Interviews, Profiles, Clips

Young Musicians are often interviewed on BCB Radio. Sometimes it’s a live interview with a presenter, or a pre-recorded interview with one of our reporters, or sometimes we ask them to do a profile piece without another reporter present. Sometimes we ask other band members or friends to be the reporter.

These are all ways of getting some experience of being on the radio, but also of getting an idea of how the radio (and wider media) industry works.

We gathered some of those interviews together on the BCB Soundcloud account. And we’ll be adding more as we get them.

Will you play this?

We had a great example of how to approach a radio station recently from Echoviolet.

This was the email they sent:

Hi BCB Radio,   We are Echoviolet, Alternative rock band from Bradford. We would love to be considered for the Track of the week! We have submitted the form from the website, but just sending an additional email with some extra information, links, photo, etc

I Have attached an Mp3 of the song, A photo of our band, as well as a short EPK and a link to our website (which has more information).

Come Back Home (The song we have submitted for track of the week) is a song about World War 2 and is about anyone who has had family or friends who have served in the military. It’s our band 4th single, our first release this year. The single has a Cinematic, Pink Floyd feel and the release is in build up to our EP which is out in a few months time. The single was leased on the 20th February. 

We have 4 members in the band, Rowan Minnis age 28 (Guitar), James Whiteley age 28 (Vocals, Guitar), Charlotte Addinell Age 22 (Drums) and George Gales age 18 (Bass). So we have 2 members who are under 25 in the band.DSC_0065_edited.jpg

Our website with more info: https://www.echoviolet.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/echovioletuk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/echoviolet.uk/
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5Jrx7jtjiSPI8FAsjfqy3l

We would love to be featured on BCB Radio and hope you enjoy the track! 
  —
Echoviolet

Why is this so good?

Because they’ve given me everything I need, and made my job easy!

Immediately I’m told they are a Bradford band – very important for Bradford Community Broadcasting – and the style of music. I don’t have time to listen to find out!

But, if I do want to listen, they have made it easy – they’ve attached the MP3. I don’t have to go searching for it, or end up a website where I have to work out which track they are talking about, or create an account to listen, etc.

There’s more information, in a variety of ways. An Electronic Press Kit is a nice touch, but I’ve also got links to a website as well as social media. This all combines to show that the band is simply on it.

I like a website. I think it’s worth having, even if most of the action is elsewhere on the web. Again, just shows an extra level of effort.

They even tell me that they have two members under 25 – they know what I am looking for, and again have made it easy. I don’t have to send a follow up email that says “I like you, I like the track, but our feature is for young people. Are you young people?”

They even sent a picture – great, we can tweet this, and use it when we promote the track.

I’ve got everything I need. This track can become track of the week with very little work from me. This means I can get on with all the jobs I have to do in the too little time available to me.

Track of the Week – Playlists

Our Track of the Week initiative that showcases great music made by young people in the Bradford district continues to amaze and surprise us with the great quality of the work people are producing.

We’ve made it even easier for you to follow along by putting the tracks on Spotify, YouTube, and Soundcloud playlists.

Not all artists have tracks available on all platforms (and of course there are a number of barriers to entry on many of those platforms), but by covering those three, we capture most of the tracks we feature.

With a little help…

We’ve just provided a little help that will make a big difference to 16 young musicians.

Under lockdown, these young people have lost access to equipment, and expertise that has meant they were stuck, unable to be as creative as they wanted to be.

We’ve redirected some of the budget, that we should have spent on our Masterclasses, into small grants of equipment and music lessons. We’ve even had volunteer helping to fix a hopelessly out of tune guitar. Whatever we can do to help people get unstuck.

School music lessons, and instrument classes provided affordably through school have stopped, so reconnecting young people to a regular activity, and giving them a chance to learn through private lessons should see them through to when schools return in September.

Small bits of equipment, like a microphone, and audio interface, or midi keyboard are enough to get many of the young people into a position to record at home. This is a key skill for today’s musicians, and access to equipment is a real issue.

Here’s what the young people had to say about the help they have received…

“Had first vocal lesson today. Went well. Enjoyed . Did some scales and breathing exercises. Thank you BCB for organising.”

“[…] has a weekly drum lesson at school but obviously hasn’t had one since the schools closed. He would really benefit from it…”

How will you benefit from gear?
“I’d be using it for performing from home and recording my own songs.”

“I’d use it for solo projects such as solo EP id use it with my Band id also use it to record and produce other artists and maybe create some podcasts in the future but I would mostly be using it for music recording on the go and at home.”

“I’d like to use any equipment provided for me to record from home and to also help me become more comfortable with recording and producing.”

“I’d use it for composing my own music and getting my ideas down all in one place.”

“I’d like it because it will be crucial in honing in my production skills while at home. I’d have the ability to record instruments instead of just sequencing so it would help my mixing.”

Why do you need this gear?
“I’ve got a mic, but I can’t record my electric guitar from home, so this interface is just what I need”

“Stuck in the house, I haven’t been able to create at all, but now I can”

“I use Reaper and it requires an audio interface, so I was stuck without it. Being able to record with instruments will allow me to mix and use VSTs and so on.”

“The only thing I had was a mic stand, nothing else! To have this to record with is really handy.”

“I’m a vocalist and I don’t have a mic!”

“I can use this equipment to put down music I’ve created and record it.”

“I can use the equipment to record some songs and finally get them done. I used to use college equipment but I can no longer access that.”

“I’d love to have my music out there. I express my emotions and feelings through music, but I didn’t have any equipment until now.”

“The plastic microphone I use was just not up to the job. Now I’ll be able to belt it out in my bedroom!”

Equipment

Most people just needed one or two items. The bulk of the equipment came from the following list.

Microphone package: AKG P120 Condenser mic, stand, cable, and pop shield

Audio Interface: Behringer UMC2020HD

Headphones: Behringer HPX4000

Midi Keyboard: M-Audio Keystation 49 MKIII USB Controller

Livestream Top Tips

Lukas from FUSE (who you might remember from Masterclass 1) posted some tips on Instagram about livestreaming, and said we could reproduce it here. It something that they have a good deal of experience with at Fuse.

If you’re thinking about doing your own livestream, here are a few things to consider:

Part 1 – Quality. 

  1. Light. Illuminate the subject well with a bright clear white light. Fairy lights or dim colours in the background are ok but keep to minimum. 
  2. Sound. 
    1. Keep the microphone (might be your phone) close to the sound source. This eliminates background noise. 
    2. Keep your window closed to eliminate traffic noise. 
    3. Ask a friend to check on the sound quality once live. 
    4. Choose a small cluttered room over a large empty echoey room. 
  3. Connection.
    1.  If you’re using a phone, 
      1. close down other apps 
      2. find a good strong signal spot. 
    2. Home broadband
      1. try to keep connection sharing to a minimum, no Netflix etc.

Track of the Week

BCB Radio is pleased to announce a new push on Youth Music across the station.

As such, we are featuring a track made by young people (aged 12 – 25) in Bradford as the ‘Track of the Week‘ across our schedule.

You’ll be able to hear the track in our About Bradford shows between 11am and 12 noon, and 5pm and 6pm during the week.

It will also be featured on the BCB Home Page, and listed on this site under the On Air This Week page. We’ve also got a list of all the tracks on the Track of the Week programme page.

If you have a track that you think we should be featuring, then fill in this form and contact us and let us know.

Be prepared. You’ll need to…

  • Send us or point us to a track that we can download.
  • Provide some information to go with it. Our presenters will use this in their shows, so the only information they will have is the information you give them!

So:

  • your name
  • your age (at least on of your band should be in the 12 -25 age group)
  • the artists name (if different)
  • a sentence or two about yourself, your band, the band members, etc
  • any social links,
  • where to get (buy) the track,
  • an image that we can use on our website and social media (not necessarily a photo)
  • how to contact you

What’s next in Covid times?

It looks like it may still be a long time before we can run our Masterclasses again. So, in the meantime we’d like to hear from you about we can do to help young musicians in the district at this time.

BCB Radio is still broadcasting, and we continue to broadcast a show made by young people everyday at 6:30pm.

We’re also doing some online youth sessions, where we’re doing a little bit of songwriting.

Our funders, Youth Music, are happy for us to alter our Youth Music Live! project until things ‘get back to normal’ and we want to make sure we make changes in consultation with young people and parents/guardians.

To help us work out the best way to support young musicians, we want to know what you think. We have the survey: https://forms.gle/SWU1qJUyLzhqN8xV6 and/or you can contact us directly.

Masterclass 5 -Play at Prospect

Last Sunday we all met up at Prospect Studios, a professional recording studio & rehearsal facility located in Allerton, Bradford.

The idea was to get a feel for what it takes to run a professional rehearsal and recording space in Bradford, but also to simply have another chance to play together.

We heard from Luke who had started the place when he was just 19, as a space to play in with is band. Over time it’s grown into 3 rehearsal spaces with recording facilities, with much of the improvements done in house.

We split into 3 groups to work, and with a little bit of help from our volunteers, Mike, Jonathan, and Henry, ran through some songs together (I heard Smells like Teen Spirit, Sweet Child o’ Mine, Fade Into You, The Middle, Blitzkrieg Bop and 505 among others).

At the end of the day each group was asked to perform their favourite/best song of the day to be recorded on video.

Brooke was also on hand to record some interviews and audio that we’ll put out on the radio.

Again, people seemed really keen to play. Everyone looked like they enjoyed themselves, and we got good feedback in terms of the event being what people wanted.

Suggestions for next time were things like ‘to play longer’, so we’ll see what we can do.

Here’s some audio from the day.

There is more audio from across the entire project on our Soundcloud and Mixcloud pages.

Big thank you to our volunteer, Syed, for editing the pictures.

Masterclass 4 – The Big Jam at Kala Sangam

We gathered at Kala Sangam on Sunday 2nd Feb, for a big jam in the large theatre space. We also had some tuition in how to use the lighting rig and gig photography.

Suggy showed us how to take photos with a DSLR camera, and some of the results are shown below. One of his top tips was to always send the band both the colour and the black and white versions…

The space was great, and Sam gave us a good idea on how the lighting rig worked, allowing some of us to get hands on and light the jam as it happened.

For the Jam we tried to create a supportive atmosphere that would give to the opportunity to try something new. Many people had a go on a different instrument, or joined in with people they don’t usually play with, or tried a new scale or chord progression.

In general, I think people just loved the opportunity to play with each other.

In other news, our latest Youth Music Live! showcase show aired at the end of January:

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