For all of us there comes the make or break moment, when we submit our beats and are waiting for feedback. Statistically more beats get rejected than you get someone calling you to pick it, but the process can be very frustrating, so keep the following in mind when the artist or A&R rejects your beats…
Not the right style
Put in the effort to research what beats the artists works with and what he’s looking for right now. It’s obvious, but so many producers simply send out out their best beats and think the quality of it will convince the artist. But whats the use of sending Nas a trap beat or Lil Yachty a boom bap track? Zero, exaclty… Do your homework!
Not the same vision
If you’re a proper producer, you know exaclty how the track should be performed by the artist. To increase your chances of your track being picked up, do everything you can to deliver a finished product to the artist or A&R of choice. This way they can clearly see your vision for the track. This could mean to include a chorus idea or some scratch lyrics. These things grealty help the artist to realize the full potential of the song and what they need to to add to it.
Too many tags
Artists get tons of beats and you might have 10-20 seconds to make an impression if you’re lucky. Don’t start with blasting your annoying producer tag over the complete beat. The artist won’t steal your beat, but he sure as hell won’t feel it’s his track either. Hearing your name constantly repeat over a hot beat won’t make him get ideas what to record over it. Instead include your contact info prominently in the meta data of the submitted mp3 and the email you send out. If you’re afraid people steal your beats, make sure you copyright them properly instead of over tagging them with producer tags.
Samples are hard to clear
They might love your beat, but if it features a sample from a band or musician that’s notoriously hard on clearing their samples, then the artist might not be interested in going down that road and prefer to avoid dealing with sample clearance issues. If you feel that might be the case, it’s often a good idea to work with some skilled musicians and replay the sample to avoid legal problems for the artist in the future.
This one is obvious. If you’re a hot producer but don’t have the engineering skills to match, you’ll run into problems. Team up with a good engineer and have him mix down your tracks before you submit them to artists. Labels and studios use high quality speakers and headphones and having a professionally mixed down track makes you stand out from a lot of bedroom producers. It also has the added benefit, that the artist could instantly record to it if he’s in the mood.
Unless the artist is looking for a 90s boom bap type beat, it;s not a good idea to submit beats that sound dated. What was hot last year, isn’t hot this year anymore. That doesn’t mean you should shelf older beats – it all depends on your producing approach. If you have a signature sound, you will naturally evolve it. But if you buy sample packs of “hot trap music”, you better not buy the ones that were released two years ago, because every other producer sounded like it last year and no artist will pick up these sort of dated beats.
Didn’t even listen
Last but not least, the artist’s email account will have been flooded with producers trying to place beats. Maybe your beat just got lost in the crowd. The only way to avoid this is to build a relationship with the artist or his manager beforehand. Think longterm. Don’t burn bridges if an artist doesn’t like your beats. Ask if they have advice for you or how else you can help them. Try to keep a conversation going and next time they are looking for beats, they will remember your name and give you another chance.
Placing your beats comes down to following a few key rules and then showing patience & persistence. Making sure your beat doesn’t fall into the above traps, greatly improves your chances getting your music out there. Plus there is always a pinch of luck and timing involved, so don’t give up!