Its been a year and half since the SABC decided to scrap its controversial 90/10 local music policy introduced under the disastrous leadership of former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng. At the time, many a radio station, public broadcast stations in particular, claimed to have already prioritised local music on their playlists. Public broadcast and community radio stations have long met ICASA’s 60/40 local music policy. A look at Radio Monitor‘s Top 10 most played songs on radio this year gives us a glimpse into where our local content is going;
A total nine out of the ten most played songs on radio this year are South African, with only John Legend’s A Good Night making a foreign cameo.
House music dominates the chart; half the chart is pure house music, some pop and afro pop. Kwesta’s Spirit is the only ‘hip-hop’ song on the chart, even then, the Spirit Chaser sampled production makes the song more of a house song than pure hip-hop.
In terms of publishing, only two songs are indie releases, with Sony and Universal equally sharing the spoils. The overly romanised independent label route is not as rosy as its made out to be.
Now to look at the actual chart, Lady Zamar’s Collide was the most played song on radio with 9704 spins across 101 stations, spending 41 weeks on the chart. Prince Kaybee’s Club Controller remained a force this year, coming in second and Shekhinah’s Suited closing the top 3 with Suited. Shekhinah is the only artist with two songs on the Top 10 with Please Mr coming in at 7.
Black Coffee’s Drive is the youngest song on the chart, coming in at 8 yet only spending 14 weeks on the chart.
Holly Rey’s Deeper and Sun-EL Musician’s Bamthathile round up top 10 as the only independently released songs on the chart.
Here’s the chart below;
What this chart tells us is that, although it can be done as an indie, to make it on radio, you need the might of a major label.