by Anthony

How does the chart select new singles?

The methodology on which the selection of new singles are selected based on the following guidelines:

  • Overall quality of the recording (Does the song meet professional sound standards? Has the final mix and or mastering process strengthened the song?
  • Vocal ability
  • Lyrics and overall music arrangement
  • Overall impact of the single
  • Cultural content (i.e. Aboriginal languages and themes, traditional instrumentation etc.)

How is the Indigenous Music Countdown formulated?

The networks that broadcast the Indigenous Music Countdown are included in a scoring system which determines the overall position of a song on the top #40 listing. The radio stations are part of a National Aboriginal Music Countdown Advisory Group, which is made up of representatives from each of the Aboriginal radio networks across Canada.

The Advisory group has input in formulating an accurate representation of the popularity of an Aboriginal recording being broadcast throughout Canada. The music chart is formulated on a weekly basis using tracking information broadcast members. This includes the monitoring of song rotations, song requests, and overall popularity within a given network. The Indigenous Music Countdown represents an overall summery of weekly a given song on a weekly basis.

In terms of assessing the chart based on music sales data, Aboriginal music sales information is very limited at this time. Mainstream charts utilize the services of Nielsen SoundScan, which gathers direct-to-consumer transactions and Internet sales. This methodology is unavailable to be inclusive of all Aboriginal music sales at this time.

What genres of music are played on the chart?

A majority of Aboriginal broadcasters in Canada are country based formats with block programming dedicated to several other genres of music (hip-hop, hard rock, flute etc.). The Indigenous Music Countdown has historically aired the following genres.

  • Country (traditional and hot new country styles)
  • Contemporary music mixed with a traditional sound
  • Lite Rock
  • Pop
  • Blues
  • Folk

These music genres are primarily heard on a daily basis on all radio station members. As noted, other genres of music do receive air-play which is based upon a given stations schedule. If your music does not match the above listing please contact an Aboriginal broadcaster for other programming opportunities that may exist for you.

What is considered to be Indigenous music?

Definition of the word “Aboriginal

Aboriginal “original or earliest known; native; indigenous.”
The word “Aboriginal” was recognized within the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982, sections 25 and 35, respectively as Indians (First Nations), Métis, and Inuit peoples.
Defining “Aboriginal Music” for the National Aboriginal Music Countdown

The above definitions are very limited in that they don’t speak to the complexities of music as art form which is often a collaborative effort.

The term “Aboriginal music” often implies the use of traditional instruments and vocals (i.e. flute, pow-wow, throat singing, a hand drum etc.). There is a distinct difference between contemporary and traditional music. Traditional music generally serves as being ceremonial or part of a celebratory event which is specific to a nation, tribe, village, clan, family, or individual. These songs are often connected to specific protocols that may include; a ceremony, regalia, dances, and specific life events. The broadcast of these songs on the radio is often prohibited in order to remain respectful to the intent of the song. Therefore, the National Aboriginal Music Countdown primarily focuses on contemporary genres of music.

The music selected for the chart playlist cannot be defined or limited to one specific genre. It must be noted, that historically the influx of instruments and styles of music that have arrived from Europe and other parts of the world over the last few hundred years, Aboriginal people have adapted with much ingenuity to transform any given genre into music with an Aboriginal focus.

In terms of song themes, the National Aboriginal Music Countdown has featured music which features lyrical content in reference to; historical events, land rights, . The chart has also featured songs which use Aboriginal languages and traditional instruments and traditional vocal styles. We strongly believe however that a songs theme is rooted in the life experience of an Aboriginal musician or musicians. The lyrical content on the countdown is often common place to all people (relationships, loneliness, life experiences etc.). Therefore, an Aboriginal song on the countdown can possess common themes which are found in mainstream music. The difference being, an Aboriginal performance can connect to the Aboriginal community at-large on a very significant and even cultural level.

A General Overview of Defining Aboriginal Music for the Countdown Radio Program:

  • If a song is performed by an Aboriginal person, it is considered to be an Aboriginal song.
  • If a specific song has music and lyrics written by an Aboriginal person, it is considered to be an Aboriginal song.
  • There have been several examples in the past where an Aboriginal artist has stylistically transformed a non-original song to speak to the Aboriginal community.
  • If the primary performer of a recording has been adopted (through a traditional ceremony or has been adopted by a tribal group) the artist is accepted as being Aboriginal.
  • The role of the National Aboriginal Music Chart Countdown is to feature original new music that is created by Aboriginal people. Therefore, as a rule, covers of well known mainstream radio hits are generally not accepted for airplay. There have been exceptions however where a well-known cover song has been translated into an Aboriginal language i.e. Cree or Ojibway. This greatly gives a cover song a new sound and perspective.

The National Aboriginal Music Countdown’s primary mandate is to spotlight Aboriginal music that has historically been marginalized by mainstream radio. All decisions regarding the music chart are intended to be respectful and ultimately assist in the building of the Aboriginal music industry.

Why do the charts or Soundcloud audio not match the show?

The Indigenous Music Countdown is broadcasted Canada-wide, and certain stations do not air the countdown on the same dates/at the same times. Charts will be uploaded to the IMC website every Saturday at 6:00 am CT to keep our online listeners happy.

In addition, our IMC Soundcloud will feature the latest IMC Show.

Why doesn’t my song have artwork?

Odds are we were unable to locate a photo for your single. If your song is on the chart and doesn’t have artwork or if you’d like us to use a different photo than the one we have chosen, you can fill out the Submission form and attach the correct artwork for your song. Keep in mind you must fill out every item marked with a * in order to complete the submission.

In addition, any updates can also be sent directly to countdown@ncifm.com with the subject line ” IMC INFORMATION UPDATE (followed by artist name)”

Please make sure your image is at least 150px X 150px

For information on airing the Indigenous Music Countdown on YOUR Radio Station, contact Native Communications Inc (NCI FM) at 204-772-8255 or Email info@ncifm.com