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Irish radio’s love affair with homegrown talent

Are Irish radio stations afraid to champion emerging Irish talent?


The days of radio pluggers pushing new records to presenters are long gone – and Ian Wilson believes that radio has yet to find its place in the new paradigm. Broadcasters have instead reverted to cautious formatting 100% dependent on market research. In 2012 only four of the top 50 songs on Irish radio were by Irish artists.


Conversely, the panel agreed that talent should pursue radio as a medium of distribution. Tom Dunne doesn’t believe that great songs will loiter in the shadows for long. Willie Kavanagh is certain that airplay is still a vital catalyst for breaking artists.


Irish singer, Hozier, was used as an example of an artist crossing that threshold. Hozier were discovered by Ian Dempsey, presenter on Today FM. The panel also highlighted RTÉ’s remit as a public service broadcaster. RTÉ should invest air time in local talent – a responsibility the panel felt RTÉ is shirking somewhat.

The panel was pessimistic about Irish music on Irish radio. However, the parting comment was positive: there are still presenters who are willing to seek out new music and give it airplay. The love affair is not over yet.