5 Ways Of Getting A Record Placement

1The question of how to successfully place one’s music is often asked by those on the creative end of the music economy, and while it can seem intimidating, it’s certainly achievable. Here we look at five important practices that can help make it happen.


Guest Post from Trill Trax

How to get your music placed is a question frequently asked by songwriters, producers and artists. It is not as complex as many make it out to be. People seem to forget that the music business is a business no different than any other form of commerce. 

Interview with DJ Pain 1:

Q. Was the Jeezy “Don’t Do It” record your first placement? How did that come about? Had you already sent off the record months or years in advance?

A. It was my first major placement. Before that, I licensed a song to Sony, which was my first dealing with a major label.  The song with Jeezy happened quickly– I made the beat maybe five months before it was officially placed on the project.

Q. Did you have to add more elements or make it more modern like the record you shared on your YouTube channel with Ludacris and Rick Ross?


A. No. The Ludacris record was a four year process, so when it was time to wrap up the song; I revisited and revised the beat.

Q. Did the placement come from sending it to A&Rs or had you already made some prior connections that helped the transition?

A. The Young Jeezy record was placed via Jeezy’s engineer, who my manager at the time, Brendan Malette, was in contact with.

Q. Were there any special requirements you had to do as far as tracking out the session? Copyright transfer? Providing performing rights organization information?

A. I just tracked the session out and sent it– .wav files, nothing crazy. I guess a “copyright transfer” is a part of a work for hire contract, but I don’t believe it’s called that. I’ve never seen it called that at least. I had to provide PRO info, but otherwise the info I provided was pretty standard:  A current W9, mailing address, etc. to get into the payroll system, lawyer’s information, and the paperwork (declaration, which isn’t always a part of the process, and the long form agreement). 

Q. What advice would you give producers who may have a placement or two, and now are trying to remain on the radar? 

A. Get your goals in order and then work your plan. I encourage all producers to take their careers into their own hands by releasing music, becoming active on social media, basically building their own brands up. That way, if the major labels stop calling you, you will still have ears for your music and in theory, a customer base, whether you’re selling beats or you’re releasing full projects.


It’s not what you know; sometimes it’s who you know. Social networking has opened up doors to reach people that before couldn’t be reached. What does that mean? Well now you can reach out to several levels of management and speak to them directly. While tweeting Diddy directly probably won’t yield any results, the option is there. People of his stature cannot possibly respond to everyone who tweets him.

Get out onto the internet and do some research. Find out who manages what and which A&R is actively requesting new material. I see opportunities all the time on Twitter in particular, from A&Rs requesting new beats from producers or top lines from songwriters.

The more you do it, the more you will learn who is serious and who is phony. Don’t just start spamming people. Talk to them and respond to posts they share. Be consistent. You may become friends with someone who can share an opportunity with you. Find out the type of material they are seeking. If they are looking for 80s’ Euro pop records and you send grime hip-hop, you will look foolish.

While the internet is a great resource, nothing beats face-to-face interaction. The internet can also mask false identities. Even if your city is limited in big name connections, you never know who knows who. The law of separation states that you are only six people away from reaching the person you want. This means, somebody knows somebody that knows someone else that could potentially help you.

When you’re networking with people, be genuine. Yes their job may be to track new music, but starting off the conversation with here’s my work, is not the best way to approach them. Again, this is a business, regardless of the product sold. Build a relationship with that person while consistently showcasing your ability to push.

If you aren’t active on social networks and they only see you contacting major players for help, why would they? If they see that you reached out to them, now you’re sharing photos of your performance, tweeting fans directly and overall embodying a great character, then they will remember that. Don’t expect a hand out.

Be prepared

Have your sessions tracked out properly. 24-bit/48kHz is the standard generally. While a higher bit rate and sample rate seems better, it will change as it changes hands. Make sure all the tracks are labeled properly. For example, if you have several snares and claps layered together, label each with the corresponding sound. For example, snare 1, snare 2, synth five etc.

Proper labeling will ease the transfer process. It can also make your record finished and released that much faster. Having a ton of tracks that all start with a sequence of numbers makes it hard on whoever receives the files.

With that, also keep track of the BPM and time signature. It helps to make a small note with all this information to attach to the zip folder. Include your contact information, social network accounts and performing rights organization also known as PRO.


A&Rs and managers get solicited with content daily. While they may listen to your record, you may not hear back from them until months later. The artist they send it to may not get to it until a year or so later. Don’t expect an immediate response.

Keep making new material, networking and developing your own client base. Make new records, record new reference hooks, submit and repeat.

Develop your own clients

Here is the best advice I could personally share with you. Find yourself a dedicated client to develop, making exclusive records and hooks for their project. Push that client to higher platforms and build your own dedicated fan-base.

This helps in one of two ways. One, you don’t have a huge catalog of records not being used and two, if that client gains some fame, you now have leverage.  

Take Drake and Noah “40” Shebib for example. Noah was not out searching for people to submit beats to. He was helping Drake go through other producer’s beats and after Drake being not being able to find anything, Noah created some for him. Now with the success of both of them, Noah is sought out from labels and major label artists.

Leave a trail

Producer Mike-Will-Made-It shared that he would leave beat CD’s in studios in Atlanta. He shared how he would show up on a regular basis and eventually he ran into Gucci Man, which ultimately helped launch his career. This type of approach is hard to follow because of content control. You don’t know if your work ends up in the right persons hands or in a trash can.

But with anything, you have to be willing to take that risk. There is a risk that the CD gets picked up and used and you never are contacted about it. That is how the game works. In other cases, people will steal your ideas and melodies, tweak them a bit, and send them off as their own. Just make sure you have your business end covered.

Try investing into booking time at studios where you know popular acts frequent. A brief interaction in the hallway could lead to you offering an opinion on a recording and then you sharing the work you do.

The overall consensus with this point is to leave a trail so people know you do music. People cannot refer you to friends if they don’t know you have a particular skill.

Getting a record placement takes a lot of patience and networking. Don’t expect immediate responses from A&Rs or managers. Submit your music and keep pushing. Keep working on your craft to make sure your material is the best it can be. Be prepared for when you are contacted.

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