Why your song is not playing!

The Chronicle

Mbulelo Mpofu, online journalist
ONE of the worst nightmares that artists endure in the world of music is one of the following; being booed and suffocated on stage, producing a mediocre track or worse yet submitting your song and not getting a broadcast.

It can be frustrating and can leave you with more questions than answers.

Artists and producers spend countless hours in the studio producing what they call “hits,” only for the hits to hit a massive brick wall when it comes to streaming.

It does not matter whether it is a commercial or non-commercial radio broadcast.

Artists enjoy the spin, regardless of the financial gain that comes with it.

Whether it’s original compositions or covers, some songs just don’t seem to be played on the radio.

Some of the most promising talent suffered stillbirth due to frustrations attributed to failure to get that much-needed break.

Of course, the road to stardom isn’t a 100m sprint race (well, for most of us), but rather a marathon that takes persistence, hard work and, most importantly, a bang. lucky (sometimes.)

When it comes to this type of predicament, upcoming artists suffer the most.

A survey of some of the artists elicited a somewhat mixed reaction when it came to the music submission.

Some struggled, but others found it quite easy, for those who needed clarity on what is going on behind the scenes, a double portion awaits them.

So to get the monkey out of their (upcoming local artists), we had to summon people whose job it was to receive submissions and compile playlists for radio stations in and around the metropolitan province of Bulawayo. .

Are the recording, mixing, mastering and sound engineering of our music substandard?

If not, why is it difficult for future musicians to break even and be on the air?

All of the above questions were asked by Saturday Leisure.

The music submission process has been a challenge for artists, especially given the prevailing Covid-19 conditions.

Physical submission was easy back then, all you had to do was walk into the radio station and the receptionist would tell her where to submit the 3 compact discs (CDs) of their work.

Now most, if not all submissions are done virtually and there is a criterion that must be followed.

Skyz Metro FM executive producer Possenti Sikosana was more than willing to shed some light on the criteria an artist must meet in order for their songs to receive a standard radio rating.

“Sending music to the radio is pretty straightforward. You have to send your music to [email protected] along with the following information, unique album / artwork, artist profile, music genre, track list, social media IDs and the correct format we accept is MP3. Without meeting the above criteria, it becomes difficult, almost impossible for us to play music, ”Sikosana said.

The radio station is better known as Esabantu, which can loosely be translated to an all-inclusive station, but not all artists will be broadcast because “music submission does not automatically guarantee that it will be broadcast. will be played “.

The main defining factor of artists who shoot each other in the foot happens to be their lyrical content. Some songs are just too questionable lyrically. It is not just a local problem, but a global one.

Broadcasting on the air is not always black and white, but there are many factors that come into play. Some get aired, but eventually fall out of favor. Take for example controversial artists like Lady Gaga (real name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) who thrive on controversy.

The lyrical content of her song called Judas created religious chaos and in Lebanon authorities unfortunately endorsed Lady Gaga’s claim, in her single – released at Easter, no less – than “in the most biblical sense. of the term / I am beyond repentance “. He was banned from the radio.

In Zimbabwe, Lady Gaga’s equal is award-winning rapper / musician Alishious Musimbe, also known as Maskiri.

This man has always been a controversial figure with songs like Dhara Rangu and more recently Binga’s Mbinga not helping his case. In addition, his album Blue Movie left a bad taste in the mouths of many people.

Such a reputation can have an impact on the distribution of an artist.

The title of the album itself is “questionable”. It creates an unfathomable mental abomination.

Listening to the song, Mbinga de Binga, Maskiri, between 0:10 and 0:13 seconds sings, Handina musoro kunge Tapiwa Makore (I don’t have a head like Tapiwa Makore), which referred to the brutally murdered Murewa boy, Tapiwa Makore and that didn’t suit most people.

Maskiri has carved a place for himself in hip-hop circles, there is no doubt that he is one of the kings, but his Achilles heel will always be his controversial lyrics.

Due to his “controversial” self, his messages tend to get lost in translation and such lyrics make or destroy an artist. Maskiri is just another fish in the sea in this regard. There are many artists who have been killed in the court of public opinion because of their reputation.

But that’s not the only reason an artist may not be successful on radio, as Skyz Metro FM’s executive producer said – failure to submit the artist’s discography / biography can void an artist.

Why should artists also submit their discography / profile or electronic press kit (EPK)? It is important that musicians provide a profile on themselves, as this helps DJs and radio hosts get a clear and perfect idea of ​​who the artist is and what he is.

“Unfortunately, most submissions don’t have all of the above requirements. We barely get artist profiles. With no submitted profiles then you go online and can’t find anything, which makes it difficult to talk about the artist, ”Sikosana said.

Esabantu’s music submission poster expressly states that, lyrically, there should be no “explicit” content. This is not just an isolated case as this (no explicit content) also applies to all other radio stations.

Most artists will attest to having used or at least been tempted to use the “Parental Content / Explicit Content” sticker on their CD art covers. It looks cool and seems trendy, right?

Here’s the stink, such lyrical content is subject to judgment and scrutiny. The more songs are criticized for their lyrical content, the less likely they are to be broadcast on the radio.

Not only does this affect the broadcast, but it also compromises the artist’s chances of financial gain on virtual music stores.

In some countries, marking songs as explicit also affects the visibility of the release in Apple Music / iTunes stores. In Belarus, Burkina Faso, India, Nepal and Uzbekistan, Apple Music / iTunes will not display the output of these songs.

It’s good to make your fans aware of what kind of content is in your songs, but to what end if you don’t get the broadcast you so badly need?

Explicit lyrics are those that contain strong language and swear words. I know artists know what I’m talking about.

Sometimes music is not on the playlist because of such strong language. Additionally, references to violence, sex or drugs in the lyrics or displayed on the cover art can be problematic and cast the wrong spotlight on any artist.

You can’t seriously use discriminatory language in your songs and expect them to come out. Yes, it could be a powerful ‘bar’, but in your quest to raise the bar, you might spell the end. Your bars should be within a socially acceptable formulation. Radio stations need clear lyrics that are relevant to the radio.

When your song isn’t playing, you’re prone to blaming everyone except yourself. If it’s not the producer’s fault, then most likely the radio presenters are “sabotaging” you. But you forget that, as mentioned above, submitting music does not automatically guarantee that it will be played.

Radio stations have librarians whose job it is to sift the grain of the chaff.

“Music goes through a process of listening. The music committee sits down and reviews all submitted music with approved songs going into the weekly rotation system. The selected songs must be properly mastered with perfect alignment of vocals and instruments, ”said Mr. Sikosana.

Khulumani FM librarian Allen Gandiwa attests to the radio station’s willingness not only to receive but also to broadcast local music.

“We are more than ready to play local artists and I would like to advise them to keep their music free from vulgar, obscenity and hate speech. That way it becomes easy for us to play their music on the radio during the day, ”he said.

Sometimes the lyrics can be clear like a nurse, the beat as groovy as it can get, but then the vocal clarity and delivery will be “mind-boggling”. Discord is counterproductive.

This will make the entire production a somewhat substandard project and in the tough and competitive world of music second best won’t be enough. Music producers and radio presenters can do the same. The artist takes the lion’s share in the success and friendliness of his project.

Another thing musicians should be aware of is that radio stations receive a fairly large number of submissions and your song may take a long time to play.

It is in this context that soon Skyz Metro FM will launch an interactive workshop with people involved in the music industry to have an appreciation on how to better manage their music.

“As part of our 5th anniversary celebrations, we want to organize an interactive workshop aimed at equipping artists with relevant knowledge about the music industry,” Sikosana said.

This will be imperative, especially for artists, because if these storms of “demands” are not examined thoroughly, then dissemination could become an artist’s holy grail.

For all artists, not getting broadcast doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad artist, so instead of falling asleep crying, playing the blame game, and partying, just keep working hard and trying again. – @ eMKlass_49

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