As an independent musician, we all wonder what it is that these monster labels are looking for and how can we mold ourselves to be more like that. It is definitely something that will keep serious musicians on their toes and they will continue to do everything that they can to conform to what these labels want. We have a few inside tips on what major record labels are looking for in indie bands. (Yes, this means you!)
People need to like you. Yes, we know that sounds low and superficial, but it is the 100% truth. You can be the most talented person in the world, write the best songs, but then when people see you live, or on an interview and you are about as relatable as a carrot, people are going to lose interest in you really fast. You and your band need to be the good looking type of people that just look fun as hell to be around or with a certain, quirk that just really make people interested in who you are.
You know that thing about hard work that people have been drilling in your brain since you were a kid? Yeah, it applies everywhere. If a major label is going to invest their time and money into you, they want to know that you are going to work as hard, if not harder to make everything work to be the best it can possibly be. Think of even your regular day job. You won’t get promoted if you punch in, only do what you’re asked to do (if that) and then punch out. A boss likes to see someone with a drive. Someone with passion to work hard, put in a little extra time to make sure something gets done the right way, someone that is willing to go “the extra mile.” Work hard for what you want. Nothing will or should be handed to you. If you happen to step in shit and are one of the lucky ones, it won’t last if you’re lazy about it.
Again, you don’t have to be the most talented musician in the world. Odds are, if there is something they like about you, your songwriting… whatever, the industry will find the write musicians to back you, and technology allows you to pretty much do anything they want in the mix for your album and even live shows. Talent doesn’t need to be the spotlight, but you need to be able to sit on a radio show, with your instrument and play the song you wrote without everything falling apart.
Just remember to never give up on what you truly believe in and to focus on the little steps your making. Everything will lead you to the bigger picture, but for now, enjoy the ride.