So I recently had a guest on the radio show who came off a little too strong and we bumped heads a little bit. At the end of the show he made a comment like “I didn’t know the rules”. Fair enough. Here are ten loose rules to visiting a radio station so you don’t come on no B.S.
- Respect the territory. Regardless of whether the show is a radio power house or an interview conducted in someones garage, the truth is they feel they have value and you must want or need something from them or you wouldn’t be on their show. If you can’t respect it then kindly decline the interview but definitely don’t come in being an ass.
- Recognize that you don’t know who could be in the building. Greet everyone with a handshake and a name. Usually the people chilling in the radio stations have some kind of clout. Even if they are just there to hang out, they could be the one to remind the dj to play your song in the future.
- Remember to bring gifts but a gift to a radio host is the kind you like, want and need to give. Bring them an exclusive song, a cd or a poster. It will make them feel appreciated but more importantly it helps them to promote you and remember your name.
- Listen to past episodes of their show and listen to the station on your way to the interview. It makes a huge impression when you can tie in a discussion that happened earlier on the show to your interview. That’s the small touch that makes artist stand out. It also helps you identify what kind of host you will encounter. A lot of artist feel like they need to test people but sometimes you can learn from past people’s mistakes. I never met Steve Harvey but I know I shouldn’t come at him with no B.S. because he will tear me down to size. A few minutes of research you can save you from a ruined interview. Conflict helps the shows popularity but not necessarily the artist’s career.
- Leave the name calling for your homies. Radio shows are made from very diverse backgrounds and even on rap or hiphop stations everyone doesn’t embrace the idea of showing endearment by calling people nigg*, b*tch or whatever. Best way to play it safe is call everyone by their name especially if you don’t know a person like that.
- Be yourself. Of course Lil Wayne can get on an interview and be cocky, call everyone a nigg*, put his feet on the desk laugh, drink syrup and give a one word response, but more than likely you aren’t at that point yet. The truth is people are more likely to be responsive to your music, follow your movement or even become a fan if they dig you as a person. Which meanse let your natural light shine through. Save the articificial stuff for your music videos. Be funny, witty charismatic and yea we all like a little bit of cocky but don’t over do it and if you see the host getting upset, more than likely their listeners are too. The host have made a connection with the people tuning into their show and they are introducing you to their audience. You want everything they say to be a compliment or recommendation and it’s hard to savage an interview once it starts heading south.
- Thank the person for the interview and ask them for help. It’s true, radio hosts are usually well connected with hosts at other shows or stations, bloggers/writers and djs. Let them know you appreciate their time and ask them if they could introduce you to someone who could help your career. Everyone wants to feel like they played a part in making the next big star so when you show star quality they usually don’t hold back. I have met so many artist who I wanted to help but I didn’t because they didn’t give me the oppurtunity. An interview is about finding more connections.
- Have fun and be interesting. The best interviews are where people let themselves go and just be honest. If someone asks you what makes you different than the next artist don’t say “cause I’m me” we know that but if you don’t have something about you that is unique then you should hold off on the interviews and go back to the drawing board. You have to find your spark because that’s what people are buying and that’s what show hosts, dj and promoters are looking to push.
- Give thanks. If you are on the station and you give proper credit to your producer, dj, manager and team then it let’s listeners know that you are not the type to forget who helped you and that encourages influential people to reach out to you. Noone wants to go out on a limb and put an artist on and then have them turn their back a week later.
- Make sure you give out your contact info. It’s pretty much a standard ending to every interview but in case the hosts forgets to ask offer it. There is nothing worse that playing a great song and have fans forget about it because they had no way to follow up.
BONUS RULE: RESPECT. RESPECT. RESPECT. When all else fails that will save an interview everytime.