Quick guide to get your songs played on radio
Whether you’re a lead guitarist or a songwriter, you’re probably wondering how to find a label and make your rock star (or rap star, or country star!) dreams come true. And for many artists, one principle component of those dreams is hearing their songs be played on radio stations around the world.
Too many artists falsely assume that you have to already be a big star to hear your work be played on radio stations. But that’s just not true—as a matter of fact, plenty of today’s big stars got started because they knew how to make a radio hit song, even before their first single blew up in stores. In fact, getting radio airtime could be the very thing that helps an artist move from back-alley bars to becoming a headliner!
Getting Started—Choosing Which Songs to Promote
The instinct might be to choose your favorite song—but keep in mind that an artist’s “best” songs aren’t always the ones most suitable for airplay. After all, even Stairway to Heaven doesn’t get played in its entirety on the radio very often! Length is the primary reason for this, so keep in mind that the songs you choose to promote should be of reasonable length. DJs are familiar with classic songs that are longer, but they’ll be more likely to overlook an unknown if it’s too long. Another thing to be cognizant of is language. As a lesser known artist, it’s best to choose songs without profanity to be played on radio stations.
Choosing How to Deliver Your Music
You have two basic choices here. The first is physical delivery—essentially, burning your music to a CD. The second is digital delivery. If you do choose to deliver your music via physical media, make sure to clearly label the CD itself with the artist or group’s names, contact information, and the name of the song. If you opt for digital delivery, don’t try sending your music as an email attachment. Like many corporate enterprises, radio stations are wary of email attachments from unknown senders. Instead, choose a known and trusted digital upload service, like Soundcloud.
Regardless of which delivery method you choose, follow up with the radio stations you’ve contacted in a day or two. This keeps your music fresh in their minds and ensures that if you do make a radio hit song, it doesn’t slip between the cracks. Before you know it, you’ll be picked up by one station—and that’s all it takes! Once your song is chosen by one DJ as good enough to be played on radio stations, others will be more eager to add it to their repertoire. It’ll spread like wildfire. This could very well be the first step to a long, successful career in the music industry. Having the right agent or executive hearing your song on the radio could be just the boost you need to find a label and become a star!