Radio Interview Tips For Independent Hip Hop Artists
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5 Radio Interview Tips for Independent Hip Hop Artists

When it comes to getting yourself a spot on the radio, it can leave you quite nervous. It’s a flutter to the heart when, as an independent artist, you get the chance to really put yourself out there.

Whether it’s a tiny college radio or something larger online or on the airwaves, the fear kicks in. You just want to give the best impression of yourself, but how can you do that when you feel like people are listening?

Let’s take a look at some of the best tips and tricks for radio success.

1. Keep it simple and lighthearted

One of the worst things that you can do on your first radio interview is to try and come across as some kind of intelligentsia. You can quickly find that being overly complex with your answers just leaves people getting bored of what you have to say.

Your goal is not to be on the radio and to talk needless about your ambitions or the reasons why you got into music. You aren’t here as a philosophy major, but a music artist. Instead of trying to bamboozle the audience of make them see you as some kind of visionary, keep it nice and simple.

Short answers are good for getting through lots of questions, allowing both you and the host to engage with one another. You can get through more as a team if you just answer the question with a normal answer of, at most, 30 seconds. Finish with a clear end of sentence tone that allows the host to know that you have finished – make it easy for them to know when you finish up talking.

It might seem so simple to some, but complexity is not something that is attractive in most musical interviews.

2. Bring something special

You’ve been given the chance to get on the radio and you should thank the producer by giving them something special to play to the audience.

Take your major hit and adapt it a little; add some more to your best work to refine it even more. Add something more to make it unique, something a little different from the norm.

Why? Because it makes it easier for your song to remain fresh. It grabs the attention of newcomers but it also lets your present fans know that you are varying it up and trying something a bit different.

This gives your fans something new to enjoy and also lets the radio presenter know that you went out of your way to impress.

You got on the station because they liked the original, so you might feel compelled to stick with that. Instead, bring a special along and see what they think.

If they decide to stick with the original then fair enough, but it’s always better to bring something along that shows how much the interview and the opportunity means to you. Understanding this now allows you to turn out without finding yourself unprepared or uncertain.

3. Have some cool stories

Every radio interview goes a lot better if you have some interesting stories to talk about with the presenter. This might sound obvious but many hip-hop artists want to make it all about the music. However, if you come across as stony and serious all the time then it can hamper the hype around your tunes.

Make sure that you avoid this by simply getting involved with the funny stories that come beforehand. You are not here just to promote your music or a new release, but to try and promote you, the person, as well.

That’s just as important to making the right kind of changes and receptions to your music and will play a striking role in helping you break through the mold and enjoy this a little more than previously expected. Obviously make sure it’s easy to relate to and try run the story beyond the presenter first to make sure they are both comfortable with it and can build to it.

A bit of personality can go a long way – this is your chance to shine, so use the wit that imbues your music with such quality and tell something more interesting.

4. Grab a copy of the recording

One of the best ways to make sure that your radio interview goes down well is to find out where the recordings of it are going to be posted. This allows for easy and elegant understanding of how to get the best out of your music when promoting the interview afterward.

A simple ability to post up a replay of the video version that was recorded in the studio is a good way to add a bit of a human touch to your overall message and appeal. If they record it, make sure you can share it.

5. Maintain professionalism

At any junction in a radio interview, it can take a different turn to what you expected. Perhaps the producer will try and play a funny joke or perhaps they might say something to you that you find irritating or offensive.

Instead of blowing up or maybe going a bit too hard with a joke, though, stand back and take a bit of a closer look at how they are talking to you in the first place. Can you see why they came across in the way that they did? Can you appreciate that it was maybe a joke?

Maintain a professionalism even if things go a bit awkward or they something that annoys or upsets you. Being totally professional during the interview is far more likely to maintain a positive feel to the interview, even if the presenter manages to make a bit of a mess of things.

And don’t think you’ll be the one who messes up – presenters do it just as often as guests do. Stick with this and you just might find that life with your presenter is going to become a little bit easier than it may have appeared when you started out.

Radio interviews are hard to pull off and make sure they sound right, so taking the time to adjust now can avoid you arrive fully prepared for a major promotion.

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