Can I Send You My Demo?


Sounds harsh, so let me explain.

I am not an A&R; I do not sign artists. My day job is the business of helping artists get their records made. And I blog about the music business.

That doesn't mean I don't listen to new music. In fact, I love discovering new artists. I love being introduced to new artists. I even love discovering old artists. There is so much great music out there it bothers me sometimes that it's impossible to listen to it all. There just isn't enough time.

That doesn't mean I won't express my opinion or that I don't want to help. I have plenty of opinions and am full of advice.

What I can't do is listen to your demo.

If there is one fact I've learned about the record business, it is that they mean what they say about unsolicited demos. They don't get listened to.

Another fact I've learned about the business is that it's all about relationships. Who you know and who you are connected to is important. Taste in music is personal, and so a personal recommendation means everything. One has to go out on a limb to make a recommendation and people don't do that for anybody. Anybody can send an unsolicited demo. Not everybody can get a personal recommendation. That is what makes the difference.

Instead of asking me (or anyone else for that matter) if you can send a demo, concentrate on making the best music possible. When you do that, you'll be amazed at what happens: you'll automatically make connections and those connections will lead you in new and unexpected directions. And someday you'll get that personal recommendation. Because that somebody thinks you're awesome. Isn't that what you want?

One other thing: never, ever pay somebody upfront to shop your demo. That is always a scam. If you want somebody to shop your demo, find a manager or attorney who will do it because they are invested in your career. That investment means they will take their cut after you get paid, not before.