What does it take for an artist to get signed? BreakOut West panellists weigh in

The music event is happening in Kelowna this weekend

Up and coming artists have a lot more to do to become a success than their predecessors, says a record label panellist who spoke to musicians during a BreakOut West conference session Friday.

“There’s definitely a level of which an artist needs to be, probably for any of our labels to want to sign them… they need to be further along now than they would have had to be 20 years ago, there are just less resources,” said Helen Britton, of Six Shooter Records.

Seven record label executives spoke to musicians about what it takes to get signed and the value of having a record label versus doing it yourself as a musician.

“For me, the artist has to have done a whole lot of groundwork already to justify other people getting involved (in their project),” said Michael Lambert, of A Modern Way, adding that the label will often work with artists for up to 18 months before they decide to sign them.

READ MORE: BreakOut West livens Kelowna with days of music

Most of the panellists were not only record label executives but managers, musicians and sometimes agents.

Joseph Blood, with 604 Records and Simkin Artist Management said “that’s because it’s so hard to make money on the label side, you have to supplement in other ways, either with publishing or management… I think it’s just the nature of the industry right now.”

Lambert, from the U.K., disagreed, saying he would rather work with a label that loves an artist and has expertise in that area, and would rather use “international teams that we can plug in when we need to.”

Andrew Morrison, musician for The Jerry Cans and also with Aakuluk Music, his own label, said working with a label allows the artist to spend more time working on music, rather than dealing with the day-to-day business side of the career.

“I always tell people or tell other artists its a very cool change when you work with people who have nothing to do with being on stage and have everything to do with the background work to make this happen… it’s really allowed us to focus on making music and making art.”

READ MORE: BreakOut West tickets are sold out in Kelowna

To actually peak the interest of labels, performance history as well as a social media presence is huge for present-day musicians.

“They need to not only post but interact,” Britton said. “We don’t want to be the only ones posting because people can smell management.”

She said she’s considered putting it in musician’s contracts that a social media presence is mandatory.

In terms of wanting to invest in an artist, the panellists said a band or musician must have a vision in which they want the band to go, an existing image and they must already have brand ideas for themselves, uniqueness and a strong stage presence.

Nigel Jenkins, with Laughing Heart Music, said the musician must have great songs overall.

BreakOut West conferences and events run from Oct. 10 to 14.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nomination date set for Kelowna- Lake Country Conservatives

March 2 is the deadline for anyone who wants to run for the federal nomination

Rutland pride spills over

Reaction to a story this weekend was clear and worth a second read

Benches made from wood that posed a fire risk in Lake Country

The parks team is making benches from the trees removed from the Jack Seaton Park

Family Day move a welcome change: poll

Okanagan readers voted that the new date for Family Day in B.C. is a positive change

Huge crack and bang heard as Wood Lake fractures

‘It was roaring across the lake,’ Lake Country woman recounts sound of crack in Wood Lake ice

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

B.C. father and sons launch new trunk-sharing system, ‘Trunkit’

Smiths say peer-to-peer shipping service offers an affordable, green alternative

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Salmon Arm’s Laura Hall on bronze-winning skating squad

Hall’s team placed third in long track team pursuit at the Canada Winter Games

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Review: Joie de Vivre a celebration of homegrown talent

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra concert featured Ernst Schneider

Bashful Balladeers bring voices to Vernon

Despite hiding behind masks, talent shines with this group

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Most Read