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What Steps to Create a Label?

Member for

19 years 7 months
Hi Folks,

My business partner and I are finally going to create our own record label, and we're having a hell of time finding information on registration, etc. Anybody have any insight that may help us out? Perhaps some internet links, or maybe phone numbers, addresses. . . ? Anything you can offer to help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks


Member for

21 years 2 months

archived member Mon, 11/10/2003 - 10:17

I just started reading on the subject as well as I plan to start my own little indie label specialising in the modern jazz/avantgarde/improv area of music (Iknow. I know; how f±ckin narrow can you go... but it's what I do best!) Anyway; there seems to be a few good books out there. ( I like books 'cause you can always refeer to them more easily whenever you need some adwise on whatever).
I just read Daylle Deanna Schwartz's book "start and run your own record label".
(ISBN 0-8230-7924-4)
It came out in '98 so it's very outdated on the "using the internet" section, but all in all it's a straightforward guide to how much shit you have to put in it to it to get the gold out of there... (Don't know the shit:gold ratio yet, but it seems pretty steep!))

I think theres a book from Virgin as well out there with loads of info on contract and stuff.

What kind of style are you planning to release?

Stian :w:

Member for

19 years 7 months

Gary Gidak Thu, 11/13/2003 - 08:42
Hey Stian,

Thanks for the reply. We're actually going to go as broad as possible, and include as many artists/genres as we can realistically take care of. Right now we're trying to get our trademark taken care of (registering and all that), which is turning out to be very expensive. Next, we start drawing up contracts with a very reputable entertainment attorney from Nashville - this is also proving to be quite expensive, but I'm convinced it will be worth the pay-out in the long run. I've often heard, "You get what you pay for", but I believe it should really read, "You pay for what you get." I think the latter is more accurate in the scope of how things work.

Anyway, we have a dynamite artist out of Bakersfield, CA who is extremely talented, and very dedicated. She's going to be our first. We've already recorded the first single, shot and edited a music video, and started getting our marketing direction in focus. The actual creative process comes pretty naturally to us, but the legal/paperwork stuff is a major pain in the arse! I can't wait until this first one is finished. I think all subsequent deals will be quite a bit easier. Good luck to you in your endeavor. I hope we both become great successes.

Member for

21 years 2 months

archived member Fri, 11/14/2003 - 09:29

Man, that sounds great!

"I've often heard, "You get what you pay for", but I believe it should really read, "You pay for what you get." I think the latter is more accurate in the scope of how things work."

I couldn't have said it better myself. It is so true! When you start making "friends" with the law people and people who "move paper around buildings" thats when the bank account starts to look like it should cut down on the sallad and set up an account with McDonalds instead...

Anyway; It looks like you guys are jumping head first into it, and I wish you all the best of luck. Watch that budget though. ; )

I've got a few questions though, these are sort of things that I'm still putting alot of attention into these days so that when I launch I have a whole package;

How are you guys gonna "brand" your label with that wide genre thing?

Are you signing people who are gigging or just the normal pop-i've- never-been-on-stage-but-I-can-really-sing-and-I've-got-talent sort of people? If the latter; What kind of promo strategies have you got?

Hope I don't seem negative, but with all the big companies who spend big $$ It's defintely something we on the smaller scale should think about. I honestly think that indies have a big advantage in the fact that we can "move quickly" and go more with the flow (or even better create small waves ourselves). But if the whole package isn't there, who will take it seriously...
I personally also think it's a + if one does one genre/style or whatever and really sticks with it becoming the absolute best/most interesting in that niche. Ofcourse this boils down to money again and how much you can spend on advertising, especially if you're not signing touring musicians...

Sorry if I seem negative, and I don't disagree with where you guys are going, not at all. I'm just a born sceptic.

What's your viewpoint?

Good luck with all the paperwork, hope you guys don't find it too demoralising. ;)

All the best!


Member for

19 years 7 months

Gary Gidak Fri, 11/14/2003 - 14:44
O.K., let me see if I can answer your questions:

We had a logo professionally designed by a graphic design firm. They chose colors and shapes that integrated our ideas into a "modern" design. My partner wanted a "cowboy" look for the studio, which is cool, but we're doing a more contemporary design for the label. I'm sorry to be so vague, but I don't want to give out too much information until the trademark is secured.

We are only signing artists who are currently gigging. Young, talented, cute, and spot-on with their abilities. If they've never gigged, we're just bringing them in to do session work with the more experienced folks.

As far as marketing is concerned, we're doing a lot of web work, word of mouth, footwork, etc. . . until we get the financial backing we need to do it right.

I am a believer in giving it a try. I'm my own worse critic, and I tear myself down on occassion, but I've never feared the unknown. If we fall on our faces - oh well. It's like I used to tell daughter when she was playing high school basketball, "You might miss a few shots that you try, but you'll definitely miss all that you don't attempt."