Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Calling all singers, composers, and music producers!
What you can do to sell/maximize/hear your songs on-air...
Lj T. Salceda
Every month I (the person in charge of music and CD’s at DZAS) receives an average of two albums from aspiring or professional Christian artist/s or producers. (Not to mention the 3-5 pieces of CD’s I purchase from music stores every other month.) After listening to the entire album, I usually pass them to other staff for further evaluation. What happens majority of the time is - 1. We file them in the music library and totally forget about the album or 2. Play a cut once and forget about it.
I’ve been in the broadcast industry for almost 11 years. Worked as producer and host of musical shows for almost 8 years. I know how to play the guitar since grade school. I’ve performed, joined singing contests and helped organized or promote concerts as long as I can remember. So I know a good song or album when I hear one.
I’m not claiming to be a music expert or a music mogul, nor do I have an album and I have not made anyone popular or rich by playing his/her songs. But I do want to HELP even in my small way. I pray these tips or challenges will motivate and educate those who want to record an album, be played on the radio and impact their audience in a BIG way.
1. Stop copying! How I wish I could tell Filipino Christian artists to stop trying to sound like Hillsong. I have nothing against the group, but there can only be one Hillsong. The rest will become imitations. There is nothing wrong in admiring great artists. But they’ve already made their mark, they’ve paid their dues. You are still building a name, a career, a ministry if you prefer. Be your self, but offer something different. Stand out or you’ll be buried in oblivion or your CD’s in files. Don’t waste time and money. If you’ve already invested, gain valuable lessons or experiences and put them into good use.
2. Excel. It is a fact that most Christian artists, musicians, churches have limited resources, air play, reach and support but it doesn’t mean we will settle for mediocre products or results. Remember, we are representing the King of kings and the Lord of lords. If you think you can’t produce an excellent CD/song, then prepare, train and save some more. Good thing about music is- it doesn’t have an expiration date. Artists on the other hand, might have. If you can't create something different, then offer something excellent!
3. Ask for an expert’s opinion. Sometimes it only takes a meal and transportation or a small LG (love gift) to avail of a music expert’s critique or guidance. We have a lot of talented, experienced and generous music icons, maestros and maestros in the biz. They’ve been there, so they KNOW.
4. Musicians/composers need not sing your own songs. We have our own roles to play and the proper time to play them. If other artists could give your work justice, let them shine by doing it. I have been paid to sing and asked to record songs, but I know in my heart that it’s not my “place in this world.” So I've turned them down. I can carry a tune and I ♥ music but those things don't make me a singer.
5. Know your audience. God is your number one fan/listener, but the fact that you have recorded your songs, submitted them to a radio station and asked the dj/host to play your CD on-air mean you want others to listen to your music too. Or else you would be content singing them to the Lord in the privacy of your comfort room. Make sure your songs are “singable” and radio-friendly. A catchy tune and something that the listener can relate to are what “sell” nowadays. Check the hit charts today, what songs do people listen to? Give the audience something worth their time and money. After all they are the ones that will request for your songs, download or buy your CD's and make them a hit.
Don’t be discouraged when your project are rejected. Don’t hate hosts like me when we don’t play your songs. Evaluate. Ask. Learn. Polish or as we say in print, edit your work.
Denials are not endings. They mean you have to work harder or better or you might just have to wait for the right time. :)