CORONA – During this weird and difficult time, we are focussing all our efforts on the ‘support’ side of what we do. Mainly – sharing funds and opportunities helpful to you (check our Twitter @FeelTheNusic (LINK)), plus Advice Videos (LINK) about things you can do whilst at home.
MAY UPDATE – We are now offering 122 Surgeries online thru Zoom. How’s that for 2 metres, Boris? Apply in the same way you would normally, deets at No. 45.
Please note all our educational resources – videos, useful contacts, school tour deets, suggested reading, workshop deets etc are in our Academy pages – Resources, Surgeries and Workshops.
After some music advice? Want to know how to make a living from your music etc? Our Advice Videos can be found here.
We exist to help Nottinghamshire musicians, that simple.
We try hard to make sure all the ways we can help you are shared transparently and fairly, with Nusic it is never about knowing the ‘right people’, it’s about getting off your bum and doing the reading. That said, our educational events mentioned above, strive to help you meet the right people in other music organisations. We also try where possible to explain the reasoning behind decisions so you understand why things are done the way they are – why Future Sessions are for under 26s, why it’s editorial policy to always be positive, why we focus on musicians at the start of their career etc . Below in our Frequently Asked Questions section we share how to get involved with every opportunity we offer and ask all the questions that we, well, find you asking us frequently.
Pssst, little tip – press ctrl (or apple key for Mac users) + f and then type in the number you want to get there quickly.
1. How do I get played on the Nusic New Music Podcast?
2. How do I get played on LeftLion podcasts / How do I get a LeftLion review?
3. When is the Nusic New Music Podcast/Future Session on air?
4. How do I listen to the Nusic New Music Podcast?
5. How do I get a Nusic Future Session?
6. How do I get my gig mentioned in the Nusic Top Three Gigs etc?
7. Do you only support musicians?
8. Speaking of the ‘Editorial Court’ how do we know you’re fair and don’t just do what your supporters want?
8A. (kinda) – Speaking of Editorial Court, we know you are all volunteers or part timers, how do we know you’re fair and don’t just play musicians you work with in other aspects of your life?
9. Why do you focus on young musicians?
10. Can you give me any advice on starting out in music?
10A. Can you give me any advice on who else can help me?
11. What counts as Notts?
12. How do I get my release date mentioned?
13. How do I become “release of the week” or “video of the week?”
14. Do you only play unsigned music?
15. Do you play covers?
16. What about samples?
17. How do I get an interview?
18. What is the Nusic Loveline?
19. Can you co-promote/ partner with us on our gig?
20. What’s the legal situation with being played on the New Music Podcast?
21. What’s your moderation policy?
22. Can you help me find a drummer? Singer? Producer? Etc
23. Staffing policy?
24. Do you offer work experience? How do I become an intern?
25. How do you ensure you treat musicians fairly?
26. Why does the standard of the tracks vary so much?
27. How do you decide what to play on the New Music Podcast?
27A. Why do you only play 120 seconds of the tracks?
28. How big is your audience?
29. What do the brackets on the New Music Podcast and sessions mean?
30. Why are you still supporting artists like JAKE BUGG, SLEAFORD MODS and LONDON GRAMMAR?
31. OK but sometimes it seems like you’re supporting certain artists over others?
32. What is your social media policy? How do you stay consistent and fair??
33. How do we get a Nusic Presents made about us?
33A How do we get a #SpreadTheLove campaign run for us?
34. How do I get on Splendour and/ or Nottingham Rocks? I’ve heard you lot choose the (local) acts is that true?
34A How do we get on/in The Future Sound of Nottingham?
35. Do you know where I can get started doing gigs?
36. How do you stay fair? How do you avoid Conflict/s of Interest?
37. How do I get a birthday shoutout?
38. Do you know how I get a slot on a BBC Introducing stage?
39. Can you get us played on Radio X?
40. How do we get on Notts TV?
41. Do you know which record shops in Nottingham sell local music?
42. Why are you always so positive?
43. Why have you not played my song yet?
44. Why have you stopped doing reviews?
45. None of the above have answered my question, can I get a meeting with you?
46. How do I sign up for your email list?
1. How Do I Get Played On The New Music Podcast? Send your Hi-Res, CORRECTLY LABELLED MP3s, with full info on your Notts roots to NUSIC@leftlion.co.uk. Details on an easy way to label your files HERE.
WE CANNOT PLAY YOUR MUSIC UNLESS YOU SEND IT TO US.
Please keep file size below 15mb, our email may struggle to receive files above this size. Also please make sure your track is labelled properly, every week we have to not play a track we want to play because it has not been labelled properly and we don’t know who it’s by! More deets on that HERE.
YOU GIVE US PERMISSION TO PLAY BY SENDING – SEE LEGAL BIT BELOW
2. How do I get played on LeftLion podcasts? How do I get a LeftLion review? – By going to leftlion.co.uk/sendusmusic
Now your top two questions are answered why not get a quick lowdown on the rest of our FAQ’s…
3. When Is The New Music Podcast/Future Session On-Air? A brand new NUSIC New Music Podcast or Future Session goes live here on NUSIC every single Monday morning by 11am. We alternate New Music Podcasts and Future Sessions.
4. How do I listen to the New Music Podcast? There are many ways you can listen:
– By pressing the play button to the ‘middle right’ of any podcast post on the Nusic blog. This lets you stream the podcast.
– By downloading the podcast. The download tab which you need to press is located within the podcast player, again to the ‘middle right’ of the post.
– By streaming or downloading via www.leftlion.co.uk
5. How Do I Get A Nusic Future Session?? We pick from the most exciting young (25 and under, if a band average age of members must be 25 or under) undiscovered Notts musicians that we receive demos from for the New Music Podcast, so make sure that MP3 Demo is your best stuff! By undiscovered we mean you have not had previous media exposure of this type (a professional session e.g with your local BBC, commercial radio station etc , student/ internet/ hospital radio is fine), you’re a session virgin! We’re about giving that first break. You will be asked to confirm that you are session virgins, 25 or under (on the day you are offered the session), from Nottingham and of course that you can peform live. We are well up for all genres including MCs and electronic producers BUT you must be able to perform live If you think you qualify email us via NUSIC@leftlion.co.uk. Please do not email us for the podcast and a Future Session in the same email, email separately as we file in different places. Not doing this is the number one reason applications get mislaid.
Explaining the above in more detail. We do not have enough resources to help all the musicians we want to, there is simply too much talent in Nottingham, we’re overwhelmed by your awesomeness! Therefore we have to be selective in some way, quite simply we can help younger artists near the start of their career more than older artists who’ve ‘been there done that’. In addition our teams are all around twenty years old, it’s tricky for a twenty year old sound engineer to guide a 35 year old guitarist. Finally re the professional session thing, if you’ve had a session with the BBC that’s had a gizillion million views, what’s the point doing one that’ll get a 1000? Well we do have a strong industry viewership amongst that thousand odd so there’s some point but when we have a six month waiting list we can’t prioritise someone who’s already had a lot of support over a bunch of seventeen year olds who’ve had nothing. Hope you understand where we’re coming from, we’re trying to help, in as fair way as possible. On the other side of this if you have had a filmed session for a hospital radio station that’s had seventeen views (half of whom are now dead) we’re not going to disqualify you for that, hence our focus on ‘professional session’ as the cut off point.
FUTURE SESSION GREY AREAS:
1) New band, exactly same people. In this situation we cannot offer another Future Session.
2) Some of you, but not the singer, have been in a band/combo/act etc that have had a Future Session before. If less than half of the new project have been involved in a previous Future Session then there is no issue.
3) If more than half the project, but not all of em, have had a Future Session then at least a year must have passed.
4) If the new project involves a singer who has had a Future Session as a solo artist, then at least two years must have passed.
Re the above we do not count appearances as a session player otherwise this would potentially discourage musicians from helping each other out in this capacity e.g artists like Frazer Lowrie and Motormouf have appeared in several sessions as a session player, but only once as part of their own projects.
6. How Do I Get My Gig Mentioned?? In the Nusic Top 3 etc? Email us your gig details at the latest by 10am Thursday (of the week pre your event) emphasising its Nottingham connections to NUSIC@leftlion.co.uk This is a ‘send-only’ email address you will not get a reply. With several weeks notice we can sometimes mention on the podcast too, as long as it naturally fits and doesn’t just sound like some lame advert plug, ideally their needs to be a reason, a ‘story’, something that makes the gig stand out e.g it’s your EP launch.
7. Do you only support musicians? – Primarily yes. Although through our work experience opportunities we give quite a lot of help to aspirational music producers/ engineers, event managers and journalists, check this link HERE.
8. (kinda) – Speaking of the ‘Editorial Court’ how do we know you’re fair and don’t just do what your supporters want? – Fair question, it’s a classic challenge for any media output that is dependant on the support of others, which basically means everyone except the Beeb (which is backed by the licence fee, although increasingly the BBC is doing commercial events too, such as the £27.75 a ticket BBC Introducing Amplify event at Excel in October 2017).
It comes back to our Editorial Court. Any gig put on by say LeftLion or DHP gets scrutinised at least as much as any other, in fact knowing perception can equal reality, gigs by supporters are scrutinised with extra intensity. Any track by a Confetti student gets as scrutinised for New Music Podcast selection as an artist from any other education establishment. If we end up playing a musician who’s part of the Nusic team we will declare that on the show so you know, even the professionals aren’t this transparent. Hear an example, twelve songs into this episode, of the New Music Podcast: http://www.nusic.org.uk/wordpress/nusic-new-music-podcast-178-234-tracklisting/
The one set of editorial decisions that are ‘kinda impacted’ by Supporters are the two to three Future Session slots a year that are given to winners of musician supporting events put on by Supporters of ours, such as Nottingham Music Hub’s Noise From The Next Generation and Confetti ICT’s NTU Battle of the Bands. This is acknowledged in the specific sessions.
8A (kinda) – Speaking of Editorial Court, we know you are all volunteers or part timers, how do we know you’re fair and don’t just play musicians you work with in other aspects of your life? Another fair question, another classic challenge for any media output that is teamed by volunteers and part-timers. If your team don’t pay their bills full time with you, can you expect them to forgo other activities? Particularly when working in an area such as music, where it’s intrinsic that you fucking love what you do.
Not letting them do other musical shiz would effectively ‘punish’ them for helping out. So our answer is to be transparent. We will declare any potential internal Conflicts of Interest so that things are TT (totes transparent). Additionally, certain opportunities will be off limits. For example if a member of the Nusic Team manages an artist, that artist would not be allowed to enter the Future Sound of Nottingham. But they would be allowed to be played on the New Music Podcast (with the appropriate transparency declaration). See the CoI page HERE for current Conflicts of Interest.
9. Why do you focus on young musicians? The key word there is focus, we’re not totally exclusively about musicians under 25 but they are our focus, for a number of reasons:
1) With our limited resources we can make the most difference with young musicians. It’s easier to excite, inspire and/ or educate a 17 year old than a ‘been there, done it’ 38 year old.
2) Sometimes we have received grants from the public sector, they are normally from funding pots linked to supporting young people.
3) Older musicians often demand a standard we can’t achieve. Our team is mostly eager students looking to learn about music and media, whilst their raw talent may be significant we do make mistakes. A 19 year old sound engineer on one of our sessions is going to struggle to keep a 36 year old band member (who’s been producing his own music for two decades) happy.
It’s worth noting that currently only two of our activities have a definite age limit – the Future Sessions (25 and under) and our School Tour (obvs). Podcasts, FSN, Workshops etc are all open to everyone, whilst we focus our marketing efforts on reaching out to those under 25.
10. Can You Give Me Any Advice On Starting Out In Music?? This question comes up lots in our New Music Podcasts and we pose it to all our Future Session guests, it’s what the NUSIC ACADEMY has evolved to try and help with. We host advice sessions when we put on our annual ‘Future Sound of Nottingham’ event, host regular workshops (see ACADEMY and CO-OPerative) and when we do events in schools for our SCHOOL TOURS. Full details of which will always be announced first here at NUSIC.
10A. Can you give me any advice on who else can help me? Yes! Our press / media contacts page has a list of all the media outlets as well as us who support local music, you can check that here. Via our #OpportunityAlert twitter service, and our Advice Fairs at our #NusicAcademyWorkshops, we help get word of other entities that support local musicians, out to you e.g. free studio time. We are also working (November 2016) on developing our resources page, which you can check here, to include a full list of ‘musician supporting entities’ in Nottingham.
11. What Counts As Notts?? Great question! Basically if you were born here, live here (including studying here at Uni) or if now further afield still consider Notts (Great County of Nottinghamshire and/ or Greater Nottingham Urban Area) your home (maybe you have gone to Uni elsewhere) then you count. We also support material from Nottingham based independent record labels as they are such a central part of our music scene and culture. For a band or any other kind of musical grouping over half the members must meet the above criteria. A great current example of this are the band ROLO TOMASSI. Originally from Sheffield three of the five members now live in Nottingham so they count. Artists who came to Uni here and then left are a very grey area. Broadly if they met during their time in Nottingham and so wouldn’t exist without Notts, and they acknowledge that then we count them, LONDON GRAMMAR are a great example of this (see them telling their story here). Artists who move on from Notts and pay no attention to it, we also pay no attention to. Acknowledging the increasing pattern of students graduating, going home for a bit whilst they try and sort digs as grown ups back in Notts, we always count graduates for the first year post graduation. Further education students studying in Nottinghamshire but not living here are another grey area, baring in mind it’s a great thing if students from Derby, Lincoln etc choose to commute here to study cause they want to be part of the music scene, with a view to moving here when 18, we obviously want to encourage that so we do count further education students living outside Nottinghamshire/ Greater Nottingham Urban Area but studying a music related course at a Nottinghamshire/ Greater Nottingham Urban Area college.
FYI the Greater Nottingham Urban Area does include towns and villages that are actually in the county of Derbyshire, you can clarify precisely which ‘grey area’ locations fall into the Greater Nottingham Urban Area by checking it’s wiki page (that’ll be totes accurate right?) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nottingham_Urban_Area
12. How Do I Get My Release Date Mentioned? Send us all the info on the release plus background on your Notts roots to NUSIC@leftlion.co.uk. Ideally at least FOUR weeks in advance.
13. How Do I Get become ‘release of the week’ or ‘video of the week’? Send us all the info on the release plus background on your Notts roots to NUSIC@leftlion.co.uk. Ideally at least FOUR weeks in advance.
14. Do you only play ‘Unsigned Music’? ISH. We’re not quite as anal on this as in our ‘Notts Unsigned’ days (the name did tend to create certain expectations). The reasons for being more relaxed include:
1) It’s so easy to start your own label these days, being ‘signed’ doesn’t have the same meaning it used to.
2) We want to support Independent labels based in Nottingham, they’re a vital part of our scene.
3) Even if a Nottingham artists has now signed to a big label we like to do some stuff with that artist (if they’ll allow us) as it enables us to reach out to their broader fanbase and convert them to less established Nottinghamshire artists e.g our #SpreadTheLove campaigns when that signed artist releaseds their debut album.
15. Do you play covers? No. We only play original music for two reasons. Firstly (and most importantly) we want to encourage original song writing, secondly covers bring up legal issues with the podcast and sessions.
16. What about samples? – This is a very grey area! And there are two main areas of greyness. 1) The legality of playing a tune that features copyrighted audio. 2) If it’s a long sample that means it starts to sound like a cover. We have to judge this on a case by case basis. Our broad rule of thumb is that a sample longer than four bars starts to raise eyebrows, longer than eight bars and we may well feel unable to play it. Obviously the sample can be looped ad Infinitum. Official HipHop term that.
17. How Do I Get An Interview?? As of 2018 – interviews are exclusively for our Artist of the Month feature.
18. What is the Nusic Loveline? – It’s a phone line that allows you to ring us from gigs, practice spaces or even your bedroom and tell us about an amazing Nottingham artist that you are feeling. The most enthused and/ or articulate calls will be used on the podcast. The new number (Jan 2014) is 07519 913613. An intern lost the previous sim!
19. Can you co-promote/ partner with us on our gig? No. We get asked this every day, we’re a media organisation, not promoters, Nottingham is not lacking in awesome promoters! You don’t need us jumping on the bangwagon, it’s our job to be neutral and promote the scene as fairly and equitably as possible. That said sometimes really big events will invite us to partner/ jump aboard our Notts Music philosophy, in such cases, where we feel the mass exposure gained will benefit the greater good, then we may collaborate e.g. Splendour. Basically we are musical communists, we aspire to help lots of people a decent bit, not musical tories trying to help a small number a lot.
20. What’s The Legal Situation With Being Played On The New Music Podcast?? By submitting your musical composition you warrant that you own the publishing and master rights in the musical composition and hereby waive the following rights (only in the context of the Nusic New Music Podcast):
1. the right to recover performance royalties under blanket licenses, including the right to collect such royalties individually or through a performance rights society.
2. the right to recover mechanical rights or statutory royalties.
3. the right to recover any royalty that may be applicable for public digital performance of the composition, such as webcasting or podcasting.
TRANSLATION OF LEGAL SPEAK = Basically the above says you give us permission to play and will not sue us! We obviously support and buy tracks ourselves personally but we cannot play on the podcast unless you give us permission, which you do by sending us the track.
We commit to you to not play more than 120 seconds of your track. More on this in FAQ27A.
21. What’s Your Moderation Policy? Let’s put it out there, we are only interested in positive, encouraging comments! That’s what we stand for. Metaphorically we are that annoying parent at Sports Day who sees no negative in their little darling, boisterously and continuously supporting their loved one from the side lines. But we also believe in free speech. So whilst we encourage positive (or at the very least) constructive feedback we will not delete negative comments, as long as they are constructively and objectively made. If you post personal, abusive comments we will delete. And yes as lame and headmasterish as it sounds we’ll probably also ban you from our social media. We have only done this once.
22. Can you help me find a drummer? Singer? Producer? Etc. Yes! We have three ways we can help with this. Firstly post on our facebook group here. Secondly tweet us what you are after and we’ll retweet you. Thirdly come to one of our Workshops and join in one of our Spread The Love sessions, these are specifically aimed at hooking up musicians with other musicians.
23. Staffing Policy? NUSIC is staffed entirely by part-timers and volunteers, mainly the latter via our internship programme. As such the ‘quality’ and consistency of content, particularly reviews and Future Sessions, will vary depending on how experienced the particular intern is and whether the content area is their area of passion e.g. a radio intern may find writing a review challenging.
24. Do you offer work experience? How do I become an intern? Apply! Our interns are selected from the stand out candidates who have conducted our one day work experience placement which you can apply for by emailing NUSIC@leftlion.co.uk. Email us 50 words on these three subjects: your passion for New Music, your passion for Nottingham and your passion for pancakes. More details on internships, work experience and volunteering opps are in our volunteer page – nusic.org.uk/volunteer
25. How Do You Ensure You Treat Musicians Fairly? By trying our hardest to do so! Our Third Commandment ‘Thou Shall Honour and Play All Forms and Genres of New Music’ highlights our fundamental love of music in all its forms, there are no ‘New Music = Bands’ misnomers at NUSIC. Equally, we can only play what we get sent (literally – we do not illegally download, we only play songs we have been given specific permission to play), and traditionally over half is guitar based music. Gender wise over three quarters of the music we receive is male fronted, despite our efforts with the Nusic School Tour (we do not visit any all male schools).
26. Why Does The Standard Of The Tracks Vary So Much?! Well clearly that’s a subjective opinion! As are all calls on what constitutes good or bad musically. It is true we often play artists at a very early and raw stage of their development (and from some very eclectic genres), much more so than normal for mainstream media organisations. This is because NUSIC is about encouraging artists at a very early stage of their development as well as those traditionally ignored by the mainstream.
27. How Do You Decide What To Play On The New Music Podcast? Our foremost thought is to comply with the Four Commandments as well as our philosophy of focusing support on young, yet to be recognised talent. Other / complementary factors include:
– PROGAMMING FLOW – like a dj set making sure the podcast flows e.g track 2 on the NMP is normally an electronic music track as they work well in that position.
– AGE – we do play all ages, but young musicians are our focus and if forced to choose between a bunch of raw, as yet un-supported 17 year olds and maturer more seasoned musicians we will play the younger ones.
– GENRE – in keeping with the Third Commandment we make sure each show represents all genres, if in a particular week we have had lots of bands then a band may miss out to a HipHop track as we ensure that musical balance.
– EMOTION – we’re human. The above shows we try and be as objective and transparent as possible. Ultimately as music lovers if a particular track really connects with us on a personal level then that’s going to help its chance of getting played. On the objective vibe we hope if one of us doesn’t personally feel a track our aspiration to be supportive allows us to see passed that personal reaction.
– MAKE A POINT – we like playing totally random/ eclectic tracks e.g Kid Party Entertainers, to make the point we love and support all genres.
– SUPPORT – if we have to choose between a track being supported elsewhere and a track with no support we’ll always play the latter, we’re all about giving up and coming artists that first encouraging nod. We can’t get you on Glasto or Leeds like the BBC or NME, but we can inspire you to become good enough for the BBC or NME to take notice, and then they’ll put you on Glastonbury!
27A. Why do you only play 120 seconds of the tracks? There are four main reasons for this:
– As a downloadable podcast, if we played the whole track we’d effectively be giving the track away, potentially denying the artist a sale.
– By playing the heart of the song we hope to give the listener enough of the track to fall in love with it whilst leaving them wanting more, and so hopefully going to find out more about the artist and buy the track once it is available.
– As an all genre podcast we want to encourage listeners to listen to the whole pod including the tracks in genres they do not like. By keeping the podcast snappy, listeners are more likely to stick with us through a track they are not feeling, then if they know the song will be on for five minutes. We exist to expose artists to new potential fans, we can’t do that if no one is listening.
– Linking all three of the above The New Music Podcast was conceived as a snappy, (hopefully) fun, introduction to the incredible New Music, across all genres, being created by local musicians. As such we felt it needed to be nearer twenty mins than sixty, being a length that was easily digestible on the bus to school or tram to college. Not even our mums will listen regularly if the pod is three hours long.
28. How Big Is Your Audience? Not as big as we’d like, spread the love! The New Music Podcast has averaged 2000 listens a show (this includes downloads, streams, iTunes listens, everything) which can vary depending on what big announcements we have. For example our listens purely via LeftLion.co.uk have varied between 300 and 1000 during the Future Sound of Nottingham comp, you’re a fickle lot! Future Session viewing figures have dropped since Trent FM, most reaching 500 views quite quickly as apposed to 1000 in the old days, after that who knows?!
29. What do the brackets on Podcast and Sessions mean? These are the totals since we started. We’ve gone through various incarnations and collaborations so the brackets is the total figure we’ve done whilst the initial number is the number done under the Nusic brand. Even the brackets don’t count all the stuff we did pre Trent FM when we initially started on student radio!
30. Why are you still supporting artists like JAKE BUGG, SLEAFORD MODS and LONDON GRAMMAR? They don’t need your help, you’re meant to be about unsigned musicians! It’s a fair question and something we have struggled with a bit. There has been a close correlation between our growth , the growth of artists we have supported and the growth of the scene. This has meant that NOT ONLY have artists like those you mentioned, who we’ve given first plays and/ or sessions to, outgrown us (for want of a better expression) but so has the whole scene. The question for us then was do we ignore the growth of the scene and disown artists once they become successful and stay focused totally on the unsigned part of things? Or do we adopt the approach that we have taken on which is to:
– Remember we’re musical communists and stay focused on the unsigned, under 25 musicians of Notts.
– Embrace and share the success of the rising artists which will hopefully inspire the unsigned artists dreaming of similar success.
– Collaborate with the signed artists where they want to give back and do something to help the scene e.g our new Nusic Presents feature does more for spreading the word of the Nottingham music scene than it does for the signed artist it focuses on. We also invite successful artists to come back and speak at NUSIC ACADEMY events, sharing their experiences and hopefully inspiring more.
– Remember our original dream was to see a Nottingham artist get to Number One. Obviously we can’t help shift an extra 10 000 albums. But (in a day and age when 25 000 albums is enough to get to Number One) if we can help mobilise Nottingham behind an artist to sell an extra 1000 copies, and that makes the difference between 2 and 1, then we’ll be happy. And in the process the ultimate inspiration to the unsigned masses will have been created.
– You can read more about our ‘post Nottingham Number One’ dreams HERE.
31. OK but sometimes it seems like you’re supporting certain artists over others? – Our commitment to musical communism means we try hard to treat everyone equally. Of course there are times where artists put themselves in a position that is both quite unique (so we’re not favouring them over any other local act) AND where we feel we can make a difference. If you email us about being in a local battle of the bands asking for support then of course we can’t help you because there will be whole host of other local artists also going for it, there’s nothing unique about the situation. But when a Nottingham artist has reached out beyond Notts and is in for example an online poll to get play on Six Music (we refer here to where we helped DOG IS DEAD win Six Music’s rebel playlist comp), a great opp where a few hundred votes could make the difference, then we’ll get involved. In addition as musicians become more successful we’re not as much trying to help them (let’s be honest if you’re getting played on Radio One you don’t need help from a little online blog) as much as share their success with other young local musicians in the hope it will inspire them.
STOP PRESS UPDATE 21 04 13 – There have been two great examples of either side of this recently. This Aplin comp to support her at Rock City we have created awareness of because it is a great opportunity, but we can’t support you because there are lots of other Nottingham artists going for it. Moving on… With the JAKE BUGG Brit Award it was clear that is was very close, therefore Nottingham getting behind him could make the difference and there were no other Nottingham artists in contention so no ‘bias’ risk. Jake put himself in that potentially winning position, together we felt we could help push him over the edge to victory so we tried, sadly in this case we failed.
32. What are your twitter and facebook / social media policies? How do you stay consistent and fair? – Our Twitter and Facebook policies are outlined in detail HERE.
33. How do we get a Nusic Presents made about us? – These are very rare, we’ve only made two (DOG IS DEAD) and (HARLEIGHBLU), we were booked to do Mr Bugg but then he became mega-famous, INDIANA is in production. The following need to be in place/ happening for a Nusic Presents to happen:
1) An artist must be big enough that the project will significantly enhance the CV of the volunteers giving up hours of their time to make the video, that’s what makes it ‘worth it’ for our film peeps who can put in 100 odd hours on such projects. Our definition of ‘big enough’ is ‘looking likely to register a Top 40 album’.
2) The artist (now that they are getting big and have bigger media fish to fry) needs to feel Nusic has played an important part in their earlier career and therefore want to do it. When JAKE BUGG has Zane Lowe’s number in his mobile he’s only going to do a Nusic Presents if he feels an attachment to what we do.
3) The musician has to be proud of their Nottingham connections, and be willing to talk about them. One of the big ‘justifications’ of Nusic putting in the effort to make these happen (baring in mind the artist doesn’t particularly need the exposure) is the fact they are likely to be popular and reach out to a wider audience spreading the love about Nottingham’s music scene.
4) The musician needs to believe doing a Nusic Presents and #SpreadTheLove campaign is worth the energy, that a big local push will make a difference to their final chart position. No one thinks that local support only can get you in the Top 40, but some do believe if you are going Top 40 a big local push can make the crucial difference between say 39 and 42, 18 and 21, 9 and 11 or even 1 and 3. There’s anecdotal evidence to support this but clearly it’s not scientifically rigorous. Insights such as proportion of week one sales that are from local area (in this case Notts) compared to normal, how much higher the artists chart than their label were expecting and in particular how well an artist hangs on in the second half of the week.
Why did you not do a NATALIE DUNCAN Nusic Presents? – Because our mother from another brother Poddingham Paul made THIS . Amongst the LeftLion family we filmed DOG IS DEAD and JAKE BUGG, Poddingham filmed NATALIE.
33A How do we get a #SpreadTheLove campaign run for us? The answer to this question is very closely linked to the above. When the above criteria are met, on the day of the release of your debut album on a professional label we will run a #SpreadTheLOve campaign. The key words/ phrases being ‘debut’, ‘album’ and ‘professional label’. Our definition of professional is at least two people working full time on the label. Without these benchmarks we’d be having to try and run #SpreadTheLove campaigns every month, we do not have the resources to do that, in addition you the public would quickly get sick of us accusing us of spamming. As it is everytime we do a #SpreadTheLove campaign we lose followers.
34. How do I get on Splendour and/ or Nottingham Rocks? I’ve heard you lot choose the (local) acts is that true? We’re regularly asked for artist suggestions by all kinds of promoters, the two most significant being Splendour and Nottingham Rocks, as they are prominent (profile wise), large (audience wise) and unique (venue, experience) gigs that act as an inspiring experience that will hopefully encourage artists to push on with their career. Every year we provide the Splendour and Nottingham Rocks promoters with a list of local musicians 25 or under who have never played Splendour/ NR before, this fits with our values of lobbying to secure inspiring oportunities for young musicians. Over the years Splendour and NR have both used approximately three quarters of our nominations, we chose those nominations from the musicians who have sent their music in for play on the podcast (so make sure you have sent in your best song!). Then of course there is also the FUTURE SOUND OF NOTTINGHAM.
34A I have a Future Sound of Nottingham question? We have tried our best to answer any and all FSN questions, on the FSN page, which can be found HERE.
35. Do you know where I can get started doing gigs? – We can certainly recommend a good few places to start. Advice Guide No. 6’s PDF lists all of the venues / promoters / open mics we are aware of that give first gigs, including contacts. You can find that HERE.
Advice Video No.6 features tips on how to approach those promoters / venues, the kind of things you should have in place, what to expect etc. You can watch that HERE.
36. How do you stay fair? How do you avoid Conflict/s of Interest? – By trying our best to. We have weekly editorial meetings re the Top 3 where we debate what we each consider to be the strongest gigs of the coming week, every person putting forward a certain gig is asked to imagine they’re in court making the case for that gig, considering matters such as the amount of local artists playing (the one situation when non-Notts artists are considered is that of when the non-Notts artist is well known and so it’s an achievement for the local artist, to be supporting that artist), artist diversity, artist quality (the hardest thing to discuss objectively) and genre diversity across the line-up. Price of entry is also a factor. A gig charging £9.50 for exactly the same line-up you can see another day at The Maze for £3, or Jam Cafe for free, is going to struggle in Editorial Court.
Everyone is asked to be open about any personal connections to the gig (is Mark Del DJing at it? Is one of our interns performing at it? Etc), this is not held against them or the gig, but it does place an onus on them to make a strong(er) case in the ‘Editorial Court’. Editorial Court is the analogy we use for editorial discussions. Team members have to make the case for the editorial decision they are advocating, as precisely, objectively and evidence backed as possible. Just as if in court. We apply this editorial process to all editorial decisions such as who gets played on the New Music Podcast (for more on that see FAQ43).
When there is a potential Conflict of Interest (CoI), we declare that in the discussion, we declare it here on nusic.org.uk on our Conflict of Interest page plus, if it doesn’t sound / appear wanky*, in the specific piece of content.
*For example Annie Mac does not tell you Toddla T is her husband every time she play’s a tune of his, cause it would sound wanky (and repetitive). But she will have had to declare that connection, to the BBC editorial team, as per their CoI policy/ies (which you can see more of HERE).
Additionally. Our intern, volunteer and work experience programmes help ensure new perspectives are constantly contributing to our editorial discussions.
37. How do I get a birthday shout out? – Well first ya mama and papa need to get it on, then you need to be born and then however many years later you start making music let us know the big day and we’ll shout it out. Easy.
38. Do you know how I get a slot on a BBC Introducing stage? – Baring in mind we are not the BBC we get asked a surprisingly large number of questions about the Beeb, mostly regarding the BBC Introducing stages at large festivals across the UK. As far as we are aware the process is not shared publicly, and differs from county to county. What is made clear is that you need to be in it to win it and that means uploading your music to the BBC UPLOADER, this puts you on the radar of your local BBC Introducing team. Nottingham doesn’t have it’s own show, we share with Leicester, Derby and Lincoln. Sadly this means you have more competition BUT it does mean the East Mids Introducing team probably has more influence as they rep a region not just a county, that’s the ying and yang of the situation. In a nutshell you need to upload your music, network with local key BBC peeps (Dean Jackson is the presenter) and build a case why you should play. When you upload your music make sure you make clear that you are selling out local shows and getting played by other radio shows. Don’t do it arrogantly but do make clear that you are on the way, that you are worth supporting. These are valuable opportunities, the BBC doesn’t want to give them to someone who isn’t that serious about their music and will probably split up in six months, you need to make them believe you’re serious about this.
More info on the BBC and all local press HERE.
39. Can you get us played on Radio X? – No. But since 2008 we have sent music to Radio X / XFM and other significant music industry entities and individuals in an effort to showcase your talents, we can’t guarantee what they’ll think or whether they’ll play it but we do try. It’s like an informal version of the what BBC Introducing now do where the locals shows forward stand out tunes to national BBC stations. Obviously these people only listen to what we send because we have built a reputation for sending them music they rate, we have to exercise our best judgement re not just what is good enough but what is up the street of the station/ mag/ dj, no one wins if a national dj stops listening to nusic cds because we sent them a load of stuff they don’t consider relevant to them. All tunes forwarded come from the music sent in for the New Music Podcast. For more info on how you can increase your chances of getting played on any radio show, watch Advice Vid No.3 HERE.
40. How do we get on Notts TV / Noise Floor? – First off let us say it’s early days and we’re still working things out. Secondly this is a Notts TV show featuring some Nusic content, not the other way around. So we are contributors to the show, not the controllers of the show. At the moment NoiseFloor is planning to feature a Nusic Future Session every week, the qualification criteria for which are higher up in these FAQs. They’re also planning to feature a Video of the Week (sometimes the Nusic one, sometimes not), which again (from the Nottingham perspective) the qualification criteria for which are higher up in these FAQs. In a nutshell anything from the Nusic side of things featured in NoiseFloor will go through the same submission criteria as usual, which in all scenarios are listed transparently above in our FAQs. Over time NoiseFloor will develop it’s own stand alone features, maybe even sessions, when it does, and if they are targetted at local musicians (Noise Floor is not just about Nottingham artists, in fact the goal of Notts TV is to make a show that is of interest to all local stations across the UK), and if we’re still involved, we’ll make sure the deets on how to get involved are transparently shared with you all, just like all Nusic opps are. It’s also worth noting, at least in the early days when things are on a very tight budget, Noise Floor is being pre-recorded quite a while before broadcast. It’s also being recorded in a way that enables the show to be repeated lots, this means news pieces, listings and the like are unlikely to feature. If you have a gig or something similar to shout out we suggest you check out further above in these FAQs where we explain how to get in Nusic’s Top Three gigs. If there is something really special and stand out about your gig or festival (it really must be more than just another gig) the Notts TV news team MAY be interested, here are deets on the team at Notts TV (most of whom are on social media): http://www.nottstv.com/staff It’s also worth mentioning that be mindful of how you communicate with the NTV news team, if you come across as fun and engaging not only will that help what you are plugging stand out but it will also flag you up as a potentially entertaining interviewee, they might even invite you on their 630 show which is NTV’s equiv of the One Show.
STOP PRESS 05 02 15 – The production of new episodes of Noise Floor has been put on hold until Notts TV find a sponsor for the show, the odd special, using already existing content may broadcast.
STOP PRESS 24 06 15 – New Notts TV news presenter Nicola Beswick is a big fan of local music and has started proactively getting local musicians in on the 630 show every Friday (she presents Fridays and Mondays), it’s well worth dropping her a tweet on @Bez_nottstv
STOP PRESS 10 08 15 – Quite a few of you asking us how come Noise Floor is still on air when we told you no new series had been commissioned, the answer is simple – REPEATS. Noise Floor is the most repeated show on Notts TV, so when you watch a Noise Floor that you personally have not seen before, it’s almost definitely a repeat from 2014. There’s also a chance that you have seen a show a year ago but forgotten, which helps explain a feeling of ‘how come they’re covering this artist again’. We say ‘almost definitely’, as there have been some one offs commissioned linked to coverage deals that Notts TV have done with certain festivals such as Hockley Hustle, No Tomorrow and Splendour. In all those cases the shows are dedicated 100% to the relevant event so we at Nusic have no say on who is covered, obvs we push as hard as possible for as many local acts to be featured as possible (who are already on the line up of said event), but ultimately it is out of our hands.
If you want to know more than we know, try tweeting @Notts_tv direct , they are quite good at replying to queries.
STOP PRESS – 03/08/17 – Notts TV have told us they still hope to revive Noise Floor, and we are talking to them over the summer about doing so, but ultimately it still comes down to the station finding a sponsor. So if you have a rich Aunt who owns a car dealership let us know!
STOP PRESS 16/06/18 – There are currently new episodes of NF out on Notts TV, recorded end of 2017 / early 2018, however the series has since been put on hold. If you’re minted, get in touch and sponsor the show. If you’re not, the best way to get on NTV is there Ey Up Notts news show where they have local musicians on to chat, and sometimes do an acoustic performance.
41. Do you know which record shops in Nottingham sell local music?
Rough Trade – RT stock local music throughout the store, and certain local labels (Earache etc) have their own stall.
Fopp – Fopp stock big label releases by Notts artists, however, alongside this they do have a local music playlist every Tuesday. If you drop ’em a copy of your EP, you may just hear yourself over their speakers.
HMV – Stock local music – go and say hello!
Pendulum Records – Quote direct from the owner “If local artists come and see us with a professional product we are happy to stock them.”
Mimm – They do stock local music, although it’s probs best to go direct to the shop and talk to them about it. At the minute for example, they’re stocking music by CONGI, as well as putting a few Notts artists on their compilation which they’ll be selling in store.
42. Why Are You Always So Positive? We love Nottingham and its New Music scene and we only want to support it. We are not interested in acerbic wannabe music journo style reviews showing off a command of the English language whilst squashing the hopes and aspirations of their musical victim! We always look for, focus on and extenuate the positive and make no apology for doing so. We are here to support not shatter the aspirations of local musicians.
43. Why have you not played my song yet? There are a number of possible reasons:
1) You have not sent your track in officially – tweeting us, writing on our facebook wall etc does not count. You must email your track, in the ways outlined above in FAQ1, to the official nusic email address email@example.com . We do advise you to send your music in digitally as outlined in FAQ1, not physically.
2) You have sent your track in but not labelled it correctly so we do not know who you are.
3) We have lost it, this does happen.
4) Bad luck, for example our iTunes committed suicide the other day and we lost all tracks since our last back up.
5) The recording quality isn’t good enough and/ or contains basic errors such as wrong notes or out of key singing.
6) Our ears thought there were fourteen better and/ or more appropriate tracks to play on that particular podcast.
As you can see many of the reasons for ‘non-play’ are within your hands, do the basics such as sending to the right place and label your music properley and you can massively increase your chances of getting played (this applies to all media outlets not just us). There are also some factors that come down to luck, so it is always worth sending your music in again (this applies to any media entity). If reading this FAQ you’ll probs also find FAQs 1, 25 & 27 useful.
44. Why have you stopped doing reviews? Lack of resources to do reviews consistently, and so fairly, so we’ve basically stopped doing reviews focusing instead on previews, in the form of our weekly Top Three gigs and regular news pieces. As an entity that exists to help musicians, we’re focusing on the thing that helps more, and that is previews.
45. None of the above have answered my question, can I get a meeting with you? The three main ideas behind an extensive FAQs list like the above are to be fair, transparent and efficient. Nusic is a hobby that has got out of hand meaning we’re always pretty pushed for time so need be a bit ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ at times. We do put on our Workshops which offer you the chance to chat to us in person, we’re always out at gigs (although please don’t ask us questions during a musicians set, you wouldn’t like it if we were talking during your set would ya?) and also we do Nusic Surgeries once a fortnight after college/ work on Thursdays, email us firstname.lastname@example.org for a natter.
46. How do I sign up for your email list? Pls email us at email@example.com with the subject title – ‘sign me up to your newsletter’. And we’ll do it. Simples.