The music industry is changing every day, and despite people questioning, if record labels are dying, the fact remains that signing with reputable labels like Geffen Records, is still a goal and dream for many!
You've built up a buzz, you're getting insane views on your music videos, and now you want to get your music out there even more.
You've got your eye on Geffen Records Recording, a Universal Music Group imprint responsible for the release of some Various artists you may know of, such as: John Lennon, U2, Bruce Springsteen to name a few.
And, still highly relevant today, Geffen Records is home to current artists including 5 Seconds of Summer, Billie Eilish, and, 6Lack So how do you do it? How do you reach such a company? Let's explore the two main methods of how to send a demo to Geffen Records and a couple of rules that you need to follow...
Geffen Records Info Card
Through its Interscope Geffen A&M imprint, Universal Music Group owns the American record company Interscope Records. Jimmy Iovine and Ted Field established Atlantic Records as a $20 million joint venture with Warner Music Group and Interscope Communications in late 1990. Unlike most record labels, Atlantic Records gave artists and producers complete creative independence and allowed A&R staff to make choices. In less than a year, it had its first hit records, and by 1993, it was profitable. John Janick succeeded Iovine as chair and CEO in May 2014.
Year Founded: 1980
Founder: David Geffen
Primary Genre(s): Various
Parent Label: Universal Music Group
John Lennon, U2, Bruce Springsteen, 5 Seconds of Summer, Billie Eilish, 6Lack, Avicii, Da Baby
The Two Main Ways to Send Geffen Records a Demo
There are generally two main methods to getting your demo into the ears of the Geffen Records team, as well as any of the other Universal Music Group labels. These methods differentiate between how involved in the wider music industry you are and who you're already connected with.
The most typical and arguably easiest way to get your demo into the hands of the Geffen Records A&R team would be to have it handed off to them.
This would be through someone like a manager, agent, producer, radio DJ, or some other kind of industry professional. (Universal Music Group)
The reason that this is one of the easiest ways to get your demo to this label is that Universal Music Group, and all of its record labels, refuse to take or listen to any unsolicited media.
They do this because of the sheer amount of music that they receive. If you send it through the proper channels, though, the odds of them checking it out are much higher.
If you're an independent or otherwise unsigned musician, you do have other options. Universal Music has a platform called Spinnup that provides services like digital distribution and access to a whole network of talent scouts who have relationships with a variety of labels in the group, including Geffen Records. (Universal Music Group)
Spinnup is a great platform as it has been designed to do just this, discover artists! Sadly, Spinnup has announced the switch to invite-only. This changes this submission option in the same way that AWAL changed when Sony acquired it in a $430M deal in March 2022.
AWAL now filters out around 90% of submitted tracks! So why am I telling you this?
Well, Spinnup is not completely off the table, UMG is just shifting to a more curated artist discovery and distribution platform.
As a result of this, most indie artists who had been using Spinnup have been asked to take down their releases. It is worth following along with the publications to keep up with what they are doing on the platform.
There are a few other kinds of platforms that you can find that provide similar services and help you in an attempt to get involved with Geffen Records.
What to Know BEFORE Submitting a Demo To Geffen Records: Demo Submission Rulebook!
Once you figure out how you plan to get your demo to the Geffen Records A&R department, you'll want to make sure you do these key things to increase your chances of getting in the doors:
Of course, the last thing you want to do is make sure that you're not sending unsolicited material or anything that infringes on copyright. From there, if you do what is asked of you while sending out a demo, you should really be good to go.
At the end of the day, record labels like Geffen Records receive hundreds of demos. It takes a lot of both skill and luck to get chosen to sign with them. That doesn't mean you should ever give up on sending out your demos. It just takes time and determination to find a record label that fits best with you.
If you decide not to use one of the submission platforms above, it might be worth contacting Geffen Records directly to check if they have an additional process or contact you can deal with directly.
You also want to get clued up on the different types of record deals out there and be prepared to consult with an entertainment lawyer.