From the Founder
Ace AlexanderIn each issue of AIRPLAY 360, we do our best to inspire, empower and motivate you by providing insightful articles and pertinent information that will help to elevate your music ministry to another level.
  We are excited this month to feature Cheryl "Coko" Clemons best known as lead singer of the very popular and successful R&B trio SWV. It is my hope that Coko's experiences and lessons in the industry will inspire you as an artist.
   Since our inception in June 2008, we have been blessed to have Angela Green, Esquire as a regular contributor on all types of legal issues from copyrights and band agreements to contracts and performance royalties. This month, attorney Green discusses owning your masters, a "must read" for independent artists.
   Otolaryngologist Mark A. Williams, M.D., Ph.D. is a monthly contributor as well with valuable vocal care tips, and this month he gives you wise advice for dealing with those inevitable nasal annoyances. 
   AIRPLAY 360 is pleased to welcome motivational speaker, beauty entrepreneur and Trin-i-tee 5:7 recording artist Adrian Anderson as a monthly contributor. In this issue, Adrian shares detailed steps to help you obtain the image that's right for you. 
   As you read this ezine, please be sure to take careful notes from financial expert Nicole Simpson who will help you achieve financial freedom through your own God-given talents. This is the first installment of a 5-part series.
   Last but certainly not least, Delroy Souden, EnSound Entertainment CEO, gives insight regarding the opportunity for airplay on Internet radio while broadcasting veteran and author Denise Hill offers suggestions for getting radio airplay. Denise concludes her 3-part series this month.
   Listen up and listen well because we have a lot to share.  Enjoy!
-Ace Alexander
Coko: The Winner In Me, Making the Transition From Secular to Gospel 

by Louise M. Moore 
CokoCheryl "Coko" Clemons is best known as the lead singer of the platinum selling 1990s R&B trio Sisters With Voices (SWV) but with the release of her debut gospel CD Grateful in 2006, she quickly validated her success as a solo gospel artist with Dove, Stellar and Grammy award nominations. Now, three years later, Coko has released her second gospel album The Winner In Me on Light Records and has already received stellar reviews with an impressive debut at #4 on the Billboard Gospel Chart.
   Coko's extraordinary, signature soprano voice is in a class of its own. A former member of Hezekiah Walker's Love Fellowship Choir, Coko is well acquainted with gospel. Residing in Virginia Beach, VA, Coko is the wife of Mike Clemons, a  producer and drummer for gospel star Israel Houghton. In an interview with AIRPLAY 360, Coko talks about her new project, the transition from secular to gospel and lessons learned from her experience in the music business.   
A360: How did the title track The Winner In Me come about?
Coko: The song was produced by my husband and written by my pastor Kerry Smith who wrote the song for his wife. He wanted my mother (Lady Tibba Gamble) to sing it and I heard the song and the words and lyrics in the song I could relate to, so I asked him if I could have it and if he'd let me record it. Out of all the songs on the album I really felt that one spoke volumes so I decided to go with that one (for the title track).
A360: On this album, you collaborated with Kelly Price, Canton Jones and Youthful Praise. Why do you have more collaborations on this project than you did on your previous album Grateful?
Coko: No special reason. It just happened that way. I always work with different producers.
A360: So that means different artists to collaborate with, right?
Coko: Yes. 
A360: Everyone has someone that inspires them to do what they do. Who inspires you?
Coko: My mom, my family and my pastor and my church family.
A360: Some artists describe themselves as an urban inspirational or jazz gospel artist? How do you describe yourself?
Coko: I'm just an artist that makes good music.  I don't need a title on my name or anything.  I'm just an artist that makes good, positive music.
A360: Is there any chance that in future projects, you'll work with the girls of SWV?
Coko: Yes, it's possible that they will be on something else.  They were supposed to be on this record but it didn't work out but hopefully something will happen in the future.
A360: Since you made the transition from secular to gospel, have you gotten much advice from artists like Kelly Price who also made the transition?
Coko: No, I don't talk to a lot of people or ask for advice but Kelly was presented around the same time that I was.  Me, Kelly and Dave Hollister all came over at the same time. But my husband came over (to gospel) before me. He has been playing with Israel for sometime now. 
A360: What's the difference that you experience in the audience between secular and gospel? How is the energy different?
Coko: In R&B they just love you. They want to hear your music. They like to feel good and they'll get with you.  In gospel, it's a little bit harder. You have to sing a little harder.  If you don't do a few riffs and runs they might look at you funny. You have to sing harder in gospel.
A360: So, do you feel like gospel has embraced you pretty well?
Coko: Yes, I think so.  I think at first they were a little leery thinking like here's another R&B artist coming over here singing gospel. But I think now they have come to embrace me and they're being cool.
A360: Are there any lessons that you've learned from secular that you would like to share with our readers--lessons you now use as an inspirational artist?
Coko: Definitely you learn how to take care of your business. Make sure your business is straight. Don't rely on anyone to handle to your business for you.  Stay on top of everything yourself. You have lawyers and managers but you still have to stay on top of it to make sure everything is straight for yourself.
   As Coko presents The Winner In Me, it is evident that she has completely evolved as a gospel artist complete with a solid foundation of family, spirituality and good business sense. Visit the AIRPLAY 360 blog at to hear a special message from Coko and a sample of her new single Wait. 
 For more information on Coko, visit All photos of Coko are courtesy of Michael Gomez of Gomez Photography.
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Internet Radio: A Real Alternative for Indies
by Delroy Souden
Delroy SoudenThe most significant advice I have given independent artists over the years is, "Do not let your music die before the world has had an opportunity to hear it." Internet radio can be an effective means for helping the artist (including the songwriter) to realize this goal. In fact, internet radio has so much more to offer to both the artist and listener than you might imagine. For the artist, internet radio offers a pliable medium which artist can manipulate for their own unique, non-commercial brands of music. For the listener, internet radio offers options for custom programming that commercial radio could never provide. This article will explore the benefits of this versatile medium for both artist and listener.
   Why should artists and listeners support internet radio? Internet radio has certainly helped the independent artists by providing them global recognition and exposure that was once otherwise unattainable. For many internet broadcasters, internet radio is no longer a hobby but a business. Consequently, the independent artist must recognize this and endeavor to deliver quality recordings. An artist has to pay attention to every aspect of his/her project: lyrics, pitch, production, background vocals, mix, mastering etc.  Artists who fail to embrace the rapidly emerging technology of internet radio are not seeing the big picture, and thereby, limiting their own success.
   Artists must support internet radio that is playing their music, and in particular Black Gospel internet stations. Let's just be real about this. One of the many reasons major radio stations do not play independent artists has to do with the lack of sufficient finances the artist/label has to properly market and promote their music. Radio, like any other enterprise, must make money in order to pay royalties and pay its staff; it is no different with internet radio stations. If you are an artist, your financial support by way of purchasing a banner ad on the station's website, a thirty second commercial, an e-blast, or by just sending a donation can significantly increase your chance of getting greater airplay than the artist who does not financially support. If you are a listener, you can contribute a donation and email the station to let them know you appreciate their programming. Nothing motivates a broadcaster more than artist and listener support and input. I have discovered over the years that the greater percent of artists and listeners do not support internet stations or provide feedbacks.
   Artists' contributions should be a vital part of an overall marketing strategy as it compounds exposure by providing artist website links, and additionally linking artist to blogs and other social network websites (i.e., Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.); thereby, heightening visibility. Supporting those who support your efforts can go a long way in helping you realize your musical goals. Many internet stations have massive databases of subscribers and correspond with them on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. By plugging into these stations, you automatically get your information through to their subscribers.
   Though some artists may strive for mega-star status, most artists simply want their music to be heard. Even in this latter case, you have to pay a price. To advertise on internet radio is very inexpensive but keep in mind that costs may vary based on the number of monthly listeners. Internet radio relies on these funds to cover expenses such as royalties, Internet connection, electricity, telephone, streaming costs etc. Internet radio like terrestrial radio requires ongoing revenue for general operations. 
   In conclusion, internet radio provides independent artists much more exposure than commercial radio would ever provide. But it is up to you to make your career as an independent artist successful by utilizing media that is more accommodating and accessible to you like internet radio. Specifically, this means supporting stations through advertising, providing programming feedback, making music requests, and emailing your fanbase the links of internet radio sites promoting your music. In this way, your fans can support by tuning and supporting the station as well.
   Professional internet broadcasters look for the same standards as do terrestrial "local" radio. Artists must realize internet radio has significantly changed the game and is here to stay. Internet radio MUST not be taken for granted. Any would-be successful artist must be willing to invest in himself, and supporting internet radio is one of several ways an artist can do so. For the listener, supporting internet radio is one of the few viable options listeners have for customizing media in a way that meets their listening needs.
Delroy Souden is CEO and founder of which provides information and features on Independent Christian artists.  Souden is also a recording artist, songwriter and Internet radio personality.
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Vocal Care: Dealing With Nasal Issues
by Mark A. Williams, M.D., Ph.D.
Mark A. Williams, M.D., Ph.D.Post-nasal drainage is a common cause of voice disturbance and hoarseness.  The nose and paranasal sinuses are lined with cells that secrete 1-1.5 liters of mucous each day. This usually follows the natural drainage pattern down the back of the nose to the throat where it is eventually swallowed. Most often this occurs without the individual being aware of it. However, when secretions are increased as a response to infection, irritation or allergens, the drainage becomes much more noticeable and bothersome.  Aside from the annoyance caused by sensation of the drainage, it can cause frequent throat clearing, coughing and hoarseness. The condition is called Allergic Rhinitis.  Other symptoms may include nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose, ithy/watery eyes and sometimes headaches. Diagnosis and treatment are fairly straightforward and can be typically done by the primary care physician. In severe cases or in cases where the diagnosis is uncertain, the patient should be evaluated by an otolaryngologist.  Treatment is most commonly use of a nasal steroid spray that reduces inflammation and mucous secretion in the nose.  They are typically safe for children as young as two years old, in many cases, and have very few side effects.
Mark A. Williams, M.D., Ph.D. is an otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose & Throat doctor) in Nashville, TN.  He is the founder of the Voice Care Center of Nashville (, where he specializes in the prevention and treatment of voice disorders of singers, performers and professional voice users.  In addition to his medical doctorate, he holds a doctorate of philosophy (Ph.D.) in Pharmacology and Cell Biophysics.  His experience as a surgeon, scientist and singer/songwriter permits him to provide voice, ear, nose and throat care to his patients with unique and unparalleled insight.  
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Your Image: How to Know What Works 
by Adrian Anderson
Adrian AndersonIt's a new day in the music industry! No doubt you have heard this expression repeatedly over the past two years, especially when the economy took its hit. When you're an artist today, it encompasses more than it ever has before.  Technology has caught many labels off guard and with increased technological advancement, a new blueprint is needed.
   Because of diminished sales of physical product--namely CDs--labels have diminished the profits; thus, their budgets.  Of course, this affects key areas of an artist's career.  And, consequently, brand and image maintenance wholeheartedly falls on the artist. Although you may receive some label support, it won't be enough to be consistent, especially if you're a new artist or not yet established.
   Wardrobe support, photo shoots and other elements are required for consistent images in the media.  It's likely that if you do not have a new project forthcoming, then a photo shoot will not be in the plans of a label.  But you still need the shoot as you still need images to provide the media and marketplace.
   Established artists have something to offer.  They have an established audience which translates to numbers, and that is what is beneficial for designers--exposure and stimulus of sales.
   You now must be involved, resourceful and committed to developing new ways to garner or maintain the support and resources you require for your brand. You must take meetings with other business owners and see how you can create and capitalize on a win-win deal.  A win-win is a Godly deal and the only kind you should be interested in. Selfish agendas will come to haunt whoever participates.
   Now, before you set up or take any meetings, begin with reviewing the following:
1. What is your brand?  What does it stand for?  What image do you see for your brand as an artist?  What is your best look and/or style?
2.  Go through magazines and see what speaks to you. This is commonly known in the entertainment industry as a tear sheet. 
3.  Comprise the images into a tear sheet folder and begin to focus on translating this image per your brand.  That means look in the mirror and practice these images to see if it makes sense.  How do you look and feel?
   Give this process the time and respect it deserves because you will build from here.  Remember:   If you don't know YOU, how can you garner the assistance to grow YOU?

Adrian Anderson is a member of the Grammy nominated, platinum selling gospel trio Trin-i-tee 5:7.  She is also a inspirational/motivational speaker, award winning songwriter and beauty entrepreneur.
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How Indie Artists Get Radio Airplay - Part 3 

by Denise Hill
Denise HillUnfortunately, now more than ever, it is who you know in this industry that counts and it takes time, charisma and sometimes money to develop a productive and profitable professional relationship that will influence the programming decisions of a PD or MD or an announcer that has influence over the music in their show, like myself. This is why independent music promoters are relevant. They have put years into getting to know the people who play the music. I can testify of times I have tried a song and taken a chance on exposing a new artist that perhaps would have had no shot but not for a particular promotions person soliciting the airplay on behalf of the artist. Either utilize these resources or put forth the effort and time (it takes a lot) to develop relationships with thousands of PDs, MDs and announcers. 
   A package received with no follow up phone call, email or some type of communication either remains unopened or, once opened goes in the giveaway pile. Most Indies don't have product to waste that way. So think of it this way. One of your friends with a radio show is more likely to look out for you then a stranger with a radio show. Get to know us. If you do, you will often find that many of us have more going on then just a radio show. We are concert promoters, have large email lists and active websites, write for publications, and host television shows. The right promotion of your product, name and image could tap you into a relationship with limitless potential. 
   As an independent artist, the odds are stacked against you. But now more than ever, they can work in your favor. With the new technology, new software, the Internet and more you can get the same financial and professional results as those who inspired you to do music. Your only limit is your creativity. Ask God to show you new things and give you a fresh vision. Keep Him first and regardless of the three things I or anyone else looks for when considering airplay, His desire for your ministry will orchestrate our actions. Stay encouraged and stay blessed. 
Denise Hill is President of World Harvest Communications and General Manager of WKMB in Pacified, New Jersey.  Denise is also author of INSIDE: What No One is Telling the Independent Gospel Artist.  For more information visit
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Business Smarts: Do You Own Your Masters?
by Angela Green, Esq.
Angela Green, EsquireAs an independent artist, you need to make sure that you own everything that you create. Your name, likeness, personality and the music that you create is all that you have to market and sell to the public.
   Choosing the right recording studio for your project is an important decision to make.  However, leaving that recording session as the owner of the masters is even more important.  Request that the studio provide you with a Studio Agreement so that you know what services and goods are being offered, as well as what your costs will be to record in the studio. 
   This should be a Work-For-Hire arrangement with you owning the masters to the recording session.  You can negotiate the best deal in the world with your studio; however, when it's all said and done, you get what you pay for. Most studios will not release any audio files until all debts have been paid in full.  Therefore, make sure you are financially able to pay all recording fees.
The articles provided by Angela Green, Esq. are for informational purposes only, concerning general legal principles. You should consult your legal counsel for answers to specific legal questions.
Angela Green is an entertainment attorney in Memphis, Tennessee and part owner of Key II Entertainment, an artist management company. 
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Why Your Special Gift Can Lead to Your Financial Breakthrough  

by Nicole Simpson
Nicole SimpsonI want to speak to those individuals who desire more than a traditional job. Working from 9 to 5 simply isn't enough.  You have the inability to maintain a viable standard of living because you are forced to live from paycheck to paycheck.  Toward the end of each month, you become stressed and filled with anxiety. You have dreams, desires, goals and a gift that can help you achieve everything you desire and more!  How do you know when your gift is the conduit to your financial freedom?  Furthermore, how do you create a business out of your gift?
   I am reminded of a very good friend of mine who realized that at an early age, she was quite gifted at doing hair and making both men and women look beautiful. Not only did she make them look good, they left her company feeling special as well.  Separately, I was working with an individual who desired to write a book about what parents experience when dealing with disabled children.  That experience coupled with her compassion for animals being therapeutic for disabled individuals made her focus on an invention matching people with a disability to a four- legged animal that compliments their medical ailments. 
   Here is an example of a gift creating a revenue stream.  The friend is now a salon owner making well over $200,000 annually.  The client had an experience that affected her so much; she wanted to make the experience easier for the next person to be affected.  Needless to say, the inventor is basking in the glow of her success still quite shocked that success was in her.
   What do these two individuals have in common?  Somewhere in the middle of life, they realized that opportunity was knocking on their door.  They aren't special or any different from you and me.   I won't preach but this is what I know.  We are all blessed with at least one talent.  There is a story in the Bible that verifies that everyone is provided with at least one--use it.  If you don't, you are destined for a life of mediocrity.  You will long for the finer things in life but because you're too afraid to take any risk, life will pass you by.  
   The next few articles that I write will address every ordinary individual like me who believes that they can achieve extraordinary success.  We will discuss how to identify that special gift and/or ability, how to nurture it, and how to develop a business utilizing the gift to its fullest potential.  But I want to leave you with this thought:  What are you good at?  What comes naturally to you? 
   I'll share some of my childhood experiences with you that gave me insight on what direction in life I could go in.  Perhaps it will make you think outside of the box and stop overlooking the very path to your financial freedom.  As a little girl, I realized that I had the ability to captivate an audience.  When I spoke, people listened.  Now someone might think that acting would be ideal with that type of talent.  I desired to be an attorney and a politician-go figure.  I could see myself convincing people that my way was the correct way. 
   Perhaps you already know you can sing, praise dance, or be a spoken word artist.  Where does your business strength lie?  Are you good on the computer, can you articulate your desires with clarity of thought, and most importantly, have you defined your ultimate plan? 
   This means are you trying to reach the neighborhood, the state, or the world.  The examples above can trigger ideas for you.  Often, what you are good at and what you love to do, go hand in hand.  I believe that you should evaluate that seriously because major opportunities to nurture that gift will often arise.  Will you recognize an open door?  Let's talk about it.  
Elder Nicole B. Simpson is a certified financial planner and disaster planning expert who is actively involved in economic empowerment in the penal system, the body of Christ, and the educational system. A compelling motivational speaker, radio and television personality, and author, Ms. Simpson travels throughout the United States teaching basic financial principles with biblical references.  Her latest release, "The Ultimate Plan...A Financial Survival Guide for Life's Unexpected Event" is currently available through Tate Publishers and directly online at
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