Problems with thatmusic quota plan
I see that the Minister wants to force the radio stations to play 50 per cent local music. That sounds very patriotic and all, but I wonder if he thought about the stations' survival.
First of all, what is to guarantee that Machel Montano and SuperBlue don't make up about 90 per cent of that 50 per cent local media air-time? It is only to be expected that stations will promote those songs that are most liked in order to keep their listeners.
Another problem is, just how much music was made to be played outside of the Carnival season? What doesn't have jump, wine, raise yuh flag or the word "Carnival" in it? You may find some, but you will be hard-pressed. I know some of you will claim that calypso has none of that and is nation-building, right? That may be true, but it can't be denied that calypso is a dying art form.
Most young people (the people who listen to radio most) are more interested in soca. The only calypsoes that might appeal to them are those of days past — and that appeal will be temporary.
Lastly, I think that everybody is neglecting the fact that young people have many ways of listening to exactly what type of music they want to hear — via cellphones, PDAs, laptops and so on. Nobody really has to listen to the radio for musical entertainment anymore. Mr Minister, before you cause radio stations to shut down (remember Iwer George and his radio station? He had to adjust due to the failing ratings for his mostly local music promotion) I suggest that you first up the ante for the songs that you want played over the radio.
Shabba De Leon