ALAN’s Passion with ISR Radio
ISR Radio is one of those independent radio stations that plays it all. From live radio show’s to podcasts, various genre’s to cater for everyone, but most importantly, great indie music with a relaxed and fun atmosphere.
I found myself laughing as I was listening to ISR’s Saturday night live show as the host and founder of ISR radio, Alan, was testing a few things out.
Majority of internet radio is usually one, or perhaps two show’s a week; however ISR mixes it up with various shows from various other internet radio DJ’s and show’s combined in one place, giving ISR a rather appealing platform to go to.
I had a great chat with Alan to find out a bit more about his radio station, ISR.
MT/Tracey: Hello Alan, great to have this chat with you. I have so many questions. Firstly, when did ISR begin?
Alan: Tracey, it is my honor to speak with you about ISR Los Angeles, and I want to congratulate you on your recent ISSA Nomination!I’m up for presenter and station of the year, and can’t wait to go to the Awards Show August 4th!
Where it began, well, it was September of 2017. I had just lost my mother and my grandmother in a 2 month span, and was feeling pretty low. At the time I was doing Spreaker shows, but I felt as though I wasn’t getting anywhere. Just when I was about to give up on broadcasting, I started receiving music from several artists looking for airplay on my channel. When I heard the quality of these songs, from Jennifer Mlott, Danielle Haskell, Madison Mueller and others, it motivated me to start The Indie Star Radio Network, which became Indie Star Radio, and Now ISR Los Angeles.
MT: What is your role at the station that you find yourself doing day in and day out?
Alan: Mostly promoting. Sharing the Live 365 station as much as I can as well as the vast number of Podcasts on our Podcast Network is almost a full time job in itself! But I’m blessed to be able to promote such great talent! Because that’s what we are. We are a platform to promote independent talent.
MT: How many listeners do you have in your community?
Alan: Honestly, it varies. Some days I can’t believe how many people are tuned in to ISR Los Angeles on Live365, or how many people are listening to the podcasts! I can tell you that we have thousands of listeners on Live365 and our podcasts have been listened to or downloaded nearly 23,000 times since the platform started.
MT: What did you do before you decided to start up your own radio network?
Alan: I’ve been playing drums in several bands since 1995, most notably with the punk band The Dawgs from 02-04. After that, I kind of bounced around playing a show here or there. When I became a family man, I came to the realization late night gigs followed by early work hours were gonna kill me. But I needed something, so I enrolled in the RRFC in 2013 to study broadcasting. After graduation, I started my own podcasts and worked with several outfits including the Intellexual Network as well as a brief stint at Music Mafia Radio. After years of stops and starts and not really feeling like I was doing something I loved, I went full on into the network, where I could promote my vision and do what I love to do; find great new talent, and broadcast them Rick Dees style!
MT: I’ve noticed that it’s built up quite nicely, incorporating other radio shows from other great indie stations and DJ’s. Can you explain a bit more about how this works?
Alan: Like most of this, quite by accident. I received an email one day from Ann Thatcher over at the Balcony Show asking if I wanted to play their show. I said sure. From there, I picked up several shows along the way including The Independent Music Show with Tom Lambert, JJ Kane’s New Music Show, The Chris Top Program, The Chuck Vans Show, Kickin’ Country w/ Rob and Jenn, The New Music Food Truck, and The Celebefex Show with James Walsh. I offered to use my platform to get their shows listed on iHeart Radio, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and about 15 other hosts that I’ve come to know over the years, as well as to carry some of the shows on Live365. As for how it works, its pretty easy: The DJ’s send me their programs, and I schedule them on our platform. Its another avenue for these Independent Show Producers to get their shows out there and heard to a larger audience, and I’m happy to do it because it diversifies the platform, making it enjoyable for everyone.
MT: Who else is involved with ISR and what are their roles? Who are all the DJ’s and shows you have?
Alan: Wow..So many People. First and foremost Ash is my right hand. She does everything from promotions to posters to social media work, t-shirt design, hell, she even ran the station for a while recently! Her willingness to help in any way is shocking and flattering to me, and I can’t thank her enough. Justin, he’s the fearless talent booker for ISR Insider. Because of him, we’ve had former Voice contestants, American Idol Contestants, Contestants on The Four, and some of the best up and coming talent to interview. He also keeps it all straight for me as far as scheduling so all I have to do is talk, which is what I do best! I mentioned the DJ’s from the other shows earlier; I see them as partners. They allow me to run quality programming, I give them a place to showcase their programs. And of course, I cannot forget John Matthews, well known Photographer, who has helped me with all facets of web design. Tracey Noelle Smith, whose enthusiasm helps with more spiritual aspects of the platform, and of course, my diehards who never fail to show up for a live show!
MT: Are you looking for other radio shows to collaborate with? If so, do you actively look to find shows that fit your brand/profile or can DJ’s of their own shows contact you?
Alan: I’m always open to receiving new programming! As far as brand, it may sound kind of dumb in todays world, but I’m not really all that concerned with a brand. I feel that if you offer a wide variety of shows, good consistent content, that becomes your brand.
MT: How do you operate and manage to cover the costs associated with running an independent radio station or network?
Alan: I work. LOL
Other than that, I have one sponsor who helps with the cost and had one Patron for a while. Mostly though, all the expenses come out of my paycheck.
MT: You know, I’ve gone to listen to your show, but apparently, it’s not available in Australia via the 365 Network. I understand it’s only available in US, Canada and England. How can those in other countries gain access to hear your station? (other than purchasing a VPN of course)
Alan: I’m glad you asked! All of the podcasts are available on demand, and even the live shows on Saturdays, which start at 3 PM pacific and go until 9PM Pacific with a break between 5 and 6 at www.spreaker.com/indiestarradio, and many are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and iHeart Radio. I’d love to see people from around the world come visit in the Spreaker chat room! However, as for a live streaming option, thats still in the works due to licensing laws and what not.
MT: Which shows are live? Do you do pre-recorded shows?
Alan: ISR Saturday Night and Kickin’ Country with Rob and Jenn are recorded live on Spreaker and go off, like I mentioned on Saturdays. Most of the shows are prerecorded and run in podcast form. However, starting very soon, through the magic of Spacials own SAM Broadcaster software, one will be able to hear those live shows on the Live365 platform simulcast, which we are very excited about!
MT: How do you find the music you play?
Alan: I’d say 95 percent of it has been through artists uploading their music to our website www.isrradiola.com, or by them sending it to my email firstname.lastname@example.org . Once in a great while, I’ll find someone and reach out to see if they want to be on the station, but mostly its by submission. I listen to every submission before they hit the airwaves.
MT: Just wondering how many hours a week do you work in ISR, and do you also work another job to help you eat?
Alan: I’d say I work between 20-25 hours a week on the station in various facets whether it be promoting, website management, talking with artists, doing interviews, the list goes on and on. On top of this, I have had a career in the Steel Industry for almost 20 years on the sales side. I’m lucky to have a career, because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be eating that’s for sure. And probably not able to do all this.
MT: Where would you like to see ISR radio in a few years time?
Alan: As a place where greatness is discovered, and the best up and coming music is heard first.
MT: Is there anything else you would like to mention?
Alan: I’d like to thank you for this time, allowing me to chat about this passion of mine. I hope your readers enjoy it, and tune in to ISR Los Angeles!
Thank you so much for your time Alan, I really appreciate it.
LINKS TO ISR RADIO