Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Is It Who You Know Or What You Know That Will Get You Signed????

Ok, the question has been asked over and over again, "Is It Who You Know Or What You Know" that helps you get in the door at a record label. Who you know is important but I think it is just as important to educate yourself about this business. It is an ever changing thing and in order to compete you have to be at the top of your game. Understand the process and how a record is worked. Find out as much as you can about what the labels are looking for and how they determine if you are worth their investment. Know what it means to "Work A Project!"
I have enrolled the help of a few industry friends to assist in answering the question for us. See below.......



"I would say that it’s a little of both. I believe who you know can get you a meeting or get your music heard by the right people but, it’s what you know and what you learn along the way that usually determines if you get in and how long you stay in."
Vashon “Rap” Straws National Mixshow Promotions, Universal Motown Records.

"Who you know gets you in the door, what you know (or what you don't know) gets you out. So you better be right for the gig!"
DJ Mecca Programming Manager, Urban Formats MUSIC CHOICE

"Now days, it's about what you know.If you know that a label is looking for a east coast female artist with positive lyrics, then you have more of a chance in fitting into what the label is trying to market. If that's not your style then don't waste time trying to sell them something they are not looking for. I think you also have to have the talent and stamina for the business. You have to be ready to do a lot of work in a short amount of time to make a dent in the market. The business is mostly about good songs and very creative marketing. Just do you and if you do get the attention of a label...get your hustle on and get that money!"
Ralph McDaniels
www.onfumes.com

"Truthfully for me, Its a combination of both. Who you know, can get you into the right doors and I don't mean a meeting with an A&R. I'm talking about getting the presidents of these major labels to make time for you. These are the men and women who sign the checks, they are the top of the food chain. With that said, I urge any artists I've ever worked with to let go of the "D - Word" (Demo). A demo is basically telling them you are a waste of my time. However, Once you prove to them you have a substantial amount of undeniable hits that sound of quality to these execs, even if they're not mastered but sound radio ready. I guarantee they will not let you leave the office without at least asking you what do you want to make this deal happen. Or they make you an offer down the road. At this point, What you know has to kick in. You have to possess common sense as well as good business sense. Study those entertainment books and ask your entertainment lawyer lots of questions. You can even try finding someone successful to mirror and possibly requesting they be your mentor. Knowledge is key to unlocking that next door."

Dat Dude Moze - Owner of Mad Man Entertainment


"It's definitely helpful and advantageous to know the right people. They need to like you in order to even listen to your music. So much comes through their office and they can't listen to everything. So it helps if they know you or if they know someone that knows you and can vouch for you. That being said, it still depends on the situation. You can know a whole lot of people at every single label and that still won't get you signed. You can also know a whole lot about the business and still not be able to get a foot in the door. But your chances are better if they can put a face they like with the music they are hearing."
Lamonia Brown – President, Gilchrist Entertainment Marketing & Program Director, NY Women In Film & Television


"Kids....PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE........MARRY RICH....BECAUSE ENTERTAINMENT MEANS FOR THE MOST PART AND FOR THE MAJORITY.....YOU WILL BE POOR AND UNSUCCESSFUL...YOUR EVENTUAL REALITY WILL NEVER MATCH UP TO WHAT YOU IMAGINED PRIOR TO YOUR JOURNEY...... ENTERTAINERS = PROSTITUTES ITS ALWAYS EASIER TO SEE THAT SUCCESSFUL ENTERTAINER AND IMAGINE YOURSELF IN THEIR POSITION WITH WHAT YOU SEE AS THEIR SUCCESSES.....THE SPOILS AS THEY SAY......IT'S GREAT TO IMAGINE YOURSELF THE HERO...WINNING MOST OF THE BATTLES ON THE WAY TO WINNING THE WAR.....STOP YASELF.....NOT TOO MANY PEOPLE WONDER WHAT ROAD THAT SUCCESSFUL PERSON HAD TO TREAD.....THERE ARE LAND MINES ALONG THE WAY.....WE NEVER SEE OURSELVES AS THE ROADKILL LAYING DEAD ALONG THE ROAD......GUESS WHAT IN ENTERTAINMENT THERE'S MORE ROADKILL THAN ANYTHING ELSE...... GO RENT THE MOVIE "ANTZ".....DIRECTED BY THE OH SO FAMOUS(ALLEGED) PEDOPHILE WOODY ALLEN.......ITS FUNNY...ITS CUTE AND ITS OUR REALITY......THOSE IN POWER SEEK MORE POWER OVER THOSE WITHOUT POWER.....THEY DIRECT THE POWERLESS TO THINGS THAT WILL MAKE THEM MORE COMFORTABLE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE POWERLESS."


GORDON FRANKLIN, President YEAR ROUND RECORDS

6 comments:

rasheeda said...

yes this is all true !! I beleive all of it!! I know alot of people but it never got me signed... So what i did was go back in the lab and reinvent myself and work on some hot hard hittin' joints. I also had to learn more of the business, But some people who I thatought could do something , cokmeto find out they are just the ponds of the GAME actinhg like they could do somethin!! So I say that know all of your business of music and always reinvent yourself..!!
Rasheeda Wallace
www.myspace.com/Rasheedawallacqueenofstreetsol
totalmusicinc@gmail.com

G-Bo said...

I agree that it is a combination of both. It is important to put your best foot forward because once you do the 'rounds' the impression that you left becomes who you are. In other words if you don't know your business and come wack the first time you get a meeting the perception for the most part is that YOU are wack. Even if your new and improved project is the hottest thing since sliced bread. The music business is a relatively small community and buzz is double edged. It can help AND hurt.
The best advice I've ever gotten is to approach the business as a marathon and not a sprint. Getting the deal is equivalent to getting to the starting gate. Once you get the deal the real race begins.

SheNotes Entertainment said...

True indeed G-Bo, true indeed!

william said...

Well like I said on my first solo in album back in 2000... "They say the game is who you know...so I built myself to be the you know who, D.O."- D.O. The Fabulous Drifter. See unlike people in LA/NY/ATL when you live in other major cities that don't have ANY idustry outlets (like Denver,Co) you have to become THAT who you know, I AM A BEAST! While cats have the machine working for or against them or trying to be a part of it. I became the machine, self taught, self made I had to not only learn the business but become the business, broke and all, money and ball. So my thing to people out there is this... OWNERSHIP is the key to your financial future in any form of business. Become a owner. Become a brand. It's hard and you will fail miserably alot, but at least your failures and great success's are on YOUR OWN terms and hands. www.gogettersunion.com www.fivepointsplan.com

SheNotes Entertainment said...

Yes!! And a BEAST you are D.O! Thanks for your input!

MrEvedence said...

Its all about who and what u know. However i believe its also creating a business for ur own music. I think alot of times people lose sight or identity because they r being dictated as to how they should appear and what music they should record. Creating ur own lane doesnt make it easier or financially stable. It does tell u whether there is a business for ur type of music. I guess im saying understanding how music business works affects u more than knowing someone(initially). The key thing is that everyone knows someone but until u fall into the lane of that someone will u get somewhere with it. So 4 me knowing the business is more important than knowing someone. Eventually knowing your business will lead u to knowing someone.....