Artist Empowerment Radio Podcast

Bob Baker's Podcast of Self-Promotion Tips and Inspiration for Musicians, Artists, Writers and Creative People of All Kinds

28 - How to Get a Record Deal

Want to know how to get signed to a major label? Or get the attention of a record label A&R exec? Well, Music Connection magazine spilled the beans recently. In this episode, I reveal their secrets and give you my own advice on how to increase your chances of having a successful music career and gaining music industry attention.

Running time: 18:19 minutes. File size: 16.7 megs. Format: MP3 (128 kbps).

There are three ways to enjoy this episode:

1) Listen now using this streaming audio player:

2) Download the MP3

3) Subscribe to the Podcast

Featured song/artist: "When I Fall From Grace" by The Likes of You (featuring Geoff Byrd).

Stuff mentioned during this episode:
The show intro music is the beginning groove from "Fickle Mind" by Heidi McCurdy. Thanks to Angela Stevens for the great voice-over work.

posted by Bob Baker @ 9:07 AM   7 comments


At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sometimes we need to be told what we already know. thanks for reminding me to get started and to stop making excuses.

At 11:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

business ruins art. it's unfortunate that most people are reshaping their musical goals to fit their financial ones. all this just makes me want to keep music a hobby instead of a profession so I don't feel like I have to make crappy watered-down poop music. thank you.

At 8:53 AM, Blogger Bob Baker said...

Does holding a belief that "business ruins art" empower you? Only you can answer that, but there's no denying it colors how you feel about making music.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to be compensated for the value that your music delivers to fans. It's healthy and natural to want to grow and prosper.

But if you can't get over your hang-ups about music and money, then do yourself a favor and play music as a hobby for the best reason of all: the love of it.

At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bob, Just responding to anonymous;crappy w-d poop music.
I had a similar point view and spent 30 years enjoying playing my music my way on my living room couch. I don't want to bore anyone with all the details but about six months ago my son brought a bunch of his friends over and asked me if I would mind playing a few of his favorites for them(I never realized he and his sister were listening to my playing and singing). After playing 10 or 12 songs, some mine some covers, the questions began. "Why don't you record these songs?","You should make a video and put it on U-tube, I'll bet you could be famouse." etc. All wonderful strokes, but if I'm going to do this, how do I get started? For me it turned out that I found Bob's Buzz Factor and signed up for everything free as well as purchasing Bob's course and signing up for the Music Marketers Insiders Club. The real point here is that you don't have to compromise your individual sound, your individual sound is what people will want to hear if you do a decent job of performing it. With about 6 billion people covering the earth it would be impossible to do good music in any style and not be able to find people who want to hear it.
Kurt Lindal

At 11:12 AM, Blogger capiqu said...

I listened to your audio on "How To Get A Record Deal'
No real direction for the Artist or Song Writer!

I have been in the music industry for 15 years starting my career as a manager of 2 National Acts. Starting my own indie Label with national and international distribution in 1995.

There are only two ways to get a record deal:
1.) LUCK-Someone Knows a successful Music Producer, Label Head, Manager or Music Attorney.

2.) They break The Record the old fashion way.
A.) Write, Arrange, Produce and Record a HIT SONG
B.) Copyright the Song/Project
C.) Manufacture CD for Brick and Mortor Retail Sales
D.) Manufacture Vinyl for Record Pool Promotion (If GENRE Uses The Media)
E.) Create a Website for Online Promo. & Marketing with Downloads, Ringtones
F.) Use Mechanisms like Youtube , Facebook, Myspace, Blogs, podcast, widgets and Mass e-mail campaigns for online Promo. & Marketing.
G.) Make sure you are set up with Soundscan/Retail Distribution Tracking. Clubs, Stores, Festivals. Build a soundscan reports weekly to build the RETAIL STORY/History.
H.) Make sure you set up with BDS (Broadcast Data system)/Radio tracking/commercial Reporting Radio. Build BDS Reports weekly to build RADIO STORY/History
I.) Set up Shows in a Regional Area in your back Yard (no farther that 2.5/hrs. from your BASE.

Start the Process/
Create a weekly Schedule to Execute New Opportubities and Monitor The Status of the project.

Build Awareness of the Project by using the #1 single as the catalyst. Through performances, internet radio, college radio, internet,record pools, sales, fan club etc.

Build Weekly Soundscan Reports, Bds Reports, Record Pool charts and continues Performance schedules so that Major and Mini Major Record Companies can see the progress on the project.

3 Important questions a Major record Company will ask as soon as you walk in the door:
#1 How many Records have you really sold?
#2 How Many Shows have you done in the last 18/Mo.
#3 Have you ever had a song on the RADIO?

3 Important Ingredients for a Successful Career In the Music Industry.

I will use the Urban Music Genre as my Example:
-300 million people in the USA
-20-30 % or roughly 90 million people are trying to get a record deal because they believe that have talent.
-150 record companies that can really help you in your career they each have 2-4 artist that they have a budget for.


IF anyone would like to e-mail me with a comment you can do so at

Thank You!


At 6:02 AM, Blogger Bob Baker said...


Thanks for the comments. Regarding:

"I HEARD NOTHING BUT A BUCNH OF WORDS!" I assume you meant Bunch. It seems to me that WORDS is what one would expect from a spoken word podcast.

Your long 1-2, A-I list is mostly what you'd do AFTER you got a deal, not what you'd do to GET a record deal.

As for your "3 Important questions a Major record Company will ask as soon as you walk in the door" ... I covered these extensively in the podcast. Maybe you weren't paying attention to my *words*.

My point was ... you don't need a label or a deal. You need to do it yourself and create your own rules. Screw the traditional paint by numbers success plan.

Regarding HIT SONGS, I agree.

Sorry, but 3 out of 10 people are not trying to get a record deal in the U.S. It may seem that way at times, but that figure is WAY over the top.

Hope you enjoy my latest bunch of words :-)


At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good lord, do you really believe that 30% of the entire population of America is trying to get a record deal? Quite the most ludicrous statement I've heard all year.


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