I am constantly bombarded by upcoming musicians seeking advice on how to get their music on radio.
Many times I struggle to respond to every query because of the sheer volumes. So allow me to use this platform to respond. The questions are always the same, ”NSK, what must I do to get my songs on radio?” “NSK, can I email the songs?” “NSK, is it true that radio only play their favourites?” “NSK, why does radio want to dictate to me how many singles I need to submit?”
All valid questions that I believe many sit with but probably do not have direct access to me to post these questions. Musicians need to understand that every radio station is different. Every radio station has its own unique target market. There are radio stations which make it their mission to playlist Namibian music. There are radio stations that do not really care about Namibian music but make it their mission to bring across Namibian content. There are radio stations that make it their mission to carry both Namibian music and Namibian content.
There are radio stations which could not give a rat’s manure about any of the two. As a musician, you need to invest time and see which radio brand fits your music genre. If you are into Kwaito, are you really going to drop your music off at an adult contemporary radio brand? If you are a rock musician, are you really going to drop your music at a Hip Hop orientated radio brand? Radio is everywhere. In your car, on your phone and on TV. Take some time and study the difference in sound to every radio brand. Based on your research, target the radio brand that sits well with your sound.
Commercial radio brands have moved with the time and allow musicians to submit their music via mail. You just need to make a bit of effort and call to found out who exactly you need to address your music to. The traditional way of going about things is still very much popular, which is to physically hand in a copy of your music. It goes without saying with either mail or the physical route that you need to furnish your Namibian Society of Composer and Authors of Music (NASCAM) accreditation. There is no way around NASCAM. You just need to have it. However, if you submitted your music before with the NASCAM, than there is really no need for you to keep furnishing your NASCAM verification, as it has been documented by the radio bosses.
Musicians need to understand that radio presenters have no power when it comes to putting your music on the system. So it will not help to harass radio presenters. Rather find out who is in charge of the music and address all your music and concerns to that power that be. Every radio station has their own rules. Some radio stations simply refuse to put a whole album on the system. Other radio stations make it their business to have every song on that album on the system. Other radio stations demand that your music be first on the system before you can get an interview. Others will interview you as you drop your new material. It is what it is. It’s not your radio station omes, so you will have to follow through with the rules. Whether they make sense or not, just follow through if you want to have your songs on the system. A simple phone call to reception will help you get all the information you need. Plan accordingly and follow through with the rules. I hope that answers all questions! If not, you can find me on Twitter!
Until the next loop, we say “GMTM”!
NSK is a professional MC. For bookings, email email@example.com