Exclusive Interview | Candice Ryan CFWE FM Radio @cfweradio

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Exclusive Interview | Candice Ryan CFWE FM Radio @cfweradio

by Candice Anne Marshall

IMB – Hello Candice! Let’s begin with your role with your station CFWE FM Radio in Edmonton, Canada. Many of our readers on Indie Music Bus will want to know all about you – can you tell us about yourself and your role on the station?

Candice – Hey! Thanks for this Candice (its going to look like you’re talking to yourself LOL) I am a wife, a mom to a beautiful 2-year-old, singer songwriter and morning co-host on CFWE FM in Edmonton!

IMB – Candice, you have said to me in discussions: ‘being in a minor market station, we play a lot of up and coming artists. It’s great to see people just starting out with new music and watching their careers develop. Which is far different than the major stations that won’t give you the time of day if you’re not charting. And you can’t chart it they don’t give you the time of day.’ You are a Musician as well and understand the frustrations on both sides of the fence in terms of radio play…can you go into a little further what you found as challenging before you put on the Radio Host hat?

Candice – Oh, totally, it’s a challenge being an Indie artist trying to break into the music world. Once you understand that you have to have a whole world developed i.e. social media, stage shows, iTunes sales etc. It will be difficult to get onto Major market stations. You really need to be a “developed artist” before those stations will play you. That’s why I love minor market stations, they just want to play good music regardless of if you’re signed to a label or not.

IMB – Which shows do you have on the station?

Candice – I am part of the morning show, we are on air from 6-10am Monday to Friday and 8-12 Saturdays

IMB – What inspired you to get into Radio?

Candice – It was a text from the station boss! He asked me one day if I would consider being Wally’s co-host in the morning and I pretty much said yes, had to make sure a few life things where in order before I could commit to such early mornings.

IMB – Can you tell us about your station’s format and the genre’s you support?

Candice – Our format is Country, and we play a mix variety of old country to new country while supporting the Indigenous Community! Plus we have something very special called “Radio Bingo” where we have Bingo two nights a week during the summer and 3 nights a week during the winter.

IMB – Do you balance the radio play time for label Artists and Indie Artists?

Candice – We play a mix of International, Canadian content, and Aboriginal content.

IMB – Who make up the majority of the listeners on your station?

Candice – I’ve met all walks of life who listen to us from young adults to seniors.

IMB –Does your station/show allow a lot of live acoustic performances? If so, who has been the most impressive so far?

Candice – Absolutely! We love and welcome guests all the time. So far, my mind was blown with Lion Bear Fox. 3 guys with incredible harmonies and good folk country music.

IMB – Do you have difficulties in finding music to fit your station? If so, what do you think is the reason for that?

Candice – I don’t think so, even though it’s not my choice for the songs we play. There is ALWAYS music coming in.

IMB – Do artist’s send untagged music and in the wrong genres?

Candice – We do get some messages to our Facebook page that don’t fit our genre.

IMB – Do you get a many Artists messaging you on any of your personal social media platforms wanting you to listen to their music?

Candice – I don’t, personally.

IMB – Have you seen or experienced many artist’s who are willing to work with one another very often?

Candice – Through my musical career, all the time. So many people are always willing to help out. 

IMB – I know that your station is always supportive of local community events – do you find many new acts through the summer festival season? Do you attend a lot of live shows to discover new music?

Candice – Since having my daughter, it’s been a challenge to get out at night to see live shows, especially with the mornings being up at 4 lol. So, unfortunately, no.

IMB – Have you been invited to live shows where the expectation was to play the Artists’ music on your station? If so, how did you handle that if the music wasn’t what you expected?

Candice – Thank goodness, I have not been put in this situation.

IMB – how is your station taking advantage of new technology and listening trends?

Candice – Everything is done via computer, unless, the rare time things crash and we have to use CD’s.  

IMB – What is your stations’ filtering process for artists? Perhaps their reach (average listeners) & what they’re looking for song wise, genre wise, etc.

Candice – We are the “Aboriginal Multi Media Society” so we play a lot of Aboriginal content. There is a higher chance that we will play country music by an indigenous artist before a non-indigenous artist. Still has to be good music that passes our Program Director.

IMB – What is the program director looking for in terms of new acts?

Candice – Anything that catches his ear, like when Lion Bear Fox came in, we weren’t playing their music, after they left he asked us what they played live and we added them instantly. Acts that really separate themselves from others… that “it” factor that everyone talks about.

IMB – What does it take to be featured on your station?

Candice – We do have an “Aboriginal Spotlight” that happens Saturday afternoon, it features interviews from that artist as well as features a couple of their songs.

IMB – How would your station prefer to be introduced to new music?

Candice – Just like other stations, email to the program director. If its getting lots of buzz online, hopefully there is a good following for the artist.

IMB – What are your Listening statistics?

Candice – That I am not 100% about that one. I’m sure there is a way to find out….but I don’t know.

IMB – What has been the greatest challenge for you so far?

Candice – I don’t have a radio background. So everything has been a challenge, thinking on the spot, making sure my news is current and up to date, learning how to control the board while my co-host is away and of course trying not swearing on air!

IMB – What has been your greatest triumph so far?

Candice – Probably having people tell me that I sound like I’ve been doing this for a long time. Getting comfortable in the captains chair, running the ship….and not having a panic attack and remembering to turn my mic off!

IMB – Can you tell us of a time that may have been difficult with an Artist who may have reacted poorly to rejection? How did you handle it?

Candice – Thank goodness, I haven’t had to deal with that.

IMB – Can you tell us of a time where you had a sticky situation where you promoted an Artist and they may have not reciprocated their thanks, or worse, made you regret supporting them in the first place?

Candice – I haven’t personally, but I have heard stories…

IMB – What do you feel the trend in Radio is heading for in the next, say, year to five years?

Candice – Formats are constantly evolving, so it’s hard to say. I think FM/AM will always be around but streaming is such a huge thing so who knows how things will change.

IMB – What can an Artist look for in terms of acceptance or rejection from your station?

Candice – As mentioned previous, we are an Indigenous station, so that would be a big help for your acceptance to our station and a higher chance of getting played. As for rejection, if your song just isn’t great quality/ poor production, there will be a higher chance of it being rejected.

IMB – How can an Artist send you their overall best presentation of themselves?

Candice – As an artist, just making sure you have a solid product to send out, music is revolving constantly, average rotation for a song is 8-10 weeks and staying relevant is key. 

IMB – How much is ‘too much’ information that can be submitted for your station?

Candice – Bios that are endless and written poorly. Sending in huge press kits. Keep things simple.

IMB – Are there any specific Artists that you favor over others and why?

Candice – I can’t answer that one (laughs). Even if I favor anyone, it means nothing to the station.  

IMB – How is your Station different than others? What sets you apart from the crowd?

Candice – We are the only radio station that plays live bingo. We have the best variety of country music, old, new, fiddle & jig to the pow wow trail. Plus we have a great Spoken Language show called Conversational Cree that has 3 hosts that keep the language alive where they teach how to say different words and phrases with different themes each week!

IMB – Do you feel there is a lot of competition among stations in your area?

Candice – There are a lot of country stations but I wouldn’t say it’s a competition.

IMB – What are your thoughts on music platform trends like Spotify and Pandora?

Candice – I think they are fantastic, a great way to access songs/artists and play them whenever you want.

IMB – What is your biggest challenge when competing for listeners against other stations?

Candice – Keeping content exciting and having fun but also bringing the topics our listeners want to hear.

IMB – Who would you like to give a ‘Shout out’ to in terms of being a huge supporter of your station?

Candice – My mom!  

IMB – Have you ever come across an Artist whose high demands were a turn-off?

Candice – Nope, thank goodness!

IMB – Have you ever come across an Artist who was a ‘dream Artist’ to work with?

Candice – We most recently interviewed Lori Morgan, who I’ve been singing her songs since I was a kid. She was one of the best interviews, I was so nervous and she made me so relaxed. She was hilarious and the most down to earth person.

IMB – Which Artist has brought your station the largest number of listeners? Is there a trend you watch out for and notice when that certain Artist is being played?

Candice – I’m sure there is a way to find that out, but unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for that one.

IMB – What are the top five things you look for when sourcing out an Artist in terms of their Social Media and media platforms?

Candice – Music, touring, shows, are they posting and conversing with their fans, up to date content.

IMB – Alright, final question: If you were not a Host at CFWE, you would be _______________.

Candice – I would still be a receptionist, working on my music career while enjoying being a wife and mom!

IMB – Thank you Candice! We look forward to sharing this insightful interview with our readers at Indie Music Bus!

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