We asked Walter Hargrave (founder of Indie Music Bus) some questions about the independent music business. The Indie Music Bus has helped lots of independent musicians and upcoming bands. The Indie Music Bus is a helping hand to the independent musicians, offering various services from promotion to blogging and internet radio to DIY tips and tricks, and general support.
1. What do you consider as the main challenges for independent musicians today?
There is a presumption that anyone can make it big in the music industry. New music swarms the internet. It is so much easier for anyone to put music out there these days and with so many untalented artists trying to break into the scene, the arena has become over-populated. Getting their music heard above all the noise and trusting other people in the industry are the top challenges independent musicians face. It is a good thing for the industry that there are platforms like Indie Music Bus that expose those deserving artists or bands and gives them a fighting chance. There are too many shady people and brands out there promising the world and taking artists money.
2. Are you optimistic about the independent music business in 2018?
My freely given contribution and innovative ideas implemented into the Indie Music Bus platform proves I have some optimism about the industry. Even when the future of independent music business is uncertain, I continue to work at helping the underground greats. So many platforms leave artists out in the cold due to broken promises and unfair artist compensation in the streaming music business. I will always have optimism and work hard in the search for worthy independent music artists. They can trust me not to cheat them and have faith that what I am doing on their behalf is beneficial.
3. What does Indie Music Bus do gain radio airplay for independent bands/musicians?
Now that you mention it, I do not think I am doing enough! I concentrate more on finding decent and worthy places where artists can apply and less about getting the artists airplay. My energy focuses on maintaining a directory of radio stations with a few helpful tips. I can write more guides and tools to simplify the search for proper radio stations. I believe that no one can represent the artist’s intentions better than they can themselves, Personalities can sometimes be the deciding factor.
4. How should DIY musicians and independent labels approach radio stations to get tracks on the radio?
Both DIY musicians and independent labels should seek out people at the radio stations who would most likely be interested in their genre. Their success relies on building relationships with managers at an appropriate radio station. This is something you cannot rush. Patience and be consistency are key ingredients to any relationship. Obviously, a metal band should not apply to a Hip/Hop radio station, but it happens, without success. Instead, they should begin their journey by applying at college and non-commercial FM (non-profit) and internet radio and then progress to local small market FM/AM radio. Researching each station carefully increases their chance to have the music accepted for airplay. They can use several places on the web to help them locate stations that accept submissions from DIY and independent labels. In conclusion, building relationships is paramount to their success.