How To Not Be Stupid

I got really upset at someone yesterday.


Well, I got irritated, anyway.

One of my pet peeves is when an artist or band submits music that we don’t spin because they didn’t take time to check out who we are and what we do.

This is what I got in the email yesterday: (it was sent to a large group of radio shows and stations)

My name is XXXXXX. I am submitting a True Hip-Hop song titled “The Day” for airplay consideration. The sound of this song will subdue listeners with a deep mellow to raspy voice of love & inspiration mixed in with the rhythmic pulse of the harmony. My bio can be found at Let me know what you think of the song.

 The artist came to NEW DRIVEN from an online website that helps bands find radio stations that play their genre.  That site lists all NEW DRIVEN criteria so there was no reason for this person to not only NOT include the actual things we require for submission, (social media links, tour schedule), but to submit at all since we work with independent rock artists and don’t spin hip-hop or rap.

Sure, this is a minor irritation that is easily dealt with by clicking the DELETE button. However, this is what showed up several hours later from the same artist:

Program Director,

Today, I submitted a song titled “The Day” to your web site. I am the original creator of the aforesaid song(s). At the time of submission I was unaware that many of the stations that receive submission via “” operate with royalty-free terms of submission. Furthermore, I am a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), SoundExchange, and The Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies (AARC). The term royalty-free violates my interest and/or agreement in the aforesaid royalty collecting societies.  Therefore I am instructing you to remove any and all songs, music, material(s), data, and the like that was submitted by myself or agents thereof from your website and/or network(s). This removal notice is issued with in reasonable time limits established by well know contract law(s).

As you can read, this artist made no mention of recognizing the extra work he may have caused some radio stations that may have already added his song into their rotation and the amount of work that takes. No apology or graciousness was extended what-so-ever and no mention was made that he had caused this by not doing HIS homework and checking into these issues first.

This is a problem.

we are oneWhy? Because it clearly forgets that the music industry is a whole.  Those of us in the industry are ONE.  In today’s world there are millions of super-talented musicians and bands out there putting out amazing art. They rely heavily on other’s to promote them and share their work with the world.  A major sector for this is radio, bloggers, fans and social media guru’s.  Acting like you’re a god and everyone else is your peon is bad business and just plain rude.  Artists should be working TOGETHER with other music professionals to get their music out there, not acting like some privileged prima donna and demanding others do their bidding.

It’s artists like this that push people away from helping bands.  A few bad apples really do make an impact on the whole.  I know people in radio and blogging who have stopped working with musicians because they often don’t show gratitude for the work others do on their behalf.  After a while, people start to feel used instead of appreciated.  There are amazing artists out there that possess great talent and social skills and who make sure they say “thank you” when someone helps promote them.  And there are those who need to consider what they would do without all the radio stations, bloggers and fans who freely help promote their work.

I confess that I impulsively wrote a terse reply back to this individual.  Although he hadn’t cost me more than a minute of time, I felt badly for the radio stations that he had inconvenienced and for his rudeness.  We all do dumb and thoughtless things sometimes and I should have been more patient with this individual myself.

The fact remains, working together in respect and with gratitude go a long way in today’s music industry.  While we all have moments of lapse, it’s in each of our best interest to do our best to play nicely in the sandbox.  “Thank you” and “I apologize for any inconvenience” still go a long way in good work relations.


4 thoughts on “How To Not Be Stupid

  1. Really good post, guess that person does not really understand the world of music and I don’t think there career will last very long.

    As a music blogger I totally agree with your words and I am fortunate enough to deal with musicians who appreciate work that we all do to promote the music.

    Keep up the great work, that artists music was not worthy to be on your show anyway.

  2. This is why I ask every single band we scout for permission to play their material. That trust and relationship is important to me. I feel it shows respect to the artist as well, to acknowledge their hard work is not taken for granted. My mission statement is not just lip service.

  3. Great post. Being a huge music fan, I can only imagine how this would settle with me, if I were a music promoter like you and Steve. I think it’s imperative for bands to support anyone who is willing to promote them, whether through social media, radio, TV, YouTube. It’s one great big circle, and it will come around, but sometimes that “come around” will miss you if you’re not still in the circle of the people who get you there.

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