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Running a Small Record Label During Quarantine

By Paul D Houston

It sucks, to be honest. Sales are down, bills are being pushed back, put on credit, and just having to eat it. But, artists and musicians are having it much worse. They were hoping to get there music out there, play shows and dream of making their next album or ep! In times of world crisis, the arts always takes a beating, history tells us that.

This label is consolidating our reserves and waiting for that full glimmer of the sun again, before making a move. But, there are a lot of bands and musicians out there, breaking at the seams, wanting to get their music out there. As a label, I sometimes don't know what to tell them, other than, I can't do shit right now. With people spending less money, shops not fully open and operational... Distribution channels not functioning completely... it's tough for everyone in the music industry right now.

While every successful story has different details, I think right now, every artist, every band should take this time of relative solitude and refine the fuck out of their sound. I'm still being inundated with bands that half-assed their demos or recordings and expect this piece of shit label to spend their basic ass budget on it!?

On the flip side, I'm also seeing true gems, true works of innovation and ingenuity being pushed back and put back in their boxes. And for these things, I don't know what to say... I'm saddened and at a loss for words. It's a tragedy of sorts...

So a few quick notes for every artist or band to pay attention to right now, when submitting to labels or people you want to distribute your music...

  1. Hard Work is obvious. We may not like the final product, but hard work is obvious. As is talent. Some lucky bastards can put the least amount of work into something and it's just genius. Most of us though, have to work at it. I can hear when you don't really give a shit wether you're music is a success or not.

  2. Videos are awesome. With our phones nowadays, fucking just point, press that red button to record and get an app for your phone, tablet or computer that can cut up and edit that footage. Attach your mp3 or wav file to the footage and submit. Interesting videos with not so interesting music can keep us watching and listening.

  3. Small labels can't do everything for you. There's just too much competition out there. To much to see and hear. It's a slow grind for us nobodies, but you have to grind also. And its ok to fail and be rejected! None of us are perfect. Nope.

  4. With the grind, must come patience. Having innate Superstar talent is awesome, but they don't pass that around at the buffet. Just build those blocks. As many as you can, over and over...

  5. Be nice. Seriously, you ain't shit. I ain't shit, let's just be friends. Friends do things for each other.

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