Editorials MUST READ: How Nigerian OAPs Killed Radio With Fake Accents – By...

MUST READ: How Nigerian OAPs Killed Radio With Fake Accents – By Etcetera

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Radio is in a period where only the ‘blings’ and ‘blingers’ are getting all the attention.

This must be the worst time to listen to radio in Nigeria. Consider some of the on-air-personalities, all they do is talk about what their favourite celebrities are wearing.

How easily manipulated and distracted can they be? A fake accent has never been more glorified than today.

With on-air-personalities chasing celebrity status themselves, radio listeners are never going to get any unbiased assessment of issues. The few independent thinkers amongst them who provide this unbiased assessment are being mocked and called boring people. How do you listen to an OAP on radio who only talks about cars, money and women for hours?

It is becoming a consensus on the streets that naija radio stations are becoming more boring with each passing day.

And I find it really sickening hearing the cry from radio station owners about how more and more people are turning to Alaba mix and blogs for their music these days. Even the local tea sellers on the street prefer their MP3 compilation of songs than listening to any FM station. Most songs played on the radio today do not excite listeners.

No one turns on the radio anymore hoping to hear great songs he heard some days before.

People love moods, melodies and lyrics that mean something and you can’t get those on radio anymore.

Nigerian on-air-personalities have become so lazy for their own good. They don’t go in search of new sound anymore.

All they do now is sit and wait for songs to be brought to them, subjecting their listeners to the same old songs played over and over.

Yes we know that the radio industry is run by corporate sponsors who play it safe so as not to offend the listeners. However, what they have ended up doing is offending tasteful listeners.

Most artistes on the radio have better songs on their album but radio stations decide what is “radio friendly” and keep serving the same song over and over because it works for them.

Few days ago, while returning to the mainland with a friend, we heard one of the new naija dance songs playing on the radio.

My friend turned and said to me, “The music just keeps getting worse and worse, doesn’t it?”

I totally agreed. I understand enough about music to know that if a song receives a lot of spins on the radio, it becomes boring.

This makes me wonder most times why a lot of great naija songs we hear on the streets on a daily basis are not getting played on the radio. Listeners are really getting fed up with the repetitive songs played on the radio these days.

The playlist of most OAPs has become so predictable that someone told me the sequence of songs to expect on the drive on one of our popular radio stations. The songs were played exactly as predicted.

Though, radio has always played crappy songs, the problem is today’s songs smell the same across the stations. What we are mostly fed with are mostly noisy songs with over-processed vocals. Greed has permeated every aspect of radio. Now, it is just about looking to latch on to mega bucks and in turn promote the same tried-and-trusted mediocrity.

And the more mediocre the song, the better and the more guaranteed return for the OAP.

Some music stakeholders I spoke with are of the opinion that the lack of musical imagination in Nigeria is solely the fault of the homogenised mainstream radio stations.

I feel sad for the so many gifted unknown artistes out there who are writing and making great music, but our radio stations are too busy to care about them. It’s like the radio stations are bent on moulding us all into some kind of morphed audio mind, jammed into an external cycle of repetition. I am also an OAP and I truly don’t know how to talk about this with being perceived as sounding biased.

It saddens my heart seeing that the talented young artistes put so much effort into making quality songs only to struggle through all the crap we are fed with everyday on the radio. I guess they just have to look for other ways of channelling their good stuff to those who appreciate it. It is really becoming more difficult to find a radio station that won’t bend to popular demand, money or play the music for any other reason than what it truly is. I used to enjoy listening to the radio so much a few years back but can’t tell now whether I am just growing older or today’s music is sounding worse. The problem is that most OAPs hold themselves in one single genre. To be honest, some on-air-personalities need to stop forcing everyone to live in their own world.

Get off your weird accent swing and give other songs a chance and stop repeating the same songs all the time. In conclusion, if today’s Nigerian music is a mess, artistes are not totally to blame.

The radio stations and OAPs are equally culpable. We may not necessarily need to demand more from the popular artistes.

There is still plenty of good music being made everyday by not so popular artistes. The problem is the radio stations will only play the songs that fits into their very narrow parameters. Even if an artiste creates a brilliant album with emotion and depth, they can only get airplay with only the so-called “radio friendly” single. We need to demand more from radio. Thanks to Alaba market DJ mixes, Nigerians can always find new artistes and music they like.


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