Why is that band that plays rubbish famous and I who’s battling to make it every day get nowhere? Many artists and bands think like that, they believe that the music industry is exclusively just for them. It’s natural, after all it’s clear to them that they have both great music and talent, that the recording companies will automatically want to sign them up for a multi-million pound recording deal, invest in their genial work and fling open all the doors to success.
What a sweet foolish dream.
Real life is different. The music industry is exactly that, an industry, which needs to make a profit and have guaranteed returns on its’ investments. Everybody knows that the music industry is passing through a difficult time, in financial terms. With this tightening of the financial reigns, comes change in the moment of signing up new talent.
Recording companies want and indeed need to record (it’s the way they make their money to survive!), but they will only sign up artists that they believe will give them a good and fast ROI (Return Of Investment). To be brutally honest, what is more important to a recording company is the sale of the music and not necessarily the quality of the music itself. This evaluation is made with criterion becoming more and more rigid every day.
Recording companies take into consideration:
The bands’ history – if the band has a solid background;
The bands’ fan base – if the band has a consolidated and expressive number of followers that fill out the venue each time the band performs;
The band concept – if the band fits into the concept of the recording company.
eg. A recording company that specialises in Rap wouldn’t consider recording a folk artist;
The bands’ image – if the band members are attractive and cute (in the case of Boy or Girl Bands) or with a hardened look (in the case of Heavy Rock). The age of the band members in relation to the style of music (Younger people for Pop, mature for Romantic Ballads) and if the band is easy to sell to a broader audience;
Professionalism – if the band is made up of responsible, discerning people (that’s why the music needs to be well recorded at demo level), that they are punctual, clean and good professionals in general. Also if the people can travel and pass prolonged period of time away from home;
The bands’ personality – if the band members are friendly, if they are easy to work and are prepared to do what the recording company needs and wants;
Musical Talent – if the band members really know how to play their instruments live, and will continue to create new quality material day after day for a prolonged period of time under pressure; The good thing is that each one of us musicians can learn and supply what the recording companies are looking for. It’s just a case of looking at the business from a more open perspective.