Exclusives with A&R: How to PROPERLY Submit a Demo to a Record Label?

There are a lot of aspects involved in reaching out to a record company. You can find many step-by-step guidelines on various websites, music magazines and blogs. Before submitting your demo, you should read as much about it as you can.

However, there aren’t direct interviews with A&R managers. A&R i.e Artist & Repertoire is the department of the record label, the gatekeeper if you will, who decides which songs and artists to sign a deal with. There might be just one person in charge of this, there might be several instances who go through the material. One thing is for sure, though, these are the people you’ve got to impress with your music.

How to do that? Hard to say.. some say you have to send them a song that will catch the ear in the first 20 seconds. Others say that you should always send a track that is composed in your best .

One thing’s for sure – don’t try to copy existing stars. Every label is looking to bring something new to the table, and if you can come up with a track in the style that’s the next best thing, they will be sorry if they ever doubted signing you!

Dig into the interviews below, as these offer the most direct insight into the minds of some of the most important people in the music industry: A&R managers.

The labels featured thus far in “How to properly submit a demo to a label?”

There are many more labels to come, we’ll keep you posted! Here are the 5 DO’s and 5 DON’Ts taken from the interview with Plasmapool’s A&R:


  • Send FULL SONGS only…we sometimes receive LOOPS of only like 16 seconds length and artists then complain, that we didn’t sign them
  • Make sure your links WORK! It’s very annoying clicking on dead links, that forward you to error pages!
  • Put your best track on top of your list (when sending multiple tracks) – that increases your chance, that we listen to your other material as well
  • Write something about yourself…I love reading artists’ information, while listening to their music 🙂
  • Keep sending us new material…even if we didn’t reply to your first demo submission or even if we forwarded your demo to one of our partnering companies and you got signed there. That doesn’t neccessarily mean, your material is not good…it just might have not fit into what we were looking for at that moment!


  • Do not send a “remake” of Beatport’s current chart topping tracks – we rather want FRESH ideas!
  • Do not send REMIXES or tracks, that contain sampled or unlicensed material from other labels! We delete such submissions without comment!
  • Do not BUY any “ghost written” songs from artists and send them to us as “your” production. there are people out there, that record songs from eg. soundcloud profiles and sell such files as actual “productions” to artists!
  • Do not bother A&Rs, asking over and over again, whether they received and listened to your music already. Frequent mailbombs lead to getting added to spam-lists!
  • Do not send us the same material over and over again and do not send us country music or hiphop…you should actually know, what music a label/company is releasing, at least!

Photo: kristian_o

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