What do record labels want in an artist? Reed Louis-Jeune tells all

If you’re keen to break into today’s music industry, it stands to reason that you’re probably wondering what precisely record labels look for in new artists.

. Who better to give you this insider knowledge than Reed Louis-Jeune, owner of the Trill Corporation record label? Here’s his advice about the attributes that up-and-coming artists and bands should have if they want to be signed up.

Amazing music

Of course, it goes without saying that an artist needs to have amazing music to even be considered by a record label, but Louis-Jeune says that it’s important to know what amazing music really is in order to be successful.

Amazing music has to stand out from the crowd. There are lots of decent independent artists and bands out there, so yours has to be something truly special. Louis-Jeune says that two key elements of achieving this are choosing a genre and sticking with it, at least in the beginning, and developing signature traits that make your music distinctive.

Star quality

It may sound harsh, but record labels need artists that have star quality. That doesn’t necessarily mean good looking, but it does mean charismatic and entertaining. When signing bands to the Trill Corporation label, Louis-Jeune is looking for artists who can hold their own and who fans can connect with and respect.

Distinctive branding

Louis-Jeune says that his label is more interested in marketing a brand and it’s reputation than in just marketing a band.

“It’s important to be a band or artist that expresses their values and opinions.” He says, “a fan base is composed of people sharing similar interests, choices, opinions and traditions, so ensuring that you’re distinctive and have a clear visual identity is imperative”.

To this end, you need to be sure that your personality shines through, not only in your music but also in your promotional and marketing efforts.

A ready-made fan base

As Louis-Jeune points out, most record labels today are looking for artists and bands with a proven record of success in the industry. If you’ve already managed to acquire a following yourself without help from a label, you’ve already demonstrated that you’re worth investing in.

So, how can you create a fan base? Give your audience plenty of attention and treat them well. Louis-Jeune suggests honing in on a specific target audience to build a community of people who think alike.

Already established income

Although it isn’t quite as important to already have a fan base established, being able to demonstrate you can already earn money from your endeavours is something that Louis-Jeune’s label is looking for when scouting for new artists. That doesn’t mean you need to make the equivalent of a full-time salary, but being able to bring in some money is a good sign that you’re worth investing in.

An established and strong online presence

A lot of bands and artists that get signed today already run social media platforms themselves. Louis-Jeune says that his label looks more favourably on artists who already have a good web presence since it reduces the workload.

To maximize your web presence you need to be sure your social media can be navigated easily and that your visual identity has been leveraged so that fans can be confident they’re connecting with a human and not a robot.

Another good piece of advice that Louis-Jeune shares is to give each channel its own distinct role. Rather than uploading identical content on each channel, dedicate a single type of content to each channel to harness the power of its unique features.

Of course, it also goes without saying that content needs to be engaging and consistently updated.

Work ethic

One of the most important factors that Louis-Jeune is looking for at Trill Corporation is a strong and dedicated work ethic.

“My label needs to see you’re willing to do what it takes to excel in the music industry”. He says. “You need to be prepared to work on your own behalf and put the effort in or you just won’t cut it.”

His advice to prospective bands out there is to be consistent and set time aside every day for writing and recording, as well as for networking and promoting. He also points out that artists need to reflect regularly on their music and spend time thinking hard about what they’re doing well and what they could improve on in the future.

He stresses the importance of adapting your work ethic when things aren’t working out as they should, and of leveraging the things which benefit the project that is being worked on.

So, there you have it – expert advice from a record label itself. If you’re ready to make it in the music industry, now you know what you need to do to get signed!

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