A&R reps also look for artists who are proactive and possess a strong work ethic. In other words Motivation. Will the members of the band continue to work hard at creating own opportunities once they get signed or will they rely entirely on their label to do everything for them? Will they have the endurance to tour relentlessly (200+ shows a year)? Do they have wives, kids, hang-ups, substantial bills, a mountain of debt, drug hang-ups, and other commitments that may inhibit the pursuit of these goals?
Simply put, record labels look for the path of least resistance to ensure that they’ll make a profit from their investments. Most independent artists out there severely underestimate all of the above, and the amount of work and dedication it requires just to be called a professional artist. These trademarks merely show you are a contender not a pretender in the music business. If you’re not doing some of the above items then you should look for ways to do them. It’s also safe to say that if you haven’t been contacted by an A&R after several years, perhaps you’re not doing something rights. Remember in the end it’s all about the 5 M’s. Motivation, Music, Marketability, Making Money, and Making Friends. Of all the 5 M’s – I would say Money carries the biggest stick. If someone smells money around your music chances are they will want a piece of the action to justify their existence.