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Homegrown radio station helps showcase Idaho musicians

Brandie B. Minchew

It’s always been a challenge for musicians to get their songs played on the radio, especially if their music doesn’t fall into a handful of popular categories that dominate the radio dial.

But the internet has opened up new avenues for artists who couldn’t find a home in the past. Jake Santiago wanted to find a way to showcase artists, especially Idaho musicians.

So he started up his own internet radio station a few months ago called Alaric Radio and he’s been picking up steam and listeners ever since.

Read the full transcript of the episode below:

GEMMA: From the studios of Boise State Public Radio News, I'm Gemma Gaudette. You're listening to Idaho Matters. So it's always been a challenge for musicians to get their songs played on the radio, especially if their music doesn't fall into a handful of popular categories that tend to dominate the radio dial. However, the Internet has opened up new avenues for artists who couldn't find a home in the past, and Jake Santiago wanted to find a way to showcase artists, especially Idaho musicians. So he started up his own Internet radio station a few months ago. It's called Alaric Radio, and he's been picking up steam and listeners ever since. So let's take a quick listen.

JAKE: We have three great featured artists today. Our first artist is T.K. Crazy. He is an Idaho resident. T.K. performs in the local Idaho area. He has a deep admiration from where he's from here in Idaho. T.K., thank you so much for your submission. Here is your song. Rep your state. [MUSIC PLAYS]

GEMMA: And Jake is joining us live now. Hey, Jake. Welcome to Idaho Matters.

JAKE: Hey, Gemma. Thank you so much for having me.

GEMMA: So how did you get the idea to start your own local radio station?

JAKE: So as many things start, sometimes it's just by mistake. I actually am. I'm an actual artist myself. I came out with a song a few months back called Werewolf Origin Story, and it's just titled Alaric, My radio DJ Name. And, you know, it's kind of submitted out there. I got it on a few radio station, things like that. And I went down to the Meridian Downtown Trunk or Treat, and I was just kind of telling people about my music and everything else. And one of the bigger stations doesn't matter who kind of just shunned me away almost for asking about like where I could submit for independent music. And so it really bothered me.

GEMMA: That's interesting. So I'm assuming that's what then made you decide like, Well, you know what? I'll do this myself.

JAKE: Correct. So that night actually, I went on Facebook just saying, Hey, trying to get some more songs for some inspiration, because at that time I was going to write a new song, kind of just put my emotions out there like everybody else. And then I start thinking I was like, I got about 20 or 25 submissions overnight and I woke up to them all and I said, Why am I not celebrating these wonderful artists? And not not all of them are from Boise. I'm actually international now, so I have France coming to me, Canada, Germany, all that. But I'm I'm pretty laser focused on trying to find some more Idaho musicians.

GEMMA: Yeah. So what kind of music do you play on the stage on the show?

JAKE: As of right now, I do have rock and roll mostly, and then I am accepting hip hop and rap, but I am open to all genres, so.

GEMMA: Okay. And you, as you mentioned, So you let anybody submit their music to you, right? And have you been surprised by the number of people who who are submitting, but but also who are making music out there?

JAKE: Yes. Well, as I mentioned, I do get submissions from everywhere and it is an open it's tunes by Alaric dot online. You can put your music submission there. You can listen to previous shows. You could read about me personally. I have a little bio on there. And then I also do some skits. So I do skits, probably every other show, maybe every two shows, depending on my time, of course. But they're a lot of fun. And the local artists that I've had on like. TK Crazy, Axiom Tha Wyze. This week I'm going to have the Real Zero. They're all great artists and I'm just trying to get them on the air so people recognize them, come together as a community and celebrate them.

GEMMA: And you really, as you said, you want to see more local musicians, right? Even though you've got people from France, as you said. You also want to make sure local musicians get an opportunity.

JAKE: Absolutely. Actually, I was just going to mention that I was going to be at it's called New Colony. Now they're doing a name changeover, but they were craft brewers of Boise and they're having a ska punk band show this Friday that I will be attending with my booth, my Alaric radio banner to anybody that wants to come talk to me. It starts at 6:00.

GEMMA: And I also heard that you're going to have a free event at the Knitting Factory as well.

JAKE: Yes. So this is actually my friend Michael Swan's resurrected tattoo. He's the owner of that tattoo shop. This is his art convention. So he's going to have about 25 to 30 very unique vendors. It's not going to be the usual suspects. This is all geared towards art. There's going to be live performances by quite a few people. There's going to be a celebrity there. There's going to be raffles, there's going to be prizes, there's going to be food and, of course, some drinks for the adults as well.

GEMMA: Well, I have to say, I love it that you have found this niche and that you're showcasing local talent in this way. So I appreciate you coming on the show today.

JAKE: Thank you so much, Gemma. Absolutely. And I am recently an LLC, so I am here to stay.

GEMMA: I love it. Well, welcome. We have been speaking with Jake Santiago. He is the host and creator of Alaric Radio. We will, of course, put a link to the radio station on our website so you can find it easier.

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As Senior Producer of our live daily talk show Idaho Matters, I’m able to indulge my love of storytelling and share all kinds of information (I was probably a Town Crier in a past life!). My career has allowed me to learn something new everyday and to share that knowledge with all my friends on the radio.