A selection of words, observations and thoughts to interest and inspire.

How to get signed to a label

29 Sep 20
Written by Austen Smart

The clock ticks down, he’s on in 20 minutes and there is still no sign of him. We wait patiently, we’ve been here many times before — this is a routine we’ve become used to.

We’d normally stand to the left of the booth, by the backstage entrance, always waiting to take our chance to meet the label owners. Joris appears.He is on a mission, surrounded by his manager, agent, photographer, fans, stage crew. We take our chance, it is now or never, our wrist bands only take us so far. “Joris, we’re Austen and Scott, our label is Danse Club”, the club is loud, we speak as fast as we can, “you fed back on one of our records, this bag is for you, we’ve also put a USB in the bag of new music by us, oh and here is our business card!”. “Thanks guys, I’ll take a listen and get in touch if I like it”. And then he goes through the door and is on stage. We take our space in the crowd.

Being signed to Rejected was such a big focus for us. For Scott, in particular, the label was the holy grail of house and techno, and has been ever since he saw Joris play at Sankeys circa 2008.

Over the next year, we slowly got closer to Joris, we’d attend his gigs, he would offer feedback on our music, giving us pointers and ideas on how to improve. Then things started to turn for us. He’d play our demos out in his sets when we were there, he’d invite us on stage to take videos of the moments. They are moments that we’ll never forget so long as we live, nothing is cooler than when your hero plays your productions in a club in front of 2000+ people and it goes off.

Joris Voorn live at Ushuaia, Ibiza

Eventually through real perseverance and grit — a key trait of any aspiring DJ and musician — he signed one of our EPs, ‘Club Girl’. It went onto become a firm favourite of one of Joris’ key collaborators, Kolsch as well as artists such as Hannah Wants and Dusky.

We went on to sign another EP, ‘The Consciousness’ and eventually warmed up for Joris two times at fabric, London in Room 1. Another moment we’ll never forget as we flexed new unheard music in front of him, the crowd lost it and he asked what it was.

To be able to invite Joris Voorn to now play the Virtuoso stage and join us on our Breakthrough The Music Industry course feels like a completion of the circle. We’re genuinely excited to be able to share with aspiring students all of the inside knowledge that took us from an idea, to a vision, to genuine moments that have defined our career and lives.

A brand new 6 week course featuring Joris Voorn on getting signed and breaking through the music industry.

Course dates
20.30–22.00 (BST)

Austen/Scott - Club Girl [REJ051]