Vinyl Record In A Paper Case

Dos and Don’ts of Demo Submission

{Editor’s Note: This blog was written by Thomas Sontag, A&R at Turbo Recordings and MixGenius. It was originally featured on the LANDR Blog. With LANDR’s Instant Mastering tool, you can give your recordings a more polished sound in minutes!]

During my eight-year tenure at Turbo Recordings, I would guess that I’ve received over 50,000 demos, and personally listened to a total of about 200,000 songs, some of them in their entirety. It’s been a rewarding process that has led to some big signings: unsolicited demos are how we discovered great artists like Gesaffelstein, Proxy, Popof, and Clouds, to name a few.

From my experience, I can suggest a few basic dos and don’ts to keep in mind when sending your demo to labels. Let’s start with what NOT to do:


  • Send CDs, WAVs, or even MP3 downloads without first sending a stream. Soundcloud is a perfect way for A&Rs to preview your work without having to download-and-delete endlessly.
  • Talk about how your songs are unfinished. It’s ok if the mix isn’t final, but ultimately, an A&R needs to know that you can finish tracks.
  • Send mass emails to labels or share your Soundcloud with loads of labels at once. Think carefully about who would appreciate your music and hit them one by one. Make them feel special, or at least unique in their burden.
  • Apologize for tracks being unmastered. LANDR is perfect for this application.
  • Presume that your sound is a perfect fit for a label. Chances are that an A&R will see your work as imitative.
  • Talk about your age, unless you’re under 20. If it’s not a wow-factor asset, then it’s not going to help you. No one is looking to corner the market on 38-year-old producers.
  • Send more than three tracks at once unless you feel certain you have an album that you want to pitch as a whole. Ideally, send ONE amazing track and then wait for a follow-up.
  • Say too much. Preserve mystery.


  • Contextualize your work briefly. It helps to know how an artist sees their work fitting in and what their aspirations might be.
  • Keep e-mail file size to a minimum.
  • Show signs of creative life when it comes to the visual representation of your work. A mood-board helps build the narrative and makes the listening experience memorable.
  • Having self-made videos can help make your work seem more ‘finished’ as a product, although the quality may make or break the first impression.
  • Use Soundcloud streams. It’s the easiest way to preview material.
  • If you’re not confident in the balance, loudness, or overall quality of your mix, LANDR is an easy and free way to improve the sound quality.
  • Flattery might help if it’s heartfelt. Showing you really know and love what a label is about can’t hurt your chances.
  • If you have had support from big names, or have played at major events, it helps to mention them… as long as the names are credible.
  • This may be obvious, but great artist and track names matter. They’re an important expression of your persona and can create pre-judgments from listeners that may be hard to overcome. So back to the drawing board, ‘Soulstep X-Pressions’…
  • Trojan

    I like dat

  • Trojan

    its great!

  • JBlingCity

    Nice Sound! Sounds Great!

  • The JBlingCity Band


    my name is Jason. I am the frontman of the band ” JBLINGCITY ” based out of St.Louis, Missouri. I came across your ( Free Blog Submission ) posted on your Twitter Page.

    We’re a independent hip hop band that is currently unsigned. The members of the band are Vocalist: Jason Harris & Electric Violinist / Keys; Ron Vince. All of our music in original, clean, inspirational, fully orchestrated, copy written, and published through Cd baby, iTunes, Google Play etc. We are currently getting radio play in Miami FL. on WKMTDB “DaGr8fm”, and had call requested on K-100 Radio in Atlanta, GA.

    It would be a pleasure to have the opportunity to submit our band’s information to you, in hopes of getting free radio play, promo/publicity, and websites reviews.

    Below we have our band’s Website, EPK, Twitter Page, Facebook Fan Page, Photos, and short bio.

    Thank you for your time, and hope to talk to you soon.

    Jason D.Harris

    Short Bio :
    The JBlingCity Band was founded in August 2013. Jason Harris, aka JBling found Ron Vince on the LINKEDIN website. Jason was looking for another talented musician to collaborate and write original music with. Thus the band was created ! Our innovative style of music is inspirational, and our out of the box thinking should set us apart. We don’t believe that profanity and disrespecting women is the way to go…instead we chose the high road with our own brand of inspirational Hip-Hop. This music is fully orchestrated, complex and mind provoking. Jason is the frontman for the group and Ron is the Electric Violinist/Keyboardist. All music is co-written and co- produced in our own studio. All of our songs can be found on iTunes under the band name JBLINGCITY. Come and join our vision, and get to know our band !

    Website Links / Personal Social Media Links: & or

    Band Member: Frontman / lyricist / music producer – Jason Harris, and Electric Violinist / Keys / music producer: Ron Vince

  • Srebrina Mincheva

    LANDR is not free mind you…..