Wednesday, April 1, 2015

NiXa Country - a place to eXist


verb (used without object) 
to have actual being; be:
"The artist exists, whether you like it or not.
to continue to be or live:
"Belief in music still exists."

Do you have any recommendations of artists that need to be heard?  We are looking for any artist that is promoting a new single to radio.  Maybe they have been on FM radio before or maybe they should be, just let us know.  We will contact them about becoming part of NIXA Country.
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Sony Nashville CEO talks importance of country radio
Nate Rau, 11:51 a.m. CST February 25, 2015
If you're not on country radio, you don't exist.

That's what Sony Music Nashville Chairman and CEO Gary Overton tells his staff several times a day when game planning how to promote one of the label group's artists. In this age of dueling streaming strategies and creative delivery models, Overton said country radio is still the straw that stirs the drink.

Overton explained that philosophy as a scene-setter for the arrival of hundreds of country radio programmers and executives in Nashville this week for the annual Country Radio Seminar.

Overton talked with The Tennessean's music business reporter Nate Rau about the importance of CRS, country radio's essential value in turning an artist into a superstar, Sony's slate of new artists and more.

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What's your opinion on the state of country radio and health of country radio?

You can ask people in the building, and I can be quoted several times a day, "If you're not on country radio, you don't exist." Again I can't think of one star, much less superstar in country music, who wasn't broken by country radio. It's just a fact. That's where the active audience is. That's where they go to listen to it. People talk about, "It's a media act. It's a groundswell. We're going to build it virally." That's all nice, but I defy you to tell me one act that made it big without country radio. And they're great partners. To me, I think country radio as a format is very healthy. You can look at their numbers, their ratings. ... Now if you look at the personal people meter, and the Mscores, the metrics that work, it shows how strong country is in all the markets out there. We're very fortunate and we work very hard to keep our relationship with everyone in country radio. And there's 164 monitored stations that make up the charts, but I think there are almost 2,000 full-time country stations. That's the biggest radio genre there is besides news and talk. We work very hard with our relationship and they're very forward-thinking folks in radio.

How do you project an artist's radio play, if country radio is so important?

The first thing is you have to be aware of what radio is playing. Because pretty much I believe radio plays things their listeners want to hear. That's their business. So we try to stay very much on top of not just what we're giving them to play, but what is the music mix? What are they playing? What type of musical style, what type of production of music? Male, female? So that's part of our thought process to say, "This is the first single, second single, third single." Also, this is where it's divergent interests. Radio is about listenership, because if they have (that), their ratings go up and they can sell more expensive advertising. Just being on the radio in and of itself is not a goal for us because we have to sell. So you could have a single that goes up the charts and does very well at radio, but we don't make money at that. We have to sell. We need a single that goes up the charts and that people decide they want to go buy it. Whether it's an album, which would be great, or over the last x-number of years it's become more track-driven, and now even digital track sales have gone down because even our format is going to streaming. We pick singles to say, "If we truly only have one shot, what would I want the world to hear of Cam, if that's how they're going to judge her?"

But if you're just discovering .. any of the artists you mentioned, you might not hear that one song when you hear them. You can project that if you pull the right song through that filter, it will do well on radio?

You also have to (answer) again, "Is this a great artist? Is this a great singer? Is this a great songwriter?" In some cases we do a development situation. People say majors don't do development anymore. And I just smile and nod and say, "Yeah, whatever," because I'm not real big at telling my competition what we're up to. But (Columbia Nashville artist) Tyler Farr (who is now touring with Jason Aldean) was in a development situation here for almost two years. We made an inexpensive EP and then an LP with him. He was out on tour with Colt Ford. Colt really liked him and he was actually part of the band and found out what a great singer he was. So he said, "Why don't you come out and start singing the verses, which are sung?" Then next thing you know Colt is saying, "Hey, why don't you open for me?" He was doing that program for us I believe it was almost for two years until we said, "Alright, it's time. He's been out in front of these people. His voice is exactly right. He's been writing and finding great songs…. It's time to take him out there." That was the development thing. The far other side is a Chase Rice or a Logan Mize, who already worked a single and had some reaction. Then there's the ones they bring in songs that are close, but we know between them writing and us together finding songs, we can find the right songs. It's different in every case what you're looking for. At the end of the day, when we go out to radio, we have to have all those pieces.

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