Guidelines

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CRITERIA: what floats our boat

One of innova’s strengths is its decades-long, curated catalog that showcases an often-hidden strain of cutting edge, exploratory music. In determining whether innova is the best label for your project, here are some of the things we keep in mind as we listen and consider what to select:

  1. Compelling. Is it grippingly fresh to listen to on some level?
  2. Technical proficiency. Are the performance and recording up to the highest industry standards?
  3. Craft + Risk. Is it not only well made and -considered but does it also go beyond merely humdrum proficiency?
  4. Vision. Does the music exhibit a unique perspective, an authentic personal voice? We love musical ideas that are audaciously individual rather than market-driven.
  5. Program and sequence. Does it feel like a cohesive album that takes you on a journey with some logic, intrigue, and surprise? That’s different from a typical concert program or a laundry list.
  6. Artist commitment. Is there a newsworthy story behind the artist or project that might help with promotion? Will the artist be touring, producing videos, or actively involved in building awareness? Plan to hire your own supplemental PR firm? Is it in line with the interests of Naxos, our distributor?
  7. Geography. Is there some link to the USA where the majority of our media relationships are based? Can we immediately think of a handful of critics and radio stations that would love your work?
  8. Licensing. If we see potential film or TV licensing in the music that can be one of the benefits of being on the label.
  9. Right tool for the job. Is there a better label that specializes in exactly your kind of project? Or might one of the online digital services be just fine?
  10. Capacity and timing. Innova prides itself on nimble turnaround but we must also plan ahead in order to manage our workflow and give each release its best chance of success in the marketplace. If you reach us at a time when our plate is full we must be extra selective.

We are here to help you put your best foot forward, but for us to do that successfully the project needs to be a close match for our expertise and resources. We also love a challenge, so you never know until you try. Not everything has to be in perfect working order at the time of application, so just let us know if it is still in demo stage, is a live version of something you plan to record in studio, or still needs editing and mastering. We can imagine what it will be like when the final polishing is complete.

We’re open-minded and wide-ranging, but we also know what we do well. We like iconoclasts and non-conformists. To put it simply, exceptional, boundary-leaping, forward-looking new American music is our bag.

So take a look at the catalog, listen to our sets on Soundcloud, our playlists on Spotify, Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Read up on our nuts and bolts, FAQs, a sample budget, and our production schedule. If you’re still not sure if innova is right for you, why not drop us a line (pblackburn at composersforum.org)? Sending something to listen to, in whatever shape it’s currently in, is the best way for us to get a sense of it and let you know if we think we’d be the right fit. To be honest, the best part of our day (other than sending checks to artists) is going through submissions and finding something that’s the perfect match.