Give unknowns talent slot
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The threat of an up-and-coming artiste to jump to his death if his music was not played on local radio has again brought the issue of payola to the fore. Some readers have called for radio stations to find creative ways to expose new talent. I have an idea, though not an original one.
Every Sunday (4-7 p.m. UK time), BBC 1Xtra disc jock, Target, opens up the airwaves to UK urban talent. #TargetsNoticeBoard, a hashtag he created, offers a platform for unsigned artistes to collaborate, network and get noticed.
It is a real time message board that allows an MP3 to go from a tweet to on-air content. An artiste needing a track remixed or looking for backup singers, a saxophonist, or a songwriter for a track, for example, just needs to send an audio tweet and include #TargetsNoticeBoard. Prospective collaborators and fans can search for tweets on #TargetsNoticeBoard.
This week, Target is offering an unknown the opportunity to work with a top US artiste. He also plays back work completed through a connection made via the notice board.
While this is not a foolproof way of eliminating payola (Target does sift through the tweets, which is probably much like submitting a CD to the station library), I think this is a quicker, trendier way of exposing new artistes.