Tara Carragher

Amrap Q+A with musician Tara Carragher and Hills Radio's Kirri Riley

Amrap, 19th January 2017

Find out more about how community radio program makers are supporting Australian musicians in this ongoing Q&A series by Amrap.

Amrap logoAustralian music is thriving on community radio and airplay is on the rise! 2,000 hours of Australian music is aired every day by thousands of dedicated program makers with a passion for homegrown artists. Many use Amrap services to access and support the local musicians that they love. Over 3,000 program makers use Amrap's AirIt to get music and another 1,000+ use Amrap Pages to log their playlists and promote musicians through station sites and social media.

We caught up with musician Tara Carragher and broadcaster Kirri Riley of Hills Radio to get their perspective on the rise and role of Australian music on community radio.

Adelaide-based musician Tara Carragher (pictured left) is a prominent figure in South Australia's folk/roots community, best known for her skillfully crafted songs and impressive list of vocal credits. Most recently Carragher has lent her vocals to SA alt-country mainstays The Yearlings for their album All The Wandering, performed with Rob Riley (Rose Tattoo) and has been mentored by Roger Corbett (The Bushwhackers). Her 2016 Wicked World EP was a hit with community radio, reaching number two on the Amrap Regional Charts.

How has community radio helped you to grow your audience and reach new fans? 

Community radio has been so kind to me and I continue to be floored by the response to my music. I've been played on lots of community stations and as a result, new fans from right across the country regularly get in touch with me after hearing my music on their local station—it's such a lovely, rewarding thing. 

How have you used Amrap’s AirIt to build relationships with stations? 

Amrap’s AirIt has been an incredible initiative for me because it has put my music in the hands of so many more radio stations than I would have personally known about or been able to approach as a self-managed, independent artist. Now when I'm on tour, I use my AirIt artist report to see who has been playing my music. 

Are you surprised by the variety and location of stations airing your music? 

Yes. I've been pleasantly surprised with just how many stations are playing my music and I had no idea that it was so popular with the regional stations! My last single made it to number 2 on Amrap's Regional Charts so that was a big thrill and definitely informed my decision to visit more regional areas on tour. 

Over 800 program makers now use Amrap Pages to log airplay lists and promote musicians online. Like many musicians, you use Amrap's Airplay Search regularly to find out which programs with Amrap Pages are logging your tracks. How did you use this information when preparing for your most recent tour earlier this year? 

Amrap’s Airplay Search was a great help to me in planning my station visits on my Wicked World EP tour. After seeing where my tracks were logged, I got in touch with program hosts to arrange interviews and tour promotion. On future tours I'll definitely be heading to a lot more stations and meeting as many of the people who have been supporting me on community radio as I can. Amrap Pages and AirIt essentially eliminated a whole bunch of the guesswork. 

Since first hitting the airwaves in August 2014, Hills Radio in Mount Barker, South Australia has worked hard to support local musicians.

The station is run by a passionate group of volunteers including Kirri Riley who co-programs a mix of great Aussie tunes across seven hours on air each week. As host of Kirri's Super Happy Fun Music Show (KSHFS) she also brings listeners new music, in-studio performances, interviews and local gig info. 

You play a lot of South Australian musicians. Why do you support local artists? 

I feel that South Australian artists are not represented widely enough in the mainstream. Our music scene is particularly vibrant at the moment and there is so much talent that deserves to be given a go. I love being able to tap into new music from other parts of Australia too, and sharing it with listeners is a wonderful feeling. It is an honour to discover and share the talent that is in our own backyard. Having a resource like Amrap to help make this happen is invaluable! 

You've set up Amrap Pages on Facebook so that you can display your playlists for KSHFS to listeners. Why do you use Amrap Pages on Facebook? 

My Facebook followers, which now include many of the musicians I have played, can see the history of when their tunes have been aired. It's also really useful for me to be able to search back and find when I have played a track or an artist so that I can make sure my playlists are varied. 

You've found music clips for tracks aired on KSHFS and displayed them on your Amrap Pages playlist on Facebook. Why do you include clips in your playlists? 
Kirri Riley
Having a film clip entertains the visual senses and gives my listeners a clearer picture of who the artists are. It unveils the mystery! Amrap Pages eliminates a lot of Google-searching for listeners who are interested in finding out more about the musicians I play by automatically populating music clips, Twitter handles and Wikipedia information—it makes the exploration of my playlists a better experience. KSHFMS plays new Australian releases, sourced from Amrap’s AirIt. 
How does AirIt help you to create great programs? 

I play a mix of tracks from established and relatively unknown artists on KSHFMS. The variety of music on Amrap’s AirIt makes it easy for me to playlist diverse and interesting programs. I can download new music from AirIt instantly so there are always fresh sounds for me to play. Quick access to new music keeps my program vibrant, which I find to be a perfect medication to lift the spirits!

This article was originally published in the November 2016 edition of CBX Magazine.

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

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

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


Behind the Music celebrates the ways that community radio broadcasters and Australian musicians use Amrap to champion Australian music on air and online.


Learn more about Amrap and the support it provides Australian musicians and program makers!