Getting new music heard: What role does radio play today?


With no TV music programs showcasing new releases anymore, getting your song played on commercial radio sure ain’t what it used to be.

We now live in a world where there are more options than ever to see and hear new music, but for many musicians, it has never felt more invisible.

It’s a problem challenging artists from every corner of the musical landscape.

Could radio be the saviour?

Natalie Gauci (main photo) won Australian Idol. And yet, her latest album Brand New Day is bypassing streaming platforms, as she reveals on the latest episode of Life of Brian … Mannix that is podcast:

“There is so much music on Spotify, iTunes and everything else,” Natalie says. “I decided not to go on the social media platforms. I am just going to have physical copies and digital copies via Bandcamp and my website.”

Imagine what it’s like if your music does not fall into a mainstream genre.

First Nations artist Mitch Tambo knows that only too well.

Mitch has long been a supporter of regional and community radio and considers it the heartland of Australian music and stories.

Mitch rallied behind community radio during a recent visit to Victorian station 3MDR in Upwey. As well as being passionate about language artists getting their songs heard on radio, Mitch is all about backing in local talent and staying connected to the local community.

“As the industry continues to evolve and social media platforms become our go-to for daily news and music consumption, keep supporting local radio,” he urged his fans.

Mitch this week released his latest music project, which puts a new spin on one of the world’s most ancient instruments, the didgeridoo.

Tambo Jamz Vol.1 is a unique collection of instrumental soundscapes which defy genre boundaries and celebrate cultural diversity.

Radio interviews have been a big part of Mitch’s schedule of late, from Ballarat’s Power FM to local ABC stations in Shepparton, Mildura, Swan Hill and Victoria’s Central West, as well as ABC Radio Sydney, where he performed a live off-the-cuff song during his studio chat with Sarah Macdonald.

A qualified social worker, Mitch has also been the voice and ambassador for the national radio community’s mental health initiative, having been an integral part of Triple M’s No Talk Day and Courageous Talk Roundtable.

In a Radio Today article last year, Mitch told of his gratitude for the stations which play his music and talked about the importance of radio ‘finding its voice.’

“To all the stations that continue to celebrate the difference in my music and play a role in creating a new tomorrow, I salute you.”

It’s been a busy time for Mitch, who in April launched the Walanbaa Youth Tour, visiting schools, learning centres and youth hubs, performing and delivering workshops for students and educators alike.

His mission? To inspire, educate, and empower people through the universal language of music.

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