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Music Business Corner: How to prepare for Radio and TV interviews as an artist

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By Andile Nkosi

So you have sent out your Press Release about your recent single and to you surprise boom, your favourate Radio show actually calls you back and invites you to an interview. You get excited for a moment, pause and suddenly it hits you, “I’ve never done this before. I am not ready.” Well do not despair, cracking your interview is easy if you are prepared and relaxed. Here are a few tools to help you get ready.

1 Research the interviewer

The first thing step towards readiness is to research 4 entities (1) the show presenter (2) the show (3) the Station/Channel and (4) the Owner of the Station. Listen to the show to familiarise yourself with the format of the show, it’s audience, it’s presenters, and the Brand of the channel/station. It will give you an idea on what language to use, how to present your brand and how to make a connection during the interview. It goes a long way to congratulate the radio host about his soccer team’s win over the weekend off air before the interview starts.

Lombard Matshinge on Rainbow FM

2 Have an interview goal

Make up your mind on what one goal you want to achieve during the interview. Although your host has several questions prepared for you, you must go in with your very own agenda. This can be getting more followers on your Facebook page; getting more streams on Spotify; getting more views on YouTube; getting booked on the next Heatwave Party etc. Just make sure the goal is measurable. With a clear interview goal, you can drive all questions back to the main goal.

3 Arrange a mock interview

There is no shame in asking the station/channel to send you interview questions in advance. They might just surprise you and send them. But even if they don’t, you can still put together your own list of questions based on listening to other questions asked to guests on the same show. In a next post I will cover Top 10 questions every artist should be able to answer.

Once you have your questions, take time to write answers and send them to a friend to proof the answers. Once polished on paper, voicenote the answers and listen to yourself. This will help you figure out if you are sounding genuine or fake. If you are using umms and fluffing, and if your speech speed is too fast or slow. Practicing to a mirror also helps so you can see your facial expression as well.

4 Talk before the talk

Avoid sitting alone in silence before the interview. The silence will cause you to think the worst and may lead to stage fright. So find and take advantage of opportunities to talk back/offstage of the interview. This will help you relax, reduce anxiety and clear your throat before the interview.

5 Remember to tell your story

Dube Brothers on Morning Live, SABC 2

I always advise talent whether sportsmen, presenters or musicians to always have a life story to tell. The story must be memorable, relatable by your target audience and related to your persona. And the story must also lead to a call to action.

PR specialist Angela Mastrogiacomo advises: “Whenever possible, tell a story as part of your answer. For instance, if someone asks how you decided on this album name, it’s not so compelling to just say “oh we tossed some ideas and this stuck.” Instead, paint me a picture. Tell me about the exact moment you decided on this, the feelings, the little details like, how you were all eating a pepperoni pineapple pizza that night, or how you had all accidentally worn the same blue shirt, or the way the room smelled—those little details will help people latch on to your story, and help them connect.”

You are now ready to go ace your interview, go be great. In a different post we will address how to promote and monetize your interviews.

Andile Nkosi is a Music Producer, Distributor and Business Coach. He writes for GospelBuzz in his own capacity. Follow his Page on Facebook: @andilenkosiTV