Handling rejection from record labels

music business“I just don’t think I could handle that kind of rejection!” — George McFly

It’s an unavoidable part of the music business: Sometimes, you’re going to get rejected by agents, publishers, labels, or promoters… or possibly even by fans. And, like McFly, nobody enjoys having it happen. However, it’s part of the fame game, and you’re going to have to learn to take rejections if you’re going to make it as an indie artist.

Don’t Let Rejections Get You Down In The Music Business!

1 – Don’t let ’em see you squirm.

If it’s an in-person rejection, take it with good grace. ANY negative reaction will ultimately reflect badly on you, since music industry execs talk among themselves. Even if you’re crying on the inside, keep that fake smile plastered on until you’re alone.

2 – Don’t complain on social media.

It’s tempting, since we complain about everything else on social media. However, it’s creating a permanent record, and online temper tantrums can easily come back to haunt you. Further, execs researching you might see a string of rejection reports and decide it means you’re unsuitable.

3 – Pause and reflect.

A rejection will often come with honest critiques of your music and style. Labels or managers aren’t trying to be insulting, they’re telling you what (they think) you need to do to succeed. Consider their advice, especially if they say you need more training. If, for example, someone suggests you take voice lessons, it’s probably a good idea.

4 – Look for better fits.

There are thousands of labels active around the world. Did you pitch yourself to one that would be a good fit for your music? Survey the scene, and look to target labels whose output is already similar to your own. They are more likely to be receptive.

5 – Never give up! Never surrender!

As long as you enjoy making music, no rejection should ever change your mind. Keep growing, keep learning, and keep making new tracks!

Do you have any good stories of overcoming rejection that might inspire your fellow artist in the music business?

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