Being an indie musician and getting your music spun at a major radio station can appear to be nearly as difficult as getting it in the hands of a major label's A & R guy. That said, many major stations have programming in the form of an indie spotlight or showcase, in which they will play unsigned acts and announce upcoming shows.
We decided to pick the grey matter of some of Canada's biggest radio stations and get some 'in-the-know' info on how indie artists can best approach a major station and get their music heard.
Trace Ventura is the self-proclaimed "utility infielder" for CFOX 93.3 The Fox in Vancouver, BC. He is the Fox's Indie Music Director as well as the station's Morning News Anchor and Imaging Director, which as he says, means that he's "good at lotsa stuff, and not great at any of it." If you'd like to contact Trace, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connie Bernardi is the Music and Artist Relations Director for Ottawa, ON's 101.1 XFM. She has been in radio for about seven years, having started off doing mornings for CKQB and CHEZ then moving to promotions for XFM, eventually becoming Promotions Director and the Music Director. She is also a weekend swing jock. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
Barry Taylor is the producer of Toronto's 102.1 The Edge Indie Hour and is also the organizer/producer of 102.1 The Edge NXNE Indie Club. The 24-year-old is a graduate of Mohawk College's Radio Broadcasting program. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What type of opportunities do indie bands/artists have at major radio stations (yours in particular)? Special programming? Regular rotation? Contests?
Trace: Most stations don't offer many opportunities, but ours does have a regular one-hour show that runs Tuesday nights from 11 p.m. to midnight called Indie Night in Canada. Despite the name, most airplay goes to bands from the Lower …