25 Mar How to contact a music agent?
The do’s and do not’s when contacting a music agent
On a daily basis SOLE Agency is contacted by musicians across the UAE and the rest of the World. We absolutely love to hear from new musicians and are always happy to see what is out there…
At SOLE Agency we endeavour to reply to everyone that contacts us. It may not be an immediate response of course, but we will certainly try and get back to you as soon as we can. Sometimes this seems simpler than it actually is and musicians can help their introduction and application to SOLE if they follow a few simple do’s and do not’s.
We receive all manner of promotional material from musicians, some less professional and some we are blown away by the quality. It makes our life so much easier and the musician more memorable when a few simple steps are followed when musicians are reaching out to an agency.
Ultimately SOLE Agency are a supplier to our clients booking the musical entertainment, however we also look at our musicians as clients also. We are lovers of music and very passionate about what we do and how we do it. We hope that the below do’s and do not’s may help;
- Make a good clear demo. This is the first thing our client will look at when selecting their entertainment and it is amazing how quickly a client will/will not make their mind up based upon what they SEE and HEAR and how they compare this to other options that they may be looking at booking. While it is great for us to receive an HD professional studio recording, we know that this is not always possible. However, with the readily available technology that is out there a short demo can now easily be shot, whether at home or live at a gig! As mentioned above, clients are looking at your video, picturing you at their event, and listening to what your playing and whether this is suitable – obviously what you are playing comes down to song choice in the demo, so perhaps select a few different styles of song/genres showing different skills. Remember that the clarity of the music in the demo is paramount, so you need to be as clear as possible with as little background noise as possible (if for example shooting at a live gig).
- Keep the demo as brief as possible. We often advise musicians to submit a demo of perhaps 3-4 songs of 30-40 seconds each – usually a verse and chorus is enough! If you have a specific style/genres you are trying to sell, then put your best songs in this style first. Often clients do not have time to listen to full demos, so the first impression they see/hear really does make a difference if they have little time to review their options, or they have lots of demos to get through.
- Share your demos with us. Use MP3’s, soundcloud, YouTube, Myspace or through a sharing site like dropbox, or perhaps a link to your website. Just remember to check your email size when sending us your music, photos and other marketing collateral as there is nothing more frustrating than when a huge email spams an agents inbox all day. Remember – as videos get shared more and more by different ways and means quality is lost so always try to submit the best possible version of each demo available to you!
- Include a brief bio or introduction of who you are? What do you sound like? Who inspires you? Where have you played? What kind of work are you looking for? And your contact details and availability.
- Check your introduction to us. Think about your subject line. Be creative. Check your spelling. Read through your email before sending it. A bad email introduction is like an under rehearsed performance.
- Follow up. A couple of weeks after making contact follow up again and check we have received it. Email filters don’t always know good music and perhaps you have been spammed and we have no idea that amazing talent is set in our junk mail!
- Have an idea of your fee/salary expectations. We work with musicians from all over the World with different levels of experience and expertise, many of whom are looking for different musical paths and gigs.
- Call us at midnight. Check what time you are making a call at. While it may be first thing in the morning in the US, it will be last thing at night in Dubai. There is nothing worse when you are working at an event or fast asleep and a musician launches into an eager sales pitch. You will not get the time and attention you deserve.
- Spam us with an email sent to all other agents in full view. This is not personal to us and here at SOLE Agency we do work very closely with all of our musicians (and clients).
- Send us 30 minute long concert performances of you playing. This was touched on above, we see it far too often, and as much as we enjoy listening and watching these performances, do not have the time to sit and try and perhaps edit out the best 2 minutes of your show! Only you truly know the best part of your performance from a concert, in which case this should be highlighted by you. (Note – there is nothing wrong with sending us a 30 minute demo to show us the concert, but we need an exert to show our clients who will definitely not have time to view a demo like this).
- Start your demo with a 30 second long instrumental ‘backing track’ introduction. The demo really is your calling card, make it count.
- If you don’t act professionally and courteously to us, your music will not get the attention it deserves. Sometimes it is a waiting game and unfortunately we cannot guarantee the perfect gig will come up for you immediately. Don’t assume because you have sent your demo to us, that two days later you will be on a plane to Dubai playing at the Burj Al Arab!
- Send an email with just a URL link. We need to and want to know more about you to be able to sell you. Don’t say your music is ‘new’ or ‘different’, tell us what is ‘so different’ about it. Who do you sound like and take influences from? This information will help us place you with the correct client of ours.
- Say you are keen to perform at any venue, then say you don’t want a residency contract in the next email.
If you need any help with how best to submit your details to us then do get in touch.