KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
STRAIGHT-TALKING dancehall musician Petersen has come out strongly against local radio stations, arguing that their playlists are not representative of the Zambian musical landscape.
In a posting on his Facebook page, Petersen says listening to local radio is like listening to Western/African radio as some of them just watch MTV Base, Channel O or Trace TV and then shift the whole playlist onto their respective radio playlists.
He says this scenario has caused a lot of new and up-and-coming artistes to start singing American, Naija or South African sound-influenced songs, which again the same radio presenters pour scorn on.
Petersen, who recently released his latest album King Solomon, has a question for proprietors of radio stations.
â€œRadio Station owners; what criteria do you use when conducting your employment interviews? Oliver Mtukudzi, Fela Kuti, Salif Keita, Meiway, Ringo Madlingozi, Jose Chameleon etc are great sons of the mother continent but are rare on Zambian Radio. Is it the age of the presenters or the type of music these presenters consider good?â€ he asks.
â€œAngela Nyirenda, James Chamanyazi, Exile, Sakala Bothers, myself, Mweshi Mulusa, Kings Malembe Malembe, Scarlet, Danny Kaya etc ainâ€™t having as much radio airplay. Should we all move with the time and musical trends by switching the sound? Should Levy Sakala, JK and Ballad Zulu start rapping for them to be on your radio playlists or on your top 10 countdowns?
â€œOr maybe the question should be; whatâ€™s wrong with having radio presenters like Danny Peddle (Motherland Vibes), Kalumba The Smash, Isaac Mulinda, Ricky Banda, Ken Mind Blower, Mo Funky, Gesh, DJ CJ, Chilu Lemba, Life, Jack Mwale, Lady MC and the likes of the Late LBC (MHSRIP) – Heavy Rotation? Please re-design your airplay; its average and one-sided right now.â€
As you would expect from Petersen, he is not apologetic.
â€œI write this not to appreciate all the good and positive things you deserve to be respected and appreciated for, but to point out and enlighten you on what your radio stations lack. Iâ€™m here writing on the aspect I feel 70 percent of you are missing out,â€ he says.
â€œI am also not here to discredit the young and youthful radio presenters or personnel you have all employed at your respectful media organisations but to mention the consequences and everything that comes with fellow Zambians born in the late 80â€™s and early 90â€™s. This age range is important and needed in showbiz because they possess new sounds and touch, but if you gonna fill your employment list with presenters who are hip hop (American music) -oriented, then your radio station is monotonous (lacks variety).â€
KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka