Why? Local music is not played on radio

Radio stations in the Cayman Islands should play local
music and if they aren’t why not?

There are however, a few different reasons why only a
small amount is played.

Firstly,
some programme directors such as Ben Maxwell of spin FM, a station under the
umbrella of the Paramount Group of companies, said, “Many times it is a matter
of whether the material we are getting suits the format of the particular
station. When it does, as in the case with acts such as the iZ and other locals
that coordinate with our format, we are happy to play those tracks.”

Mr.
Maxwell added that he was a huge fan of artists like the Barefoot Man and Andy
Martin, but pointed out that this style of music would simply not fit the
format at Spin FM.

Another
issue is how we define local music. Are we really saying, “music that is
produced locally,” or is it “music that is produced by locals?”

This
can get tricky ,for instance, some visitors came to record their music in
Cayman, so is it then local music?

One of
the main reasons local music does not get played is because its category and
style has not been defined and then selectively placed among complimentary
programming.

Once
this is done, however, another barrier for local artists hoping to have their
music played is quality, according to most radio DJs.

“If the
track sounds competitive and is of an audible quality that bespeaks
professionalism in the production stages of the offering, then it really is a
no-brainer. Water will always seek its own level,” said on air DJ Super C.

Some DJs even suggested that there were bands who were
complaining about not getting airplay in their home country, who were not
actually/ necessarily in their home country in the Cayman Islands and affirmed:
”If its local, then let it be local in all of its aspects, or else don’t call
it local and ask us to play it simply on the merit of this – often times –
subjective conclusion.”

According
to the Cayman Music and Entertainment President Jean Eric Smith, there was a
memorandum of understanding signed by most radio stations in the Cayman Islands
two and a half years ago, stipulating that the stations would play one local
song for every hour of musical programming.

“One
problem we encountered with this was that there was not enough music being
produced locally and so there was not a steady enough supply of music to keep
the local programming current and essentially meet demand.”

One
bright spot for local music and musicians has been Radio Cayman, which
according to senior account executive at Radio Cayman, Mr. Nikolai Hill, does
feel it has a responsibility to the people and “the first time many local
artists hear themselves on radio is on our station.”

“About
half of our content is local music, and my advise to aspiring artists would be
to not be bashful about bringing their work to be played,” said Nikolai. 

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