Why musicians find it hard to get airplay

Many people wonder whether it is Radio stations that popularize music or it is popular music that gets air play on radio stations. “I brought my CD here two months ago, but I have not heard it play, not even having a friend  tell me that they heard it,” says a young man who claims to be an artiste.
Josiane, Allioni,Yvette and Nicky of the up- and -comming J-A-V-K all female music group.( Photo. G.Mugoya)
Josiane, Allioni,Yvette and Nicky of the up- and -comming J-A-V-K all female music group.( Photo. G.Mugoya)

Many people wonder whether it is Radio stations that popularize music or it is popular music that gets air play on radio stations.

“I brought my CD here two months ago, but I have not heard it play, not even having a friend  tell me that they heard it,” says a young man who claims to be an artiste.

He explains that he has not been given any explanation as to why his music is not played. “When I try to ask the people concerned, they keep on tossing me around.”

There has been and there is still a struggle between the media and artistes, with artistes claiming that radio stations hinder their promotion when they do not play their music.

“I make sure I come up with something good in my music to see that I can also come from the underground to the levels of either Meddy or Ms JOJO. However, this will never be possible if my music is never given chance,” the artiste complains and one could even be forced to think he had one way or another paid for the service.

As long as both parties are beneficial to each other as in the radios promoting artistes, and artristes coming up with good hits, that attract listeners, then it becomes a win win situation.

However what is expected from each side is a controversial issue. Kim Kizito, an artiste attached to The Just Family Group of artistes as well a presenter at Isango Star; a local radio station says penetrating into the music industry is a journey which only becomes productive based on the quality of music one brings to the industry.

He also gives his personal experience in the music industry for the last four years.

“Music is quality and by this I mean the message in the song to the public. I personally know what it exactly means to the artiste when his or her music is not played, but I am also aware of the impact bad music can have on a radio station if played.”

He points out that in music, there is a combination of what makes it interesting saying that “the studio and producers, contribute a lot to the music.”  

He says that artistes, who come up with good music, do not need to go and remind DJs to play it, because “its good and we are also interested in quality.”

Kizito says that before he realized the trick behind it all, it took his group about three year for their song to be played over a local radio station, but currently their music has crossed borders to regional radio stations.

However, Mr. Portaz Protais also a local up coming artiste notes that there are situations when listeners request for a song but the program coordinator denies its play, yet the radio has it.

“Yes, quality is very important but which explanation can be given if the presenter fails to play a song which has been requested by his audience despite having it at the station...?” he asks.

He maintains that music is good so long as it is requested for. He also says some presenters are simply interested in playing music of famous artistes only, without minding about the timing.

He says that music can be good when played at a specific time that is relevant.

Without specifying, he adds that some radio stations with such tendencies do not promote artistes at all but create misunderstanding between the two parties.

Upcoming artistes have s been accused of by-passing the right channels of presenting their music CDs to radio stations through the reception, by handing it to presenters directly. When the two people decide to meet directly one wonders what exactly goes on between them.

mugoya@yahoo.com