• Lisa Kowalski

Artists of the Month of May 2020

May 2020 Blog

On my Radio

Hi everyone, I hope you're all ok, safe and healthy.

A couple of days ago I got a message from the lovely Angel at Belter Radio, who asked if I would be happy to be their Artists of the Month for May. As an independent musician looking to build their following, you always seem to be asking people for things – whether it be a festival slot, radio play or a single review. Its therefore always lovely when people come to you and say “would you like to do this”.

Belter Radio is an online station playing 24/7 and featuring independent artists from around the world. Angel has been quite a friend and supporter of mine over the recent months, after I asked her to listen to my latest single and told her a bit about the story behind it. Sometimes, it’s the goals that elude you that you focus on the most. I remember how desperate I was for my first BBC Radio Scotland airplay until I finally nailed it with No More Time. But that doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for every little bit of support I get as a musician and there’s been so much of that from community and internet radio.

Since I released my Free Spirits EP in 2017, I’ve had my songs played on radio stations from the Isle of Skye to Canada and Australia. I wonder if that’s why Sydney Australia and a remote town in Canada score highly on my Spotify streams. One of the first radio stations to pick up on Free Spirits in 2017 was Radio Wigwam, who placed a couple of the songs on rotation. They also made my 17-year-old self pretty happy when they nominated me for their Awards in the Best Female Artist of the Year category.

Locally, there’s so much quantity and quality of indie artists in Central Scotland that the radio stations have quite a choice from which to fill their playlists. The shows are run mainly by committed music lovers working as volunteers. People who have consistently supported me from the early days are Peter Greenwood, Ronnie McGhie and Tommy Clark. Peter has become a really good friend offering me incredible support both in the good times and the harder times. We’ve had a lot of fun when I’ve co-hosted his shows and been out on location interviewing some of my favourite artists like Naaz and Orla Garland.

When I first put myself and music out there, I was still expecting a bit of a tough reception, having been used to being mocked for my musical interests at school. Tommy and Ronnie’s belief in my music and positive reviews made me feel confident enough to sing a bunch of songs live on radio and to keep up writing and recording. Tommy even offered to pick up his drum sticks for me when I was short of a drummer for a live performance that required a band!

I know I’m probably going to miss out some names but I’ve also received a lot of support and encouragement from many of the presenters at CamGlen, Jim Gellatly at Amazing Radio, Cameron Cuthbertson, Dunoon Community Radio, Zac Nisbett Senior at Irvine Beat FM, Andy Gee at G Force Radio up in Dundee, Juvan Alexander and Colin Bilby at KA Radio.

Celtic FM is another station that does a huge amount for local artists, having provided me with some of my most rewarding gig opportunities, from local festivals to the amazing Danny Kyle Stage at Celtic FM. Ross, Liz and Mike Dillon deserve a big thanks from me for a bunch of good feelings and good memories.

Last but not least, I have to mention Mr Ali Love, radio presenter at Cuillin FM, who I stumbled across by chance last year and who has become one my most treasured followers since then, even making a trip from Skye to Paisley for my last gig. Ali’s show is great and you know if he plays your music that you are in very good hands.

The point of all this is that I really wanted to give a shout out to all the radio stations who don’t get mentioned in the Bio's and the Blogs, who get a quick thanks for the play before the artist seeks out the next opportunity. What you do provides a great foundation for independent artists and in many cases goes a lot further than that. I hope that those who are lucky enough to go on to bigger platforms still remember the help you gave them. If that’s ever me, I’ll be sure to do so.

Be safe, lots of love

Lisa x


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