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How to Get Signed by a Record Label

Hip-hop performer Chris Kazi Rolle shares tips on how to get signed by a record label in this Howcast video.


If you want to get signed in today's music business, the first thing you have to remember is that a record label is really a bank. And that bank is going to invest in you because they see potential. And so, to make sure that they're going to get a return on their investment, they want to sign a contract.

So, a lot of times when we say get signed, we sometimes only think about your end, like, "Now I'm on, now I'm gonna blow up." But, really, it is more of a contract that someone is investing money,time, energy into you with hope of a return. And that contract means that you have to deliver on that.

So if you want to get signed, that's one of the first things that you want to recognize and you want to be prepared to deliver on that agreement. When you go in to get signed, some of the things that a record label will look for is whether or not you have a following. Of course, talent is a given. You got to have talent, but there are a lot people who don't have talent, some would say. Talent is a given.

So with that talent, then comes building a following. If you have a following, whether that's people on your block, or in your neighborhood, or coworkers, or people that you went to school with, those people should follow you on Twitter on Facebook, on ReverbNation on DatPiff. Let people follow you via social media. And when you go into a record label or a company that wants to sign you, they're going to look to see if you have a following.

Second thing is you've got to have an image. People need to be able to look at you and think that, "Wow, this is a star." This is somebody that, when people look at them, they want to be like this person. So that means that you have to be comfortable in your skin or just cool.

And the third thing that you want to do, if you really want to get signed, is you've got to put yourself out there. You know, nobody's gonna come on to your block or come to your door and knock. "Hey, you know, is such and such here?" Nobody's going come looking for you. You have to be able to put yourself out there, network. Ask around, "How can I meet people at record labels?"

So, another way of getting yourself out there, or putting yourself out there, is by going to open mics. By going to open mics, you expose the world to your talent and you never know who could be at a performance. Or another performer that may like your style and you two start collaborating, and by collaborating, you get seen by a new audience.

The whole goal is to put yourself out there. And cream rises to the top, meaning that when you're good somebody's gonna notice. And once you get noticed, that usually leads to an opportunity to get signed.

But if you want to be signed, you've got to put yourself out there. You've got to really build a following and you have to be prepared to be a star, by having yourself look like a star and feel confident that you could be a star. And that's how you get signed in the music business.

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