We have been so blessed over the last few months with so many musical submissions from different bands in all genres.
The first question usually is, “what do we have to do to get you to play our music?”
Our philosophy and prerequisites have always been pretty simple as far as what music we play on Radio 13. Even though we are a small, self-funded station, we don’t ask for “free” music files (unless of course it’s a Pre-release or we can’t actually get it on one of the pay sites) as we like to do our very small part in supporting the bands.
#1 The music, message, and ministry must glorify God - Hebrews 2:12 - “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.”
#2 Edify The Kingdom - Ephesians 4 11-12 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ
#3 - No Country music - while we don’t reference any verses for this “rule”, it’s Country music - and that’s enough for us
You would think, or at least I would / did, that these are pretty simple edicts to adhere to. But aha… it’s not so easy. We have had many discussions on Radio 13 about musical content and what we should play. My first response is always, “Does it glorify Christ?” If it doesn’t, it doesn’t make the air and then our Director of Media, Amber has to write an uncomfortable reply as to why. Think about her before you submit your music, okay?
Is that too strict, rigid, or zealous of me and my views? Possibly. What about the gray areas where everything isn’t so black & white? What if the music doesn’t necessarily promote the Kingdom specifically but has a positive message? In those cases we really have to do a deep dive not only on the lyrical content, but on the artist’s socials and if they truly have a ministry that aligns with our mission. Does this exclude a lot of talented artists and bands? Probably. If you played artists that are “on the fence” won't it get you more likes, shares, or listeners? Probably, but who cares? The mission of this station is clear. To spread the message of the one true King through the music and ministry of God loving, message spreading artists that we play on this station.
What about “Christian” bands that curse in their songs? This one is pretty easy for me even though I can see it is just as easy to have a debate on. We will discuss that aspect of music in a future article since that will take up considerably more real estate than we allotted for this article.
Back to the subject at hand - when the station first started out, the intent was to have (almost exclusively) a station that would cater to music that would fall into the “heavier” genre of Christian music along with playing some CHH music. I intentionally made the “heavier” classification vague and ambiguous because there are so many sub-genres and people get very passionate about their little definitions of what exactly is “heavy” music.
As we started getting more and more music / artists submissions, and discovering new bands of varying popularity levels, it became abundantly clear that the original format of the station not only should change, but HAD to change.
I would imagine that I am not alone, that when listening to music, either just kickin' it, or cruising down the road on the bike, that I would pigeonhole myself into really listening to the same 6-12 bands on shuffle or repeat. I didn’t realize how much great music- how many great artists- how many phenomenal ministries I was actually missing out on. Don’t get me wrong, I love the bands that I listened to but they were almost exclusively “national” acts which kept me from experiencing so much more. Nothing against the national bands, but just because a band has 100,000+ followers, does that make their ministry more important than an artist that has, say “ 1,000 followers? I don't think so. They may have a bigger platform which lends to more people hearing the message, (as long as they stay true to the gospel) but in my bible 2 Timothy 4:5 doesn’t specify the size of a crowd in order to fulfill your ministry. I could argue that in a more intimate setting, the message might actually be received clearer than it would be in a stadium concert setting.
If all we did at Radio 13 was focus on the nat’l / mainstream Christian acts, I don’t think I would have come across artists like Coleboy Sedro, The Kardia Complex, Bred 4 War, Reborn, Nate Parrish, ASAP Preach, Aaron Michaels, Zahna, Matt Sassano, Chaotic Resemblance, , Meek Heroes, Ignescent, Boiling Point, The Meadows Band, Adelaide Music, Saved By Skarlet and on and on and on. I can’t list all of the bands that we dig on because our musical palate has greatly increased so no offense to any band that didn’t get listed. Now, some of the bands listed are probably “national acts' ' in the Christian realm, but I probably still wouldn’t have come across them non the less.
The point being, is basically don’t limit yourself to the 6-12 bands you currently might be listening to. Expand your musical realm and you might just find some Indie band with 500 followers that you really dig on and want to help them grow their ministry. Then you can say “I knew this band before they made it huge!” You know what? Even if they never make it “huge” they are all front line warriors for the Kingdom who spend their time fighting battles, touring beyond their means, with enjoyment and a purpose to have the opportunity to bring one person into the Kingdom. That is too cool to ignore.
When I personally think of it in terms like that, I ask myself, “ What have you done for the Kingdom today?” Sadly, more times than not, my answer is “Not enough”.
As far as our Rule #3 and the no-country thing? That’s the easiest one of all to answer… Because it’s country.
If you are an indie, signed, national artist and you would like to have us spin your tracks, reach out to us at
God Bless and keep fighting for the Kingdom
Drew - Radio13.fm