It's been 9 months since I last wrote a blog, so I thought that it was probably about time that I wrote another one. Time has flown by this year and it's been a really hectic one, hence why I forgot all about writing blogs!


I've got to the point where I can now successfully present a show alone without freaking out about it, as mentioned in previous posts all the way back in 2011. Radio for me is one of those things that gets easier each time that you do it until eventually it becomes not such a big thing after all.

I've recently started training a new presenter, a girl I went to school and college with. Even though she would probably appear more confident than me if you met her in person, she reminds me of myself when I first started out in radio. The way that she reminds me of myself? She doesn't talk that much when on air. In person she's one of the most confident people I know, but put a microphone in front of her and like myself when I first started presenting, she is lost for words.

Instead of throwing her in the deep end and asking her to ask the band questions when I run out of questions (as happened to me when I first started radio presenting), I try to give her cues and things to say so that she doesn't feel on the spot and under pressure. This seems to be helping as she is getting more and more confident each time she helps to present a show and will more than likely soon be talking more than I do!

Kerry (Left) & Myself (Right)

Speaking of microphones:

The new obstacle to get over for me is now going to be speaking on stage in front of an audience. I was recently asked why I can speak on the radio each week with who knows how many people listening in, but find it intimidating to speak on stage in front of an audience. The answer? In the comfort of a radio station studio I have little or no audience sat there watching me, but on a stage all eyes are on me, which at first can be a seriously daunting experience.

Now that I am running a schools music programme with social enterprise Young Music, it's just another one of those things I'm going to have to get used to every time that I have to go up on stage. Practice makes perfect right?

Here's a photo of me on stage at O2 Academy Sheffield, one of many future 'on stage speaking' pictures no doubt.
Image courtesy of Dean Stead Photography

How to make your band stand out

Welcome to the 21st century, everyone wants to be in a band, everyone wants to be famous and you might be finding it difficult to make yourself stand out from everyone else in the business. I decided to pile together a list of things that I think could help you to stand out from other bands and artists.

Photos – If you want to look the part you’re going to need some snazzy photos which make people think ‘wow this band means business’ as appose to ‘aww bless they got their mum to take their pictures for them’. So unless your mum is a professional photographer or has a pretty awesome camera, it’s probably best that you don’t get her to take them for you. If you can’t afford professional photographer costs maybe you could ask a photography student to take some for you in return for letting them use the pictures for their portfolio. This sort of visual imagery could be the difference between someone clicking on your facebook, seeing how professional you look, then deciding to check your music out OR someone clicking on your facebook, seeing a badly taken photo, thinking you’re a wannabe and clicking the dreaded X button in the right hand corner of their screen.

Youtube videos (make sure they’re good quality) – One of my favourite things to do while browsing the net is watching Youtube videos of ordinary people doing covers of the latest songs and making them sound like their own. Famous Youtubers include Justin Beiber. , before Justin-mania swept the whole world, he regularly updated his Youtube with videos of him singing cover songs, this lead to him being discovered and signed to RBMG.

Emails – Don’t bore promoters and venues with the same predictive emails that everyone else is sending to them. Be different, make your email eye-catching and interesting to read. Instead of attachments perhaps consider including links to your music, some promoters may be put off or restricted from downloading attachments due to the risk of viruses.

Good quality recordings – If the quality of your song recordings are rubbish, no matter how great of a band you are, people are probably going to think otherwise. You may have noticed this also works the other way round: take one pretty girl with rather large....hair, a voice that croaks more than your grannys’, a bit of auto-tune, a lot of promotion = a top 40 hit. It may be expensive to get yourself recorded professionally but costs could be recouped by selling CDs with the recordings on (I bet your mum’d buy one!).

Brand yourself – If you want to be a professional musician you’re going to need to turn yourself into a product and sell yourself to other people (not literally please). In order to do so you need to create a sense of identity (your brand), know your identity and make sure that other people know what your brand is too. Good examples of bands/artists that have made themselves into brands include JLS with their colour coded clothing, dappy (ndubz) and his hats and Mariah Carey and her alleged diva-ish behaviour. A brand is a concept you associate with a product or service e.g. when you think of model Jordan you think of … *fill in the gaps in comments below*, when you think of Shreddies you think of … ** .

So if you want to be the band that’s known for wearing funky coloured socks make sure you wear funky coloured socks, if you want to be known as the band that sings songs about rainbows and puppy dogs then you better get writing. A band I really like made their brand by performing regularly in places that bands wouldn’t normally think to perform such as on the tram on the way to gigs (can you guess which band?) . I wouldn’t suggest doing this as it would probably get you into trouble but I’m sure there is other ways to create a brand that nobody else has thought of which would get people talking.

Ask your fans to help – Who better to help you to promote yourself than the people who are so enthusiastic about you and your band that they turn up to your gigs and buy your cds? So why not ask them to spread the love and help you to become successful? Make sure you let them know that once you’re famous you won’t forget them (fans love that) and reward them for being so helpful and loyal by putting on private gigs for them or sending them thank you notes (you’ll probably be amazed at how much a thank you is appreciated – I love them!).

That’s all the tips I can think of for now but I will post another blog soon with more hints and tips. I hope you find them useful, feel free to leave any questions or feedback.