Music 101, Platinum Articles

How Indie Artists & College Radio Are Working Together


Hey Y’all!

It’s Your Gyrl, Ms. Carmen aka Platinum Voice PR bringing another relevant topic to you!

Many of you may not view this as a relevant subject and I may understand why you feel this way. As an artist, you must approach all sectors of radio, including internet and college radio. Statistically, College students listen to a significant amount of music for file sharing purposes. With that being said, The goal of any artist is quite simple; to have their music heard by as many people as possible. Due to the many avenues available now, artists in the earliest stages of their careers tend to overlook a basic tool to get their music heard by a wide audience; radio. While there is no denying that single corporation domination has hindered independent artist’s ability to get airplay, especially in major markets, college radio has always been well ahead of the mainstream curve.

When it comes to new music, college radio stations have always been willing to play unheard artists before their major market, mainstream contemporaries. Local artists like, King L widely established his fan base with high school and college students, on college radio before the rest of the country took notice.

The best thing about most college radio stations is that they tend to be pretty broad in what music they’ll play. That said, you should use common sense when embarking on your quest for college radio domination. If you’re in an artist that doesn’t believe in God, it’s probably safe to say that a conservative Christian college isn’t going to give your music too much attention. Similarly, if you’re a rap artist with disrespectful lyrics and an image to match, it may be best to avoid female only schools. Not only because you may be ignored, but it’s a waste of your time and effort. If you only have a certain amount of time to devote to submitting your music to college stations, try your best to make logical choices.

It’s often difficult to find enough time in the day to do all that artists need to do to become a professional artist. If you’re in a group, this is somewhat easier as there are more people involved and tasks can be delegated and divided up, making it slightly less overwhelming. Assemble everyone and figure out a way that works for all of you. Maybe you’d like to divide the country into sections and each look for stations in a different part of the U.S. Is there a particular state/region/city you’d like to focus on? Try to divide it up in smaller parts~ maybe a break down of colleges sorted alphabetically with each member being assigned a certain section of the alphabet. Try dividing up a state into parts by county, or even market according to where you’d like to concentrate your attention first. If you’re a solo artist, this is a bit more difficult, but try to recruit some people to help you, and be resourceful. Ask your mailing list for suggestions, ask your friends to come over and help you get a list of stations compiled, and even see if your family will help out.

Whether you’re in a group or on your own, always start with your own Alma mater. Colleges love their own success stories; if they can play the music of an up and coming artist, who also happens to be a current or former student, they may give you first dibs on interview slots and music showcases they have.  Once you figure out what stations you want to contact, find out what their protocol is. The easiest way to be ignored is to not do things how a given station would like you to. Find out if they prefer hard copy or MP3 submissions, what kind of press kit (if any) they want, and any other information they may want. Make sure everything is completely in order, check your spelling and grammar, and be professional, as this is business correspondence.

While Spotify and Pandora are wonderful, don’t overlook one of the main resources artists have utilized for years. Use college students, their free time, and love of music to your advantage and try to build up your audience!

Here is a list of college stations in Chicago to get you started.

Champaign – WPGUUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Charleston – WEIU (FM)Eastern Illinois University
Chicago WCSU, Chicago State University 
Chicago WZRDNortheastern Illinois UniversityWZRD Chicago 88.3fm
Chicago WCRXColumbia College Chicago
Chicago WHPKUniversity of Chicago
Chicago WIITIllinois Institute of Technology
Chicago WKKCKennedy-King College
Chicago WLRALewis University
Chicago DePaul University
Chicago WXAVSt. Xavier University
Chicago WRBCRoosevelt University-Chicago Campus
Evanston – WNURNorthwestern University
Glen Ellyn – WDCBCollege of DuPage
Grayslake – CLC RadioCollege of Lake County
Joliet – WLRALewis University
Lake Forest– WMXMLake Forest College
Lockport – WLRALewis University
Macomb – WIUS, Western Illinois University
Normal – WZNDIllinois State University
Rockford – WRCR (college radio)[24]Rockford College
Romeoville – WLRALewis University

Click HERE for more in the U.S. and other countries

You never know where I may be bringing you the events of Chicago, so make sure you follow this blog and Follow me on Twitter, @PlatinumVoicePR! If you need your name and craft to buzz out here, go to http://www.platinumvoicepr.com.  Until next time, See ya later Babies!

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(PlatinumVoicePR is the source for the events and has no legal bindings with associated parties)

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