Singer vocal against ‘payola’

Rhythm and blues crooner Brian Temba has hit out at music moguls‚ accusing them of destroying the local music industry by bribing radio stations to play their music.

The Sama award-winning musician released a new album last month‚ entitled UnABC, and has been working hard to promote it.

Although the initial single‚ Lost Without You‚ got a good amount of radio airplay and charted at number one on Gagasi FM‚ his two follow-up singles from the album have received very little coverage.

His management said they were concerned and suspected that something sinister might have been at work.

“It is not because of a lack of promotion. We have tried, but albums that were released around the same time are receiving radio play while Brian’s latest singles are not‚” Temba’s manager, Motlatsi “Moz” Motseoile, said.

Temba was a little more direct in his response to the perceived snub‚ accusing music bosses of ruining the industry by illegally paying for music to be playlisted – a practice commonly known as payola.

“I get scared sometimes because of this industry of music. You have music moguls killing our industry by paying to be playlisted on high rotation and sometimes real music gets overshadowed by bubblegum music‚” Temba said in a heartfelt Facebook post on Monday.

He said he had reflected on his music and fans’ response to his new album and was proud of his achievements‚ but was a little disheartened.

“If I was weak‚ I would quit [music]‚” he said.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said the broadcaster took accusations of payola seriously and was committed to ensuring the practice did not take place.

He said playlists were decided by each station according to what they felt was appropriate for their audience.

“If your music fits the criteria‚ it will be playlisted‚” Kganyago said.

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