This Is What Stops Artists From Writing A Good Song Pt. 2

Submitted by Peter Åstedt

This is why your song is not picked! Part 2.

I’m writing the main and most common reasons why we reject artists’ songs on the radio station. I will get back to the series about the magazine and the festivals. Now gets to the main reasons we say no to songs for radio. Just to get some inspiration I will go into my mailbox and submit an account to see what is in there right now.

Oh, the first one here is an artist that wrote: Listen at 3:20 in the song there the magic happens.

Sure, you can write those elevator pitches, those can be interesting but do it wisely. Here I direct check how long is the song, it’s 3:50. So you have to wait a bit over three minutes before anything good happens. Yes, when you start to listen it starts with an intro of twenty-five seconds that could easily just have been cut off. Then the song is ok, but nothing special. Around two minutes I’m bored and just skip to 3:20. Ok so there is a build-up there in the song. Not so special either. I had already made my mind up when I was bored at two minutes, even if the best thing in the world happened at 3:20 I still wouldn’t torture my listeners to wait for that with the rest of the boring stuff. Sure, you should go out with a band, but with today’s intention span you must start with a band as well. So the lesson here is don’t tell about things that happen late in the song.

For the next one, I had it up in the last column where I wrote (check the library and you will find it) check who you are sending to. Here we have an artist that says in the short pitch: Thanks for listening, would love to have you add us to your blog.

We are a radio station; we don’t have a blog. This is very common that they use the same line in many emails and forget to check where you send it to. As much as you hate that the radio station is not listing through your song, we don’t like to be treated like just another outlet you drive-by shooting at. We all know we do this as job but try to check and write some personalized message to the place you’re sending to.

The next is proclaiming that they are releasing a single a month. To be honest, if you do PR correctly it will take more then a month for each song. A real single run probably goes on for three months. Today artists give up to fast. They throw up the song and think if they haven’t got traction in a week it’s over. It’s not unusual that I have decided to play a song and put it on rotation and even before I had to play it the artist sent me a new single. Since I have already chosen the old single the new one gets killed on arrival. Don’t release music just to get a new thing to post on social media. If you do it correctly, there is so much to do that it will take a couple of months between the songs.

Okay, enough nagging and complaining this week. I guess I will come back to the subject.

Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 35 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. In 2021, he worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes Peter is a Managing Partner and Editor of the legendary Record World International.