Music Issue - Rockin' the cradle

Why WRAS-FM shows locals love

As the general manager for Georgia State University's WRAS-FM, Cassie Smith wields plenty of power — 100,000 watts to be exact. That makes 88.5 the largest student-run radio station in the nation. The playlist is strictly indie by design, and Cassie follows suit as host of the Georgia Music Show (Thursdays, 6-8 p.m.). Being inundated with CDs from unsigned bands certainly has its perks — she's broken several hometown acts, including Deerhunter, during her yearlong tenure — but it can also be a painful process. So before Cassie hands over the reins to her successor this month, she has some bankable advice to share with bands seeking airplay. Take notes.</
College stations in general are really committed to playing indie music because, for the most part, all college stations are noncommercial so we have much more freedom to play stuff. Granted, it has to be good. And generally, the really good stuff is the independent stuff. With WRAS being 100,000 watts, we are a very big voice for independent artists. When we play something local that's good, it's a huge opportunity – not only to be heard by people around Georgia, but when you make it on our charts people are going to find out around the country that WRAS is playing your stuff.</
I'll get CDs and I just have to sit down and listen to them. Whether it makes it to the playlist or not is based on if I really like it and also it's about what the station is currently playing and how it compares. If it sounds like something I hear on 99X or DAVE-FM, I'm not going to play it, and I get that a lot. It happens a lot with rock bands. I get so much heavy rock stuff, but it's not indie. ... Sometimes people just send me stuff and I'm like, 'Do you even listen to our station? Because you would know that we would not play your band.' That just blows me away sometimes.</
I get really turned off when people are really pushy and their excuse is 'That's how you have to be in this business.' I have this one dude who IMs me on Sundays. I work six days a week and he IMs me on Sundays to ask me when I'm going to [play his CD]. It's really frustrating when people are incredibly pushy, but I can understand to some extent.</
The people that I really like, they send me an album, they send me a track list and they send me a bio and they follow up and just keep it really simple. I say let your music do the talking.

??Music Issue 2007

Image Music Issue Bradford Cox of Deerhunter: The gift and the curse Singer takes a stand BY RODNEY CARMICHAEL Image Music Issue 'You say you wanna revolution' 7-inch vinyl revival puts new spin on ATL rock scene BY RODNEY CARMICHAEL Image Music Issue Shy D and Tony MF Rock: Original ATLiens MC Shy D sowed hip-hop seeds into Georgia red clay BY RONI SARIG Image Music Issue Fabo: Ode to a Bankhead hardhead Rapper dances around critics BY MAURICE G. GARLAND AND RODNEY CARMICHAEL Image Music Issue Juju B. Solomon: Labor of love Juju B. Solomon brings folk home BY CHAD RADFORD Image Music Issue Rock around the clock Working-class musicians toil their way to the top Image Music Issue Janelle Monae: Dreamgirl Singer goes back to the future BY MOSI REEVES Image Music Issue Zac Brown: Two thumbs up (a critic's ass) Singer/guitarist flies under the critical radar — and straight to fans BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH Image Music Issue Hear and now CL critics pick the cream of Atlanta's current crop
??Georgia Music Directory 2007

Image Music Issue Setting the stage Sweetwood invites rising talent to Masquerade BY MOSI REEVES Image Music Issue Can't knock the hustle Unsigned artist masters self-promotion BY RODNEY CARMICHAEL Image Music Issue Rockin' the cradle Why WRAS-FM shows locals love BY RODNEY CARMICHAEL Image Music Issue Breaking the band Band manager gets acts together BY MOSI REEVES Music Issue Georgia Music Directory Search for Georgia bands, DJs, musicians and more; or register your own group or service – it's free!

More By This Writer


Monday October 21, 2019 03:08 pm EDT
Explore these rap-related cultural landmarks in Atlanta | more...


Thursday October 17, 2019 01:26 pm EDT
Explore locations for viewing comedy and get your laugh on! | more...


Thursday January 5, 2017 02:44 pm EST
And the Atlanta Falcons could win the Super Bowl | more...


Thursday January 5, 2017 02:32 am EST
One social entrepreneur scales her mission to fight inequity by creating extended families | more...


Thursday January 5, 2017 02:27 am EST
An indie filmmaker has turned Atlanta's civic conversation into the hottest meal ticket in town | more...
Search for more by Rodney Carmichael