David aka trisco from i:Vibes, took it one step further, and establised CP Recordings. He tells you what he had to do to get the label off the ground. Good information if you want to start your own label.
Make sure you visit the CP Recordings site here.
Record Label set up.
#1: The Idea & Alliance.
I can imagine that every person involved in the scene has said, “Wouldn’t it be cool, to run a record label”. It’s a bit of a journey to go from that initial thought to actually getting started! Time is the key factor, from the development of the idea, to business set up, to promotion – each stage has to be planned to coincide with each other. Generally there is quite a lot of work involved, so ideally there should be a small group of people to run certain aspects of the label. Within CP, there are three of us, who have been good friends for years – each tailored to a different aspect. I personally deal with the track signing & selection, promotional work, and deal with Simon –the main man for us over at Unique Distribution. Philip Windsor deals with the legal aspect and company set-up, finances etc, and the third man behind it all, Andy Thelwell, deals with web design – and he is my second opinion as far as track selection is concerned. There was a fourth guy, who we were originally going to set up with: Tim Harley, manager of Zone Recordings – but due to his year emigration to Australia, we cant! – but major thanks to him as he has been a major advisor for us.
#2: The Tracks.
Probably the most important, you need the material. We had developed a good relationship with the Flash Brothers and were helping them have their unsigned material passed around to reputable labels. Prior to receiving the tracks we realised that only quality was going to come through our door. Once receiving them I had the thought of starting up the label purely because the music was really pushing what I liked. It was a totally fresh sound –with such a broad variation at the same time. All the tracks would work well in a variety of environments.
From there on, tracks can come from anywhere. Sometimes you are after a specific sound –where you can pinpoint a certain producer and have them develop it. On the other hand, you can be approached with material – which sometimes can be worthwhile.
After the Flash Brothers, I was quick to approach Nash T – who I had kept in touch with from my interview on non other than i:Vibes! He had sent me a track which he had produced for Australian indie /rock band: Halogen. The track was amazing, therefore we could not let it go amiss.
Then to round it off, we had some material sent from Paul Lancaster – which was pretty cool with a different aspect that we wanted to push. For the remix we asked Mark Pappas and the Tigerhook boys as we were loving their sound!
#3: The Distribution.
Armed with the tracks, we had to find a distributor to promote our music and sell it! The most ideal way to do this is to send out material to a variety of distributors. Our tracks mainly focussed on Flash Brothers & Shmuel Flash, but we layed down other intentions for the future, regarding our collaborations. Unique offered us what is a P+D deal. They basically press the record and distribute in one package for a % of profit, which is the best way to get a new label up and running. The distributor has to like your music – as they are often involved with many different projects – they are the busiest men on earth it seems!
When a P+D has been accepted, then you have the challenge of financing the whole operation. This part can be quite a step in the dark, as generally you have to do some shopping for quotes on specific tracks. This is a major variable – but sometimes a necessity, as you want to set out an example of what you are releasing! Then on top you have finances to distribute between: company setup, mailing, materials (cd promos ect), stationary, flyers and the big one: manufacturing! – it pays to have 3 people involved!
#5: The Releases & Promotion
Once all the tracks have been signed, you are ready to get your first release down to the distributor. From there, they run you off 10 Test Presses – which you get 9 back, to distribute whichever way you want. Generally id say the artist gets a copy and the remixer. From there, you have about 300 white labels – which mainly go to your distributor for such purposes as: promotion etc, but in the mean time you can create your own promotion by mailing promo cds to major DJ’s, reviewers, web sites, record shops – all the advertising possible. Free promotion can be gained from supportive web sites and chart publications. Promotion lasts between 6-8 weeks. You need to get this right, as it can be a big boost to record sales in the latter (So I’m told!) Later on you are ready for the full release, it varies on the amount pressed – it mainly goes on how well promotion does and the stature of the label –with being new the aim is to have a limited number – but make sure you try and sell them all!
#6: The Sales
We are eagerly awaiting!
#7: The Overlap
To keep a good existence in the market, your release should overlap roughly every four weeks. This keeps your name alive and provides some fresh music in the scene.
Read the first review of the first release!!
CP Recordings official site