By babatunde zollner

imagesThe Nigerian radio industry couldn’t be less friendly to most independent new artistes. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t some significant radio airplay available to you if you know what you’re doing.?We live in an Era where everyone and their grandma wants to be heard on radio and frankly speaking, if your music is not played on commercial radio, there’s a limit to your reach and your fan base will be quite limited.
That said, one major mistake emerging artistes make is trying to cover all grounds at once on a limited budget. Except you have Major label money behind you, getting your music on all Nigerian Stations and getting everyday airplay is next to impossible. So what do you do? You plan!?Outlined below is a plan to consider if you have the three important ingredients necessary for getting your songs played on radio.

Every day I get messages and mails from artistes begging for radio promotion and when I ask them what their plan and promo budget is, they become deaf and dumb! The bitter truth is that in this industry, Money answereth all things! You need to get it out of your head that simply walking into a radio station as an unknown act, dropping your CD with the librarian or an On Air Personality, will get your songs played. Don’t be surprised if your CD ends up being covered up by dust on the shelves or worse, ends up in the trash!

Before approaching any radio station for airplay, do your homework. You need to find out the music format of the radio station and know if your genre and style blends with it or not! For example, trying to get airplay on a station that plays only classic R&B and Jazz, when your style is the typical Naija Blend of Hip-Hop/Dance is foolishness.

Next is making a list of all the radio stations that play your kind of music. Then spend time to actually listen to the shows/programs and select the one with good listenership and fan base.

Make a note of who the Presenters of those shows are, listen up for their contacts on the social networks, eg Twitter handle, Facebook ID etc. it will also help if you make yourself a regular listener on their shows, call in whenever you can, join the fan page etc..what you are doing is creating a familiar ground for future reference and easy contact.

One important step you should never skip is talking to other new independent artistes enjoying good airplay. Find out what their budget was.
At this point, you are armed with the basic information you need. So the next step is to sit down and check your bank account. You need to draw up a financial plan for this. How much will it cost you to move around (transport fare, or fuel money?) How much are you willing or can afford to invest in each station?

you need to draw up a time table for this. You also need to realize that this is not something to be rushed. You also need to be consistent with radio promotion, that’s why you need to draw up a time table according to your budget.

So many emerging artistes are guilty of pushing songs that are not ready for promotion. Before rushing to waste your hard earned resources, you need to ensure that the song you want to put on air deserves to be on air! Have several industry professionals listen to it and critique it. your hommies most likely won’t tell you the truth, so sample the opinions of trusted professionals first.

If you have NOT made your music available online, then FORGET about investing the time and money trying to get airplay. What’s the point? If a station plays your song and people like your music – but can’t find it in their favourite ONLINE music site – then they can’t have access to your music. So get your online promotion in place first!


Stardom is the one thing that no one can guarantee.? It takes a lot of talent, money, political contacts, and luck. Being in the right place at the right time has meant the difference for many stars, but they all had to be prepared when the break finally came.? I hope this article will prepare you for this business we call MUSIC……..


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