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A Conversation With Adellyn Polomski, Clear Channel's Director Of Artist Relations & Programs

Adellyn Polomski was recently promoted by Clear Channel to Director of Artist Relations & Programs after excelling as the company's Director of EDM Initiatives. As the Director of EDM Initiatives, Polomski helped artists like KrewellaArmin van Buuren, and Calvin Harris cross over into Top 40 Radio. Polomski has participated in panels at EDMbiz and Winter Music Conference, which are two of the biggest networking events in the dance music industry.

EDM.com received the opportunity to speak with Polomski about her new position as Director of Artist Relations & Programs, as well as her thoughts on the state of dance music. Find out how she sees EDM evolving below!

(EDM.com = Mike Walkusky of EDM.com ; AP = Adellyn Polomski)

EDM.com: How did you fall in love with dance music?

AP: I went to college at the University of Leeds in England and the area had a vibrant music culture. I originally went into college loving Indie Rock, but I fell in love with dance music when I started working at the student radio station. I began interviewing local producers and playing their music. The first time I heard a Boys Noize remix, I knew the community’s music and energy was a perfect fit for me.

EDM.com: What were your daily responsibilities as the Director of EDM Initiatives?

AP: I had a unique set of responsibilities as the Director of EDM Initiatives because I was able to carve a path for the company that had never been explored before. I oversaw the programming for Evolution, the “all things dance” station for iHeartRadio, as well as its operational and promotional direction. 

I helped introduce acts like Krewella, Armin van Buuren and Calvin Harris to an extensive broadcast and digital radio audience, and now we syndicate Pete Tong on more than 80 radio stations nationwide. I also booked dance music artists for Clear Channel’s marquee events, such as the iHeartRadio Music Festival and the iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party. 

EDM.com: What were your biggest achievements as the Director of EDM Initiatives? 

AP: I’m really proud of my work in connecting dance music artists to a wide radio audience. When songs like Calvin Harris’ “Feel So Close” take off, I consider it a big win for both our listeners and the artist.

EDM.com: What are you doing as the Director of Artist Relations and Programs to increase the visibility of dance music? 

AP: I’ll continue to oversee the company’s electronic music strategy to make sure we’re connecting our listeners with great new dance music, but as the Director of Artist Relations and Programs I’ll be able to incorporate the genre even more into all of the company’s platforms. Even though I’ll be working with a variety of music formats, I’ll create customized programs for dance music artists using Clear Channel’s 840 radio stations, the digital music service iHeartRadio and local and national live events.

EDM.com: What are your goals as the Director of Artist Relations and Programs? 

AP: My role comes with a lot of responsibility. On one hand, we want to continue helping artists and labels reach new heights and connect with new audiences that only broadcast or digital radio can do; on the other hand, we want to create unique experiences for our listeners on the radio or for fans at live events. My goal is to create long-lasting programs and partnerships that bring artists and listeners together in a way that attracts sponsors and advertisers that normally wouldn’t have access to either.

EDM.com: Who are your favorite producers/DJs?

AP: I make sure to listen to a little bit of everything, but right now I love Klingande’s “Jubel” for its old-school sax and summery house vibes. I’m also really excited about GTA’s “Hard House” - it’s an aggressive festival song that everyone is embracing. Another favorite is Flume’s official remix of Arcade Fire’s “Afterlife” - it’s another monster production from this young, up-and-comer.

EDM.com: What's your favorite show you've ever been to?

AP: Tomorrowland in Belgium was the best electronic music festival I’ve ever experienced. The production value was over the top and they book a little bit of everything, so there’s always something for everyone. Their attention to detail and overall festival experience doesn’t just make fans excited for the music, but also makes artists really want to perform the event.

EDM.com: Where do you think EDM fits within the current world of mainstream music? 

AP: EDM is a hot ticket right now and it’s one of the fastest growing genres of music in the world – we see the proof through sold-out multi-day festivals, song downloads and large streaming numbers.

Artists from other genres are clamoring to collaborate with producers like Disclosure and Calvin Harris, and I think in mainstream music we should expect even more of that. I know music discovery and collaboration is a huge initiative for Clear Channel – just look at the crazy collaborations from any of the iHeartRadio Music Festivals! - so the more hits for our listeners, the better.

EDM.com: A lot of vocal EDM has reached mainstream radio. Aside from "Animals," when (if at all) do you see non-vocal EDM making a big splash on the radio? 

AP: There are a lot of factors that go into a song’s success on-air. It’s not necessarily about vocals, but more about how a song or artist first performs within the community. If a track does extremely well and starts to edge into the playlists of some non-EDM fans, then it has “over performed” in its format and is more likely to be a good fit for the radio.

At the same time, not all tracks are made to be mixed or played on-air. Songs need to be able to stand on their own but a nine minute Dusky track isn’t going to be meant for the radio. 

EDM.com: What non-EDM functions do you perform for Clear Channel? 

AP: Another cool part about my job is that I oversee a number of live broadcasts for our national events, including the annual iHeartRadio Music Festival, the iHeartRadio Music Awards and every event in between. The audio broadcast goes out to our radio stations across the country and it’s unique live content that listeners can’t get anywhere else. Managing something so massive can be hectic but it’s a great way to interact with our different teams – everyone from event producers to marketing help make our events a success! 

EDM.com: What is Evolution? 

AP: Evolution is the 360 dance music brand for Clear Channel, which includes a variety of different touch points. The brand has a digital station on iHeartRadio, the company’s all-in-one digital music service, a broadcast station named Evolution 93.5 in Miami, branded syndicated shows and live events.

The digital and broadcast stations air a robust programming schedule, with shows like “The Evolution Beatport Show With Pete Tong” from the legendary icon himself. We also help syndicateRandom White Dude Be Everywhere producer Diplo’s show, named “Evolution Presents Diplo and Friends.”

EDM.com: What else would you like EDM fans to know about yourself and/or Clear Channel?

AP: It’s an exciting time for electronic dance music - fans and artists alike have been very supportive of our initiatives to help bring EDM to a wider audience.  I want them to know that we plan to continue using our live events, plus on-air and digital platforms, to help introduce listeners to great dance music artists.

Just last year the iHeartRadio Music Festival hosted Tiesto, Benny Benassi and Zedd, and this year the festival is slated to host Steve Aoki and Calvin Harris. When the crowd jumps out of their seats to go wild for electronic music, our teams take notice and you will definitely see the genre continue to resonate with listeners.

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