DO NOT pitch your music to every A&R rep in
the universe. Youíll waste time and money. Each rep tends to
deal with specific styles of music and work with certain
genres. Learn what they like Ė read liner notes, research
industry articles or, simply, call their office and ask.
DO NOT hound A&R. Donít cop an attitude if
they donít respond. Theyíre one of the busiest workers in the
biz, and youíre not their priority - yet. Instead, establish
relationships that are relevant to your career. A&R prefer
dealing with people they know, trust and like.
CALLS & E-MAILS
DO NOT send anything without calling first.
But, donít call too often, or take 20 minutes to tell them how
great you are. Donít be rude to their staff - they can be your
best friends. If A&R wants to contact you, they will.
DO NOT send volumes of paper and expect
anyone to read it. Keep it simple. Remember, itís about the
music. A CD, photo, and one sheet of paper with a brief bio,
media quotes, accomplishments and itinerary (tours & shows) is
sufficient. If A&R want more, theyíll ask for it.
DO NOT forget your contact information. Put
it on EVERYTHING. Items get separated. Donít just note your
Website - include your phone and e-mail as well.
DO NOT wrap your package so that only a
blowtorch will open it. Donít try to be too clever or cute.
Unusual packages might get attention, but generally indicate
desperation (and lack of quality). Donít leave the shrink-wrap
on your CD. NEVER send food. Donít lie about your age Ė
theyíll find out. Donít just list songs on the CD label, print
them on the insert and/or sleeve too.
DO NOT send a ten-song album and expect A&R
to listen to the whole thing. Do NOT ask A&R to listen to
songs 3, 6 and 7. They will listen to the first song
and, if they like it, the next. So, put your BEST SONG FIRST,
and the rest (no more than 3 songs) in order. A&R often listen
while driving or doing something else, so your songs better
catch their attention - quickly.
DO NOT send crappy photos. Itís better to
send nothing. Donít confuse A&R with an image that conflicts
with your music. Image goes beyond appearance. You must
project WHO you are as an artist and WHAT your music
DO NOT showcase before youíre ready. Get an
objective opinion first (like a review from Music
Connection Magazine). A poor live performance could cool
down industry interest - no matter how much they like your
DO NOT expect a label to save you, make you
or break you. Thatís a huge turn-off. A&R are impressed with
artists who accomplish things on their own. It shows them
youíre a proven and marketable talent that could generate
income for their label. Build a story and buzz
around your act and youíll get industry attention (and help
your career in general). Acts that simply focus on their
music, and couldnít care less about a deal, are usually the
ones that get the most offers.
By: Bernard Baur