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The Music Biz

How To Get a Rap Record Deal

You think you’ve got the voice, the flow, and the skill to break into the rap industry . Now, how are you going to do it? The process of getting a rap record deal is much like getting any other kind of record deal, in that it requires persistence and know-how. But if you’re really serious about your dreams and making it as a rapper, you may just reach fame.

One thing that’s important to remember about making it in the rap business is that buzz is crucial. New acts don’t survive without generating serious buzz in the industry and the community. So how to generate buzz for a rap record? You’ve got to promote yourself, both physically and digitally. Battle at clubs and make a name for yourself locally. Sell your album or demo at gigs and on all your media platforms-maybe entice with a free download. Make a killer website with your best single playing in the background. Use social networking to get people talking about you and recruit fans. The more you promote yourself as a rapper, the better the chances that you’ll run into a contact that can help you break into the business.

Something that differentiates the rap industry from other genres of music is the concept of coming up under another rapper. Big names bring other rappers into the industry under them, such as Lil Wayne bringing in Drake and Nicki Minaj. If you can find the right people, you may be able to try this tactic-but you’ll most likely need to live in a major rap city like New York, Chicago, L.A., or Detroit, in order to make your name and make those connections.

All of these tactics are useful and may be enough to snag you some attention and get you on your way to a rap record deal. But most likely, you may find yourself with a healthy buzz on your MySpace page and nowhere to go with it. How do you get a rap record deal? You are going to need to get your demo in the hands of an A and R representative. Record three or four of your best songs, making sure to load the front with ear-catching moments.

But of course you’ll need somewhere to send your demo. If you’ve made any contacts, wonderful-now is the time to seek them out and find the information and people that you need to break into the rap industry . Otherwise, you are going to need to find the contacts on your own. This is made much easier through the use of a music contacts database, which is a pay-for-access listing of music contacts and addresses that will help you find the A and R representative you need. Assemble your demo package as per the label’s guidelines, follow up with a polite email, and you are on your way to getting a rap record deal.



Source by Paul Mileny

The Music Biz

How to Value Vinyl Records

Vinyl records are an awesome piece of history. Not only do they have the associated coolness with being a vintage item, they also sound much better than any digital equivalent. Whether you are into listening to your records or just collecting them, you should be interested in their value. With so many vinyl records for sale around the world, and from so many suppliers who make varying claims of value, it is very hard to determine just how much they are worth. Read on to discover some of the tell tale factors which will assist you in valuing vinyl records.

Firstly, most best selling records from any point in the last century were produced by the millions. This usually means they are not very valuable at all and you are best off enjoying them the way they were meant to be – by playing them! Rare records on the other hand, can be valued at anywhere between $50 up to over $10,000. There are so many variables in determining the value, so lets begins.

A Complete Product

Like most collectibles, vinyl records are most valuable in their complete condition. Records all originally came with a paper or picture sleeve, and having these adds to their value. Picture sleeves are easily the most valuable, often being more valuable then the record itself. Keeping these are very, very important to your records value. Similarly, EPs (7 inch records with less songs) were often sold with a hard cardboard sleeve. In good condition, these complete records and sleeves can fetch a mint! Without the sleeve, do not expect much.

Condition

You don’t really need to be told this. It is common knowledge that a better condition means something is worth more. This applies to almost everything. If your record is scratched, is noisy while playing, writing on the label or just looks worn, it will have very little value. You can usually find records of this condition for less then $5, indicating just how worthless they are. These are definitely better used by enjoying them through listening to them.

Rarity

Of all the records produced in the 1960’s and 70’s, about 4% of them made it to the top of the charts. This meant they were produced in much higher volumes, and therefore worth less now. LP’s by artists with popular singles are often quite rare, as people only wanted the singles. This makes these records of quite high value. These were mostly found in the 50’s and 60’s. Even rarer are Rhythm and Blues LP’s from the 1950s. In good condition, these are worth a mint.

Fans – Demand

This is a simple supply versus demand formula. A huge number of fans wanting a particular record will always drive prices up. It is crucial that these artists have modern day fans, as artists no longer in demand will mean a reduced value.

Other Factors

There are many more factors, and to keep this precise, I will simply list them out. Vinyl record value is further increased by true stereo copies (versus the traditional mono), historical meaningful value, the era it was produced and pressing number. For example, 1st pressings are worth more than promo copies or 2nd, 3rd and 4th pressings.

There are so many factors which make up the value of a vinyl record. Having your collection valued locally by a professional will be a much more accurate figure than any online method, so this is definitely the place to start.



Source by Jimmy Red

The Music Biz

Why Sign With a Record Label?

A record label (company) is a company which is involved in the production i.e recording, directing and distributing of artistic works. A record label’s basic working principle can be said to be the signing on of artists for the purpose of producing such artists record which includes studio recording, mixing and distribution (sales) and based on the artist-record labels agreement get a certain percentage of the total income generated from the record sale.

The record company is a large establishment which actually is wealthy enough to finance the musical careers of young and upcoming artists with the career financing well acknowledged by the recipient as a loan which would be repaid through the profits gotten from their record sale. Listed below are some benefits an artist derives from getting signed with a record label.

• The record company lends you a huge sum of money which may not be given directly to you but is used indirectly through huge marketing and recording budgets.

A considerable amount is also spent on luxuries like hired cars and drivers, keeping expensive hairstyle and wares from expensive boutiques.

• They help you understand and develop your skills in writing, this may include, the right choice of words, adequate rhyming which tends to improve listening pleasure, etc.

• The record company also indulges in huge advertizing budgets. This is directed to making you (the artist) a well known figure which also helps in record sale.

• The record company takes on the responsibility of intimating you with the dos and don’ts of the music industry as well as familiarize you with what already made artists do to gain attention of the fans.

• An artist’s manager is one of the advantages of signing on with a record label. The fees of a self hired manager are on the high side compared to that of a record label hired manager (though the fee is paid from the money lent to the artist).

• The record label serves as a medium through which fans get to communicate with an artist and vice versa. Other medium includes on stage performances and shows held outside of the studio.

• A couple of record company stands in for a signed on artist in cases of legal issues by getting the artist a lawyer who’s fees is paid by the label.

• Solo artists have the disadvantage of delay in decision making which would not be the case with an artist signed on with a record company. Also since all the decisions are to be made by the artist, the tendency for wrong decisions are higher compared to that of an artist which has a record label to his aid.



Source by John P Jenyo

The Music Biz

Get Signed to a Record Label

Many musicians struggle to understand how they can attract the attention of independent record label A&R scouts. Here are ten tips from The Musician’s Guide to World Domination that will help you to improve the quality of your press pack and help you to get signed.

1) Send your demo on a Tuesday or Wednesday around 3pm

Studies show that emails sent out on these days at this time receive the best chance of receiving a reply, this is because people are generally very busy on Mondays, and begin to wind down on Thursdays.

2) Address your demo to a human being with a name

People like to be addressed by their name, don’t address ‘who ever it may concern’ or ‘A&R scout’.

3) Only use a review if it is by an influential music industry professional

Many bands feel that they must use a review in their press pack, but in some cases this can hinder the impression you give to the record label if it is not from a reputable source.

4) Attach an up to date professional promotional photograph

If the photograph is artistic and professional it reflects your creativity, and dedication very well.

5) Make big claims, sound enthusiastic and prove how hardworking you are

Sometimes an in your face claim can really make it, but ensure you have facts to back it up – for example if you claim to be the best upcoming artist in the UK, make sure you have a reputable source who has made this statement (ie. A mainstream music magazine).

6) Keep it under 2 pages

Any longer and the reader will lose interest and realized you haven’t done your homework (evidently you are!)

7) Experiment with formatting to provide a customized and professional layout

Some people will tell you that if your music is good then things like presentation and perfect spelling and grammar don’t matter, they’re correct to an extent, but why risk it? Simple mistakes and poor presentation frustrate people, which is counter productive when you’re trying to convince a stranger to help you.

8) Send your in PDF format

PDF’s are the preferred format for press packs as they’re easy to read, easy to print, hard to edit (the last thing you want is people editing your details and passing it on!)

9) Only send one demo

If anything is going to get you blacklisted from a record labels inbox, it’s going to be by sending demos relentlessly. If you’re showing significant increases in quality then that is ok, but 5 emails in a month? Give it a rest!

10) When emailing a demo, attach a link to download the song – don’t attach the song to the email

Don’t attach songs to the email itself as it will take a long time for the record label A&R person to download the email, instead use a file sending website such as Yousendit.com to send your files.



Source by M. A Taylor

The Music Biz

How Do I Find Good Record Labels?

Of course you want to get a record contract. But you want to get it from a reputable record company that will respect you as an artist, give you the right promotion, and pay you fairly. So how do you know if you’ve got a good record label? There are a few signs you should look for in shopping for record deals that will fit your goals and needs.

First of all, how established is the label? Of course, the top major record labels are established in the field, but what about the smaller indie record labels? You should check for the level of professionalism on the label’s web site, of course, to tip you off. You can also look on the label’s roster and see how many artists the label has, and research these artists to determine the label’s level of success in promoting its acts.

When you research a label, you can use the internet, make phone calls, or try to ask your questions through email. This will be easier if the label has expressed interest in you. You need a label with a healthy roster-several successful acts and several developing acts, but so many artists that the label has trouble devoting attention to them equally. You should also look into what kind of distribution the label does. Your record should get out on as many platforms and in as many stores as possible, and if a label doesn’t have the power to distribute your record across the country, then you don’t want to be working with them. In the same vein, find out the promotion strategy of the label. Does the label work with promoters that will get your album heard? What kind of advertising does the label use?

The record contract is a big factor in finding the right record label. Look for a few things: how many records does the label want to sign you for? What percentage of profits per record will you receive? What royalties will you receive for performances and licensing of your music? How much creative control will the label grant you? Will the label provide any funding or assistance for your tours and merchandise? All of these are things to consider when asking yourself, “What is a good record deal?”

If you thoroughly investigate your options when it comes to record labels, you are sure to develop a vision of the label that you would like to work with. Good record labels will provide the promotion, percentages, distribution, and control that you reasonably request. Just make sure you know what kind of record deal you want, and you’re sure to get a record deal on a good label that will serve you well.



Source by Paul Mileny