I just read a compelling article on how OAPs were becoming an obsolete force in terms of determining the quality of music on our airwaves…
I share these sentiments myself, having been one and I also had stuff to say about this in a recent article.
However, a portion of OAPs are more interested in hearing their own voices and airing their very limited opinions on very delicate subject matter than paying attention to the quality of music they put out. They have assumed the roles of celebrities themselves, reducing their banter to base gossip or informed ignorance.
Is this a cause for worry? Is Radio losing its hold on quality music playouts?
Maybe. Maybe not.
There was a time when the only trusted sources of new and maybe quality music were the OAPs, breaking new Artistes, cementing the status of existing ones and rubbishing attempts by either to fool the listener with garbage.
That was an old time. Sources were limited and so if a Radio Boss had access to exclusive music and info, it became law. What we did not get to see then that has become so blatant now, was the backroom dealings better termed as payola, which has now become the norm.
Once an OAP realised his ability to control an artiste’s product, he became greedy just at the same time he himself was becoming a celebrity.
Today’s upcomers and intending OAPs are so caught up in the glamourous life of flashing lights, red carpets, music video cameos and endorsements that the music takes a backseat.
They have left the reviews and dissections to the Blogger or music enthusiast with a hunger for writing. Even worse, music aired on radio is now determined by social media buzz first!
I miss the days when Kshow and I would painstakingly study a Nigerian HipHop Album (the dissection on HipHopRide), so we could come up with informed opinions and pressure the artiste into doing more work and improving on what they already had!
So what exactly is the worth of the OAP and how come he still plays a valid role in music and artiste promotion?
I really don’t know.
Well, let’s just say that traditionally, radio’s reach is still unmatched. All it costs a listener is a transistor or even a mobile phone with FM signals. There’s still the feel good vibe one gets when one’s song comes on. As long as this persists, the OAP will gamble on that and probably make a profit, even if he heard it online first.
OAPs should be held to a higher standard regarding taste in music and a genuine interest in the creative process that goes into making a good song.
Let’s get beyond the staged beefs and baby mama drama drowning the music!
I listened to a breakfast show hosted by my radio sibling, PHisayo, in a cab one morning – she had a guest I had not heard of and beyond just talking about someone having a new song to promote, they both delved into the creative process and gave credit to the producer, the Legendary Cobhams. PHisayo‘s engagement was informative as well as entertaining. And the song was absolutely lovely, even though it was a revised folklore tune!
LISTEN: IWE KIKO – RANTI
I’m sure lots of OAPs are doing that (holding engaging discussions with artistes about their music) but let’s make it a core requirement, task the A&R and labels to better groom their wards for quality interviews and public speaking with emphasis on the quality of the music being made.
In all, I’m quite happy that some really good music is still coming out of this region.