The first step towards landing a record deal is often the “music demo” or “demo tape”. This music demo is a representation of who you are and what you can do, what makes you special and why the record companies need to sign you to a record deal and invest millions of dollars.
The music demo is your product. When approaching record companies, management companies, music producers and talent agencies, your music demo will be the first thing that they ask for. If it’s hot stuff, they will consider working with you in some capacity or at least keeping their door open for future consideration. If your music demo sounds like crap, you can bet that their door will close to you and remain closed to you.
So what do record companies look for when evaluating a music demo? While the details may vary from person to person, one thing that they all have in common is that the music needs to move them emotionally. They have to “feel it”. But with hundreds of music demos coming across their desk, they don’t have the time to wait until the second chorus to see if they like it or not.
About 95% or more of the music demos received by management companies, music production companies, music producers and record companies, are of such poor quality that often the music demo will be rejected within the first 10 seconds simply on that basis.
It’s often the job of the assistant to weed through the piles of music demos and separate the quality ones from the poorly produced, poorly recorded ones.
You have to be heard within the right context If the sonic quality of your music demo or demo tape is acceptable, then the person you’re trying to impress may now be willing to listen to at least a verse and chorus. But you must sound legit.
If you’re an R&B singer, but you’re singing against a music track that’s country, your singing won’t be heard against the proper backdrop and most likely will be rejected before they reach the chorus. Another example might be a female Pop/R&B singer trying to sing against a big, loud hard rock band, or a country artist trying to sing against a dance track. While the singers might be good in each case, they will sound “wrong” to whoever might be listening.
The music must complement the vocals. The subtleties of each style of singing must be enhanced by the appropriate musical arrangement and production.
About Jeremy Geffen:
With more than 12 years of experience in the entertainment industry, Jeremy Geffen holds a position as President of Los Angeles-based Geffen Management Group. Jeremy has worked with with some of the most succesfful acts in the entertainment indusrtyry., management, and consulting. He has helped to guide the careers of many major artists, including D12, Three 6 Mafia, and Sisqo. Currently he manages talented artists such as Ron Artest, ex-Spice Girl Mel and teen singer/actor Jacob Latimore with Larry Rudolph, Britney Spears’ manager. Geffen is working on numerous television and film projects, including one with major studio backing in collaboration with Roddenberry Productions.