There's an argument to be made that there are too many record labels these days. Regardless of your stance on it, starting a record label is serious business, especially if you want it to succeed. There is also a saying that goes something like "hindsight is 20/20." If you have ever had the inclination to start your own label, perhaps German duo Tube & Berger can give you a handful of tips that they've learned over the years. Below, they provide the 5 most important things they've learned since starting their own label Kitball back in 2006.
1. Listen to all demos
Sometimes demo emails pile up and seem like an incredible task to finish. But many times, the "diamond" that you were searching for was about the last demo out of 100 emails, so digging through all those messages is always worth it. That's why all demos are being listened to at Kittball, even though unfortunately we may not find the time to give proper feedback or reply.
2. You lose yourself without a checklist
Handling a label next to your DJ career, family life and private life can be exhausting. Especially if you just hop from one task to another without an order. For us, the key is to write down our tasks and attack them one after another. Don't procrastinate and stay focussed.
3. Evaluate your releases
After having a couple of releases out, make sure to evaluate these on how they performed on all channels. Try to find out why some performed better than others and then compare if the better ones have some similarities. Knowing what your audience likes is key and we feel that if you have a clear picture of this, you know what to focus on while digging through demos. For us, this significantly helped to release music that cut through the noise.
4. A musical direction is not set in stone
Your musical taste will change over time. So does the musical taste of your fans. It's not worth sticking to a certain sound, just because it fits with previous releases. Releasing a musical style you don't even like (anymore) means handling a label without passion. This won't fulfil you, and we're pretty sure that your fans will notice it if you're not really standing behind what you're doing. Change up some things after a while, we feel that's how you grow.hb
5. Find a family-like team
It's cool to be the boss, but it's not cool if you have no colleagues to talk to.
Doing everything alone may work for some people, for us, it was frustrating and simply not efficient. Getting a second opinion, exchanging thoughts about certain tracks, trends and a creative vision is great to do as a team. Think Swarm intelligence :)
Grab their latest release here.