Bree Noble and the other people behind the scenes at WOS are working hard to spread the word about their artists' news, shows and music through blogs (like us!) and targeted marketing on sites like Facebook and MySpace. Each month's top 5 Indie songs are featured on WOS Radio's MySpace and Facebook pages as well. They highlight one Indie artist on their roster each weekday on their blog and post it to Facebook as well.
Tell me more about what your station does, Bree.
Our tagline is “Whether you’re a label artist or an Independent, if you’ve got great music, you’re on Women of Substance Radio.” Substance can be defined as "significant quality with the implication of a hidden or special significance." Music of Substance is not just entertainment or fluff, but has an essential "core" brimming with heart, soul, and spirit. Women of Substance Radio plays music by female performers who deliver high quality music that speaks to the listener through vocal excellence, depth of character and emotion, and lyrics that leave a lasting impression.
What inspired you to start this project?
I created WOS Radio because I was sick of the big broadcasters telling me what was going to be popular—limiting my choices to mostly watered-down music that had no heart and no meaning. Before starting Women of Substance Internet Radio, I was already almost exclusively an internet radio listener for that reason. I want a variety, to be introduced to fresh sounds and new artists constantly, and to be drawn in by what I hear and be moved or challenged by it. We play lots of Indies that can’t get airplay on the ClearChannel type conglomerate-run commerical stations. Our listeners appreciate and trust us as a source for great new music. We do the work for them weeding through the massive supply of msuic available to find the good stuff. When I find that one gem amongst a sea of lackluster music, I see it as a privilege and responsibility to shout it from the rooftops--or at least from my blog and on Facebook.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
It is very time-consuming. I am actually a mother of 2 little girls-Julia is 7 and Abigail is 18 months. They are also time-consuming as you would imagine. Just keeping up with all the exciting shows and artist opportunities I want to offer through the station takes several hours per day. That means late nights and feverish work during nap time. There is a great deal of grassroots work necessary on social networks, with newsletters, writing our daily blog,and responding to emails and station "shout-outs". It definitely has paid off. We've gained a ton of listeners and supporters this way.
Then there is the music. We receive about 400 submissions per quarter from Indie artists. I've setup a review board to help with the task of choosing the music. I also have to keep up with current releases and listener suggestions for label artists. We add several songs per week from artists we discover on our own, and about 200 songs each quarter from Indies. It all takes time.
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
A singer/songwriter. And I am. But with the kids I have scaled back my performing.
I also knew I'd work with numbers someday because I love math and have a very logical mind. I ended up becoming an accountant which is very handy now for tax time.
One of my hobbies was making LOTS of mix tapes. I guess having a radio station was the obvious next step.
To what extent is your community involved with this project? How has it influenced your mission?
My physical community is not involved. But the internet community, especially the community of artists and thier fans, is very involved. They help with a great deal of viral marketing because they are excited about what we are doing to promote great music. It has deepened my desire for promoting great music by women. Our artists are wanting to meet and collaborate and this is exciting.
What artists out there do you love?
Some of my favorite "known" artists include Sara Bareilles, Colbie Caillat, Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Ingrid Michaelson, Kate Voegele, Missy Higgins, Mary Chapin Carpenter and so many more.
Some of my favorite Indies on the station include Karmina, Sara Haze, Manda Mosher, Chloe Temtchine, Tina Dico, Beth Waters, Dala, Francesca de Valence, Andrea Hamilton, and so many more I can't mention them all.
What does your future hold?
Once my kids get a bit older I can devote more time and energy to the station and work even harder to promote it. We are doing our first artist showcase this June in Hollywood and we hope to make this the beginning of a series of shows. I hope to get shows from the station syndicated on terrestrial and other internet stations. We'd like to do a compilation album to highlight some of our best artists. We just went Professional on the station which means we are now almost commercial free and control all our own ad content. That means more time for great music. After making the announcement, our listener hours doubled in the last few days. Very exciting!