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Being a singer can prove to be not only a difficult career path but also very stressful. Singers have to be in the right place at the right time with the right people around, setting up meetings and employing a manager can be a time consuming task that can turn out to lead to nowhere. It is important to find a manager that not only holds the right connections but also a positive relationship with those connections. A music manager should also posses the proper time management skills in addition to having the ability to keep the singer posted on progress.
Of course there is the route of going through a company that will shop your music to labels for you although that does not work in most cases. Label shopping is when a middleman submits your tracks to labels and A&R personnel in order to get you signed. Artists and repertoire (A&R) is the division of a record label company that is responsible for talent scouting and overseeing the artistic advancement of recording artists. It also acts as an intermediary between artists and record label companies. The only disadvantage in label shopping is that labels and their personnel do not want contact with the individual singer. There is a certain order in which things are done and you have to follow that order.
Once an interest is spiked in a certain singer with or without a manager an A&R person will usually attend that singer's show to see them perform live. These viewings can be announced or unannounced which means that the singer should always perform at the highest level of their ability. The A&R person will be looking to check certain qualities off; such things as sound quality, stage presence and look will all come into play while the singer is on the stage. If the A&R person is interested they will approach the singer and their manager (if the singer has one) after the singer has performed their set to discuss signing them or options in making them sign-able at a later date. During this discussion the A&R person will be assessing the level of professionalism that the singer carries.
If you are serious about your music career and advancing, it is important that you stay away from the party scene. Labels don’t like signing with artists who drink excessively and use drugs since it puts them at risk to lose their invested money. Take into account that there will be no more Axl Roses and Slashes getting label deals or you could seriously jeopardize your music career.
Also keep in mind that label companies are not paying out as much as they once did. Tour support is difficult to get fully covered when you are starting out, so don’t get discouraged it you aren’t offered a million dollar contract right off the bat. Realistically, that just doesn’t happen unless you are Motley Crue.
Setting out on your dream career as a professional singer can be really exciting at times but it is always important to keep yourself grounded. Nobody wants to work with a singer who has a chip on his or her shoulder. So if you have developed an over-grown ego, ditch it now, because it will hold your singing career back. Now go explore your music talent and good luck!
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