Caitlin Nienaber

Amrap Q+A with Caitlin Nienaber (RTRFM) and Jane Azzopardi (Childsaint)

hfriedlander, 16th June 2017

An impressive 2,000 hours of Australian music is aired on community radio each week by thousands of enthusiastic program makers with a passion for homegrown artists. 

With so many opportunities for local acts to get heard on community radio, linking broadcasters with musicians remains a crucial yet challenging task. Amrap helps by building a bridge between Australia's music industry and the community radio sector. Over 3,000 program makers from 300 stations use Amrap's music distribution service AirIt to find new releases for airplay, and more than 1,000 use Amrap Pages to log their airplay lists and promote artists through station websites and social media.

In this series, we chat to a broadcaster and musician about the incredible support community radio gives to Australian artists.

Caitlin Nienaber - Breakfast presenter at RTRFM in Perth, Western Australia

Caitlin has worn many hats at community station RTRFM, transitioning from newbie volunteer to Interviews Coordinator before securing a permanent on-air slot as breakfast host. Breakfast with Caitlin airs weekdays, bringing listeners the best of WA music and culture. For Caitlin, it's also an opportunity for her to share her Australian music obsession with eager ears.

Why is local music such an important part of the program?

I wouldn’t have a show without it! There’s no other radio program in Perth (or the world) between 6 and 9am that’s playing as much WA-made music as we are. So it’s pretty crucial for us to fill that gap. I like to think our listeners get a snapshot of what’s exciting and new in Perth and beyond each morning. Our music scene is a huge part of that. Perth is quite isolated from other parts of Australia.

What impact does distance have on Perth's music scene and how does local community radio help? Amrap logo

I think isolation works in our favour. We’re left to our own devices a bit here and it gives artists the freedom to experiment without too much interference from the outside world. For a lot of artists just starting out, getting airplay or an interview on RTRFM is recognition they may not have had yet. I’m always chuffed to hear local musicians and bands talk about what a rite of passage it is to hear their music on RTRFM for the first time.

Do you have any stories about RTRFM boosting an artist's career?

I’ve loved seeing Methyl Ethel reach great success in the past couple of years. I did the radio premiere of their song Twilight Driving back in 2015 and it felt great to stand in a huge crowd at Splendour in the Grass a year later surrounded by teenagers singing along to the same song. You promote the music you play on the radio through your Amrap Page on RTRFM's website.

How does it complement your on-air program?

Listeners can head to my Amrap Page to listen back to shows or check out playlists. I also often direct people there when I play an artist or song I can’t pronounce so they can get the right spelling and find it themselves (it sounds silly but it’s really useful!) And I love that it allows artists to see that I’m playing their music - I’ve had quite a few get in contact to say thanks or to update me on what they’re up to.

Occasionally I’ll forget to add a playlist and inevitably I’ll get an anxious call or email from a listener who heard something they loved that morning and are desperate to hear it again! It’s a great reminder that people are listening and actively engaging with what they hear.

Why does RTRFM use AirIt and what do you like about the service?

Our presenters are great at sourcing music for their shows. I’m always getting introduced to new artists when listening to RTRFM’s many programs. That’s how I was introduced to Perth hip-hop artist Ziggy: another presenter had found him on Airit, played his song Black Thoughts and I was hooked.

While I was Interviews Coordinator at RTRFM it was also really handy to be able to search playlists to find out which presenters were playing particular artists and to get them talking to each other.

I love browsing the categories and being able to instantly download and listen to such a huge range of music - it makes my job easier and my show better!

Jane Azzopardi - member of independent Perth band Childsaint

Forming in 2013, garage rock band Childsaint quickly became known as one of Perth's most exciting up-and-coming acts. After selling out their 2014 Sick EP launch, the 4-piece went on to share stages with Little May, Holy Holy and Husky. Then, UK's NME and DIY magazines gave their single Dessert glowing reviews, swiftly followed in Australia with rotation spots on RTRFM (Perth) and FBi Radio (Sydney), and three consecutive weeks in the Amrap Metro Charts.

How important is RTRFM to Perth musicians?

We got our first ever radio spin on RTRFM! We are so lucky to have a community radio station that supports local music as much as RTRFM. It really brings the Perth music scene together as a community in a way that just wouldn’t happen without it.

How has community radio helped you to reach new fans? Childsaint

Without support from community stations it would be hard to cut through the noise of all the music that is out there and available for consumption, particularly when it’s hard to play outside Perth very often.

You have used Amrap's distribution services to get your music out to community radio. How have they helped you?

AirIt is a great resource for bands and radio presenters. We couldn’t really afford publicity or radio servicing so we hit up some of the big community radio stations ourselves, but we don’t have the resources that a publicist does to ensure that our music can get to every station that wants to play it. AirIt really helps to bridge that gap, especially for small bands, or genre-specific bands, to make sure that your music gets into the right hands.

With the support of FBi Radio’s (ex) Music Director Stephen Goodhew, our EP got the ‘FBi recommends’ sticker when we distributed our EP through Amrap's CD mailout. That meant it had been endorsed by someone who was well-respected in Australian music which was a huge leg up for us as a small band.

Amrap's Airplay Search collates results from over 1,000 Amrap Pages playlists in real time. Do you use it often?

Hahaha yes. Nearly every day when we have just released something new, but a few weeks after release I tend to chill out a bit and only check it every now and then. It’s reassuring to see that people are still digging the tracks and An impressive 2,000 hours of spinning them a few months on!

Find Childsaint and heaps of other Australian musicians for airplay at and check out Breakfast With Caitlin at

This article was first published in CBX Magazine in April 2017.

Australian musicians can track airplay and discover programs using Amrap Pages using Amrap’s Airplay Search. Community radio program makers get your Amrap Page here.

Australian artists apply to add your music to Amrap’s Airt. Community radio program makers and music coordinator get music for free on Amrap’s AirIt.

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Almost five million Australians listen to community radio every week and since the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (Amrap) started Australian music airplay on community radio has increased by 7% to a new average of 39%.


In this ongoing CBX series, we catch up with amazing Australian broadcasters and musicians to explore community radio's role in supporting Australian music.


Australian music airplay is one of the main reasons why 5 million people tune to community radio each week and our broadcasters passionately support australian artists.