see what labels release their music. Research is also important to get a feel for a label’s style. An indie rock band has little luck submitting its demo to a death metal label, for example. It’s also typically best to submit to smaller indie labels if your band is unknown.

Research can also help you understand a label’s submission policies. Many larger labels do not even accept unsolicited demos, and will only approach artists they are already interested in to submit demos. Labels that do accept unsolicited demos often indicate what format they prefer and where to submit the demo specifically.

It’s also vital to assemble a demo package that is easy for labels to examine. The demo itself should include your two or three best songs and should not run much longer than that. It should also include contact information, particularly email, as well as a brief band bio and any relevant press clippings.

After submitting the demo, wait about a month to follow up, ideally via email. It often takes months for labels to listen to demos, but a courteous follow-up email can help keep your band on the label’s mind.

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