Getting the word out.
In the The Singles Life music column this week Hussein Moses criticised NZ On Air's new artist showcases, saying: "I love the idea of them, but you get there and it's just a bunch of guys getting smashed on free beers and talking loudly over these poor artists who are just trying to make a good impression".
NZ On Air's head of music David Ridler has a different take on the showcases. He says they are all about supporting the artists and he's proud of the role they play in getting the artists' music out to a wider audience.
Here's his reply in full:
NZ On Air Music is here to help local artists get their music heard, on radio and online. One of a number of tools we use to get local music noticed is media showcases. We hold up to three live music showcases per year to introduce new-to-the-mainstream artists to "gatekeepers" from various music-related industries, including the programmers from all of the major commercial radio networks, RNZ music staff, representatives from music labels (major and indie), other artists and other media.
We aim to recreate a live show atmosphere, presenting four artists at each showcase, and give them the opportunity to perform three or four songs per act.
The showcases have proven very effective at engaging the audiences, and getting gatekeepers excited about a number of new NZ acts. Over the past two years we’ve seen strong results from our showcases in terms of airplay and helping artists to connect their music with wider NZ audiences. As a direct consequence of showcase performances we’ve seen increased airplay for the likes of Nomad, Kinetic, L.A.B, Drax Project, L.A Women, Ria Hall, Dead Favours, Openside, Alae, Bakers Eddy, TY, Nakita, Mitch James, TEEKS, Balu Brigada and more.
Any evening gathering of any industry is going to involve a level of chat - it’s not a church service after all. But we are very conscious of supporting the artists and giving them the best conditions and a high quality production to showcase in. At a showcase recently one band’s manager commented to me - quite in awe - that it was the quietest and most respectful and engaged crowd she had heard/seen at a media showcase.
Everything we do is in total support of NZ artists, to help them get their music heard. We are proud of the artists, the results they get from showcases, and the quality of the showcase events. These events create an opportunity that many of the artists wouldn’t ever have – to be noticed by the people who control what’s on the airwaves. We think that’s worth doing, and so do they.