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Written by Ramsey Brown.
For those who don’t know, Shade 45 is Eminem’s uncut Hip-Hop station on SiriusXM. It features new music and hip-hop influences, as well as world premiere exclusives, interviews, freestyles, special live guests, and more.
SiriusXM is one of the biggest broadcasting companies in America, so it makes sense why any artist who’s looking to become famous would want to have their music featured on the show. That’s obvious, but what isn’t so obvious is how an artist actually goes about submitting their music. Most think that they can send a simple email to the radio station, but more often than not these will go unread.
Getting your music played on any radio station is far from easy, but if you are talented, driven, and passionate about what you do, then there is always hope. If you think you’ve got what it takes and people truly want to hear your music, then you just may have a shot by following these steps below.
Shade 45 mainly plays and discusses music that's in the realm of rap, hip-hop, and R&B, mixed in with guests and features of DJ’s, MC’s, turntablist, beat-makers, and freestylers. If your music is not in any of these genre categories - it’s extremely unlikely Shade 45 will play it. So be sure that your song resembles the songs that you usually hear on Shade 45 before trying to submit your own song.
If you do make music that fits into one of these categories, you can move forward with the Shade 45 submission process. But before sending over any music, you must meet some basic eligibility criteria including:
Tracks must be ready for public performance and professionally produced.
Artists must own the copyrights for their tracks
Although it is not required, it is always recommended to include an EPK or artist one-sheet before submitting music to any media channel. This can sometimes be the extra boost of professionalism you need to actually get noticed. If you don’t have an EPK or are unsure of how to create one, check out our checklist on how to create a Music One-Sheet.
Let me tell you one thing first, never waste your precious time emailing and cold calling the station. They get a huge stack of emails and songs sent to them every day. It’s essentially impossible for them to open up every single email and listen to every single song. However, if your email looks different and stands out from the rest, there is a better likelihood of yours getting opened.
Like mentioned above, including an EPK in your email could be the make or break factor of your song getting listened to. Make sure you read up on how to create a proper EPK so you can improve the chances of your email getting considered.
Another way to do your homework is by studying up on the emerging artists Shade 45 has previously featured on the show. Follow them on social media, listen to their music, and figure out what they are doing well enough to get them on the show - then mimic that. You could even try your luck by reaching out to them and seeing what their success story was.
SiriusXM encourages musicians to record labels to submit their music physically to its Music Programming Department in New York. The shipping address can be found on the official website in the Contact Us section under the Music & Programming tab.
We’ve already discussed the eligibility criteria requirements above, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to follow these steps before submitting. Also, we mentioned the importance of EPK’s when sending music via email or the internet, well it’s just as important to include one when you package the music to physically send as well.
So on your package to SiriusXM you’ll want to include a complete press kit (printed on sturdy paper and cleanly laminated) along with a compact disc of some of your songs. In addition, there must be a professional photo on the kit and a short note explaining your accomplishments in the music industry.
This all may seem painstaking and meticulous, but trust me when I say that these small steps will make a big difference in your chances of success.
It’s also worth noting that there are certain music promotion companies and/or record labels out there that have connections with Shade45 that you could hire to pitch your music for you. Just be careful when anyone or any business is promising you something that sounds too good to be true. Do your research before spending money on these types of services.
So you’ve met the criteria and requirements for pre-submissions… and you’ve also sent your music to SiriusXM through the mail, now what can you do next to increase your chances of success? The answer is, make contacts.
As those of us in the music industry know, making contacts and connections is a huge part of the game. Another way to get your music featured on Shade 45 is to figure out who's running the show or who is responsible in the music department. Then, reach out to those people professionally. Luckily, you can find out just anything from Google and social media as well. Dig around on the SiriusXM website and other platforms to find the names of the people in charge. This can be difficult to do, but it’s certainly not impossible.
When you find them, do not start pushing your song to them just yet. Keep in mind that they already get piles of unsolicited content, and they normally ignore the majority of it. Instead, do some more research to find out their interests. What do they like to hear or who are the artists they follow? Find out about any articles they have written in the music community, or any press releases written about them. Are there any interviews or podcasts published surrounding their name? Get as much information as possible to create leverage on your behalf.
After you’ve found out more about them personally, then you can reach out explaining that you are a singer-songwriter, artist, or producer. Before you start asking for favors - talk about their articles, interviews, or anything interesting you found out about them. It will show your genuine interest in music and that you’ve done your research. Also, it’s just a known fact that people love when others ask or make compliments about them.
You can start off with a question or two, but don't make the email too long. If they reply, then start a genuine conversation. After a couple of days, send your written song and tell them that you feel it would be a great fit for the channel. You can also use this as an opportunity to receive some feedback and ask what their opinions are about the track.
Best case scenario, they like your song and contact you back saying it would suit the channel well then ask you to take the further steps to get it featured. Less best scenario, they respond and tell you it’s not a good fit and give you answers as to why it isn’t. This way, you know what to change and revise next time.
If your fans are happy and loyal to you, they will do everything in their ability to help you succeed in your dreams. So, ask them for a little help and encourage them to mention, tweet, or make shout outs to Shade 45 requesting your song be played on the radio. Social media is probably the best way to get your music the attention and recognition it needs to take it to the next level such as the radio.
Of course, it would help if you also asked them to mail the station on your behalf. After they continuously see your name in their inbox, they will eventually notice you and take you and your fans' song requests into consideration.
Getting your song played directly on Shade 45 is a huge jump. It can be done, but the channel programming team normally prefers an artist who already has a history of their music being played on other music stations first.
Try starting out smaller and see if you can get local stations to spin your hit. This will help you stand out in your submission and give you extra exposure and experience. In addition, you will be better prepared to apply for a big channel like Shade 45.
There are many other broadcasting companies like CBS, ABC, Fox and many others that you may find easier to get responses from. Don’t forget about college stations or other online radio platforms like iHeart too.
It’s simple math, the more stations that you reach out to, the better your odds will be of getting your music noticed and played.
Back to the point of how important connections are in the industry - If you've got some connections who may know some of the radio personalities or staff personally, reach out to them and see if they can put in a good word for you. Even if they don’t feel comfortable speaking on your behalf, they will probably let you know the names of the channel’s decision makers and give you advice on how to contact them yourself.
Again, none of this guarantees that your song will be played, but effort goes a long way when you are trying to reach your goal.
If you don't have connections with the staff, don't worry. Try and make some connection with those affiliated with the state. Visit the building and introduce yourself to the team. Make your face known and bring the staff coffee or other goodies. Some may say annoying stalker but others may call it consistent and dedicated. As long as you are aiming to fulfill your goal, people will notice that and see no harm in your persistence.
The most important thing in this entire process is patience. It can be discouraging to put so much effort into something and get ignored or have no results to show for. Most people give up because it takes a lot of time and even more effort. What sets apart the people who get their music played from the people who don’t is simply, hard work, dedication, and passion.
If you set your mind on something and don’t stop until you achieve it, you will eventually succeed. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut in the radio industry. But there are many different tips like the ones we’ve mentioned above that can help you get closer to achieving your goal.
Again, there is no one particular thing that will guarantee your song getting on the radio. However, combining all of these steps with a lot of hard work and dedication will exponentially increase your chances of success.
If you read this article in entirety, you see that much research is required, a lot of effort has to be put in, and a great deal of time must be invested. We never said getting on the radio was going to be easy, but we can say it will be worth it to you and your music career.
Nothing is as sweet as the taste of success. So get out there, put in the work, get noticed, and fulfil your dreams. Above all else, never give up!
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