Buzz Brainard uses his Sirius/XM radio show to find the next big thing in music

Posted at 5:05 PM, Aug 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 19:59:27-04

Buzz Brainard may be one of the most popular guys on the radio, especially if you’re a country music artist looking for airplay.

Buzz is the host of “On the Horizon” on Sirius/XM Satellite radio.

While so-called “terrestrial” radio stations are pretty tightly formatted, with no room for untested talent, satellite radio isn’t bound by the same commercial restraints. So Buzz and his Sirius/XM staff are free to roam YouTube, the Internet and even local clubs for undiscovered talent.

“We have music meetings every week and people just play stuff.” Buzz says. “It’s almost like you come to our house to listen to records. It’s like ‘you guys gotta hear this!’ Then if the whole room goes “yeah” we can actually play it.”

Not surprisingly when millions of subscribers hear the song and start requesting it, “terrestrial” radio is forced to jump aboard. It’s made stars of countless artists, most notably Florida Georgia Line.

“Jessica, who works with us, got an .mp3 of a song called Cruise,” Buzz explains. “We play it in the music meeting, we’re like ‘lets give this a shot.’ We played it on the air a couple times and Taylor Swift tweets ‘I love this song ‘Cruise’. Next thing you know, they’re the biggest thing in Country Music.”

Buzz invites untested talent to send him .mp3’s. But be warned, he’s a popular guy and gets a lot of emails. So if you happen to be a Michigan artist looking for an “in” with Buzz there’s something else you should know about him.

“I’m a Flint boy, north of Clio, Michigan off I-75.” He says with a grin. “I went to Central Michigan for a while, Go Chips! I have a semester left and I don’t know if I’ll go back and finish guys.”

Buzz Brainard probably doesn’t need to go back to finish school. He’s done pretty well for himself. After all, he’s one of the most popular guys on radio.