Send your press kit to the top agents in the genre you want to work in (rock, R&B, rap). Inform the agent that you are only interested in Columbia. The agent serves as a liaison between you and Columbia and is critical to getting your foot in the door. Each agent has their own list of candidates they think is worth pursuing and they will put your package in front of those people. Sometimes artists come out of nowhere and hit it big, other times not so much. But if you're looking to start out in the industry then Columbia is where you need to be.
In addition to sending off your press kit, you should also send over some material that shows what kind of artist you are (demos, full-length albums, etc.). If someone at Columbia likes what they see then maybe they'll give you a call. But usually there's a manager or agent involved to help promote you.
Getting signed to Columbia is no easy task though. They don't just sign anyone who sends them a letter. They want to make sure you can sell records before giving you a deal. And even after you have sold some records they may or may not continue with you. It's all about making money for these companies, so don't expect to get signed to Columbia and then be flown out to California right away to record an album. That's not how it works.
Continue to check in on your situation with Columbia on a regular basis. Request that your agent submit enquiries every week to verify that Columbia is still aware of your interest. Some of the label's finest and most successful musicians are there due of consistent hard effort, not because of exceptional skill. Hire a lawyer who is familiar with the entertainment business. They could help you negotiate a better contract or advise you on how to proceed if you reach an impasse with Columbia.
Record Labels Want to Hear Your Music
Sony Music Entertainment's Columbia Records is a leading record label. Its roster includes some of the most recognized names in music history, such as Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, and Bruce Springsteen, as well as some of the world's best cutting-edge musicians, such as Calvin Harris, Rosalia, and Koffee.
Columbia was founded in 1890 by Austrian Jewish immigrant Adolph S. Goldschmidt who wanted to provide good quality recording equipment at affordable prices. In 1951, CBS purchased Columbia for $18 million in cash and stock, making it the first major acquisition by an American entertainment company. In 1990, CBS split its media properties into six separate companies, including one that kept the Columbia name and logo. In 1999, Sony bought Columbia for $300 million.
Even before he started his own band, Bob Dylan was involved in other people's songs. When he was just 19 years old, he wrote a song called "Talking New York Town" for singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie. After that, they worked together on more songs, and in 1947 they released an album called The Huntington Hartford Sessions that included recordings of those songs plus others that hadn't made it onto the album. Bob Dylan also contributed songs to various albums by other singers including John Lewis' 1964 album Sweet Soul Music which included two of Dylan's songs: "Oh, Sister" and "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down".
Make it yours. Being new, fresh, and unquestionably amazing at your music is the only way to secure a record contract. Choose your strategy. It's ideal to have a submission to such a large label done by either an entertainment lawyer or a well-known agency. But if you have connections, they could help as well.
There are two ways to go about getting signed: one is through a major label, which means going out and trying to get signed to someone's division. The other is through a independent label, which means having no connection to any major label and being able to negotiate your own terms. Most artists choose independently because it gives them more control over their career but there are advantages to being on a major label too. One of the biggest reasons many artists choose a major label is because they know they will likely be given some sort of promotion by the label after they sign, which can lead to more attention from fans and potential buyers of music.
The first thing you need to do is make a great album. No matter what kind of record you make, people will not buy it unless they love it. So make sure that you love what you do before you put it out into the world!
After you've made your album, it's time to start looking for a label. There are many different companies that put out records today so you'll want to search around until you find one that feels right.