How To Make it Big in Radio
I confess: this isn't actually a tell-all article boasting field based research and deep inquiry. It's my privilege as a blogger to skip right to the hyperbole as I often do and will again. That said, I do have some great insight after spending a solid three weeks hanging with the Woodman in the Morning crew on K104.7 FM (Pamal Broadcasting out of Fishkill, New York) as a guest judge on both their cupcake competition (a delicious job) and more recently their on-air singing battle called The Audition.
Twenty top fan-voted videos were pulled from an elaborate online database (the positions were audited by a third party) and moved into semi-finals. Participants were invited to the FIshkill studios to perform live on the air for a listening audience with national reach. (K104 has a great mobile app that makes their station accessible across the country.)
Caitlin Caporale, Voice 2015 Top 20, gave great advice to all of the singers
In the studio homegrown artists joined the on air personas Woodman, Kate, Dan, Blackberry, Diva, Bill Beale and Robo with guest judge appearances by yours truly, Caitlin Caporale (from The Voice 2015), Chris the T-shirt man at Mixture and John Barry from the Poughkeepsie Journal. Collectively, over three weeks, we lived out some great live moments in the studio. Annalise Azadian sailed us through her rendition of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love", a ten year old rapper who rolled deep with an entourage the day of the show gave performers twice his age a run for their money, and a country singer with little to say blew us away.
It was totally nerve-racking, and other times pure heaven watching talent unfold before our very eyes. Competition was fierce and though many of the competitors are still in high school their voices were steady. The hour was early but the creme de la creme made their way one by one to the studio microphone for their one minute and thirty seconds of pure uninterrupted stardom with major prizes in their eyes. They did not disappoint.
Nicky V. - the youngest top 20 competitor at just ten years old - gets ready to perform an original rap song. He did great!
K104's annual summer music concert KFest is scheduled for June 7th at Dutchess Stadium. The artist line up is one of the best they've ever had, and as a bonus, they're bringing what they call a shark tank of record executives backstage to meet the finalist from The Audition. So there's a lot on the line.
Zhaklina Poulos (with Kate) is all smiles before her performance in the semi-finals
Week one a singer songwriter studying at Berklee and a pretty soprano pop singer took the top spots. Week two an original rapper and a soul singer with a range two counties wide won the judges with one wild card country singer snagging a coveted fifth slot. The DJs scramble between sets to prep the musical accompaniment that each artist has requested. They show no sign of this effort once the live status of the show resumes. The experience is astounding. Half a dozen interns are buzzing around upstairs and downstairs offering helping hands, working silently and stealthily so as not to disrupt the flow of the program. It's a moving masterpiece whose parts are invisible behind the veil of sound.
Ashley, an intern, takes the winning caller on the studio hotline
All the while, dreams hang in the balance, and the pursuit of those dreams is being made possible by a local radio station with a lot on their plate. Not only are they putting together a major music event, they're pulling no punches between interviews with Melissa Rivers, Robin Thicke, Jonathan Antoine (Britain's Got Talent) and hosting local guests while delivering the news every morning. It's truly an all-hands on deck approach and they have it down to a science.
Tomorrow morning - May 29th, 2015 at 9AM - the top two winners will perform live in a head-to-head performance on air to see who will win the Kfest prize. Tune in at 9AM to hear Zhaklina Poulos and Annalise Azadian sing their hearts out for a shot at stardom.
As I prepare one last time to walk into the studio that I grew up listening to, I know one thing for sure: pursuing your goals passionately will lead you down some awesome roads. Keep your head up and walk on!
Two winners crowned! Congratulations to both Annalise and Zhaklina!
The happy mobile parked at Pamal
Special thanks to Morehead Honda for helping me get to the studio in the beautiful Happy Mobile and to all of our sponsors. Next month marks four years for this project, it would be impossible without the support you have given!! THANK YOU