POWER TIPS: Finding an ACTUAL R&B and Hip-Hop Music Promoter


For R&B and Hip-Hop artists, there are many misconceptions when it comes to getting your music in front of the labels, radio, and the industry.

Today, there are people who will say that radio is no longer a viable entity for new artists but that’s not completely true.

r&b, hip-hop

Radio makes legends. Streaming services and other online apps and services create quick hits and artists who come and go with some exceptions to the rule. So there is still a need for radio. This, however, is NOT to say that radio doesn’t need to make some changes and updates at the same time, but I will say R&B artists will be better suited to try to get their music on the radio at this stage of the game.

Radio Facts is a 28-year-old industry-based business with a website and publication, and we deal directly with the industry daily as a trade site and publication.

It’s not easy to get your song on the radio, but the worst thing you can do is waste your budget, which countless new and seasoned artists do.

Here we give some tips on common mistakes artists make when trying to promote their music to the industry.

Hiring the Wrong Promoter

You waste time and money by hiring the wrong independent promoter to work on your project. While you may see a plethora of people online who claim to be music promoters, and in all fairness, they may be able to promote music through social media.

But when it comes to promoting your music directly to the industry and to radio, we can tell you the true independent promoters who work on projects for artists on that end are a very small group of people. I would even venture to say a handful, and they never advertise online.

These promoters have repeatedly told us about new artists and their projects and not doing their research or educating themselves, which leads to them getting ripped off repeatedly. We talked to five actual industry record promoters for independent and seasoned artists, and this is what they told us are the greatest issues with artists when promoting their music.

Spending the majority of Your Budget with people who are not Actual Independent Promoters and not doing Your Research

There is a tendency for new artists to spend the majority of their budget with people who present themselves as promoters. Still, they are not and have no connection, especially to radio.

The artists and their teams end up wasting a lot of money. Then they go to an actual promoter, after doing their research out of frustration when its too late, who at that point cannot work with them because they don’t have a budget. Then they expect the actual promoter to do the work that the first promoter should’ve done but for a lot less money.

To that end, the artist is on guard and mad at the actual promoter, like he was responsible for their bad choices.

It’s also hard not to see this from the artist’s perspective. If you’ve been ripped off your level of trust is minimal, so of course, you’re going to be more demanding on the next person when you’re spending the remainder of your budget. That’s understandable but it doesn’t make the independent promoter’s job easy.

Since Actual independent promoters don’t advertise their services, how do artists find them?

I asked all of the promoters. How do these artists find you if you don’t advertise your service?

They all admitted that this is an issue because all of their business comes from word of mouth, and it’s sufficient enough that they don’t have to advertise.

So this, unfortunately, continues the miscommunication. Still, one thing you will know when you’re trying to promote your music, especially to radio, is if someone is advertising their services online, DO YOUR RESEARCH AND DUE DILIGENCE BEFORE YOU SPEND YOUR MONEY.

How can you check to find out if a promoter is legitimate?

It is not an easy task. First, find a way to talk to someone at the radio station in your market, especially the Mix DJ or the Program Director. Every station, at least, has a (PD) Program Director but, full disclosure, it’s generally pretty hard to reach them because they don’t take calls from people they don’t know.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find them on social media, especially on Facebook, where you can hit them in the DM’s but be very specific Don’s waste their time, and do not ask them to play your record.

Verify if an independent promoter is legitimate by asking them. The more up front you are, the better your chance of getting a response. They will, perhaps at least, let you know if they know the person which speaks volumes. Ask them if they know the person claiming to be an independent promoter.

An easier way, I would suggest, is to do an email blast with us, Radio Facts – which goes directly to the Program Directors, mix DJs, record labels, and the industry at large to put your project in front of the industry and solicit responses. WE DO NOT WORK RECORDS, but we can refer you to a legitimate person who does radio and music promotion when you do your blast.

This would serve you much better than spending much more money and getting no results. You can get email blast info for Radio Facts here.

Another Complaint: Artists are not Prepared

That means that when the actual independent promoter asks them for a version of a record that is clean with no cursing, they still submit songs with “nigga,” “bitch” and other profanity. This is usually an issue with Hip-Hop artists but can also occasionally be an issue with R&B artists.

You must have a clean version so I can be played on the air. It makes perfect sense as the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has rules and regulations for broadcasters. Radio is unlike a podcast or streaming service online, where you can cuss and say whatever you want. Radio is a very different ball game. You have to have a clean version to play the game and make sure you label it (clean).

Unavailable Artist

Another complaint that we hear from independent promoters is that they cannot get in touch with the artist when they need to.

This is extremely important. You have to be available or at least get back to the promoter within a reasonable amount of time. Time is of the essence when it comes to getting a song played on the radio, and he may have questions that need to be addressed immediately.

A station may need to know if you can do an appearance because they’re booking a show, and if you don’t call the independent promoter back and let them know if you can come back and screw the whole game plan up.

So make sure that you’re always available to talk to the independent promoter You hired them, and they are there for you. Why wouldn’t you be available?

Also, keep in mind there’s a lot of work that you have to do on your own instead of expecting the independent promoter to do it.


The independent promoter is not responsible for your entire campaign, e.g., taking promotional pictures, paying for and arranging travel, etc. They are only there, mostly, to work on your project, but some will go the extra mile for good clients.

Artists Expecting Miracles With a Lukewarm Project

I asked several of the promoters. Would you take their money if someone doesn’t have a hit record and they all said the same thing … “Sometimes even WE don’t know, and we can be surprised too.”

Of course, if a record sucks, most actual independent promoters will tell you they can’t work the project. They have to maintain their reputation, and they are not trying to lie to you intentionally or get a bad rep.

“Generally, we can tell within a few weeks of pushing the record if it’s gonna get any traction at radio” At this point, most of the promoters said they would stop working the record.

Unfortunately, this is not true with fake promoters who continue taking the money until the budget is dry. Actual Independent promoters see stats, and they talk to radio stations. They know if they’re not seeing any action on your project, that’s a warning sign that things aren’t going well and that you should always stay on top of reports of what’s going on with your project from whoever you hire.

Most, if not All, ACTUAL Independent promoters are over 45

One thing I can tell you from my experience of working in the industry for many years is that most independent promoters are over 45. I would venture to say even over 50. Hence, if you run into someone under that age and they say they have a connection to radio, make sure you do your research because I don’t know anyone personally in that age range who has connections to work with the Program Directors.

Maybe they have some connection with the Mix DJs at the station, but even in that case, the Mix DJ will probably have to run it past the PD before he can play your music. That rule is not the same for all stations.

The radio and music industry is a relationship-based business; people only deal with people they know and have known for YEARS for the most part. So keep that in mind when looking for someone to work on your project. As mentioned before, Radio Facts can at least get your project in front of radio, the labels, and the DJs with an email blast to the industry. Click here for more info. Also, see a recent email campaign that we did for Tyler, the Creator

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