It’s just about 1am in the morning after my interview at “Splash FM” Ibadan, I had to make a journey down to Ekiti state because I have a scheduled interview for 8:30 am today, but my intense love for up and coming acts left me unsettled and I decided to drop this epistle for up and coming acts and artistes in general.
Having been on the road for a couple of weeks, its painful that I have not had the time to drop an epistle for my dear up and coming acts in the music factory. I must admit that I miss you guys. I won’t say this won’t happen again, but I can promise that in my very busy schedule, I will always find time to drop epistles more often.
I remain my very humble self, “Wale Applause” and this epistle titled: “Why your song might not be played on radio” was put together as a result of ideas and information gathered from all reputable DJs I have met in a couple weeks. I have learnt a whole lot from the masters of the game, but this epistle will only lay emphasis on reasons why your song might not be played on radio, and even if played at all, it might not last a while.
The radio which is a major connect source of information with music inclusive is a powerful media tool. It’s estimated that every radio station at every instance of functioning has an audience of over 1 million population of audience. Imagine what happens if this population or more constantly listens to your song over a lengthy period of time.
I will be quick to share this secret with you that no song is interesting, or better put that no song is a hit until it’s constantly played on every media available with the radio as the primary and most popular media connect. It will also be added to this confidential part of my epistle that radios DJs have their tactical ways of imposing and making their target audience enjoy a song via constant air play. No matter how “bad” you think a song is, if termed good by radio DJs and constantly played by a very good number of them, before you know it, this song becomes a hit. All DJs should bear me witness to this.
Back to our discussion, which is the reason why your song might not get radio air-play, this can be rephrased as why radio DJs will not play your song. This is a critical issue which in my opinion should be looked into by all artistes in general.
Top of the list reason why your song might not get radio airplay is the use of vulgar words. It’s now a general trend that vulgar words such as “booty”, “ass”, “niggar” and all sorts are often used in songs. Although this was the selling point of some artistes, but I must say to you that most of these songs fade away real fast. Secondly, I will bring to your notice that the N.B.C [Nigeria Broadcasting Co-operation] having understood well that music now plays a major role in the influence of the life of youths; every song is listened to, to the letters. The N.B.C has fully assumed the responsibility of harsh scrutiny of songs. The moment a vulgar word is detected in your song, it’s termed to contain NTTB and unfit for radio airplay. A couple of DJs have lost their jobs and several radio stations sanctioned reasons to the fact that they at one point played a song termed to contain vulgar words or portray vulgar meanings. With the new trend, a song need not be banned by the N.B.C before it seizes to get airplay. All radio DJs have tightened up and also look beyond the money they’ll get in order to safeguard their jobs. The N.B.C now keeps tabs on all radio stations in the country as all programs are recorded and played back for verification.
At this time in the music scene, I must emphasize that your song need not be banned before it doesn’t get airplay. I would say to you my dear artistes that if you can, avoid the use of vulgar words in your lyrics. Take a clue from the likes of “2face Idibia” and “Michael Word”. These dudes do good music with the most minimal use of vulgar words. On the alternative, if your song contains vulgar words, during mixing and mastering, instruct your producer to make you a radio edit which either silences all the vulgar words or skips and scramble them. The disadvantage of this is that if there are too many vulgar words in your song, after a radio edit, it becomes very empty and meaningless, so as much as you can avoid the use or use at the most minimum such that when edited, it would be barely noticed.
It’s not news that some songs with vulgar words all through have made remarkable commercial success, but I must say to you how this is about to change. If you think you can avoid the radio airplay and use the street and party DJs, you’ll be surprised at the next move of the N.B.C.
Another reason why some songs might not get radio airplay is one issue I have always talked about in all my previous epistles targeted at the up and coming acts – MAKE GOOD SONGS. The cogent ingredients of good song are good lyrics, good delivery and superb production as I have always mentioned in my past articles. All radio DJs have a primary role which is to ALWAYS satisfy their audience, so therefore it wouldn’t matter your budget to push a “bad” song, it won’t be justified. Most radio DJs that I know take into account this factor before they decide to promote a song. They got millions of people to be satisfied and the completion amidst them now seems to be skyrocketing, anything that falls short of good music might not be played on radio. Even if played, it will be done at a time when it won’t be noticed and this would not last a couple minutes before it’s removed from the schedule and never to be played again.
The next point is that all radio stations are reputable. I have met a couple of artistes who give names of radio station on which they want their song promoted. It must be said that this is a bad idea. Although other radios DJs download songs, it doesn’t guaranty airplay. If at any point you listen to your song on a radio station on which you do not know how it got there, there is an 80% probability that it must have gotten there via your promotion link and the remain 20% is the fact that it’s just being played freelance because the DJ likes the song. Radio DJs can bear me witness to the fact that that no song is just being played, somebody somewhere must have talked or pleaded on your behalf that your song be played. All radio stations no matter how small you seem it is have got its own audience. It must also be brought to your notice that most radio DJs got connect with each other and do not be deceived by any singular DJ that he can handle your promo. Please spread your tentacles. Honest DJs will advise you to spread your tentacles as this always compliments one another, and honestly if he or she perceives that he or she is the only one jamming your song on air, he might just be tempted to stop unless you got a strong relationship. Only honest DJs tell you this though.
Understandable, you cannot get to every radio station, so it’s advisable that you seek the services of a good and hardworking publicist who can always help you build a very strong and wide connect. This is where I tell you to pay cognizance to who handles your promotion and publicity.
Like I always say, another very important thing is acknowledge the DJs. No matter how small a DJ seem, he or she got her audience and connect within the Disc Jockey factory. I will rather say that DJs know how to get in touch with one another when they have to. The moment you mess with one, faster than you know, it circulates and your song is dropped from schedule. DJs love one another, and an injury to one is an injury to all.
Lastly, please my dear artistes take your time to make good interesting jingles for as many DJs as possible. Not only does this sell you, it is always appreciated by all DJs as it gives them a good sense of belonging. Although this might cost you a studio session, make a list of all DJs playing your song, or who have at a point in time played it even if just for once, make jingles for them, it makes them happy.
On this note I will like to reply one group of the emails I get often asking that I publish my contacts asides Twitter and Facebook as much business and discussion cannot be done there. You can get in touch with me on 08101657599, please text only, [email protected] and 28E9A879 on Blackberry.
Now it’s past 3:00am and I have to lay my eyes to rest as I got another interview with “GEE 4” at 8:30 am. I only could not stand the fact that we haven’t conversed in a while and I cannot tell how much I miss you guys. Really sorry for all the mails I have been unable to reply. I hope to do that as soon as I get off the road. Although the earlier stated points seem negligible, I’ll candidly advise that utmost attention is paid to them and with God on your side; your song becomes a hit.
- [#ACE_ ARTICLE] Artistes: WHY THE DJ WON’T PLAY YOUR SONG …by Wale Applause (aceworldteam.com)
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- Mystery Surrounds Departure of FM96 Radio DJ Scott Tucker (prweb.com)
- How to Get Your Music on the Radio (earbits.com)
- 6 New Music For Urban Radio Stations (June 15, 2012) (radioonlinenow.com)