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ACM London students (and a few lucky applicants who happened to be in the building for their auditions!) had the pleasure of meeting the Head of Music for Kerrang! Radio and Planet Rock – Loz Guest – in February for a Masterclass on radio, playlisting and getting your music heard.
Loz is on air 5 days a week for Kerrang! and does shows for Planet Rock in addition to his role as Head of Music, which means he is in charge of their music inventories, and puts him in a perfect position to offer expert advice and input for our students.
When asked what he looks for in a song, Loz explained that it depends on the radio station. “It’s gotta be really good… good chorus, hook, melody, around 3 minutes long.” He gave the example of Little Mix’s ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ as a strong earworm track. He then advised students who are looking for airplay to first find radio stations that they think their music will fit, and suggested they use the BBC Introducing uploader. His advice was for them to choose their best 3 tracks for their demo, with the first track being the most radio-friendly of them. He warned against sending gifts (/bribes) to playlisters. “No cakes, no beer, please.”
Loz also warned the students to be wary of PR agents who charge for just doing simple work that they could do themselves, such as copying a bio, and sending out CDs. “There are really good indie record pluggers who work hard and get bands going in the right direction, but you generally have to pay more for them.”
“The DIY ethic is alive and well.”
After a series of questions from the students, the Masterclass wrapped up with a discussion on how musicians need to develop a great work ethic when it comes to getting themselves heard. Loz advised them that they need to get their demos out to radio stations and record labels; if they’re playing gigs they need to make sure they’re building a social following, and if they keep that up then chances are they will get picked up.
We’d like to thank Loz for taking the time out from his busy schedule to speak to our students (and applicants)! If you’d like to study music at ACM and learn from experienced music and radio professionals like Loz, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit www.acm.ac.uk/open-days/ to book a place on an ACM Open Day today.