Industry Feature Friday: Candice Ryan (Assistance Music Director, Radio Personality and Performer)
Welcome to Industry Feature Friday, putting the spotlight on the people behind the music! From producers, radio DJ's and radio trackers, to photographers, managers and everything in between. These are the music business professionals who work hard to help put your favourite artists (emerging, independent and hit makers) on the charts, DSP's, radio and on the map through their work behind the scenes!
So EXCITED to introduce you to CANDICE RYAN! She is an incredibly talented Assistant Music Director & Afternoon Drive Host at CFWE Radio and Singer/Songwriter at Candice Ryan Entertainment! I just met her in person at the Country Music Alberta Awards this past March and she is such a ray of sunshine and if you don't already know her, YOU NEED TO! She's a highly respected industry person who truly loves country music and supporting it's artists and fellow industry professionals! It's my absolute pleasure having her featured this week and you're really going to like her!
Get to know more about Candice Ryan here:
Sarah Scott (SS): Since this is your first time being featured with Studio B, tell me a bit about
your background and how you got your start in radio and in the music
Candice Ryan (CR): Thank you so much for this Sarah!! It’s a total honour! I’ve been a closet singer all my life and straight up TERRIFIED to sing in front of people….but it wasn’t until winning a
singing competition when I was 22 that I thought I could really do something. It took a
couple years to figure myself out, write some songs, make connections and then released
my first EP in 2012. I was interviewed by CFWE a few times with my early songs and
established a great friendship with everyone here and when they were looking for a co-
host for their morning show, I wasn’t even on the list of people to call!! BUT after they
were like what about Candice, the crew had lots of fun and laughs so they hired me on!
That was waaaaaay back in 2016. Fast forward to 2022 I have an amazing 6 year old
named Maggie who is my little mini me, and I’m finally going to be releasing new music
SS: You're also a performer/singer-songwriter (which is so cool!) How has that helped
you in radio? And how has radio helped your performances?
CR: I’ve always been theatrical and outgoing, so, if anything performing has helped me in
radio! I always say, you can teach anyone to push buttons, but you cannot teach a
personality. That is such a huge factor with any job/career that you are in!
SS: We get this question all the time in radio! You're the assistant music director, so you hear so much music - ALL THE TIME! What makes a song good to you? What does a song *need* to have to get on the radio?
CR: I hate this question HAHA Every radio station is so different; every Music Director
has a different taste or rules they have to follow. Judging someone’s art/passion is the
hardest thing anyone can do. For us, “radio-worthy” comes down to production and quality
and ‘fit’ …like, does it fit our formats? I’ve always hated hearing this as an artist.. “If you’re
not charting we won’t play you, but no one will play you cause you’re not charting”. BUT If
an indie artist has a song that is undeniably amazing, I will fight tooth ‘n nail to get it on air!
SS: What is some advice you'd give artists looking to get on the radio with one of their
songs? Who should they contact and how should they go about doing it?
CR: If you main goal is to get on the radio, know your market, do lots of research. You
being judged by your song, your look, your photos, graphics EVRYTHING!!! So, don’t cheap
out, but don’t break the bank. Don’t harass MD’s with multiple emails, that’s a quick way to
get annoying and not get played. If no one got back to you, follow up in a couple weeks but
If you didn’t hear anything, don’t be a pain in the ass! Radio trackers can be a great thing,
but they’re super costly, New artist or even existing ones should look into getting their music
on Satellite stations, there is HUGE money to be made. Ask anyone of our friends who are
performers, they are all willing to help out!
SS: You are so well known and respected across Canada for supporting local, indie
and emerging artists (and artists at all levels!) What has been your favourite part
about being in the Canadian country music scene?
CR: That is so incredibly kind of you to say. *cries while typing* Thank you. One of my first
CCMA’s I was talking to a concert promotor and I talked his ear off for a while, probably had
a few too many wines, and asked him “what kind of advice can you give me” and he said
“JUST. BE. YOU” I thought that is such a bullshit thing to say. LOL where is the magic
formula to success!!!!!! But to be honest that was the best advice after the experiences I’ve
been through, the friends I have made, the questions that I asked, my favourite part is, the
people. Without us the fans of country music and supporters of all genre’s, we are nothing.
You have to love what you’re doing, you have to put your heart and soul into your
performances, bare your soul in your songwriting, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Because
when you are unapologetically YOU, you will have your success.