Is Your Song Fit For Radio? Power FM’s Music Director Becky Nantale Shares
It’s not an easy job to be in the position of either trashing or approving music from an artist. They spend a lot of time trying to put out the perfect sound, at the end of the day before reaching its destination to the fans one person stands in the way. The tough job of a music director/content manager is held by one Becky Nantale at one of the local radio stations called Power FM. She decides what makes it onto air or not. We reached out to her to speak on these mysterious things, that we think is important for all artists to know.
Hello, who are you and what do you do at Power FM?
My name is Nantale Rebecca, but am known as Becky…am the content manager/Music director. I do the afternoon drive show and power chart show. I receive music on Tuesdays 9-11am.
Radio business has its standards and people want to know what it takes for music to finally get onto air?
We have a lot to review corporately as the music industry. Personally I will like a song but will the industry like the music or I might not like it.
As a music director I put my feelings aside and follow the set standards and guidelines to fully examine the song…music is art and art is open to criticism, some people will like your art and others might not like it no matter how beautiful it is.
There is a set standard internationally not just for the Gospel art but for everyone, the music industry is a tough business, its where they will tear you down, kick you when you’re down, kill you and bury you…its cut throat business! They will not baby you!
So in the industry good music is in the content…it can be produced well, kudos to the producer, well mixed, kudos to the sound engineer, video is great, kudos to the director, if its sung well kudos to the artist, written well, kudos to the writer.
The model changes for Power FM, we look at the artist, who are you? We put a lighting torch on your life, because we are directing people to you and if people come and look for you and my God, we don’t want them to find you wanting.
When you come with your song, we find out if its radio worthy, if it’s the best song on your album, there is music that is meant for your friends, or in the car etc…it must be that song to point people to ur album, to your music.
Are you saying the words correctly, are you being able to communicate your message correctly.
The 2nd thing we look for is content.
My boss likes to tell me that “Not every good thing is a God thing, and not every God thing is a good thing”. Like people like to say “Mukama ayamaba abeyamba” meaning God Helps those who help themselves, but it’s not biblical not anywhere in the bible, so am here to find that out in the music.
As Power FM we want to know where are u being fed, how are you walking who are you accountable to.
I am an entertainer when I go out to the mainstream circles they know that am a Christian entertainer and they respect that, they know who I am.
So which artist are you, you should be able to draw the line. If your spirituality is wanting it’s not biblically wrong, the artist goes to a good church…but you listen to it but you’re fighting. I have a team of 5 people who help me to listen to the song, to help me decide.
We are an urban channel reggae, RnB, hip-hop, ac pop, rock and local, African incorporating any other genre. Our mandate is to uplift the standard of the Gospel music industry in Uganda.
Artists at times feel rejected when people tell them that their music is wanting, or is not good enough…
Some artists are just not serious, they really have to be able to master their art, people need to know how to morph their art. Someone cannot tell you to change your art, if you know your art. However if someone says that I don’t understand this part of your art, then You have to understand that person and see how to morph your art to suit them.
How about people who go for talent competitions, and are rejected? We just had a lot of that in the just concluded Airtel Trace Music Star?
They have rejected one presentation. It can be presented in so many other ways. Art is one thing that cannot be closeted. I was taught from childhood that not everyone is going to like what you are going to give.
You are not going to get everything in life, at least not the way you think. It’s just one way it has been refused, if you know this is the way you are supposed to be doing it to this end, find another way of packaging it. if people say you can’t enunciate properly, get a vocal coach, and come back and if they say production is bad, go and get another producer, do that until then when they say this is it.
Our artists have to wake up. I always tell them to be serious. Because the mainstream industry isn’t sleeping. Investors in the music business are coming in, the big record labels are coming to Africa, people don’t know that this continent is the next big thing for the music industry. These artists have to be ready.
Is there a certain form of guidelines for the Gospel music industry across the media outlets here in Uganda?
1. A radio song should be at least between 3 to 4 mins. Anything less than 2 minutes is little and more than 4 minutes, too much. That’s the universal standard.
2. It must be audible, I should be able to hear what the artist is saying.
3. The artist should be one of repute, at least UCC used to have that as a recommendation.
As music directors we know each other, and you know music changes every day…our job is tricky, we need to move with the trends, music can shift from reggae, to afro pop, to electronic dance music and back to hip hop.
If there is anything an artist should take out of this, what would it be?
One thing: God above all. Let Him be your guidance in everything you do.