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James Pegrum, radio plugger
Photograph: Andy Parsons

Things you only know if your job is getting songs on the radio

James FitzGerald

…according to James Pegrum, 40, of Viaduct Promotions.

It takes a lot of legwork to get a song on the radio

‘I spend most of my working days going in to the big radio stations across London, playing them new music that I think they should put on air. If it’s a really big DJ or producer, we make sure we’re taking along something that they’ll like – otherwise they just won’t see you next time. I think that back in the ’70s and ’80s, anything went: people had massive budgets and got away with doing whatever it took to get an artist on a playlist. Our work is much more regulated now!’

The Wu-Tang Clan are ageing disgracefully

‘I work with some bands, like Underworld, who are still exciting creatively but whose crazy days are behind them. But that’s not the case with all artists. I went backstage with the Wu-Tang Clan and they were exactly as you’d expect them to be: drinking big bottles of Hennessy and chatting up the ladies.’

Industry types love small venues like The Shacklewell Arms

‘We have such a diverse music scene in London, and as soon as there’s a buzz about a band, pluggers will be there watching. You’ll see us at lovely little venues like The Shacklewell Arms in Dalston or The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington.’

The Crazy Frog changed lives

‘Sometimes you have to suck it up and get on with promoting the project. A long time ago, I worked on the Crazy Frog record, and I’m constantly mocked by my friends for it. But that helped get me to a place where I could make my living working with music that I actually liked! 

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