Tag Archive: radio


Then and Now (Two Stories)

STORY #1: Trying to get on radio

Then – Summer 2005:

I was living with my Uncle Eric and my two cousins in Lansdale, PA.  From time to time I would catch the New Jersey transit up to New York in the hopes of getting my music demo into the hands of some of NYs influential music industry people.

First stop: Hot 97, the most popular radio station in New York. The plan: to go into the station, hand off my CD of songs, and hopefully be able to get them to hear my songs, fall in love with at least one of them, and play it on their station. 

Unfortunately, I got there just as they were closing.  Still, I knew there’d be night staff DJs coming in, one of them being Funkmaster Flex.  I waited outside the building for two hours – nobody showed up!  Frustrated, I decided to take a walk around the building, then head over to the next spot (wherever that would be).  As I walked to the opposite side of the building…

…I saw Funkmaster Flex!! He just happened to be taking the trash out at the moment I walked by.  I greeted him, said I was a fan, and gave him a copy of my CD. “Just listen to the first song, please!!” I said.  He said, “Okay,” but, given that I already knew he probably got this request 10,000 times a day, I figured there was a better chance that he’d toss it in the trash as soon as I was out of his sight.

Needless to say, I wasn’t going to be getting any radio play anytime soon…

Now – Summer 2008:

I get a LOT of comments on the “Obama, Obama” video from people all across the country.  Last night, I received this comment on the wall:

“Man I have you give you your props on this song, I live in New York and just a few days I was listening to the radio ‘Hot 97.1′ when they played Lil’ Waynes “A Milli” then your song and I was like this sh*t is awesome so I came on YouTube to find the real video and here it is.  Great work!”

How ironic – I don’t even live near NYC anymore, and they play my dang song without me having to even call in the station!!

STORY #2: “You can find me in the club…”

THEN – Summer 2005:

During that same trip to NYC, I decided to stay in the city late so I could go to one of the clubs and pass my CD off to a DJ.  I forget the name of the club, but I went around 10 PM or so, and I’m sure I stood out like a sore thumb.  I was the only one there with a demo folder and a CD, but I was a man on a mission: to get my song played in a REAL club, even if the song ended up getting booed.

Got into the club, and saw the DJ booth, located up on a second floor.  There were steps that led up to the booth, but it was blocked off by security.  I asked the guard at the post if he could hand my CD off to the DJ; he politely took it up, but, once again, I figured that, despite how good I felt my songs were, the CD would just be pushed to the side, along with the hundreds of other CDs he probably got on a weekly basis.

By the end of the night, NONE of my songs had been played.  Oh well – it’s nothing personal, just business: since no one knew who I was, the DJ couldn’t risk playing one of my songs and completely stopping the party!

NOW – Summer 2008:

I don’t go out to clubs very much.  The last time I went… dang, I think it might have been New Year’s Eve/Day!  Therefore, I have NO idea what DJs are spinning these days, though I assume they must be playing a LOT of Lil’ Wayne since he’s the most popular guy at the moment.

However, just because I don’t go out to clubs doesn’t mean other people don’t.  I got an e-mail from this girl named Carly, and it said the following:

Dear APT,

I heard your Obama song in a west indian night club in Hartford CT.  The dj started with the millionaire song and mixed the obama remix in half way through.  It was the first time that I’d heard of it and it put a big smile on my face in the middle of the bar.

Carly

Man, oh man, oh man… I need to go to a club here in ATL and see if anyone’s playing my song, ’cause that’s HUGE, man!

The moral of these stories:  Um… I don’t have one.  It’s just cool to know my stuff is being played on radio AND the clubs. Woo-hoo!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/notoriousapt

Hey everybody!

Another week, another video up on YouTube. 

Making videos is fun, but this whole project in general is a learning process – and boy oh boy, have I been learning a LOT.  Since my thoughts are better explained when I do list, allow me to make one of some of the things I’ve learned so far:

1. EDITING VIDEOS TAKES A LOT OF TIME.  I’ve said it before so I won’t spend long talking about it, but it’s taking me anywhere between 3 to 8 hours to edit these videos.  Every time I see a video on BET or MTV now I have GREAT respect for what they do.  Even a video as low-key as my “The N!@@er Song”, where I don’t cut away a whole lot from myself, took me 3 hours!!  I wonder how long that one-shot De’Angelo video, “How Does It Feel,” took them to edit…

2. WHEN POSTING UP VIDEOS, BE PREPARED FOR FEEDBACK, BOTH GOOD AND BAD.  This is the biggest lesson I’ve learned from posting the “Obama Obama” video so far – as I type this it is at over 126,000 views, and I’ve received many comments about the video, the majority of which have been positive.

However, there have been quite a few people who expressed concern over the part of the song where I talk about Michelle Obama – specifically, the part where I indicate that she’s so hot, “I’d hit” (for those not up on slang, that means that if Barack wasn’t attached to her, I’d consider making love to her).

In hood vernacular, this is often how guys express if one of their homeboy’s girls is good-looking – “man, your girl is fine!  Betta watch out, ’cause I’d DEFINITELY hit that!”  And, given that the artist I was parodying was Lil’ Wayne, I had no problem saying these things as I wasn’t taking the song too seriously.  However, not all people are me, and some people thought that I was using the song as a serious statement about Obama, and that my comments about Michelle were disrespectful and should be edited out the song.

But hey, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, right?  I understand where they’re coming from; at the same time, though, I can’t let every criticism I’ll get about my songs cause me to try and change it just to please people. 

I had one person write and tell me that I could pitch this to Obama’s camp to use in their campaign, if I just took the part out about Michelle, and the part where I mention the Clintons, and the part where I mention McCain possibly dying.  THAT’S HALF THE SONG, PEOPLE!! But it’s definitely interesting to get feedback from all angles.

3. I NOW UNDERSTAND THE TERM “OVERNIGHT CELEBRITY.”  I used to think this was a bogus term, especially since I’m aware of how much behind-the-scenes legwork a person has to do before they are finally recognized by people outside their immediate circle.

But lo and behold: once you create something that other people whom you don’t know can grab a hold of and relate to, it can spread like wild fire.  Next thing you know, you go from being known by a small group, to being “known” by several thousand or more.  I say the second “known” in quotations because they really only know a small part of you, i.e. the part you chose to send out.

Which reminds me:

4. MAKING EDITED VERSIONS OF SONGS IS A WISE IDEA IF YOU’RE NOT ALREADY FAMOUS.  Especially in the Internet age where you can send a song to radio and they might actually play it – but not if the song is full of curse words.

I try my hardest not to cuss in my songs except where I feel the emotional impact of the event makes it necessary.  However, I’m also aware that radio stations hate having to edit content themselves.  When I made the “Obama” song, I recorded it with the thought in mind that it could possibly get radio play.  To that end, I made sure not to say any words that would make them hesitate playing it.

I have to go back and edit a few of my songs now, though, which is a pain in the ass you-know-what because it means having to re-record in certain parts and/or cutting and pasting back lyrics.  At the same time, though, I’d like to think my younger cousins could see my videos or download the songs without restriction, especially since they seem to look up to me and/or want to brag to their friends about my music!

One major roadblock, though: my apartment.  There are a few song ideas I have where it would require me to yell on the chorus and/or parts of the verse, but I live in an apartment with thin walls and neighbors who don’t like hearing noise all the time.  I usually only record once or twice a week (at times when my neighbor isn’t home), but even then I have people living above me or across the hall, so I have to be considerate.

I guess what I’m saying is, I really, REALLY need to get some time to record in a real studio.  But, money’s tight (as usual), so I have to make due.  Oh yeah – if you’d like to donate some money to my recording dreams, click HERE for more info!!

Okay, that’s all for now – I have to prepare for a meeting with my entertainment lawyer this afternoon, as well as a radio interview this evening.  I’ll keep you all posted!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MULTIPLE “Obama, Obama” Ringtones Now Available!! Preview Them HERE: “Obama, Obama” Ringtone – 2.99 *Only 1.99, this week only (July 8-15, 2008)!

Okay, so… um… hmm, let’s see…

I hesitate to tell people this, because… well, I don’t know.  It’s a catch-22 because, on the one hand, I’m supposed to be blogging here about my progress from average-working guy trying to make music in his studio apartment, to, hopefully, music mega-star who’s traveling the country performing his songs in different locals.  At the same time, though, when I DO type any progressions up that are significant, I don’t want them to come across as “bragging,” or have people suddenly treating me different. 

Well, except for people in the industry that didn’t care about me before.  I’d LOVE for them to treat me differently so I could do my music on a larger scale!

With that said, though, what I’m about to type is simply factual information about what has happened in the last couple of days…

So, I have a song/music video I did called “Obama, Obama,” a parody of Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli” that talks about all things Obama.  At this point, I don’t even have to say the “Lil’ Wayne parody” part anymore – right now the videos at over 62,000 views (and counting) on YouTube, and people are downloading the song at an alarming rate, both on this site and other sites like zshare and probably others I don’t know about.

The advantage of using an avenue like YouTube, as well as the Internet in general, is that a song can be spread quickly without me having to physically be there to pass it around.  And, apparently, my song has traveled to several parts of the country. 

Last night, I was checking some of the newer comments on my video’s YouTube wall (as I do on a regular basis now – my E-mail box is flooded with comment updates every other minute now), and I came across one that took me by surprise.  It was by a user named “Yourboyeddie,” and… well, here’s what the comment said:

  • “Classic fam.  I posted [the video] on my website.”

 

Nothing big – LOTS of people have posted my video on their website (and placed the song on their MySpace page – I believe my friend Michele was the first to do so, so SHOUT OUT TO MICHELE FOR THE SUPPORT FROM DAY ONE!)

Then, he left another comment:

  • “And I played it on the radio.”

 

Um, what?

I got played on the radio.  I got play on the radio?

I GOT PLAYED ON THE RADIO!!!

For some reason, I couldn’t quite comprehend what he was saying, so I wrote him and told him to let me know where and what station had played it.  He wrote me back:

  • “Yeah, I just played the majority of the 2nd verse on the radio and even posted your video on our stations website.  I played it about 6 minutes ago… well done, man.”

 

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

A few minutes later, I got another posted comment, this time from a user named “ZuluWarrior1856” saying:

  • “DAMN, just now KUBE 93 radio station played this song on the radio!! In Seattle.  This $#!+’s f–kin’ nice so keep it up, aptistheman.”

 

SEATTLE?!?  How’d my song get to Seattle?!? (Oh right, the Internet – I forgot this thing is everywhere :P)

Since then, I’ve been informed that my song has also been played in two other areas of the country: station WPEG in Charlotte and Louisville’s B 96.5 in Kentucky.  At the moment, I’m looking to get air play here in Atlanta, which should be a LOT easier now that other big radio markets have already played it.

So, now I’m in a weird type of zone because, on the one hand, my song is gaining in popularity and being played on radio.  On the other hand, aside from hearing all this great stuff, nothing has really changed just yet.  I’m still at my current job, I’m still in my studio apartment saving up money, and I’m still creating songs and videos to put up on the site.  It’s almost like this good stuff is happening to me, yet not happening to me at the same time.

But, I know it’s all about patience.  I think the advantage of having waited until 26 to see even a small form of success is that I know a little bit of what to expect and what to look out for.  A lot of people catch fame at an early age and, because they aren’t properly educated on how to do business or handle themselves, they get screwed in the end, or get themselves into things (drugs, wrong crowd, etc.) that they have no business in.

Another advantage: I know that becoming successful is partially about having fun, and partially about handling the business aspect of it.  To that end, I’ve already got an entertainment lawyer who agreed to represent me LAST year… but, up until now, I didn’t really have any momentum behind any of my songs or projects, so she didn’t really have a reason to push hard for my stuff.  Now, I’ve got a meeting with her on Monday to figure out my next step.  Funny how having numbers to back up your popularity rise suddenly makes people want to do business with you!

So, that’s the going’s on for now.  I’m shooting the video for this Sunday’s song tomorrow.  As for right now, I just want to get off the computer for a while, relax, and enjoy a good movie.  Peace out!

-A.P.T.

MULTIPLE “Obama, Obama” Ringtones Now Available!! Preview Them HERE: “Obama, Obama” Ringtone – 2.99 *Only 1.99, this week only (July 8-15, 2008)!

E-Mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com