It seems new artists are coming up like weeds everyday, why shouldn't you be the next to get a great record deal? As wonderful as it all sounds though, many don't consider how much effort must go into getting in front of a record company exec. Here are some points to consider:
Start With the Right Mindset
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to remain positive... that doesn't mean being unrealistic though - you have to have a balance of both. If you don't believe in you, who else will?
You also have to be diligent everyday about your craft. You need to be writing lyrics or composing new songs everyday. Learn some music theory or listen to a genre of music that you don't normally listen to. The more you do something the better you get at it right?
Another very important mindset trait that you need to have is a spirit of cooperation. You can't show up to a potential deal meeting acting like diva... at least not right off the bat right? Record companies like artists that will be cooperative and pretty much say yes to everything they throw at you.
Put Together A Good Demo
Your first task is to find a good rap instrumental to work with. Finding good music isn't that difficult as there are tons of Producers on the internet. There is plenty of variety in style, genre, bpm, mood, price and licenses to choose from.
The most common license types are Standard, Non-Exclusive, Premium and Exclusive. Be aware of and respectful of the license conditions attached to the instrumental. You want to use it properly so you don't end up in a lawsuit situation later on when you're super famous! Once you have the music, get your vocals recorded, arranged and mixed and mastered.
Do a little research and try to find the best engineer that you can. This does not mean that you have to record in some big, fancy, expensive studio. There are many small local studios, some home studios, that have very good engineers (or people that can mix & master a track well.) A demo isn't meant to be perfect, as A&R Execs don't necessarily expect them to be. But with that being said you still should present the best offering you can. Most people only get one shot to impress!
Make Sure People Know You Exist
One of the common networking methods of Rap and R&B artists is to host events in their local popular night club, birthday parties in particular. After numerous events, the benefits are that you are able to build relationships as well as, expose a large group of people to your talent. If they come to associate both you and your events as a good time, they'll make that same association about your music which is a very good thing!
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr to name a few Social Networks, are great ways to meet the masses. As an artist you have the ability to instantly touch base with more of the world than past generations of musicians ever did. People are more compelled to become fans of your work if they can see who you are and what you're about. Join music services, forums and internet groups as well. Some of them have subscription services that help push your music. Reverbnation, Soundcloud and Bandcamp have extra features for subscribers that can place your music in more places than you could do on your own
Getting a record deal is very doable, but it's not a cakewalk either. Certain factors definitely have to be lined up. You have to have your head in the game and work on your skills everyday. When you put together that demo you want your best to be heard and always, always ALWAYS be accessible to people and build your fanbase. Your team can carry you faster and further than you ever could alone.