Q) Tell us a little bit about your blog. What inspired you to start it?
A) Women of Substance Radio is a streaming, online radio station which airs 24/7 on the Live365 Network. Our tagline is “Whether you’re a label artist or an Independent, if you’ve got great music, you’re on Women of substance Radio.” Substance can be defined as “significant quality with the implication of a hidden or special significance.” Music of Substance is not just entertainment or fluff, but has an essential “core” brimming with heart, soul, and spirit. Women of Substance Radio plays music by female performers who deliver high quality music that speaks to the listener through vocal excellence, depth of character and emotion, and lyrics that leave a lasting impression.
I created WOS Radio because I was sick of the big broadcasters telling me what was going to be popular—limiting my choices to mostly watered-down music that had no heart and no meaning. Before starting Women of Substance Internet Radio, I was already almost exclusively an internet radio listener for that reason. I want a variety, to be introduced to fresh sounds and new artists constantly, and to be drawn in by what I hear and be moved or challenged by it. We play lots of Indies that can’t get airplay on the ClearChannel type conglomerate-run commerical stations. Our listeners appreciate and trust us as a source for great new music. We do the work for them weeding through the massive supply of msuic available to find the good stuff. When I find that one gem amongst a sea of lackluster music, I see it as a privilege and responsibility to shout it from the rooftops–or at least from my blog and on Facebook.
Q) Why do you believe new media resources (i.e. blogs, podcasts, internet radio stations) have become so popular? How have they been beneficial to artists? How have they been detrimental?
A) It’s all about niche marketing. We focus on music by women, and although we play genres across the board, the content of the music we play is quite specific. Because we have a clearer target market than many, we have been able to use new media resources to our great advantage. Facebook offers very targeted ad campaigns. Our blog highlights a new artist each weekday, which not only promotes the artists, but draws their fans to become our fans, which means more people are listening to the station, and so on. It’s all about networking and we have used blogs, Facebook posts, events and email newsletters to promote WOS Radio AND our artists which cultivates networking loyalty. Word of mouth is still the most powerful tool and it is amplified when “spoken” on viral social networks.
The danger lies when so many Indies have access to the same online tools of promotion as big names. There is a huge glut in the “hype” market. I get notices of new releases coming out daily and live music events happening all over the world; I am becoming immune to the excitement. How can the really worthy musical milestones make a splash in a sea of chatter.
Q) Media 2.0 has changed the way artists communicate with fans. Where do you envision online communication going next? Any thoughts on what Media “3.0” will look like?
A) I definitely think Podcasts and Internet Radio are still going to be a major force; the revolution will be in how and where we can listen to them. Mobile apps will become more sophisticated, the internet will be almost universally available, and new devices for listening to internet content will make it as available as the traditional radio airwaves: in your car, your house and on portable stereos.
Q) What does an artist have to do to get your attention? Are their specific characteristics that you look for?
A) I am a pop and classically-trained vocalist, so one thing that is imperative for me is that the artist can sing well. She must exhibit good tone, impeccable pitch, and the ability to express and evoke emotion with her voice—the character of the artist should shine through. But more than that, I want to hear a great song. I’ve turned away many a good singer with a boring or un-engaging song, but, for a truly great melody and lyric, I can be much more forgiving of vocal inconsistency and production quality.
Q) What do you ultimately hope to accomplish with your blog?
A) Our mission is to assist in the promotion of outstanding female artists and great songs, to deliver quality music to the ears of music-lovers who crave it, and to continue to find innovative ways to give recognition to the talented songwriters and musicians we feature. Our goal is to become a trusted source of information about how to find great music, what music to buy, and who to see live. We hope to continue to grow our roster of label artists and Indies so we can say with confidence that we have the best variety of music by quality female artists available anywhere. For the future, we are looking at adding more elements such as WOS Radio live showcases, songwriting contests, artist gatherings, podcasts, compilations and syndicated shows.