I have written about this topic before, but it is a topic that needs to be brought up over and over again. When you are a musician who has aspirations of the big time than you need to work. Its like any other job only tougher. If you are working at company X and you think one day you would like to manage, than you work hard and try and make a good impression, earn the recognition and get the promotions. When you are a musician trying to make it big, you are going up against a couple people for that notice, you are fighting millions of other artists. With the ability to broadcast world wide, instantly and share music through various avenues, from YouTube to Soundcloud and Spotify, just to name a couple of the big ones.
To get the recognition you desire for your music, it takes more than just recording a song and waiting for someone to bang on your door with a truckload of money. That kind of thing doesn’t happen. You have to play the small venues and try and build a following. You start on a local level and establish and than expand where you play. Beyond the playing at bars and events etc is the follow up with fans. This is 24 hrs a day 7 days a week. This doesn’t mean you have to work non stop, but social media has made it so easy to reach out to virtually everyone. Are you using it to your advantage or using it against yourself. It can do as much damage as it can be a help. I will give you a shining example and one of the driving reasons for re-writing this article. I get hundreds of songs every week from new artists. I am based in Canada, but I am getting it from around the world, and when we can, we play their music if it fits with our formats.
I was going through some new songs that I was adding and found a song that had an odd kind of name on it. I started with the bands website, looking for a reference to what I thought the song title was, and listened to all the tracks on their site. I will tell you I like this song, which is part of the reason for the extra effort. I than did the same on some of the online resources as well and again could not find that particular song. I have no recollection of where I got this song, who sent it to me. I can find no emails from this group either that would say what it was. I finally just broke down and sent them a message, explained the issue and waited for a response. I am still waiting, and that song didn’t make it to rotation and was filled by another artist.
Can you answer every message that is sent to you. Probably not, though it should be something that is attempted. Lets face it, you aren’t Garth Brooks, Brad Paisley or Florida Georgia line, who get a thousand messages or more every day. Find a way to do it. Does it take time, absolutely, but is it worth while, you better believe it. Someone like myself, in the broadcast business doesn’t need the personal contact, though the conversations with artists always are great. Can you afford to blow off potential fans though. Our society posts so much garbage and crap it really is mind boggling the amount of wrong information and outright lies that are out and circulating. It only takes one disgruntled fan to post the comment that singer WXYZ ignores their fans. You have to fight for every fan you can get. You have to fight to get your music played all around the world. Most importantly, you need to understand the way people are treated by you is often how you are treated in return.
A great example of the kind of effect comments or lack of comments can have are the Dixie Chicks. One comment which was a personal one at that, not representing the group, and their music was completely pulled from hundreds of radio stations. The effect of that, back in 2003 is still felt today.
I finish with this thought and question for you. This is the second time in less than 6 months I have reached out to this group, and have not received a response. If they don’t give a damn about something as important as properly displaying their music, proper song title etc, than why should I care. Why bother to play their music. It is not a recognition thing, its common sense. Everyone’s time is important, so do I waste time when I know I won’t get a response for significant questions, or just go on to someone else’s music and slip them in that spot in the rotation.
Don’t think this feeling is unique. Its probably worse in terrestrial radio, because so many of them are being programmed by younger people, to save money, and many of them have the same kind of idea, only worse. They are the younger generation too, and many of them think they have the world by the balls.
Just some simple advice, take it or not. It really doesn’t matter to me.