Blame game and fin­ger-point­ing as artistes de­cry lim­ited airplay

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - NATIONAL NEWS - BY HI­LARY KIMUYU [email protected]­tion­

The on­go­ing de­bate on the lim­ited air­time given to Kenyan mu­sic has turned the spot­light on the lo­cal en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try that is largely dom­i­nated by for­eign con­tent.

Us­ing #Playke­mu­sic on so­cial me­dia, some Kenyan artistes have blamed ra­dio and tele­vi­sion sta­tion hosts and dee­jays for giv­ing pref­er­ence to for­eign mu­sic, par­tic­u­larly by Nige­rian and Tan­za­nian artistes.

How­ever, there has been the counter ar­gu­ment that airplay is given based on the pop­u­lar­ity of a song, af­ter re­search. The im­pli­ca­tion is that Kenyan mu­si­cians need to pro­duce more high-qual­ity hits to com­pete.

Dif­fer­ent ra­dio sta­tions have vary­ing tar­get au­di­ences. That’s why one can eas­ily lis­ten to Eric Wainaina’s mu­sic play on Clas­sic 105FM and not NRG or Kiss FM. Ac­cord­ing to me­dia per­son­al­ity Joy Doreen Bi­ira, who was a ra­dio pre­sen­ter for more than four years, artistes should know where their mu­sic is likely to get most air play.

“Be­sides the pre­sen­ters, know the tech­ni­cal per­son­nel at a ra­dio sta­tion. The mu­sic ‘Comp-troller’ can ad­vise you on mak­ing mu­sic that sells. Meet the pro­gramme man­ager seek knowl­edge,” says Ms Bi­ira, adding that there were as­pects of mar­ket­ing that mu­si­cians usu­ally ig­nore.

Mu­si­cian Avril Nyam­bura also added to the de­bate, say­ing artistes should re­lease songs and let the au­di­ence choose what to lis­ten to.

Rap­per Collo con­curred: “Mu­si­cians must un­der­stand that they have an obli­ga­tion to their fans.” Re­fi­gah from Grandpa Records added his voice say­ing that there was no law in Kenya on what per­cent­age of Kenyan mu­sic should be played on air. Co­me­dian-cum-pre­sen­ter Jalang’o through his tweeter han­dle has been vo­cal and on Fri­day chal­lenged artistes to pro­duce qual­ity mu­sic. He said suc­cess­ful mu­si­cians like Sauti Sol and rap artiste Nyashin­ski should teach other artistes the se­crets of suc­cess.

Ra­dio pre­sen­ter Maina Ka­geni also told off lo­cal artistes who are blam­ing lo­cal me­dia houses for not play­ing their mu­sic, say­ing the artistes should in­stead up their game. In an In­sta­gram post, Gospel singer Daddy Owen lamented that Kenyan artistes are never given the same amount of air­time as for­eign artistes.

Suz­zana Owiyo also pitched in, say­ing there was good lo­cal mu­sic that should be given air­time, dis­miss­ing the “poor qual­ity” line of ar­gu­ment.

See full story in to­day’s Buzz mag­a­zine

Mu­si­cian Avril Nyam­bura

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