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The Do’s & Don’ts of Plugging to Radio

Want to get your Music onto Radio? BBC Radio 1 tastemaker Jay Forster shares his advice on getting your music on air!

In the ever-evolving landscape of the music industry, radio remains a powerful force in shaping the tastes and trends of listeners worldwide. For artists in the dynamic realm of dance music, getting your tracks on the airwaves can be a game-changer.

As an artist seeking to make waves in the dance music scene, understanding the do’s and don’ts of radio promotion is crucial for securing airtime and building a lasting connection with both listeners and industry professionals.

Introducing Jay Forster, not only a strong DJ/Producer in his own right, playing gigs at the likes of Glastonbury, Ministry of Sound and Eden Ibiza. but he works as a tastemaker on one of the biggest radio stations here in the UK, BBC Radio 1. He’s been a tastemaker for shows with the likes of Danny Howard, Friction and Charlie Sloth. With a wealth of experience in the role, Jay breaks down the Do’s and Don’ts when looking to get your records into Radio Playlists.


DO’S ✅


Do Be Clear About What You Want To Achieve:

Tastemakers are often busy people so it’s important to be clear about your goals, provide essential information, and simplify the listening process for them. This demonstrates professionalism on your behalf and increases the chances of your dance music making a lasting impression on the radio circuit.

Do Clearly title Your Email:

So they understand exactly what it is they’re looking at. It’s important to think about how your presenting yourself. Think about how your name is displayed in the email. You want to give yourself the best chance of getting your email opened and music listened to. If it looks generic or the tastemaker is unsure who it’s coming from, they are less likely to engage.

Do Include information on where your music can be played or if there are any embargos:

It’s super helpful for them when they are putting together a show. Tastemakers appreciate transparency, and this information helps them understand the context and potential exclusivity of featuring your music.

Do Include a Streamable link:

Platforms like Soundcloud or Dropbox are great for this. Ensure that the link has no expiry, allowing tastemakers to listen at their convenience. This not only eliminates the need for downloads but also encourages them to explore your music without time constraints. It provides convenience and accessibility for the tastemaker.

Do Your Research:

Before contacting radio tastemakers, research their preferences and the kind of music they feature on their shows. It’s important to target those that align with your musical sound in order to maximise your chances of getting a feature.

Do Make It Personal:

It can be a good idea to tailor your pitch by referencing specific tracks they’ve played and showcasing how your music complements their style. Personalising the approach demonstrates genuine interest from you and increases the likelihood of standing out amongst their busy inboxes.

Do follow up if you haven’t heard back:

In the fast-paced world of radio promotion, persistence often pays off. While patience is important in this game, a proactive follow-up is equally crucial in ensuring that your music doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of submissions. Tastemakers and radio professionals are inundated with a constant stream of new tracks, making it easy for yours to slip through the cracks despite its potential. Consider your follow-up as a gentle reminder rather than you are bothering them. It’s important to remember to not bombard them with multiple messages, but well-timed follow-up can serve as a valuable nudge that brings your music back to their attention.




Don’t Take It Personally If It’s Rejected:

Rejection is a natural part of the music promotion process, and it’s crucial not to take it personally if your music isn’t chosen. Tastemakers receive countless submissions, and factors influencing their decisions can vary widely. It’s important to keep trying if this happens to you.

Don’t Blanket Send Your Music to Everyone:

Resist the urge to adopt a mass-sending approach for your music. Sending your track to everyone without consideration for their individual preferences and styles not only diminishes the impact of your pitch but also risks alienating potential supporters if they weren’t to like what was sent. A focused and thoughtful approach significantly increases the chances of building meaningful connections and gaining valuable airtime.

Don’t Send It via Social Media DMs:

While social media is a powerful tool for networking, sending your music via direct messages (DMs) may not be the most effective or professional approach. Tastemakers often receive numerous messages, and your submission might get lost in the noise. Instead, use email for official submissions, as it provides a more structured and organized platform for presenting your music. Email submissions also allow you to include essential details, such as a clear subject line and information about your track, in a format that is easy for tastemakers to navigate.

Don’t Send the Purchase Link as the Only Way to Download the Record:

Avoid sending only a purchase link as the sole means for tastemakers to access your music. Tastemakers typically prefer streamable links or downloadable files that allow them to assess the track without making an immediate financial commitment. Providing accessibility ensures that tastemakers can easily listen your music.


At Toolroom, we understand that every producer encounters roadblocks along the way. That’s why we’ve designed a diverse range of interactive programs tailored to suit all levels of production abilities.

Whether you’re just starting out or have a bit more experience under your belt, we believe that embracing a fresh approach to production can make a world of difference. Our courses are specifically designed to provide you with the inspiration, techniques, and knowledge needed to break through creative barriers and elevate your music to new heights.

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