The one thing people don’t tell you about when you start making music is how to get on radio. Noises are made about good music always finding its way, and that these things will eventually take care of themselves.
It’s not quite true.
What you need is a plugger. Somebody who will try and get your record to the right people, in exchange for money. You give them a bag of cash and they happily take your songs along to their friends in Radioland to try and convince them that the music you have made deserves to be heard.
Armed with this knowledge, and naive good intentions, we knuckled down with This City and Never Seen You Cry to do our research. It turned out there were a great number of people who are willing to take your money. We contacted a fistful of individuals and companies, and eagerly waited for a response.
A surprisingly large number of replies came our way. Some were very nice, and pushed hard for our money by lavishing compliments upon our delicate egos. Some were not so nice, so much so that they rejected us two or three times with increasing force in each email, even though we only asked the question once. Nasty people. In the end we plumped for our unnamed Plugger No. 1. He promised that we would get weekly reports of plays, and would be able to verify all of the info he sent us, and all for a very reasonable fee.
It sounded too good to be true, and it was. We got lists of lots of weird and wonderful sounding radio stations, along with a couple of familiar (yet misleading) ones. Most of them didn’t appear to exist, despite extensive searching. We did all the things that self-obsessed people do, like googling ourselves every day and trying to convince people to request our record. It was a bit hard when none of the radio stations had a web presence or an email address, which I think was probably a first for internet radio. Plugger No. 1 then decided to go offline for a few days, causing mass panic amongst all his clients, which led us to cut our losses and start again.
But what to do now? We had a record we had lovingly made, and many more songs. We did the only thing we could, and went through all of the nice emails, putting a little list together of five people we’d like to talk to again.
To be continued…