Tuesday, December 7, 2021

BOMU blames local artists snub on lack of airplay

Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) has blamed the snubbing of local artists for festivals on lack of radio airplay.

This comes after local artists recently took to social media to raise their displeasure that music promoters headline with international artists.

BOMU President Fresh Lesokwane said local radio stations continue to play international artists and thus giving them more mileage than local artists.

“International artists are given more airplay by our local radio stations and this obviously gives an impression that international music is in demand than local music, so until we fix that, that is when the recognition of local artists will improve,”

“We have raised this issue so many times that this international airplay by our radio stations is even giving these international artists our country’s tax payer’s money,” said Lesokwane.

He further said local music has grown over the years, adding that playing of local music by radio station disc jockeys can also help sell local musicians.

“I also want to advise local artists to produce music that is well liked by fans and that is how our content will also garner more attention.

He added that blaming music promoters for not headlining with local artists will not solve anything, stating that promoters are also running a business and they always pick the best to generate them money.

“Local artists also want to be played internationally so that they can be booked to perform in foreign countries but when we play a lot of international music that becomes hard for them to be recognized,” added Lesokwane.

Lesokwane also said the bilateral relations between countries has allowed cross border performances.

“There is little that local artists can do because even our government has signed bilateral relations with other countries and that gives foreign artists to dominate our space,” said Lesokwane.

Recently Lesokwane stated that they were now planning to meet local radio stations in an effort to show them the importance of playing local music, also saying that it is about time local radio stations realize that playing international music results in foreign artists getting more money than locals.

“We have also met with COSBOTS to help us understand why they continue paying local artists small amounts of money. They told us that the problem is from local radio stations and we also understand their viewpoint,” said Lesokwane.

He stated that it has been proven over the years that the large chunk of money collected from local stations goes to international musicians.

“This is really affecting us because we want support for the locals so that we can grow our music industry. This should be the opportune time for all stakeholders to come together to ensure that local airplay is given the much needed support considering that artists have been struggling since the outbreak of Covid-19,” said Lesokwane.

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