Thursday, August 27

Center Stage - Luke Underhill

Get to know our latest awesomely talented Center Stage artist, Luke Underhill

A young rising star in the Chicago area, Luke has already gained national attention with his music. He is a 19 yr old singer/songwriter who plays multiple instruments and continues to turn heads when he performs with his band or as a solo artist. 

Adopted at birth, Luke also has an adopted sister 2 months and 3 days younger. Luke proudly displays a Roman numeral tattoo on his upper forearm that reads 10.16.95, the day his adoptive parents brought him home from the hospital, which he describes it as “the day my parents saved my life".

Describe your sound in one ramble-on sentence.
There is nothing super crazy about my sound. It is basically simple, fun, and melodious-Whether it is for relaxing at home or dancing in your bedroom!

What inspires you to make music?
I have had some personal rough patches, as everyone has, so I write and perform music to make my personal troubles a beautiful learning lesson for my fans, because they could be going through something similar. 

What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?
The fact that just with a simple four chords and a catchy melody, I have the opportunity to change someones life forever, as well as my own.

What are the biggest challenges you face as a musician?
A big challenge is being extroverted. I like to keep to myself, and don’t like to socialize with other people due to feeling extremely judged by anyone I happen to talk to. Also, letting the world know however I’m feeling through my lyrics. While it can be very touching, it is anxiety-inducing because others around the world that I have no clue exist, know me on a somewhat personal level. It’s pretty freaky to think about. 

Name three people who have influenced your music, and tell us why- Living or dead.
Growing up with my dad behind the wheel, the only music to blast out of his speakers was the one and only Bruce Springsteen. Such a powerful presence.
Paul McCartney always spoke to me on a personal level. His sweet and soft voice, while being able to really make it wild and raspy is something I like to think I do a good job at with my own music. 
Also, Ed Sheeran was a recent artist who really impacted me as a musician. A funny looking awkward kid with tattoos and messy hair, that has the voice of absolute gold. I admired that, being an awkward funny looking teenager myself.

Do you have any recent or upcoming projects you'd like to share with us? Tell us about it.
I have an album in the works called “Hyphen". The idea came to me at a sad time. I was attending a funeral of an old friend, whom I called my little brother. After we were leaving the grave site, his father shows me the place holder headstone, in place for the real one that is in the works. I see, “1996-2013” and I think… That hyphen represents everything he did from the moment he was brought into this world, to the second he left. It hit home pretty hard. The album is a dedication to him and his life, with the songs being lessons learned in my short time so far on this earth. 

What is your ideal or target audience?
Anyone who can relate to my music! I believe my music is made for the ears of all ages. It is fun, while also being relaxing to listen too. 

Do you write/compose your own songs? Briefly describe your songwriting process..
I do write my own music. It all starts with a simple idea, feeling, or experience that I want to write about. Then, I compose the instrumental part of my music to fit the feel of whatever I’m trying to represent. The lyrics just flow naturally. You can’t force feelings, feelings just happen.

What do you like the most about Radio Airplay?
Radio Airplay has given me worldwide exposure for my music. Being able to target listeners. It's mind boggling when I think about how many people are listening to my music. It's the best when listeners fan me from all over the world, or someone leaves their email or a fan takes the time to actually leave a comment. In the long grind to to get established in a very competitive industry, Radio Airplay gives me a proven source that people are listening and connecting with my music. That is super cool!

"Heart of Glass" 
Follow Luke on: Twitter: @lukeunderhill_
Instagram: @lukeunderhill
Facebook: Luke Underhill

Wednesday, August 26

How To Bring Your Facebook Page Back From The Dead

Like it or not, it looks like Facebook is here to stay, and it is still a great way for musicians to reach existing fans and find new ones. 

If your page has started to look a little stale, then you should take a look at these awesome things you can do to bring your page back from the dead posted by our partners at DIY Musician.

6 Tips For Selling Your CDs at Gigs

Even in this age of digital downloads, selling physical CDs - especially at gigs - is still one of the best ways of making some money and getting your music to fans.

"You’ve got a wide profit margin because the cost of CD duplication is minimal compared to the price fans will pay for them. And, selling CDs gets your music out there to fans who will recommend your music."

Check out this great little article from our friends at TUNECORE, with tips for maximizing your CD sales at gigs!

Thursday, August 20

Center Stage - Damien Escobar

Damien Escobar is a talented and accomplished violinist. His unique sound is a type of crossover musical style consisting of a mix of classicaljazzpopR&B and hip hop. 

We're pleased to have him as our newest Radio Airplay Center Stage artist. Get to know Damien and what he's been up to in this feature. 

Easy come, easy go; was the lesson two-time Emmy Award winning violinist, Damien Escobar learned when he and his brother walked away from a multi- million dollar brand that took ten years to build. The now 28-year-old's claim to fame came early on in his teens when he, alongside his brother, appeared on "America's Got Talent" as Nuttin' but Stringz. Two urban kids from Jamaica, Queens, playing a blend of hip hop and classical melodies with a violin was somewhat surprising to viewers, and unique to say the very least; and the duo quickly shot to stardom-- appearing in commercials and movies, touring, and even adding a platinum selling album to their accolades. But growing creative differences eventually became too much for the pair to bear, and the success of Nuttin' but Stringz came to an end-- shattering the name and reputation Damien worked hard to establish, and forcing him to rebuild from rock bottom.

After the fall, Damien is reveling in the climb. Since re-launching his career, Escobar boasts of 200K downloads from his first R&B mixtape, "Sensual Melodies"; an iTunes chart topping single, “Freedom” and has more than a few notable solo headliner performances under his belt including: Oprah Winfrey’s The Life You Want Tour, Revolt TV’s Global SPIN Awards, CBS Upfront Presentation, Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef Awards, Indy Car Championship Awards, Major League Baseball MVP honors Gala, Angela Simmons "Electric Daze" Fashion Show, Russell Simmons’ Hip Hop Inaugural Ball, Governor Tom Wolf’s Inaugural Ball, and corporate concerts for FRIDAYS, Walmart, Target, and more.
Escobar, once a self-proclaimed retired violinist, is now on everyone’s radar; and has even obtained online success with viral videos picked up by media giants such as, Huffington post, CNN, and A recent feature in PEOPLE Magazine elevated Escobar to new heights in his solo career; highlighting his movement of giving back to others by doing random acts of kindness. The star even found his way back on national television, accepting an invitation to appear as a performer in WEtv’s “David Tutera’s: Unveiled”. And since then invitations to appear on television haven’t ceased; landing Escobar in the interviewee chair at Fox News and NBC, and ABC with other appearances lined up for early 2015.

As a veteran, knowing the ups and downs of the industry, Escobar has committed to centering his career around the loyal fans he refers to as "good people," who constantly remind him of why he got back into music. His appreciation for the support system he feels sustains him, spawned his Pop-Up Performance campaign. Armed with a giant speaker, a mic, and his violin, Escobar set out to surprise unsuspecting New Yorkers with a pop-up concert experience. The response to his documented journey was overwhelmingly positive, and resulted in Damien announcing a seven city pop-up performance tour this summer.

Currently, Escobar is appreciating his journey as a fresh new artist, with the recent release of his high-energy, inspirational single "Freedom" which he debuted on The Katie Couric show in support of Kennedy’s Cause, that single subsequently went on to open up at #15 on the iTunes dance charts. The artist has also tapped into the book industry, penning his first children’s book entitled “The Sound of Strings.” He will begin his book tour at the start of the new school year.

In 2012 Nuttin' But Stringz disbanded and Damien Escobar emerged as a solo artist out to make a name for himself. Humble in his dealings but confident in his craft, Damien makes it no secret that he's determined to gain recognition for being the "dopest" violinist to crossover into mainstream music. In an industry not overpopulated by instrumentalist, the Hip-Hop violinist is looking to change the game. He's a pioneer with a plan, and the future of music rest in his hands. 

What inspires you to make music? 
What inspires me musically is my everyday life experiences along with my interaction with my fans (CroonerNation) at concerts. I've learned that music is a natural herb that has the power to heal people from almost anything.

What aspect of making music excites you the most right now? 
The mystery of it all. My creative process is based on my mood and being a gemini has my moods all over the place lol! So I never know where a song will take me until it's finished and it seems to always turn out pretty decent in the end.

What are the biggest challenges you face as a musician? 
Honestly none. Many artist/musicians are faced with challenges when they're trying to do what everyone else is doing instead of doing THEM, creating there own lane and sound. I think when you know who you are as an artist challenges don't really exist because you are the best version of yourself. Hakunah Matata ;)

What's one of your all-time favorite recordings? 

Name three people who have influenced your music, and tell us why- Living or dead.
Michael Jackson - Because he's, well, the sh*t.
Bach - Because he was creating Hip-Hop melodies in the 1600's and didn't even realize it.
New York Subway System - I busked on the subway's from when I was 10 years old up until I was 18 years old and I was introduced to the sounds of NYC from the real core of the concrete jungle. Everything sounded like music to me from the trains entering the station to the crying baby while I was performing lol, in my mind it translated into melodies.

Do you have any recent or upcoming projects you'd like to share with us? Tell us about it. 
I'm working on my new album "Boundless" that is due out at the end of this year. I named it Boundless because the music being created tears down any musical boundaries that currently exist. I'm combining a classical instrument with genres ranging from Hip-Hop, EDM, R&B, World Music, and Funk, all on one project. To many that combination doesn't make sense on paper but I guarantee after listening to my album it will change perceptions.

What is your ideal or target audience? 
I really don't have one. My concerts now range from people young to old, and I find it really dope when after my concert a mother and daughter would walk up to me and thank me for giving them something in common. That's such a dope feeling. So to answer the question, my target is anyone that loves good ol music.

Do you write/compose your own songs? Briefly describe your songwriting process.
Yes. The process will either start with me and the producers creating the beat (Shout out to Alfie Magliano, Aganee, Callir Muzik) or me coming up with a violin melody line to produce around. Once we have a scratch idea I then develop my violin lead line and then build around it the same way a singer would build around his/her lead line.

What do you like the most about Radio Airplay? 
The FREEDOM to present my music in the way I intended it to be digested. Commercial radio is cool but commercial radio doesn't give alternative music a platform to be heard. Radio Airplay does!


Links - Social media - Facebook/Instagram/Twitter - @dameesco

Wednesday, August 19

3 Merch Rules Most Musicians Break

Merchandising-not just your music but items like apparel, stickers, etc- can be a great income generator for an artist or band, but it's important to know how to make that merchandise work for you so you're actually moving it and making extra money from it for your shows and overall promotion.

Our friends over at CDBABY recently posted a fun, informative article on what to keep in mind and what to avoid to maximize your merch sales!

How To Be Your Own Promoter

Are your shows lacking in audience numbers? This is probably due to not enough or not the right type of promotion. 

This great article posted on the MTT site will help you get a grasp on how to put on your own show in an organized and professional way, and will teach you how to be your own promoter.

Thursday, August 13

Center Stage - Nicky Egan

Nicky Egan, new to the Radio Airplay world has already made a mark amongst our listeners.  Her soulful sound and captivating energy are a joy to experience and her talent undeniable. Take the plunge and get to know more about Nicky! 

Dubbed a "soul songstress" by, Nicky Egan is an accomplished songwriter and keyboardist who commands the stage with captivating energy. 

Originally from Philadelphia, Egan  grew up in a home where the sounds of Richie Havens, Bob Marley, Bonnie Raitt, and The Rolling Stones were frequently buzzing on the stereo. Upon receiving a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music, Egan moved to Boston in 2006. She graduated with a degree in Contemporary Writing and Production, worked with various visiting producers, showcasing many original pieces of work, and directed the Entrepreneur Action Team while attending the school. 
Egan spent two years touring with funk band, Turkuaz post college and released her first album, Good People, in 2011 when she moved to Brooklyn, NY. Radio Boston described  Egan as having "a voice that sounds more soulful and world weary than her 23 years might suggest." 

With the release of her debut album, and a bittersweet departure from Turkuaz to focus on her band, Egan's career has begun a steady rise. She's shared the stage with other soul acts like Boston's Eli "Paperboy" Reed, and New Orleans' Charles Neville, continuously leaving audiences in awe. 

Enveloped in New York's exploding music scene, Egan's band has formed a fresh incarnation, performing frequently around the boroughs. She's just completed her sophomore release, an EP entitled, 'The 45 Homestead Project', which was released April 1 2014 through Ropeadope Records. 

This EP marks Egan's first venture as a newly signed Ropeadope artist. It's been received graciously, with the EP debuting on both iTunes and Bandcamp's homepages under the 'new and noteworthy' sections. 

Describe your sound in one ramble on sentence 
Sometimes I try to tell stories, sometimes I just want to get down with the rest of em... always striving to connect with listeners and emanate an honest sound. 

What inspires you to make music?

Inspiration comes from all different places, but I suppose just life experiences, and wanting to contribute something to society as well as express myself, music having always been the inevitable outlet. 

What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?There have been so many great albums put out in the last couple of years, and they aren't necessarily 'conventional'  which is exciting. I feel like anything goes right now as long as you're putting out honest material! 

What aspect of making music gets you the most discouraged?I'd really love to reach more people and just continue to get my music out there, which can sometimes be an uphill marathon, and I suppose discouraging at times. That said, I'm really lucky to be able to do something I love and am passionate about.

Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?Sarah Vaughn never fails. 

What's one of your all-time favorite recordings?
Shulie a Bop - Sarah Vaughn 

Name three people who have influenced your music, and tell us why- Living or dead.

Family's been a huge support system and inspiration..
-My Grandpa, who was a jazz musician in the army and who first introduced me to a lot of jazz and blues singers. 
-My Mom, who is a painter and has an amazing work ethic, and sort of keeps me in check as for working on material. 
-My Aunt Margot, who is an artist of many mediums and has always been very purposeful in her work.

Do you have any recent or upcoming projects you'd like to share with us? Tell us about it.I have an EP I released through Ropeadope Records in 2014, which is my most recent release. I recently wrote the theme song for a movie, Thirsty, that should be coming out soon, which I'm really proud of and excited about!

What do you like the most about Radio Airplay?
It's a wonderful platform for people to discover new music!

The Keeper Live Video

Wednesday, August 12

Factors To Consider Before Making A Move To The Big City

"Many artists who aren’t from major cities around the country have lofty aspirations of hitting it big and moving to Los Angeles or New York City. There are multiple factors in play that are necessary for every artist to put into perspective before making such a momentous decision."

Check out this great new blog article from our friends at MUSIC THINK TANK, with important questions to ask yourself if you're considering making the big move to the city for your music career!

Image via

15 tips From The Best Music Producers

If you want to stand out amongst a sea of artists and bands then it's very important to find your own sound. This is where production comes into play. 

Take some tips from some of the world's best producers who have changed the game in this recent blog post on the DIY Musican blog!

Thursday, August 6

Center Stage - Paul Sacco

We're very pleased to announce our latest Center Stage artist, Paul Sacco. Paul has been touching the hearts of our listeners with moving songs dedicated to his missing daughter Aubrey. 

Get to know more about Paul, his music, his story and his message:

Paul, a Colorado Lawyer and Judge from River Grove Ill, has been writing music, playing in bands and "basement recording" since 1963.  Driven by the loss of his 23 year old daughter who went missing in Nepal in 2010, Paul wrote and recorded the album "Finding Aubrey" which captures the essence of his hope and despair in the search for his lovely Aubrey. The album "Finding Aubrey" also contains songs written and sung by Aubrey recorded live just days before leaving for her fateful trip to Nepal. The album is sold to raise money for the family's continuing search in Nepal.

Describe your sound in one ramble-on sentence
My music is a blend of the philosophical sound of Pink Floyd, the poetic gentleness of Paul Simon and the "love" vibe of Mat Kearney sometimes mixed together with a raw rock edge.

What inspires you to make music?  
My 23yo daughter daughter Aubrey Disappeared in the Himalaya in 2010. We were very close and played music together.

What aspect of making music excites you the most right now? 
The prospect of getting Aubrey's message out to the world in order to raise awareness about her story and support for her search. She went missing in Nepal in 2010.

What are the biggest challenges you face as a musician? 
Struggling to play better and to better my skills at musical engineering and production.

What's one of your all-time favorite recordings? 
"The Other Side" from my Finding Aubrey CD  or "I Love You Always Forever" by Donna Lewis (if you are referring to the recordings of others)  I would always tell my daughter "I will love you forever" and played it to her when she was a little girl.

Name three people who have influenced your music
Pink Floyd, Paul Simon and Mat Kearney

Do you have any recent or upcoming projects you'd like to share with us? 
I have written 3 more songs that will be added to the "Finding Aubrey" Album, which is an ongoing project. I will keep adding songs until I find her. 

What is your ideal or target audience? 
People young and old that have seen the hard side of life, but are still optimistic and  positive.  i.e. people that live with "Grace"

Do you write/compose your own songs? 
Yes I write all of my songs except for 3 songs that Aubrey sings on the CD. 

Briefly describe your songwriting process
I write down thoughts and phrases every few days and come back to them to make song. Sometimes I string together the phrases from months or years ago. Other times I am inspired by certain notes or melodies that fall together when doodling on the piano or guitar and write the song right on the spot.

What do you like the most about Radio Airplay? 
Feedback from listeners that I may have inspired. They are sharing my joy and my pain and getting to know my lovely daughter Aubrey at the same time.

The following is a video of Aubrey playing the song "My Love is not a Movie" from the CD "Finding Aubrey" She is in India singing about a boyfriend that broke her heart. This was videoed by a friend at the beginning of her fateful trip to Nepal where she would eventually become lost. 

To learn more about Paul and Aubrey's story please visit:

Wednesday, August 5

How To Increase Your Chances Of Getting Featured

Wondering why you're having trouble getting your music featured? 

Well there's a lot of that goes into being considered, and many many artists and bands looking for the same opportunities you are. 

"Prior preparation is needed and is KEY before sending a release for featured consideration. Get your pen and paper for some very helpful notes, there are quite a few of them that should be considered heavily!"

Choosing The Single Release Strategy That’s Right For Your Song

"Global music distribution is important, but what about the strategy behind the release of your single: How are you going to attract listeners and encourage downloads? How is the launch of this single going to enhance your relationship with your audience? How will this song help you get to the next level in your music career?"

Our friends at CDBABY just released a great guide with 10 excellent strategic tips to consider when releasing your new single!