It might be best to not send a cassette tape to the radio station.
  • It might be best to not send a cassette tape to the radio station.
You've already put your tunes on Facebook, Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, etc.—congratulations! You can use a computer. But guess what: People still listen to the radio. Millions of people. Andrew Harms, music director at 107.7 the End, Kevin Cole, senior program director at KEXP, and me, host of Locals Only on the End, have some tips for musicians hoping to hear their songs on the airwaves.

To start:

Before you send anything, know who you're sending it to.

If you're a metal band, don't send your music to the hiphop show. If you're a funk band, don't send your music to a heavy metal radio station (also, don't be a funk band). It sounds like obvious advice, right? Nope. I've been hosting Locals Only, the Pacific Northwest music show, for years, and I often receive press packages from bands out of New York and California with clueless letters promising "the Locals Only audience will love us!" Not only is it a waste of time and money, but you look stupid.

Do a little research and find out if the stations in your area have local music shows and start there. If your favorite radio station has specialty shows, as many do, find out which hosts play which genres and reach out to them instead of just blindly sending a package to the programming or music director. "KEXP DJs have the freedom and responsibility for programming their own shows, to curate the music mix," says Cole. "In addition to programming their shows, they're on a quest to discover new music and suggest new releases to be added to the library."

Even more good advice—including what to include in a press kitcan be found right here.