How to Get a Record Deal With Jive Records

By Robin Raven

Jive Records is a record company that signs young, hip artists. It's actually a British record label, but it is based in New York City. Founded in November of 1977 by Clive Calder, it started out as a primarily hip hop label, but it is now known for it's extremely successful pop acts that it signed in the late 1990s. Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync signed and started under Jive Records. It continues to evolve and change as a label. Make history with it as well--get a record deal with Jive Records.

Look at the client list that has risen to fame on the label. Britney Spears was signed to Jive when her career took off with "Baby, One More Time." The company isn't stuck in one format, though. Before Britney and the Backstreet Boys, hip hop was the name of the label's game.

Study the areas where the label is currently lacking in artists. You don't want to submit your rap album about the tough city streets if they have two artists rapping about similar things with albums about to premiere. You want to fill a void in the company. You want to make yourself needed, worthy and undeniable.

Record a demo. You cannot get a record deal with even a small label without a demo. You've got to show 'em your stuff. Rehearse your music until you hear perfection--or as close as you can get to that. Go into the recording studio and rip the song apart. Make it your own. The only way to get a record deal is to be new, fresh and undeniably good at your music.

Decide your approach. It's best to have a submission made to such a huge label under either an entertainment lawyer or an established agent. Submissions to big players without an agent nearly always get returned without a look or thrown in the trash can without a listen.

Follow up any correspondence from Jive with a thank you and acknowledgment. You will likely be asked to come in to speak with executives (and perhaps audition) if your submission was wonderful and a great match for the company.

Rehearse your demo. It may have been a while since it was recorded, and you want to make sure you can perform your songs in an instant if anybody should ask during the interview. Bring sheet music. it's best to be overprepared.

Showcase all of your talents. Britney was quick to entertain with her multiple talents. She could sing and dance like a dream. Let it all hang out when you are auditioning.

Behave professionally during your interview and audition. Arrive early. Be willing to stay late to perform again or answer questions. Speak politely, as though you were a lawyer speaking with your clients.

Let your personality shine through. It is likely that, in any show business audition or interview, you are being judged based on your charisma and personality. Everybody knows that you need star quality to succeed as a musician in these MTV-fueled music industry days. The label wants to sign a star.

Follow up again with a thank you. You can simply send a letter, or you can get more creative if you feel that the executives got your personality and sense of humor. Perhaps a tape of a song you wrote for them would say thanks best. It all depends on your style, your connection with those in charge and your willingness to gamble with the possibility of being thought of as odd.

Warning

Don't act desperate for a record deal. Professionals in the industry are quick to smell desperation, and it's a repulsive scent in this business. People want to work with those who believe in their art and can walk away from a deal with the knowledge that their product is gold. Act confident...never cocky.

About the Author

Robin Raven was first published in 1998. She has contributed to newspapers, magazines and online publications, including "The Malibu Times," "Act'ionLine" for Friends of Animals, USA Today Travel Tips and the official Melissa Gilbert website. Raven specializes in travel, health, beauty, culture, vegan nutrition, joyful living, arts and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing.