Meet the locals: Community radio

Friday, 19 Feb 2016

So you’ve written and recorded a song, and now you want the world to hear it. Makes sense. The world probably wants to hear it too. If you want access to almost 5 million people around Australia each week, community radio is the way to go.   

We spoke to 3RRR Music Coordinator Simon Winkler (pictured) about how to get your music on the air.

What's the best way to get your music played on community radio?

A good question - unfortunately difficult to answer simply. I’ve heard many people on this topic state that the most important part of the whole process is the songs themselves: to make music that's a sincere reflection of yourself and your interests, or, in other words, a fresh or compelling representation of your unique creative instincts.  

Community radio will gravitate towards music that feels it has something authentic, exciting, or new to communicate. Having said that, getting in contact with community radio stations via email, reaching out to relevant broadcasters and applying to Amrap’s AirIT service are all key to ensuring that as many people as possible have the chance to hear your music.

What are you looking for in new music?  

This is also tricky to generalise, but favourite new tracks often have an undeniable emotional resonance or creative quality that seeks to challenge or engage the listener with melodic, lyrical or rhythmic ideas.

Should artists contact presenters directly?

If presenters provide contact details on their program page, or encourage dialogue via social media, then artists should absolutely seek to communicate this way. Otherwise, music department staff or volunteers are happy to assist in distributing music and information to broadcasters. 

What formats do you prefer to receive?

At this stage physical and digital formats are welcomed, however more and more presenters are listening to music and preparing their programs using digital music files - supplying these via a convenient play form like Bandcamp, SoundCloud, Dropbox or similar is helpful. 

What else should artists send?

A concise, but detailed description of themselves and their music for reference. Anything that helps a presenter to feel confident that if they play the track they'll have something informative or interesting to say about you. In some cases 'less is more' if a broadcaster has left it to the last minute to prepare their on-air program notes. 

Do you have any other tips for artists submitting music?

Overall, just consider the needs of the broadcaster when submitting music. The ideal scenario is to find ways that make streaming/downloading the song simple. If you're submitting a physical copy, make sure that the CD/vinyl is clearly labelled and the information provides a clear picture of who you are and where you're from (or a creative back-story around your anonymity or fictitious identity). 

As much as possible, seek to make your approach personal, tailoring the communication to the station and/or program rather than sending a mass email or press release.

Tags: aprap
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