Hardwell’s talent scout reveals how to handle Demo’s professionally

Behind Hardwell’s monstrous Revealed Records is one of it’s most important members. The Artists & Repertoire Manager role, currently held by little known Sebastien Lintz. The A&R Manager job involves the front line work of coordinating with the musicians the label deals with, as well as finding the new pool of talent. And if Hardwell’s success of finding talent is anything to go by, Lintz does his job very well!

In the aim of aiding budding DJ’s/Producers in their pursuit of getting a track signed, possibly by Hardwell himself, Lintz has compiled a thorough list of tips to help translate Demo’s into attention from the labels themselves. While the music itself still has to be good, it’s the little things that often make the the difference between success and failure.

Use the link to see the full blog post


5 tricks/tips to get your demo heard (by e-mail)

Here are some tips to increase your chance to get your demo heard by e-mail. I’m assuming your demo is well produced and ready to get released. If you’re not sure about this then don’t send out your demo. There is only one opportunity to make a good first impression. This article is focusing on the Electronic Music Industry.

1. Make it easy to get heard

A&R Managers don’t have much time, if they found 1 minute of their time to check out your demo then make sure it doesn’t cost more than 1 minute to listen to your demo. Don’t use sites such as Wetransfer/Send2space. It’s smarter to use a site such as Soundcloud (with DL button!) so A&R managers can easily stream it, most A&R managers only need 2–3 seconds to judge a demo. The more time it takes to prepare the session the less chance they will check it out.

2. Don’t send unsolicited e-mails.

Why should A&R managers spend 1 minute of their time if you didn’t take that 1 minute extra of your time to personalize your e-mail? Always address your e-mail to the receiver. If not it will look like a mass-mailing and your e-mail will get deleted right away.

“Hey, this is my new demo”

“Check out my new demo”

Instead (personalize the e-mail multiple times so the receiver knows you did your research well and you actually spend time writing it).

“Hey x!

I hope you are doing well!

I just finished a new track, I think X Recordings is perfect for this track, I haven’t send it out to other labels yet, you can stream it here:

My previous releases are supported by X,X,X,X and I’ve released on labels such as X,X,X,X.

Thank you for your time!

3. Follow Up!

Even if you didn’t think the A&R managers are reading and receiving your e-mail (if the mail address is correct), they actually do! Sometimes you’re sending the mail at a wrong time (more about this at point 4) or they just didn’t had the time to check your e-mail at that moment (and they will forget about it).

Make sure you follow up your demo e-mail after 5–7 days. Most A&R managers are flooded with e-mails (150+/day), so give them time to catch up. The second e-mail should be something like “Hey X! Did you had the time yet to check out the track :)?” Just keep it short and simple.

The 3rd e-mail follow up should end with “If you don’t like it that’s ok, just let me know so I can move on to the next label”. That will create a sense of urgency which will click-bait them to check it out. No need to send a 4th e-mail. Bother them with a new demo later on, be persistent!

4. Timing!

This is a nice trick if you want to make sure they are reading your demo e-mail. Find out where the A&R manager is based so you can send your demo the right time. Most people read their e-mails in the morning. I would recommend to send demo’s around 10:15–11:00. Make sure you have selected the right time zone, their time can be different from yours of course. For example, if you’re from New York, send your demo 4AM in the morning (your time) if you want to get read by someone in Amsterdam at 10AM. There are actually plugins and add-ons to schedule this so you don’t have to wake up early 😉 Mac mail example: https://www.feingeist.io/mail-plugins/

Important: NEVER send out demo’s in the weekends, holidays, x-mas, NYE, WMC, ADE etc.

5. Relationship

Build a sustainable relationship with the A&R manager. Meet them in real life, follow and talk to them on Twitter etc. After a while they will recognize you and that will increase your chance to get heard. Don’t be a stalker though and don’t push it too hard.


Get introduced by someone who have dealt with the label before (Artist/Manager/Publisher/). If an A&R manager dealt with someone before they will most likely check it out if they trust that person.

Of course there are a lot of other tricks, just use Google to find more about how to send proper demo e-mails and how to get heard.

Note: We don’t actually support demo e-mails at Revealed. We have a demo system in place which made it easy for us to listen to every demo we get.http://revealedrecordings.com/demo/


H/T: Medium

Expat living in New Zealand with a keen ear for the pure form of progressive house and a passion for the electronic scene in general. Fingers crossed you like this site as much as me!

[email protected]