Hereâ€™s the second installment in my advice for musicians who want airplay on KEXP. Please keep in mind that these tips are just suggestions from one DJ at one (very individual) radio station and are by no means applicable to all DJs or KEXP as a whole. Best of luck!
The most important point in promo is that you should be prepared to spend at least as much money promoting your CD as you did making it. More probably. Focus on getting your CD to as many people as possible. Good luck!
1. Always send CDs in full size jewel cases. Slim ones get lost between other CDs. If yours is thin and in the KEXP library it is virtually invisible to anyone looking for a CD. (Put your CD in a stack of commercial discs. Can you find it easily? Does it stand out?)
2. Marketing studies show that 90% of a listenerâ€™s first impression of a CD comes from the cover. Never send CDs without artwork unless you are Mudhoney.
3. Make sure the audio quality is ready for radio airplay. Play your disc next to a commercial CD and see if it jumps out of the speakers like the pro ones. If it doesnâ€™t, you should rethink the recording/engineering/mastering procedure you are using. All discs should be professionally mastered.
4. You donâ€™t need to send a whole promo pack for radio. Send a one-sheet only. It should look very, very professional. It should also prominently state the city the band resides in and should clearly designate your genre. You definitely need to be able to write a good description of what you sound like.
5. A very pro thing to do is to use a small sticker on the front cover. List a 3 word descrip of the genre type and music sound in general. Then write: â€œPlay:â€ and then designate track numbers with a 3 word descrip of each of your chosen airplay songs. This is really helpful to DJs who want to know which song will best fit the show theyâ€™ll be putting together. Theyâ€™ll also know which songs to check out first.
6. If your band name is hard to understand, read or say, you may as well just shoot yourself in the foot for all the good it’s doing you. Your band name should point to the way you sound and make people curious about you. It should also be able to be heard clearly and be easy and/or fun to say.
7. Itâ€™s not enough to make a good CD. Itâ€™s got to be special. We get hundreds of CDs every year from talented bands, but most of them sound too much like whatâ€™s already been done.
8. Get someone pro to help you. There are some great suggestions for people to help you with promo and distribution, and also info on one-sheets on the KEXP website. Hereâ€™s the link to our Getting Airplay section.
– DJ Michele Myers hosts â€œNite Lifeâ€ every Friday night at 9pm