While it might not seem that much has changed since the inception of the record industry, much has in fact changed. Where once record labels ruled the roost, they are now the best-kept secret in an industry that is still dominated by one or two large labels.
If you’ve ever considered the idea of starting your own record label, then this article is for you. We are going to run down the ins and outs of how you can start a record label in record labels, step-by-step, so that you can craft your own musical legacy and leave the big dogs in the dust.
Before you begin, you need to do some basic research into the business of record labels. The first step is to identify the need for a record label. You might think you can find a mate or partner to help you build your label, but in reality, you are much more likely to end up suffering from musical crushes that turn into a lawsuit. Even with the best of intentions, sometimes things just don’t work out as planned. What is certain is that you will end up spending a lot of money, probably more than you can afford, on lawyers, and in the end, it’s probably not what you want anyway.
Once you have determined that you need a record label, it’s time to move on to the next step. This step is surprisingly simple, but it’s important to remember. All you need to do is find some vinyl and a turntable. Yes, turntables still have a place in the industry, how cool is that? If you think that vinyl is only for old people or hippies, then you have another think coming. With the right equipment and a little bit of know-how, even the most ardent raver will be able to enjoy their vinyl again. Believe it or not, many people still prefer to listen to records rather than mp3s or streaming music services. Streaming music has become so popular that many people can’t even remember the days when music was primarily heard on vinyl. In the same way that the telephone changed the way people communicate, the vinyl record changed the way people listen to and interact with music. While it might not seem like much has changed since the day records were first pressed, just about everything has changed thanks to technology.
How To Start A Record Label In Record Labels
Now that you have your vinyl and your turntable, it’s time to put them to use. First, you need to identify the type of music you want to put out. Are you going for a classic album vibe? Is hip-hop your thing? Do you want to specialize in one particular artist? The answer to these questions will help determine what type of label you want to start. Also, keep in mind that you will be limited by the amount of vinyl you have. If you are starting a hip-hop label, you might find that you have quite a bit of competition since the majority of turntables are currently tuned to that frequency. Are you going for a classic album vibe? You will likely have fewer problems in that regard.
Getting vinyl might sound easy enough, but in reality, it can be quite the hunt. You will either have to go through a friend or acquaintance who owns a record store or find a way to get a hold of records through a vinyl club. Either way, you will need to do some research before making any phone calls. Once you have the vinyl, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Choose A Name
Now that you have vinyl, it’s time to choose a name for your record label. Take your time and think of a name that will be memorable and representative of your sound. Do some research and see if there are any other record labels with the same name as you want to avoid a conflict. Once you have a name, it’s time to register it with the federal government. The process of registering a name with the government is relatively easy and a required part of starting a record label. Just make sure that the name you choose is not already registered by any other entity. If it is, then you will have to choose a different name. Once you have registered the name with the federal government, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Setting Up Shop
Once you have registered your name with the government, it’s time to set up shop. As part of the setup process, you will need to rent a storefront in a relatively high-traffic location. Since you will be handling monetary transactions, it would be wise to secure a business license and set up a bank account. If you can afford it, hire some help to set up shop. There are plenty of online services that can help with this process. Once you have your storefront and have set up your bank account, it’s time to move on to the next step.
The final step in the process of starting a record label is to press some records. Now, if you are looking to press a large number of records, then you should probably hire someone to help you. Just make sure that they have the correct licensing and aren’t going to steal your idea and call themselves something different. Since you will be handling the actual pressing of the records, you might want to invest in some good equipment. Many record labels start off using lathes that were originally designed for car manufacturing. These days, most major record labels use hydraulic presses or hand-cranked analog machines. Regardless of the equipment you end up using, make sure that you practice on some vinyl before actually pressing records. In total, the process of starting a record label can be very tedious and time-consuming, but it is also extremely rewarding. Once you have your own record label, you can finally fulfill your musical dreams and create a legacy that will live on for generations to come.