Unforthcoming airplay: The pain of being a musician in Kenya

In his hit song Micasa Sucasa, popular Kenyan rapper Khaligraph Jones posed a question to DJs claiming that there are no quality local songs to play, “To all the Kenyan DJs saying that they got nothing to play from the Kenyan market. Why do you have to spit that way? If we all support each other we will all eat that cake,”

Khaligraph himself an artist who rose through the ranks to become one of the country’s top musicians and a mentor to a lot of upcoming rappers, in the final verse went off cue to send a message that he felt was necessary to get Kenyan radio stations to promote local talent.

Friday morning, Kenyans woke up to the hashtag #playkenyanmusic, a conversation meant to bring to the surface the needless hardships that Kenyan artists are subjected to in order to get their music played by mainstream radio stations.

One particular tweet from the thread grabbed the attention of Kenyans. Watajua Hawajui hit maker Msupa S sensationally claimed that Mseto East Africa presenter Willy M Tuva made overtures at her for him to give her music more airplay during their interactions. The tweet was quickly pulled down.

The rapper’s tweet could be damaging one week after #survingrkelly after Lifetime’s docuseries exposed the “King of RnB’ for sexually exploiting underage girls throughout his stellar career.

But that is a story for another day, in the #playkenyanmusic conversation several arguments cropped up as to why Kenyan music is grossly underplayed.

READ: BETTY KYALO UNDER FIRE FOR FEATURING IN KHALIGRAPH’S NAUGHTY VIDEO

The main argument is that Kenyan artists treat their music to cater to their commercial interests and in the process it ends up lacking in content.

On the other hand, radio presenters agree with the DJs saying that the artists have to do good songs if they ever want their music to find its way in the schedule of any major radio station.

Wading into the conversation, Radio Jambo presenter Masawe Japani blasted K24 Weekend Edition news anchor Betty Kyalo for throwing her moral fabric out of the window to feature in a video in which Khaligraph sang to her dirty lyrics as she giggled despite her being an experienced media professional.

Betty Kyalo is set to host Jones in the interview segment of the Weekend Edition today.

SEE ALSO: LIVERPOOL IS BRINGING LFC WORLD FAN EXPERIENCE TO NAIROBI

In December 2018, veteran DJ and key music industry player DJ Pinye caused a storm when he said that during his heyday he declined to play Khaligraph’s and pop music star DNA’s ‘mediocre music’.

The two musicians dismissed him but Khaligraph’s latest antic could have given Pinye all the leeway to justify his point.

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