The following reviews are sponsored by Independent Music Promotions. The sponsored reviews, written by Alex Cosper, are honest opinions, based on years in the radio industry of making decisions on the commercial value of music, along with opinions as a musician and music fan. Bio information is provided by the source that represents the artist. These reviews are meant to be descriptions of the artists and music to help individuals interested in exploring independent music gain broader perspectives on these professionally promoted artists.
June 23, 2017: Nashaat Salman EP Unforgettable
June 22, 2017: Rich Lerner & The Groove album Push on Thru
June 22, 2017: Michael P Cullen album True Believer
June 20, 2017: Eric Frisch EP Late in the Night
June 20, 2017: Sluka album Colorful Radiation
June 19, 2017: Sam Levin album Frame of Mind
June 19, 2017: Saint Blasphemer EP Theotokos
June 18, 2017: Winter Calling - "Follow Me Down"
June 17, 2017: Velvet Winter - "Diamond Daydreams"
Music reviews are important to a new artist's success. Whether the review is written by a professional or a passionate blogger, it can help spread the word about the artist's music. I worked in radio from 1984 through 2006 as a program director, music director and on-air personality. I had the pleasure of selecting music at radio stations, helping give several acts their first airplay.
A few of the bands that I helped turn into national acts by providing early airplay were Cake and Deftones, when I was the program director at alternative station KWOD 106.5 in Sacramento. Both bands went on to sell millions of albums. Being a musician myself, I was devoted to nurturing the local Sacramento music scene in the 1990s, when alternative music rivaled the mainstream in popularity. KWOD had been a top 40 station in the 80s when I started, so I had a taste of finding hits in both formats.
My job as a program director was to oversee everything on the air - from the music to the jocks to the promotions. I was responsible for the station's ratings, which are what determine advertising rates. As much as I wanted to play every recording I've ever loved, I learned that's not how radio works. Since the average listener only tunes in for 20 minutes at a time, radio stations build their audiences on playing a lot of the same songs over and over. Those aren't just random songs - they tend to be songs that pass a series of tests to stay on the air. Usually the most popular songs survive and the ones that don't react disappear.
As much as radio has struggled financially this century and is challenged by other forms of media, it's still the top driver for music sales. But now that Billboard includes streams in its chart methodology, it's technically possible to show up on the charts without radio airplay. But your song will generate much more money if it's played on terrestrial radio across America than if it's heard millions of times on a global streaming platform.
Still, there are other ways to sell music than getting radio exposure. It comes down to how many people have heard your story - either directly from you at live shows - or from others who have listened to your recordings. Playing live covers is how many musicians pay the bills in their hometowns. Developing a regional following is key to getting the attention of labels. The more regions where you can attract people to shows, the better your chances for moving up to the next level.
No matter how great a song or an album is, it can only sell if people talk about it or if it's getting played on a medium that reaches a wide audience. Some artists have been successful strictly writing for movies and TV shows, but that world is much more competitive than radio. The great thing about the 21st century is that you can get your music online quickly without a big hassle and you can easily share it on social media. You can also connect with bloggers who specialize in reviewing music.
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