The controversy surrounding whether it’s prudent for a musician to pay payola to radio presenters and DJs or not has taken a new twist.
Payola is a local term in Ghana used to refer to monetary payments made by musicians and music producers to radio presenters or disc jockeys to persuade them to play a song constantly or put a song on heavy rotation on the radio.
While many who have benefited from the act are encouraging it, certified radio presenter Jonathan Abugbilla known monotonously as Ital is of the view that it should not be encouraged.
The Reggae show host on A1 Radio holds the strong intuition that payola is disingenuous and also compels presenters to put songs on rotation irrespective of how cacophonous or unappealing the songs may be sounding to listeners.
“I frown on it. When you accept money from an artiste, you let the artiste dictate your playlist because you have to play their songs whether you like them or not, so I don’t support the taking of payola.”
Mr. Ital said the above in an interview with Mr. Lexis on The Fuse, an online initiative by A1 Radio which helps promote the arts and culture of the Upper East Region. He was quick to add that “we know times are tough. Times are sticky.”
In this light, ace Ghanaian media personality and broadcaster, Fiifi Banson once appealed to owners of radio stations to improve the salaries of their presenters and DJs, to prevent them from taking ‘payola’ from musicians.