Answered by TAXI Members
Dear Passengers,

I'm doing something different in Q&L this month. I'm showing you what a great job your fellow members do answering your questions. I'm not the only guy who has "all" the answers. ;-)

You know I'm a huge fan of the community that has come together on our forum at taxi.com. When you read the exchange below, I think you'll be able to see why.

So many other forums and message boards tend to drift toward the negative, or are populated by people posting, "Hey dudes, check out my band, we're incredible and it's just a matter of time until the labels are begging us to sign with them."

Those folks don't hang out all that long on the TAXI forum. But the more realistic, smarter people often do! And the result is that there is a ton of really great advice dished out there.

This question and the answers given are about a subject that's near and dear to my heart, "What do I do now that I've been contacted by an A&R person?"

Read on. I might add some commentary at the end. Q&L just wouldn't be the same without adding my two cents. ;-)


— See you next month,

Michael




Quick advice on A&R rep correspondence!
Thread Started on Nov 27, 2007, 11:52am

Hi everyone,

Much to my surprise I got an e-mail yesterday from one of the Film & TV A&R people I gave my CD to at the (Road) Rally.

I only had two singer/songwriter tracks with lyrics on the CD and some instrumentals, and the A&R rep would like to know if I have any more S/S material that I'd like to submit for consideration. I'm not sure what is the reason behind that, but I was honored they took the time to listen, and very glad to get the e-mail in any case.

Now it's up to me to make the best impression I can. Since many of you have been at this (potentially) critical juncture before, maybe I could get your thoughts before I dive in with my reply?

Choices and dilemmas. Do I:

a) Thank them profusely (I think that's a given)

b) Inquire as to why exactly they are asking, and what their time frame is

c) Ask them how many songs they are looking for and not include any yet

d) In order to keep the correspondence to a minimum, assume that this is a time-sensitive inquiry, and send the direct links to some of my S/S songs on the TAXI page (five maybe?)

e) Make some more assumptions, and send the direct links to all of my S/S songs on the TAXI page

f) Politely ask what their time frame is and how many songs they'd like, and offer to send them a CD with that number of songs

g) Any combination of the above


Any input you have will be much appreciated! I searched the board on this topic and couldn't find anything specific, but if anyone knows of any threads, please let me know. Hopefully this may help others in this situation as well.


— AR

Re: Quick advice on A&R rep correspondence!
Reply #1 on Nov 27, 2007, 12:09pm

Hey AR,

You should contact them via e-mail and start the conversation first. By all means start with a few statements of thanks for them taking the time to listen to your material. Let them know that you do have more material ready to show them and ask them what they prefer (CD, links to your stuff). They will let you know.

My best piece of advice is to put your best foot forward. Pick out the best of your S/S stuff (maybe best five) and let them listen to those first.

It's a great sign that you have interest. You are in the door. Now you need to get a good feel for what they are looking for and cultivate that relationship. Remember that this whole process takes time and be patient with them.

— Best of luck,

Cisco


Re: Quick advice on A&R rep correspondence!
Reply #2 on Nov 27, 2007, 1:45pm

Cisco's advise is pretty solid. Keep your correspondence short and very professional. Politely thank them for the consideration and offer, but don't go all "profuse." Professional courtesy, not critical juncture glee.

I wouldn't ask how many more they would want to hear. You are a pro and know that any more than three to five at this point in the correspondence would be specifically requested.

I also wouldn't ask why they are asking at this point. Let the relationship develop, and you'll get all that info.

Do ask if they would prefer another CD, or a Web link. Whatever they want/need, make it easy for them. Make your e-mails easy to respond to and you'll get better response. Don't ask a bunch of questions, but make sure it's clear what response you are asking for.

Make any links clean and easy to navigate. Make sure to send links to lyrics if it's online. Busy people respond well to those who respect their time and make things easy. Of course the music is always the most important thing, but how you correspond and conduct yourself is very important as well.

And btw—CONGRATS!! Those CDs (from the Road Rally) do get listened to. Best of luck.

— Aub

Re: Quick advice on A&R rep correspondence!
Reply #4 on Nov 27, 2007, 2:53pm

The advice from Cisco and Aub is dead on. Definitely DON'T ask them *why* they're asking to hear more material, LOL.

That's like asking a girl who kisses you on the first date, "Now why did you do THAT??"

— Matto

I think these guys have covered the topic really well, so I'd like to just reiterate that it's VERY important to be viewed as a professional in the way you answer an A&R inquiry. Keep it short, keep it concise, don't be overly "gushy," and make it EASY for them to deal with you.

If you act unprofessionally or make them feel like it's "work" to deal with you, they'll just move on to the next guy or gal, no matter how good your music is. Relax, take a deep breath, be yourself, and let the relationship build. Don't shoot your wad on the first interaction.


— Good luck!

Michael


P.S. To get more great advice, try visiting the TAXI online Forum by clicking here.



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