6 Reasons why your music could be rejected for radio airplay (and how to fix it).
So you’ve finally put together those great pieces of music and it’s time to tell the world.
Before you start promoting your latest creation please read this post and save yourself from unnecessary work and disappointment.
For the last couple of years I have been running my own radio station and as a result I have been getting a steady flow of indie musicians submitting their music for airplay.
These are some of the most common mistakes I have noticed that have excluded some of those musicians from making it beyond the first email.
1. Not choosing the correct genre.
Sure your music is great but does it fit the station? My instrumental soundtrack station is not going to accept the latest indie grunge lyrics simply because the genre is not what I play.
Fix- Check out the station content and find out what matches your style of music and contact them if your music is of the same genre.
2.Not describing your music well.
Our music is original and has been getting airplay everywhere…
Yes but what is your music? is it blues rock with violin? Is it Chill out downtempo with electronic groove? Who do you sound like? Vangelis, Stevie Wonder? Beyonce?
Fix- Describe your style, genre and who you sound like (someone famous) and this will give the DJ something to relate to and tag your music with. They can then know what to expect without unknowingly searching through your tracks and wasting their time.
3.Not introducing yourself professionally.
I have received emails beginning with these words… Yeah well I put together a few tracks…Hey check out our band…Like hey, I’m a musician from…
Fix – if you would like to be taken seriously, put together a good introduction letter that describes you, your music and shows a commitment to producing excellent work.
you will be more likely to to be listened to. If you come across as a hack together person it is unlikely you will make it beyond the first sentence.
Find out who to send your music to, use their name and be aware that manners and good communication (including grammar) count for something.
In the music industry relationship building is everything.
4. Not having a decent website and easy access to music.
This happened just recently. The artist sent me a link to listen to their music and the site was poorly laid out with no access to any of their tracks. There was no description of the person, their music style or anything else that would interest me in looking for their music.
Fix – Get a decent website. Put some of your tracks on Soundcloud and use services like Dropbox to make your music easily accessible. Also if we want 128kbs mp3 please be willing to supply it so we don’t have to waste bandwidth and time converting tracks.
5. No playlist or Bio.
How long do your tracks play for? What about track names?
Fix- provide a bit of information about your music, Provide track names and length and name your tracks something more memorable than just track 1, 2 etc.
This will mean they won’t get lost in the clutter and can be easily identified.
6. Poor production.
I have rejected music because of poor production. I had one artist send me music that was sung out of tune, Other tracks with glitches and some that was full of mains hum.
While this may be obvious to most people, I’m surprised that I still receive music like this from time to time.
Fix – do a final check before you mix down that track and send it off. Get some feedback from up front people about your music (not your girlfriend, family or fellow band member). If your music needs work (or you need to learn how to sing in tune, invest in yourself and get lessons). Other things that are important include trimming your tracks so they don’t have huge silences at the beginning or end of tracks.
Remember it is actually a privilege to get radio airplay so be willing to learn and show appreciation. The person who gives your music a spin may get hundreds or even thousands of albums sent to them each year.
If they request your CD be sent with a bio and playlist – supply it. If they want digital format via Dropbox then offer that.
Your job is to make it as easy as possible for the DJ to get to your material and supply exactly what they need and this will significantly improve your chances of being heard.