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Introduction to Functions of a Record Label

If you began a new job with no preparation, you'd be lost before the end of your first day. You wouldn't know what to expect or what was expected of you. You would be confronted with dilemmas and situations you never knew existed. You would be overwhelmed and would surely fail. Only if you prepare and research for this new job will you have a chance to succeed. Being a new artist on a label is like being a new employee at a company. If you are not prepared, you will get lost. It is of utmost importance for your long-term career that you know what to expect from a record label. Do your research. Have a working knowledge of the business so that there are no surprises when you get signed. Know all the types of people you will be dealing with, and become familiar with their backgrounds so you can improve your relationship with them. Be prepared to handle almost every situation that comes your way. When you are realistic and educated, your label will be a true resource for you. By being here at StarPolish, you have already begun your research. I am going to take you on a tour of a typical major record company. We'll take a look at each department in great detail. I'll describe each department, its size, its responsibilities, how it interacts with other departments at the label, and how it interacts with other aspects of the business. I will also explain what you, the artist, can expect and how you will interact with each department.
Your Package
Before we talk about who to send your package to, let's talk about what it should look like. Make sure you put together a professional-looking package/demo -- no handwritten cover letters/notes, address labels or CD covers and jewel cases. If you have to tape the envelope, make it look neat, please! Don't EVER send cassette tapes, as they probably will be tossed aside since you can't easily skip through cues or songs (and quite frankly, cassettes are dated). It's easy and fairly inexpensive to put together an incredibly professional-looking CD package.
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