There’s a new radio station in Nairobi, 97.1FM which I stumbled across last week while surfing channels. I am not quite sure when exactly they started broadcasting but from the look of things, its still pretty new as they are just playing music throughout with a few infomercial breaks.
Despite being live for less a month, they have already proved to be miles ahead of many other stations that have been there for ages. Just a few minutes ago(and maybe, what inspired me most to write this post) is the fact that they already have a Ustream channel for those always on the net like me and for the whole world to tune in.
What caught my attention and has continued keeping tuned to this new station is their selection of music. You know how deep my love for Neo Soul, Jazz and African Music goes!(I feel it in my bones…..)
They are playing precisely that sort of music and not just your usual Erykah Badu, Maxwel, India Arie, not that I no longer like their music but most stations that purport to play ‘Neo Soul’ only play the afromentioned artists without realizing that the Neo Soul sub-genre has grown alot since the days of its pioneers. You will rarely hear music by the likes of Adrian Evans, Nneka, Ayo, Bilal, Fertile Ground, Laura Izibor, Wayna just to mention a few.
The same applies to African Music although Capital FM in its Saturday evening show does try to feature more artists than just Papa Wemba and Oliver Mtukudzi with his Todii song(did you know that Tuku has over 17 albums and most Kenyans only know this one song!… blame radio)
I give alot of Kudos to Jack Ojiambo for his knowledge and selection of Jazz music which he plays every Sunday evening. Unfortunately, someone at Capital felt that Classical Music was better than jazz thus reducing the Jazz show by 1hr to only 2hrs per week with Classical getting extra slots every evening. I guess its all about how much sponsorship a show gets to determine its time on air. enuff with the ranting.
I guess God did hear the prayer of many like me who even dared hope that one day there would be a radio station that would play the combination of good Neo Soul, Jazz and African music.
If the way they have started is anything to go by, then I can assure you that this will be one great station for mature listeners who know what they want from music.
There is however only one small issue I have with the station, why play the same Soul music that is Classic FM’s forte? wouldn’t they be better off playing the good old Soul music with the likes of Smokey Robinson, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Percy Sledge and the sort that made Motown a legendary Record Label! This would make alot of sense as its this legends of Soul that inspired the current breed of Neo Soul Artists(See the videos below if in doubt)
Currently, the station is playing alot of Soul music with some cross over tracks to RnB (I pray they don’t venture into RnB as we already have Easy for that)but on weekends they do play a very good selection of African Music. I must admit that most of the songs played were fresh to my ears which means that, they have really done their homework.
I am still not sure who the station belongs to as they do not have a website yet but I did notice that one, Rama Nyang who was previously at Radio Africa is one of the presenters.
Lets hope that their music preference will not change after luring listeners in.