As a tirade between a top artist and Uganda DJs over the latter’s inability to play local music spurs on, it is more apparent that for an artiste to get any local airplay may be a hard thing.
This article is intended for those artists that find that getting their songs played on radio is very hard. There are many obstacles to getting airplay in Uganda. Our local radio stations tend towards the safe and certain, (Say, Jamaican and Nigerian music)which means that it is difficult for an unknown artist to use that particular medium to break out. One cannot blame them because it is cutthroat when it comes to competing for listeners.
Here are a few tips for submitting your song to a radio station:
Prepare your song
The most common mistake that people make when submitting their music to a radio station is not having the song properly prepared . Most stations play commercially released music, which is very high quality stuff. If your song sounds like it was recorded in a studio in Bukomasimbi, you will have a difficult time getting played on these stations.
Ensure that the audio quality is the best possible. Make sure the song is mixed properly. It is important that the song is edited of any inappropriate content before submitting it to radio stations.
Look for a station
In Uganda, some stations will barely play local music, don’t fret. Look for the stations that give local musicians a chance. Also look for the ones that are more supportive of upcoming talent. Find the right one, there are very many stations, so if one turns you down, look for another!. Some stations accept unsolicited material and others don’t. It would be a waste of your time to send your music to stations that will never listen to it. Many times, “smaller” stations will be more likely to give you a shot than mainstream stations.
Remember, any radio-play is always better than none.
Submit your song
Once you figure out the right station to send your song, make sure you find out the proper way to send it in. Taking a physical copy to the station is the best way. Make sure your packaging is also decent. Be very thorough on this step. Sometimes unknown and/or lesser known artists make their lives difficult with how they submit their music to music programmers at radio stations. It’s easier than ever to get your music into the right people’s hands, but that doesn’t mean you should be careless about it. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity because you were being untidy. Image is important in the music business, so dress the part too.
Promote the stations
Prior to submission, start promoting the stations that you will be sending your music to. If they see that you are promoting them already, they will be more likely to support you. Try building a relationship with whoever listens to the submissions. Let them know who you are before they even listen to you. This will give you an advantage over other artists who submit music.