This is a question that a lot of agents have received on a regular basis. How can I be on your roster?
Every up and coming producer / DJ wants to be given a chance, wants to be on an agency, wants to play the great venues, and of course, have those nice fees that the pioneers who have paved the way get.
1. The Music: When I look at the artist’s productions one of the main things I look closely at is, consistency. Yes, genres change with the times and artists adapt with the times. What I am referring to is the artist that seems to change from genre to genre every month. Of course every artist has the right to change to whatever sound they want but stick to your guns. Produce and play what you love. This is something talent buyers and promoters look at as well. They want to know what they will be getting from the artist musically.
2. Don’t Be “That Guy”: This is something that agents and talent buyers get a lot of. If you introduce yourself to an agent or have known each other for some time and the first things you bring up in the first few minutes of a conversation include any of these, you might be “that guy.” For example: “When am I going be on your roster?”; “Did you check out my productions and mixes yet?”; “All I need is one chance to show you what I can do.” I can go on and on. They are already not paying attention to what you are telling them. Chances are if you have given an agent music (In an email is probably the best way in my opinion) and they have not gotten back to you, it is probably because they either are not interested, music is not the right fit, or your productions are not as on point as you think they are. There are many factors or reasons but if they were interested, you would have been contacted.
3. The Opener at a Club: Everyone starts somewhere. In the music industry, everyone starts off as openers or supporting acts. You’re not going to headline the main stage in EDC Las Vegas if you just started playing two months ago. This is something I did not quite understand when I started to go out and knew very little about the music industry. I used to think the opener wasn’t any good, etc. Truth be told, nowadays I enjoy some opening sets better than some of the headliners that I have seen perform. An opener has one of the toughest jobs to do. They have to play a great set WITHOUT overplaying what the headliner will be playing. What’s even more annoying is when an opener is trying to get their five minutes of fame and play every dance floor banger in their catalog. Their job is to keep the dance floor happy and warm till the headliner’s set time has arrived. I have been in many gigs where the opening DJ is playing harder than the headlining artist.
4. Social Media Presence: These days social media plays a big role in an artist’s career. Trying to get as many followers as possible. Sure you can get 100,000 likes on your page but if your posts have 10 likes, everyone knows you bought them. Make sure your social media followers are organic and there is interaction with your followers.
5. Label Affiliation: Having quality releases on known reputable labels definitely helps. Yes, it is harder to get the bigger labels. However, there are plenty of smaller great labels that really care about their releases and their artists. A lot of them will do label showcase events throughout the year and have a presence during big music weeks such as Winter Music Conference, ADE, Sonar, The BPM Festival just to name a few. This is something I pay close attention to when looking at potential artists.
These are some things I personally look for in up and coming artists. Hopefully this helps when you are working on your craft.
Sleeping Giant Music
East Coast Director