Community radio is an essential way for emerging artists to get their music heard
Stu Mackenzie from King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard reminisces about the early support the band received
Are you an emerging artist? With nearly 5 million weekly listeners across hundreds of stations, community radio is a huge resource for musicians early in their career.
Amrap (the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project) - is a free service that distributes music to community radio programmers and hosts. Community radio presenters also use Amrap to discover new Australian music for airplay.
Do you have your music on Amrap? If not, why not? It's free!
We recently sat down with Stu Mackenzie (King Gizz) to discuss the benefits of community radio.
Can you tell us about the first time you experienced listening to community radio?
It was probably 94.7 The Pulse in Geelong. I went to high school in ‘G-Town’ and cut my teeth playing in bands there. The Pulse was really supportive of us, considering we were bratty, annoying kids making sometimes good, sometimes terrible music. We went in pretty regularly for interviews and stuff. Community radio rules!
What’s the importance of community radio in Australia for artists as well as music fans?
Community radio bridges the gap between listener and artist. It’s so important.
What advice would you give any artist looking to connect with community radio, both in their local area and across the country?
Just get involved. Volunteer at the station and meet the amazing people who run these organisations. I volunteered at [Melbourne’s] PBS for a while and it was incredibly formative. You really get a sense of the whole big picture of the music biz being in a place like that. Oh, and have fun - it’s a privilege to be an artist!
As Stu mentioned, 94.7 The Pulse in Geelong has connected local acts with their audiences for over 25 years.
There is a good chance a musical group will find its audience through community radio, reckons The Pulse's John Lamp. “There is a greater opportunity for new and emerging artists to develop relationships with specific programs and presenters in ways that would not be possible with mainstream stations. There is a greater probability that there will be someone at a community radio station who likes their music because of that diversity.”
Amrap is an essential tool in connecting artists with those presenters, says John. “Amrap contains a database of community radio presenters. It makes it easy to find presenters who might be interested in your music, so you can reach out to them specifically. Amrap is the answer.”
You can find 94.7 The Pulse FM and over 300 other community radio stations on the Community Radio Plus App, which features a diverse range of community radio stations nationwide in one handy spot!
Did you know that more than 37% of the music broadcast on community radio is from Australian artists? This well surpasses the Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice quota of 25% and reflects the sector’s love and support for Australian music and dedication to supporting local arts and culture.
Check out our article on pitching your music to community radio or learn about the role of community radio in Jen Cloher's career. If you still have some questions about what Amrap does, check out this tips piece.