Scams!

A good one came in on the wire this morning. When I say 'wire' I mean facebook. Someone called Cynthia contacted us, from 'WCTR Radio Chicaco.' She informed us that she enjoyed one of the tracks we posted, and to e-mail her.
Richie got back to her, and received a pretty boiler-plate sounding response.
He had asked if she would like us to send her a promo-CD, or the digital press kit for Na Rosai, but she didn't seem interested.

Cynthia,
Thanks for the kind words on our FB page. Please let us know if you’d like a copy of the album to play on your station. As an alternative we can also provide our digital press pack with mp3 versions.
Best wishes,
Richie

Three minutes shy of two hours later, we receieve:

Hi Richie,

Thanks for checking in. You’ve got a good thing going and I’d like to help you get to the next level.

Aside from the major record labels, there are other organizations that can help you to secure significant airplay. Lately, we’ve been receiving some of our best music from The Akademia Music Awards. This company is covering the cost to get artists not only on WCTR Chicago, but on an extended network of stations worldwide. Therefore, you may want to consider submitting your music to them at www.theakademia.com. Just a thought.

I hope that this is helpful. Please keep me posted on your success and thanks for tuning in!

Sincerely,

Cynthia Miller
Program Director
WCTR Radio Chicago
www.wctr-radio.com

This seems fishy enough. A radio station promoting, what appears to be, a different organization. The Akademia apparently has some talent contest, with lots of generic looking artists in bad PR shots, all over their early 2000s style website. The interesting spin on this contest is that you pay to enter it. You probably win, regardless, and they play you ad infinitum, on their silly sounds streaming server. I'm aware that competitive step dancers pay to enter competitions(Their parents pay, rather. Their parents also buy them those wacky dresses and the funny wigs) but I'm not about to shell out some money to someone running a website from 2003.

I looked up this Chicago radio station. The WCTR site is another, hideous explosion of color. The Earth in the background covered in a lit-mesh of purple. It turns out, there is no radio station. The call letters aren't even registered with the FCC, as they wouldn't need to be; no one is actually broadcasting FM radio. They have a small flash box which plays, I suppose on repeat, a list of artists who probably paid for their award from Akademia. I listened for a few minutes, before I didn't want damage my brain any longer. This flash box happens to be the only part of the website that even does something. There's a video section, which is just the standard page, with no modification, no video. There's a contact page, which is just the standard page, with the contact info for our pal Cynthia.

This is one of many sites all registered to the same anonymous group, as revealed by whois results. I went to another of their 'radio stations' WNYR. Same format site, different graphics, same playlist. All of these 'radio stations' are controlled by the Akademia thing, so when Cynthia tells us 'This company[The Akademia] is covering the cost to get artists not only on WCTR Chicago, but on an extended network of stations worldwide.' it's quite misleading. They're all very much the same site, by the same people. They're not radio stations. You won't actually get any real publicity from any of this, unless like me, you actually listen to some of the streaming server playlist.

Long story short: It's just some scam.

Here's a great Reddit thread about it, where the owner of The Akademia himself, Anwar Najmi, has a less-than-successful battle with the various redditors chiming in.

Hopefully, if anyone searches to find if this is a scam, they'll find this blog, or the various other places where The Akademia has been dismissed as perhaps not fraudulent, but merely one of those 'just not true' phenomena we come across so often on the internet.

To finish, admire his skills at bustin a jam, or whatever it is they're trying to do here: