In the realm of music, there are many injustices that an artist will sometimes face.
Like signing a record contract that has terms which only benefit the label or obtaining a record deal but getting shelved and not having the chance to ever release an album.
But probably one of the biggest injustices for the wannabe professional musician is being extremely good at their craft, but never being discovered or never having the chance to get their music properly exposed -- because let’s face it, being able to post your music on say SoundCloud or Bandcamp is great, but there’s still a certain amount of randomness in terms of getting people to really pay attention.
The other problem with many music posting sites, is the fact that it’s still hard for artists to get their songs heard by labels, managers or just people in the music industry who can possibly put some dollars behind your songs to get them marketed and heard.
Well, a new site has emerged that sets out to do what the Bandcamps of the Internet world aren’t able to do, by allowing artists to post music so songs can possibly be heard by record executives.
Creators of the site says it has direct connections to A&R reps, who seek out and sign talent, and if your music is played a lot on the site, your song is immediately reviewed by a label and you could possible get signed to a contract.
The site we’re talking about is Chartburst.com, and it gives artists of many different genres of music the opportunity to build a fan base, and also lets record companies know if that fan base ever swells to a significant size.
The way it works is that artists choose what musical chart they want to post a song in, whether it’s Dance music, Folk, Rock, Country, Pop, Hip-Hop, World, Acoustic or Indie.
From there you simply upload your track of choice, in hopes that it will be played enough to be number one through five on that particular chart.
If your song does in fact reach the top 5, it will automatically be sent to record label A&R reps, who the company says work with the site and monitor the charts to see who’s currently buzzing among music fans.
Chartburst also says the A&Rs who work with the site are currently looking for acts, and even if they choose not to sign you to a deal, they’ll provide feedback on what to tweak, so you could possibly make that final leap from an independent artist to a signed one.
On the homepage of the site, are the company logos of Columbia, Sony, Warner and Interscope, which suggests these are the record labels that Chartburst works with. Users will also be connected to artist management companies and other people in the industry like major producers, says the company.
$5 a month
To use the site, it’ll cost you $5 a month, which seems like a good buy, assuming Chartburst works the way the company says it does.
And the fact that you can post songs to a specific chart of music, instead of having to compete with all artist from all genres, it allows your music to better stand out and reach the fans and industry people who really know and appreciate your particular genre of music.
For those artists who have posted their music on YouTube, and feel their video is just one of an infinite amount, they’re right -- so using a site like Chartburst may increase your chances of getting some notoriety, says the company, since it singles out your songs from other musical categories, where it could potentially get lost and ignored by the fans who don’t like your genre.
Resets the chart
The site says it resets each chart every two weeks, so every user has a chance to make the top five. If your music is on the top five for two weeks, it will be removed and given the opportunity to make it back there again, but the company says you can still be contacted by an A&R rep within two weeks of your song initially charting, which is really cool if it actually happens that way.
The Chartburst site and its marketing angle heavily focus on people getting a record deal or at least getting feedback from a label and being mentored.
Although that could certainly be true, anyone that’s had serious musical pursuits knows that getting a record deal has a lot to do with inside connections, and who you know as opposed to the level of one’s sheer talent.
Also, labels rarely want to take a risk these days and sign an artist who doesn’t already have a large buzz, so the idea that you’ll be signed because your song is on the Chartburst site for a couple of weeks seems to be a long shot to say the least.
And as far as the artist mentoring part, those days simply don’t exist anymore.
Back in the day, I would say as recently as 15 years ago, a label may take a liking to an artist, help develop him or her and then slowly introduce that artist to the masses, but not anymore.
Artists getting signed just for the sake of their good music these days is an outdated concept, for the mere fact industry politics and money seem to be more important these days, and each record exec already has a list of 20 people they could potentially sign already.
Still need to promote
Another negative of the site, is the fact that artists still have to promote their music in order for it to chart, which is the whole idea of using the website, as just promoting yourself to your personal friends on Facebook and Twitter may not be enough for you to get that coveted one through five spot.
Also, what the site fails to mention is that A&R reps aren’t on the big hunt for artists as many people think they are, since there's always a talented musician with an underground buzz somewhere, so it's not that hard for them.
Additionally, a large portion of their job is to shape the projects from the artists that are already on the label's roster, which takes up a huge part of an A&Rs time.
But don’t get me wrong, Chartburst sounds like a great idea, and for $5 a month, it’s not that much of a risk to give it a shot, but be sure you’re willing to wear both your marketing hat as well as your musician hat, and also prepare yourself for not getting noticed at all by a record company exec at all.
Because being discovered out of the clear blue by a label is a longer shot than one that's heaved from half-court.