You’ve spent day and night working on your music. You’re ready to launch. The only thing standing between you and the ultimate success is a record label to release your single.
The key to getting signed to any Independent Record Labels is knowing which labels are actively looking for new talent, and reaching out with a demo that lights up their radar.
Sure, you could have your team scout out labels through industry directories, but why not get ahead of the game by seeking out independent record labels that are ready to make a deal (and not just talk)?
In this article, we’ll cover seven independent label options who are open to signing new acts right now! From hip-hop and EDM to alternative rock and pop music, these labels are on the hunt for unique sounds – so don’t miss your shot at getting noticed by some of the industry’s hottest players.
Table of Contents
What Are Independent Record Labels?
If you’re a musician looking for your next big break, you’ve probably heard of record labels—but what about independent record labels?
An independent record label is a label that’s not tied to any major corporation or conglomerate. They are usually small or midsize companies that specialize in creating and nurturing new music talent. These labels often have a wider range of musical genres than the big-name companies, giving artists a more diverse and unique sound.
The benefits of signing with an independent record labels are numerous.
First and foremost, they tend to be far more open to taking risks on new talent than larger labels since they don’t have the costs associated with those massive organizations. They also don’t require any long-term commitments—you can sign with them on a project-by-project basis, giving you more control over your career as an artist.
Finally, they often provide one-on-one guidance and attention to their artists, allowing for more personalized mentorship and overall growth as a musician.
That being said, it’s important to research which independent Record Label is right for you before signing anything—which is why we’ve put together this guide outlining seven great independent record labels vying for your attention!
7 Top Independent Record Labels looking for Artists to Sign 2023
Ready to start shopping around for the right label to sign you? We’ve rounded up a few of the most reputable and buzzing Independent Record Labels currently on the lookout for new artists.
- Carpark Records: Todd Hyman founded an independent record label in 1999 with headquarters in Washington, D.C. Beach House, an American musical duo nominated for 2019 Sweden GAFFA Awards, is well-known for their success. Also well-known for signing Toro y Moi who featured Travis Scott on several songs. With an impressive roster already in place, Carpark Records has been signing emerging talent since 2012 and is a great option for those seeking more autonomy early on in their career.
- Cleopatra Records: The independent record label with headquarters in Los Angeles is renowned for its numerous releases of notable live and studio albums by some of the top country music stars in the US like UK Subs, The Exploited, Brian Eno, The Prophetess and many more artist . They are constantly looking for new, unique talent to add to their extensive catalog of artists. Simply click the link to their website to submit a demo to Cleopatra Record.
- Island Records: You could assume that Island Records is the best independent record label available after taking a quick look at their lineup. Yet, despite having a long list of well-known musicians, their roots remain firmly indie. The Universal Music Group subsidiary Island was established in Jamaica in 1959 and later merged with Def Jam Recordings. Despite having Jamaican beginnings, they have evolved into a multi-genre powerhouse with both well-known and undiscovered artists. Follow this instruction for Demo submission.
- Nightclub Records: A newer player in the game, Nightclub Records has been bringing attention to emerging artists since 2019. With an emphasis on pop and hip hop, they have their finger firmly on the pulse of what’s popular right now.
- Glassnote Records: Since 2007, Glassnote Records has become a preeminent independent record label. It’s no surprise that Glassnote Records has been making excellent artist selections given their portfolio of hot emerging talent. Despite being a relatively new label—it was founded in 2007—it has helped emerging musicians like Mumford & Sons and Childish Gambino become household names. Yet, they are open to signing young talented artist around the world.
- Electric Feel Records: This independent label offers expertise in marketing, promotion, and distribution as well as promoting upcoming talent from around the world. With Post Malone, 24kGoldn, Iann Dior and More, Austin Rosen’s Electric Feel Is a Hitmaking Powerhouse
- Stones Throw: An LA based music operation with a proven track record for discovering unique talent and helping them reach their full potential. They have an impressive list of big artist that should give you plenty of reassurance that they’re worth submitting demo to!
How to get signed by Independent Record Labels in 2023
So you’re ready to take the plunge and get signed to an independent record label, but what does that involve?
Generally, signing with an indie label involves several steps:
- Researching suitable labels: Spend some time looking into which labels might be a good fit for your genre of music and make sure they’ve worked with other similar artists before.
- Building relationships: Reach out to the labels and make sure you demonstrate why you’re the perfect fit for them by sending your work and showing that it can fit their brand. It’s always good to get follow-up emails after you send in your materials as well – don’t be afraid to show initiative!
- Receiving the contract: Once they decide they want to sign you, they’ll negotiate a contract with you – make sure you read it carefully and have any difficult-to-understand parts clarified by a lawyer or another industry expert so you know what exactly is on the table.
- Promoting your work: Whether it’s creating music videos or reaching out to media outlets, independent record labels will generally help promote your work, but in exchange for this help may ask for more of a cut from any sales or streams associated with their promotion efforts.
Whatever label you decide to partner up with, make sure that everyone involved is on board and feels like it’s a mutually beneficial relationship – that’s how great music gets made.
Are you a Music producer? if yes or you trying to start a career as a music producer read here HOW MUCH DO MUSIC PRODUCERS MAKE.
Benefits of Signing With Independent Record Labels
If you’re curious about the benefits of signing with an independent record label, here are a few for you to consider.
Support and Guidance
Independent labels can offer artists more personalized support and guidance than larger labels. These labels often have tight-knit communities of artists, producers and engineers that work together, giving you unique access to people who can help you with your project. Independent labels also give artists more leeway in terms of creative control, allowing them to develop their own sound without the pressure of having to stick to certain conventions.
Signing on with an independent label can be beneficial financially as well. For example, some independents focus on digital-only or limited physical releases, which means less overhead (i.e., no manufacturing or shipping costs). And since independents are often smaller operations, they are more likely to provide better royalty rates compared to major labels — another benefit for artists looking for a greater piece of the pie from their music sales and streams.
By signing with an independent label, you will have the chance to connect with local venues that may not be in contact with larger labels or offer free services like publicity assistance which can help get your music out there faster. This is especially true for smaller indie labels who often have contacts in niche markets that larger majors don’t have access to.
Popular Independent Record Labels in the U.S.
The U.S. is home to many popular independent record labels that are looking for new artists to sign. Let’s take a look at five of the most popular independent labels in the country:
Located in Massachusetts, Deathwish Inc is a punk-rock label that was founded in 2000 and has since released records from many notable bands including Thursday, Converge, Rise Against, and Defeater. They’re open to all kinds of music genres and they usually accept submissions via their website or email address.
Sub Pop Records
If you’re into alternative rock and indie music, then Sub Pop Records might be the one for you. Based in Seattle, Washington, this label has signed some of the most iconic bands in the industry including Nirvana, Wolf Alice, Washed Out and Beach House. They are always looking for new artists that are passionate about making original music so don’t hesitate to submit your music if you think it may be a good fit!
Equal Vision Records
Equal Vision Records is a great option if you’re looking to get exposure within the U.S.. It’s a label based in New York City that’s considered one of the leading independent record labels around today – boasting releases from Every Time I Die, MyChildren MyBride, Circa Survive and more! Submissions can be made through their website or email address.
Epitaph Records is another popular independent label located in Los Angeles with some legendary acts such as Bad Religion and NOFX under its wing. The label mainly focuses on punk-rock but they also have artists from other genres such as
How to Spot a Good Independent Record Label for Your Career
You want to make sure the label you sign with is going to help you build your career. So, how do you spot a good label?
The first thing to look for is an established reputation. Dig into the label’s history and see what kind of releases they put out, who their artists are and how successful they’ve been in the past. This will give you a good indication of whether or not it’s a good fit for your career.
Reasonable terms and conditions
Check out the terms and conditions of working with each label. Is it flexible? Will it give you some creative freedom? Do they have reasonable payment structures in place? Make sure to read the fine print and make sure they aren’t offering anything that doesn’t sit right with you.
When signing with a record label, you want to make sure that you feel like part of a team. Do their past artists have success stories? Do they have strong connections with music venues and press outlets? A record label should work alongside an artist to help them reach new heights—so look for one that takes an active role in developing talent, not just looking for quick cash-ins.
It’s clear that there are more independent record labels than ever before, each with their own specific flavor and style.
If you’re an artist looking to make a name for yourself, there is a label out there that will help you achieve your goals. With a little bit of research and some hustle, you can find the perfect fit for your unique sound.
So don’t be discouraged if you don’t get signed with a major label. The music industry is changing, and it’s now easier than ever for independent artists to get their music out there and be heard. Just make sure to do your research and find the label that will be the best partner for your creative vision and make sure that you’re both on the same page. With the right fit, you can make your dreams come true.