Why to join a label?
There are a lot of talented people out there, dreaming of being a recording artiste. Some with their own music knowledge and access to enough equipments prefer to persuade their dream on their own, some prefer to keep independent and and just hire a seasonal music producer and promoter and get the job done. And then, there are the smarter ones, whom have a better understanding of how this industry work and try to join a production company.
The first 2 group are not doing anything wrong, but these days, even with all the social media and easy access to potential fans, still the old school way of going under an established label is working better, because of simple reason, those guys in labels had done this for many years and have enough experience to save you from wasting so much energy, time and money!
Of course the best is to join those big name labels in the industry but since last few years, due to the changes that had happened in the music industry, the big name labels rarely sign a new artiste directly and they mainly prefer to play the publisher role. So, in my opinion the third group of dreamers I mentioned above are doing the smartest thing to join production labels and start from there. This method had worked for tons of artistes, more specifically, most of the current big names in the music industry!
How to join a label?
For joining the production labels usually there are 2 ways. One is that the artiste is lucky enough to somehow get a producer and/or artiste manager to hear them and decide to sign them, which depending a lot of luck and connections.
The other and easier way is to join the singing auditions. Usually the labels have singing auditions once in a while in order to recruit new and fresh talents to groom them and send them to the mainstream industry. So, look up for it as usually they make public announcements on Internet and/papers and other methods of public awareness. Join the auditions and good luck!!
What the labels are looking for?
Of course beside the music talent and skills, are certain other qualities in an artiste which attracts the labels, even sometimes more than the talent! Don't forget that, for a record label which wants to sign you, there's nothing "hotter" than your personality and faithfulness! These 2 would make the record companies to want you instantly!! The reason is that these companies have to look at a long term investment that for years they will keep investing their reputation, time, money and energy on you and they need to make sure when they push you to be a successful artiste, you will still be there for them! For sure there is a contract which helps them to feel insured about it but should keep in mind that this is a creative process and nobody wants to have any force in this journey! So, before joining the company, make sure you had made your decision and you are ready for dedication and hard work! You are not the only talented person on the earth and the competition is tight! Need to work hard for it! You cannot give up half way.
The other thing the companies are looking for is market value. Each artiste would gain a certain amount of market value during their career. It's all about their image and how they carry themselves. These small facts can make a huge difference in this industry. Make sure at least don't do anything abnormally weird at keep it in the safe zone!
What to do during audition?
Had you heard of elevator pitch? Well, singing audition is your chance to convince a company that it is not a waste to spend a lot of time and money on you! But yet you don't have much time to convince them! Usually the auditions are 5 to 10 minutes, they will spend the first few minutes interviewing you, just like a job interview. This is your main chance. As I mentioned earlier, your personality is more important than your talent because if they like who you are, they mostly don't mind spending a bit more on you and get you a coach and train your skills!
After the short interview, usually you proceed to the reason you are there for, singing! Most of the auditions in music industry are acapella, which means there is no background music and its purely about you and how you sing! Mostly they will ask you to sing 2 songs. Choose the right songs which fits your voice the best. Not too hard that would make it risky, yet not too easy that everyone can sing. Pick the songs that while they're in your comfort zone, yet they show off your talent and skill. Don't need to sing the whole song to make yourself tired and make them bored! Best is to jump into the chorus of the song and just sing a sweet 20-30 seconds of each of your 2 songs.
One other important note is that always have at least one extra song prepared, incase if they want to hear more.
Usually the audition is happening when at least one music producer is sitting there and listing. Don't forget these guys are professionals and the moment you sing the first few words they know your level and they already had made their decisions.