Host of CFOX’s afternoon show and Indie Night in Canada, Indie Music Director Todd Hancock has a lot of advice to give up-and-coming acts in BC. We had a coffee chat recently to talk about the program and the state of the scene for independent acts in Vancouver.
“I think that there are a lot of good indie bands in Vancouver that haven’t been given the recognition, the notoriety – whatever you want to call it – and I’m going to do that with Indie Night in Canada,” says Todd. During the show he plays up to 90% Vancouver music, which comes out to about 10 songs from local bands on air every week. “I think that there’s enough talent — not only rock wise but alternative and stuff that would fit the rock format — there’s enough to go around and then some.”
Many of Todd’s discoveries come from bands that have submitted their music or show listing to the station. “It’s my job to find the best stuff that’s out there and see who’s actually playing locally, do they have a buzz, is there label interest…” he adds that there is so much that bands need to do to elevate themselves to the next level and social media now plays a huge part in that.
“Why would somebody want to help a band if they’re not trying to help themselves?” Luckily, Todd has plenty of tips to share and it all starts with working hard. “Social network to the nines, that’s what the labels are looking at, that’s what the reps are looking at. What do you post? How active are you? How do you engage?”
He says that the times of people searching out music as gone. You need to work hard and get yourself on people’s radar by being proactive.
Supporting local music is paramount for artists and audiences alike. Todd suggests heading out to shows whenever you can, even if it’s a Tuesday or Thursday night and the band is playing somewhere across town. It’s all for the greater good of Vancouver music.
For those just starting out or not quite ready for lengthy road trips Todd’s number one piece of advice is to get on Facebook. Plain and simple. It’s free, you can engage immediately with everyone from your mother and brother, to your friends, your audience, and especially your fans.
It’s easy to tell someone to “work hard” but through his radio program Todd is taking the time to spell out the steps for local artists.
Artists wishing to get some radio play or show promotion can contact Todd at CFOX and follow @FoxHancock on Twitter. Todd says that he wants Vancouver bands to know that he’s there for them but doesn’t want them to kill him with questions. “Hit me and I’ll answer you back, I’ll be straight with you.”
Tune into Indie Night in Canada every Tuesday night at midnight at 99.3 on your FM dial to hear the latest from independent acts, hop into the wayback machine for the “when they were indie” feature, and hear who’s on tour.