Here we go through the whole process from being signed to having a release with Rexius Records. If you wonder what will happen next, this is the outline. Every project is unique but built with more or less the same modules: Planning, Music Production, Visual Production, Distribution, Promotion, and Post release. The responsibilities vary and if you are unsure what’s included, please refer to your contract.

Remember, you are always welcome to contact us if you have any questions, if you feel like we are not following the process, or whatever. We are here to help you but we try to have a “teach how to fish” rather than a “give fish” approach. This means, we do a lot for you, but we can’t do everything. Please use us as a resource and ask us questions since we do have a lot of knowledge to share.

Important notice: We are not starting the Production Phase before we have completed the Planning Phase, and we are not setting a Release date before BOTH the Music Production and Visual Production are completed. The release date will be set around 45 days after both music and visuals are ready.

prepare and set up

Planning

The idea with this phase is to prepare and set up the project. We get to know each other, set up goals and define your brand identity.

1. Set Up

Stuff to do:

  • Book Big/Small Brief and Project Start Meeting
  • Book Music Brief if we’ll produce an EP or Album together
  • Get contact information
  • We set up the project Google drive folders
  • We get access to social accounts
  • We get access to artists.rexiusrecords.com
  • Fill in Brand Archetype Form
  • Add globi@rexiusrecords.com to your contacts, this is our personal bot that will give you relevant information during the project

2. Project Start & Big Brief

We have a meeting at Rexius HQ and go through goals, deadlines, your brand, visual concept and target audience.

Startup Meeting:
  • Starting point
  • Goals
  • Project expectations
  • General Information
Big/Small Brief
  • How are you unique?
  • What’s your image?
  • How will the visuals look?
  • How can we reach out?

3. After Big/Small Brief

We structure all our notes and what we have discussed on the Big/Small Brief and formalize them into a visual brief, moodboards, and MV Brief (if Big Brief).

  • Marketing and Visual Report (MV Brief)
    • Artist Identity
    • Brand Archetype
  • Social Media Analysis
  • Moodboards
  • Previous Coverage (artist)
  • Start Music Projects and Visual projects
  • Create Artist Biography
  • Communication plan

4. Music Brief

If we’re about to produce an EP or Album together we will gather all the team and listen to your demos and together with the producer chose the songs to record. Here we will also take a look at:

  • Music Target Audience
  • Where to place you among the competition
  • How your music can stand out
  • Music feedback

All this will simplify the whole recording process.

creation phase

Production

This is the phase when we produce all the content for the Release; Music, Press Photos and Artwork. Depending on who is responsible for each deliverable (look in your contract) our involvement varies. No matter if you or Rexius is responsible for creating the content, we always have certain quality standards. The music and visuals are the most important success factor when it comes to releasing music.

Music production

Artists have different needs. Some are producing the music themselves and some record in studios either along with us or in other studios. No matter in what way the music is created, we would like to give our advice and input regarding the music.

Feedback

We know it’s important to give advice at the right time. For example, we won’t give feedback on songwriting in the mixing phase. This is why we have written down what we need from you in each phase and what we will give feedback on in “The Song Feedback Process“.

In short at these touchpoints we would like to receive music from you or your producer. Use the Feedback Form to send us the files. If you are using an external producer, please make sure the producer knows about our process.

  • Demo
  • Pre Production
  • Recording
  • First mix
  • Last mix
  • Master

Artist Development

Depending on your project we make a collaborative effort to improve the conditions for the success of our release.

Typically after the planning phase, we produce these types of content out of the start-up meeting, small/big brief, and music brief either for internal or external use.

  • Create MV Brief
  • Create a Project plan and Update the project management system with deadlines
  • Keep a record of goals
  • Create Artist Bio
  • Create Song Target Audience including relevant playlists, artists, and songs
  • A&R check-ins and evaluations along with the project

Visual production

To release music we also need some visuals: Artwork and Press Photos. From the Press Photos and the Artwork, we create “release content” used in social media, when creating ads, and when distributing your music to YouTube. We also look over other needs such as video-related productions and merch.

There are pretty strict requirements for the music services regarding artwork so if you are responsible for delivering those to us, please follow the requirements:

No matter who delivers the visuals, it’s essential that we have completed the MV Brief before the visual project is started. This is to ensure a coherent branding message all the way.

Press Photos

Oftentimes the artist is responsible for the press photos. We recommend that you do not start hiring a photographer before we have made the MV Brief since this will affect your branding. You don’t want to retake your photos.

Artwork

We start with the artwork project when the related single or first song in an album is received in the “First Mix”-phase. This is to ensure we can grasp the mood of the song and know the title of the single or album before starting.

Graphic Profile

In the Artist Launch projects, we are creating a graphic profile for your artistry along with a simple logo and the creation of moodboards for your upcoming press photos and artwork. We start this project in sync with the MV Brief.

Release Content

If Release Content is part of your release, we create the content and you distribute it. Here’s a detailed guide.

Merch

We are very proud of our on-demand merch system. Merch is great content nagging material and if your project contains merch creation, we typically start these projects after the first release. In all cases, we need to be finished with some kind of visual material like artwork, press photos, graphic profiles, or logos to have some visuals to work with.

  • Create visual assets
  • Create mockup products
  • Add to store.rexiusrecords.com
  • Market and sell
milestone

Master + Artwork + Meta Data is completed!

preparations

Distribution

One of the greatest mistakes we see artists do is to set a release date before artwork and all songs are completed. Another mistake is to set a release date as soon as possible after everything is finished. A lot of stress and frustration will be created from this approach and often you’ll end up with bad results. Therefore, at Rexius Records, we are not discussing Release Dates before we have everything (Artwork, Press Photos, Songs, and Meta Data) 100% completed and we have a rule to not set the release date within 45 days after everything is completed. Read why here.

What is done in the Distribution phase?

A lot of work is made by Rexius Records during the Distribution phase.

  • Preparing the distribution (Meta Data, Royalty Administration, IFPI registration)
  • Creating Artist Target Audience List
  • Creating Press Release, Sales Points, and sometimes translations
  • Creating the Electronic Press Kit with all the produced content
  • Creation of your artist page on rexiusflow.com
  • Creation of release page on rexiusflow.com
  • Distribution to music services
  • Upload music to SoundCloud and get a secret link
  • Setting up Spotify Pre-Save links
  • Inviting stakeholders to the royalty split

What do we need to set a release date?

ready for take-off

Pre Release

The Pre Release phase is the time between the distribution of your music and the Release Date. In short, we prepare for the pitch and pitch your music to our connections and prepare for the release.

Assemble and pitch

This is what we do during the pre-release phase:

  • We receive Spotify links etc and create a smarturl
  • Pitching the music to Spotify
  • We are creating release content (if we are responsible)
  • We help you look over content, you are responsible for scheduling posts on your social media channels
  • We prepare the “Hit List” of relevant influencers matching your target audience.
  • We pitch the Release to relevant influencers in the business depending on the goals and focus.
  • Depending on the genre we also do blog pitches

Artist’s Responsibility

We strive to make our releases as efficient and cost-effective as possible. We have tried and tested many things over the years to figure out what best utilizes the artist’s budget. After years of experience, we’ve realized that there are a lot of things that we’re better off not doing, like posting on social media, pitching to local newspapers and blogs, or arranging release parties.

Here are some quick tips on how you can enhance your release and what you can focus on:

Release Checklist for Artists – How to enhance my release

reach the audience

Promotion

Peak promo

The Peak Promo phase is between 1 week before the Release Date and approximately two weeks after. A lot of work is made during the peak promo such as:

  • Pitching the music to music influencers such as playlist curators and blogs
  • Pitching the music to Spotify user playlists and playlist networks (after the song is released)
  • Distribute songs to own playlist network
  • Pitching the music to social media influencers
  • Paid Advertising (Could be Google Ads, YouTube, Facebook, or Deezer depending on project and budget)

Passive promo

Even though we pitch your music before the release a lot of influencers won’t answer directly. Sometimes, we have seen blog posts coming up 3 months after the release. We take care of all the requests coming in and what to do about them.

You will be notified every time we hear something in terms of success from any influencer.

The music business is not like before where there is a huge peak during the release date and then all sales will go down to a low level. Today, a release can be built organically and stay up higher for a longer period if you play the cards well. Please take a look at this guide about our playlisting strategy!

Another way to keep your release alive is by creative nagging on social media and maybe it’s time to create some merch?

We are constantly working on different ways to enhance our catalog and set it in front of the right audience. Your release will be part of our catalog for as long as the term sheet, meaning if there’s an opportunity in x years, your music will be treated on the same terms as our newly released music.

what’s next?

Post release

Evaluation

With no reflection, there is no progress. A couple of months after your release we will arrange an evaluation meeting where:

  • We evaluate the project according to the goals.
  • You will receive an export of all the feedback we have received from blogs.
  • We will evaluate if you have gotten to the next level.
  • We will discuss what opportunities lie ahead?