What Record Labels Look For In Unsigned Artists

Record labels are always on the look-out for brand artists and music. But what exactly is it that they are looking for? In this article we will be taking a look on how a new artist can increase its chances of getting signed to a record label.

The basics

As a former record label owner, I can safely say that record labels are always scouting for brand new talent and refreshing tunes. When doing so, record labels are mainly focussing on two assets: the music and the image of the artist.

The music being the most important one in most cases. If you take a look from the perspective of a record label, music is the asset that it sells and keeps the record label running, while the image of an artist is a tool that helps sell the music better. Thereafter, the better and more professional one's image is, the easier it will become to sell his or her music.

What we can conclude from this, is that first, one's music has to be qualitatively good enough. Furthermore, for a record label to sign a new artist, his or her music has to fit the musical direction of the label. For example, the chances of a Dubstep label signing an artist that produces Hardstyle tracks are slim to none.  

Secondly, the more professional or outstanding one's image is, the better the record label can promote and sell the artist's track(s), thus the higher the chances are of getting signed.

An artist can improve their image by being present on social media via artists profiles, where they post content that appeals to their fanbase. For example, if your image is sarcastic or funny, it can be okay to post lower quality pictures on social media. But if your image is professional or serious, it’s a good idea to post high quality pictures preferably shot on a DSLR camera.


When a record label signs a new artist, it is important that the artist shows elaborate cooperation. This means that the artist or it’s management should try to reply to messages or emails shortly after receiving it in a professional manner.

Furthermore, from the artist’s standpoint, it is always a good idea to supply the record label with a promotion plan that explains how the artist is going to promote the release to his or her fanbase.

The more effort the artist shows in marketing and promoting the release, the nicer this artist becomes to the label to work with and the bigger the chances are of them wanting to work with the artist.

Standing out

As an artist, standing out is definitely important. Having a unique selling point that differs you as an artist from other artists will make the artist more marketable. Therefore, it’s important for the artist to make its music or image stand out from others. This will make the artist more considerable for the record label.

In conclusion

It is important for the artist to have an unique asset that makes him or her stand out from the rest.

Written by Rob Kuipers

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