What Major Labels Look For When Signing An Artist

Written by Kerry Oliver, CEO of Dream A Dream Records

Dream A Dream Records has showcased hundreds of bands and artists over the years. Their common belief is that their music is good . . . or good enough to be signed by a major label. Then, when we ask for their live show attendance and social media numbers, it tells a whole different story.

If artists are not drawing at least 500 fans at every show; if their social media numbers are a couple of thousands instead of 100,000+ across their media platforms, then they should be asking themselves, why and make the improvements, not excuses. Mentors work well for this elevating endeavor.

Labels look at numbers — why? Because it gauges the success level of the artist through their appeal and marketability. Fans love their artists to dress professionally, perform at a highly entertaining level, and most importantly, their songs are memorable. If an artist is achieving these levels, then their marketability points are normally visible to the A&R consultants who find the talent to present to the major and indie labels.

Another aspect that labels hold most dear, is the personality of the artists. Are they humble? Are they confident? Are they easy to work with? Are they hardworking?  These traits are most often more important than the musical talent itself. You can buy songs, dress up a band, teach them to perform; BUT, you cannot teach them to be likable.

There are thousands of artists with amazing talent, amazing songs. There are so few that are likable and humble. Labels want artists they like.

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