Judge Jay-Jay helps a budding musician to get her name out there

More FM radio diva Jay-Jay Feeney delivers her verdict on your biggest dilemmas

Make my mate a star!

Hi Jay-Jay,

I’m sure this is your area of expertise, so please help! My friend is a singer and makes her own music. She uploads her songs to her TikTok and Youtube, and even has one on Spotify. She is so talented but just can’t seem to get noticed. How can she get her songs played on the radio? I would love to be able to help her achieve her dream.

Thank you, Charlotte

Hi Charlotte,

You’re such a good friend doing this! I’ve been in radio for about 33 years now, so I know how this goes and, unfortunately, it’s not easy. In the old days, radio programmers would listen to almost every song that landed on their desks and choose ones that fit their format to add to the playlist, but it doesn’t work like that any more.

Commercial radio stations have strict formats, choosing their music based on research and reputation. It’s extremely hard to get a new artist heard. Each week, a representative from each record company visits the content director and plays them the songs they’re trying to push. The radio station then decides which songs will make the cut. If it’s a proven artist like Pink or Ed Sheeran, there is almost no question – their music will always do well. If the artist is unheard of, the content director considers if the song fits the format of the radio station and if the listeners will love the song.

So your friend needs to have a record company promoting her to radio. Record companies are always looking for the next hot talent, but they are very picky when it comes to signing someone new. There are literally millions of musicians touting their songs online in hope of getting noticed but very few stand out. So your friend must stand out!

She can sing? Yes. She can make her own music? Yes. But what is unique and different about her? And how much of a following does she organically have? A record company will ask her to grow a following and then come see them again. They don’t take many risks with new artists because there are so many. If your friend gains popularity and grows her fanbase, the record company will not be able to ignore her!

So my advice is to get her to keep working on her music and play as many gigs as possible (the local café on a Sunday etc) to start building her fanbase and followers online. It will be her fans who make the record companies notice her and, once she’s signed, she’s on her way to being played on the radio. I wish her the best of luck. All big artists started somewhere, so tell her not to give up!

Love, Jay-Jay

A problem shared is a problem halved! Send your sticky issues to Jay-Jay – email [email protected].

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