If there is one absolute truth I’ve learned in all my years doing what I do, it’s that EVERYONE (and their grandmother) has a demo! And the second absolute truth is that EVERYONE (and their grandmother) thinks that their demo is amazing! I’ve gotten thousands of demos, but never once did anyone give me one and say, hey man check this out, but it’s just ok. Everyone who’s ever given me a demo has sworn up and down to me at the time that what they were giving me is absolutely and unequivocally the greatest thing I’ve never heard in my entire life and that if I would just take the time to listen to it, I’d know it immediately and together we would be able to take over the music industry. Now I’m not saying that all of these people are lying to me. I actually believe that they all truly believe with all of the their heart and soul that what they have is pure gold. But unfortunately, for one reason or another, almost all of them are wrong. So the question is: what are the reasons and how can you increase your odds of not having your hard work, hope and dreams end up in someones trash can? The first thing I look for in a demo is vocal ability. And by vocal ability I’m not saying that everyone has to be able to riff like Christina Aguilera or have the range or power that Mariah Carey has. Let’s face it, I haven’t made a career of representing only the worlds finest vocalists, but I have represented many vocalists whose voices have tremendous commercial appeal, and that, my friends, is the key!

Many people can keep a tune and many people have strong soulful voices, but how many people, do you know who have a vocal style that is so unique that you would recognize it no matter where you heard it? Think about it, Mariah Carey, Gwen Stefani, Britney Spears. You know their voices immediately when you hear them. The same with many of the more successful rappers …Biggy, Tupac, DMX and Eminem, you know them all as soon as you hear their voices, there’s no denying. And it’s not because they have the best vocal technique. It’s because they have an original vocal style that separates them from the rest. And here’s a little secret…most of the artists whose voices youre most familiar with right now didn’t start off with that vocal style, they developed it over time and so can you. Remember those classic clips of Britney on Star Search? Now think about her voice on that show. She sang with a deep powerful voice that she used when she was a child and that is the voice she used when we met. But it wasn’t commercial. It took almost a year of development once she signed her deal with Jive Records to develop the commercial vocal style that the world now knows and loves so much. So how can you do it too? Well, unfortunately, record companies aren’t quiet what they use to be when it comes to artist development so its not as easy as it once was to just show up at the front door of a major label and say I’ve got talent, now you figure out what to do with me so, you’ve either got to be smart and figure it out for yourself, or you need to find a producer to collaborate with who truly gets what I’m talking about here.

For those of you who don’t know, Larry Rudolph was Britney’s former manager.

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