How To Get A Song On The Radio
In this article I am going to talk about how to get a song on the radio. I’ve been on the radio before a few times and I want to talk to you about a couple of my experiences, how I got a song on the radio, how getting a song on the radio works and the best way of going about getting your music on the radio.
If you are wondering how I ever learned anything about getting a song on the radio… My last manager was Ray De LaGarza who was a radio guy.
He ran 2101 Records which was Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez and I’m sure you know both of those names and that they BOTH always get their music on the radio.
Even though he IS my former manager, We are still cool and anytime I need advice I know I can call him up. He is like a cool uncle.
When he was my manager I learned more about radio than anything else since that was his specialty.
If you look at his Linkedin you can see he has primarily radio connections for a reason.
I’m not going to go into the extra stuff like BDS and Media Base spins and stuff like that in this radio article. I’ll save that for another time.
Here are the 3 primary ways you can get on the radio and start getting your music played and heard.
How To Get A Song On The Radio #1
You can establish relationships with the radio DJs and they might put you on the radio.
First let me know talk about a time when I was able to get played during a mid day radio show and how it happened.
I did a show in Chicago at the Funky Buddah lounge as the headliner for the New Years Eve bash.
At that show was Chicago’s 107.5 WGCI radio DJs DJ Dime Piece and DJ 33 1/3 who is actually Rakim’s DJ. And if you don’t know who Rakim is than you don’t know Hip Hop.
Well during the show I performed a song called ‘Chicago‘ (I’ll put the link below) DJ 33 1/3 leaned over the stage and said he liked my stuff and I was mind blown.
By the way he is truly an amazing person. Very down to earth and humble. Please go hit him with a follow on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thedj33/
We connected. I did anything I could to help him and he offered me amazing advice on the industry.
Long story short, he knew what songs were about to be hot and what was going to play on the radio.
So he told me to do a remix of the BoB 2 Chainz song Head band… he told me if I did a remix he could mix it into his mid day mix which means 10’s of thousands of people would hear it.
He sent me the beat… and I instantly made the remix and sent it to him.
I’ll put a link below to that remix and the music video I made for it. It’s still a fan favorite.
DJ 33 1/3 is now the program director which is one of the top guys at 103.5 the beat in Miami now which is a HUGE radio station btw.
I tell you these stories so you can learn from my experiences but that’s one way it happens. Let me dig a little deeper into how to get a song on the radio
Building a relationship with a radio DJ generally tends to work BEST by dealing with radio DJs that are more accessible and more capable of playing your music such as the night DJs.
When music is playing during the day it is MUCH MORE heavily regulated and the DJs can’t just randomly play you. They have to follow the rules of the radio and music plays in a rotation. I won’t go too deep into that.
But during the night shift there is at least some leeway for someone to get played.
Yes, there are less listeners at night BUT people are still listening and you STILL get your music on the radio.
Let me show you guys something so you know I’m not lying here.
I personally cataloged every single person in the music industry inside of my browser so I can immediately keep in contact with them.
I organized them all by city and radio station. I can instantly open their Instagram or Twitter into my browser and leave comments on their posts to build a relationship.
I did this by taking weeks of my time to go through each cities radio station website and get the links to all the DJs information.
You can do the same thing. Don’t ask for favors, just be seen and be nice for a long long time and then eventually, see what you can do to possibly help them and then see if they will give your BEST SONG a listen.
If you want more information on this method and how to network more and even how to infiltrate rappers networks and circles you can do so by checking out my How To Build Your Network 10 times faster course.
I’ll put the link below… all the links are below.
To go a bit further into this and why starting with this route is the smart way to do it, if your song is registered with BDS every time it spins on a major radio station it gets tracked.
If you can get even 1 SPIN, that’s great! If you can get 10 spins even at night.. that’s HUGE.
This is because to even make a radio’s program director consider you in any way shape or form, the proof of these spins will help you actually get mid day spins.
Now… it’s still RARE, but it’s a major help.
Additionally, if your song is NOT registered with BDS or media base and the song plays on the radio it will not track the radio play and it’s as if it didn’t exist.
What you really want is for your song to be playing on the radio at a bunch of stations all in the same area. Let’s say you got 20 to 30 spins in the Atlanta area… that’s amazing. Now you have proof you have a little buzz locally and you can use that buzz to try to get other radio stations to play you.
How One Big Music Artists Got His Songs On The Radio
Another quick tid bit before we move to number 2. I know night radio DJs at major stations that if they like you… will spin your music for a bag of weed and $100… I’m not saying any names or anything but just realize if you can make the DJ happy… they might be able to play you. But you can’t just approach them like that… you gotta build your relationship with them.
I’d offer some money for them to just listen and not get the radio play. Then every time you have a new song pay them again just to listen. Eventually they may like a song.
Pit Bull used to do this with Miami radio DJs he befriended. He would constantly send the DJ at the radio the song and they would keep saying nah nah nah nah nah but then eventually… Hey… this is good.
And who better to give you feedback on if a song is good or not than a DJ that gets sent 1000 songs a week and only plays the hottest music. You’re welcome.
How To Get A Song On The Radio #2
You can hire companies to try to get your music played on the radio
I learned this from long long talks with Ray (my former manager)
The only issue with this that it is VERY VERY expensive and to be completely honest from all the things I have learned from Ray… doing this generally doesn’t even get you many spins.
You watching this video right now is going to save you A LOT of money if you are considering hiring a company to do radio campaigns for you right now.
They generally start around $15,000 and up. Yea… $15,000… I have the money and to be honest, it’s not a Smart Rapper thing to do. It just really isn’t, especially not after everything I have learned.
I mention it because it IS an option to get on the radio but for MOST ARTISTS it is not the place you should allocate money to.
Just to go a bit deeper into it. Generally the company you hire already has connections and relationships with the music and program directors.
These are the people who choose what plays on the radio.
But you have to realize that major record labels have had relationships with these radio stations program directors for YEARS and they are constantly trying to get even 1 of the hundreds of artists signed to the labels to get a slot for radio play.
Pretty much, you are fighting a giant and the chances of you winning are slim to none.
Unless you have a SMASH HIT song, an amazing brand and a surplus of resources I don’t recommend this route.
Instead, spend that 10 to $15,000 on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram ads and reach around 7 MILLION TARGETED PEOPLE.
I am currently making a course on how music artists can use Facebook ads to gain fans. I’m very excited for that. Be on the lookout for that at https://www.SmartRapper.com/Products
How To Get A Song On The Radio #3
You can sign to a major label to get radio play.
Of course when I say this I am partially joking.
As I said before, you are still fighting against all the other artists signed to that label for that radio play spot and just because you get signed doesn’t mean the label will even push you.
Often times you will be shelved if you get signed unless you got signed when you were already super buzzing and the label knows they can make a lot of money from you.
And since they know getting a song on the radio is so difficult they generally try other strategies to get you heard.
All in all, I made this video to let you know how incredibly hard it is to get your music played on the radio. You already knew this though, that’s why you searched for how to get your song on the radio.
I HIGHLY recommend you focus your time and energy in other places because you will see A LOT more results.
But if you want to try, your best bet is to establish those relationships with the night DJs at the radio station as well as the Program Directors and music supervisors.
If you have money, buy targeted ads to fans of artists who you sound the most like.
I’ll put all of the links below to everything so you can check out the Networking Course, The How To Use Facebook Ads Course For Artists And A lot More.
If you do try to get your song on the radio. I want to wish you the best of luck and I hope you get that radio play your music deserves!!!
Now you know How To Get A Song On The Radio.
Best of luck with getting your song played on the radio my friend!