If you are an emerging music artist or music producer, more than likely your goal is to one day get a deal with a major record label. This means that you will be dealing with A&R's and executive producers whom require a certain approach and are not easy to please or deal with.
For those that don't know, A&R stands for Artists and Repertoire. In simple terms an A&R is a talent scout who also oversees the development of recording artists, songwriters and/or music producers and has the function of a liaison between the artist and the record label. They have to discover new talent mainly focusing on artists that already have some sort of growing fan base around them. A&R's will spend hours and hours listening to music, watching videos, attending showcases and events in search of a talent that meets the current market and is the on the quickest path to success. The A&R is normally the person that will offer you a deal and will approach you if interested. However this doesn't mean that you need to just sit around praying to get discovered. You may approach an A&R or record label with your demo CD, but this has to be done in the correct way:
First impression is everything, either if you are meeting in person or simply writing an e-mail or submitting a demo, be professional at all times, do not approach them as if you were talking to your friend from the block, use proper English, treat it as if you were doing a job interview.
Keep it short but interesting. You have to understand that people in the music industry are always pressed for time and no matter how good you are, their attention span is usually zero! Don't tell them your life story, a brief biography and your achievements in music is enough.
Your demo or press kit. Depending on the source, you may be required to submit an audio demo or a press kit. For the audio demo the most important thing is that you send your BEST TRACKS! Do not just put two good songs/beats and then 'album fillers' right after. Treat it as if it were an album. These day's the home recorded demo is no longer acceptable, they want quality recordings and mixes so make sure that you invest in a recording studio. Also make sure that you do not have long intro's to your songs/beats, get to the point. Like I said earlier their attention span is zero, try to have tracks that start with a chorus or a hook, this will keep them interested.
When meeting always look your best. You have to remember that if they sign you, your image is everything. Let them see you in your best clothes when meeting in person or on your press kit photo's. They want to see style as fashion is part of the music industry as well. Don't show up to a meeting in a sweat suit!
Be prepared for rejection. You must be realistic that the chances of getting a deal are slim, these people deal with hundreds of people and requests daily but do not let that discourage you.
Be a pain. if the first place doesn't accept you than move on to the next one. If you find you are still getting nowhere then revise your music, try submitting something else in your inventory. DON'T GIVE UP!
The music industry is ruthless, but persistence pays off in the long run. Music will never die and they will always be in search of new talent, you just have to believe!