Mavado, Serani in rotation on New York's Hot 97
Dancehall artistes Mavado and Serani will be blazing up the airwaves in New York after having songs added to Hot 97’s regular playlist.
According to www.rap.about.com, Hot 97 is one of the most popular radio stations in the urban area. The station broke barriers by becoming the world’s first hip hop-formatted radio station in 1994. Known for breaking new artistes and setting trends, the station features an on-air line-up that includes award-winning mixers, personalities, and artistes.
Mavado’s So Special and Serani’s No Games, both on the popular ‘Unfinished Business’ rhythm, produced by TJ Records, have been added to daytime rotation by the station’s programme director.
When THE STAR contacted the station’s assistant programmes manager and music director, Jill Strada, she confirmed that the songs were in regular rotation. According to Strada, Hot 97 has a listernership of 1.25 million persons in the United States.
Serani and Mavado aren’t the only dancehall artistes to have been played on the station but are the two most current ones.
Strada explained that last summer saw more reggae/dancehall artistes being included on the station’s playlist. Unlike Jamaica, where artistes can bring songs to the radio stations for the selectors to play, Hot 97 goes through a process of song selection. Strada explained: “Basically, the process starts from a street level. Our DJs have their ears to the streets to see what’s popping in reggae, then they go to the clubs to see which songs are playing there before it’s played on the station in our reggae rotation.”
Strada emphasised that getting on the station’s rotation would give both artistes exposure among the West Indian community of which the station has a large following.
Strong as ever
In a release sent out by Julian Jones-Griffith, manager for both artistes, he commented: “It’s been a while since dancehall has had a song in rotation on commercial radio in the US. So, to have both records added at the same time endorses that dancehall is still as strong as ever. We put in a lot of hard work to make this happen, and if it wasn’t for people like Jabba and Mister Cee up at HOT 97, and Johnny Wonder, this wouldn’t have happened.”
Since both tracks are on the same beat, the station mixes them. Serani and Mavado got rave reviews for their appearances at the HOT 97 On Da Reggae Tip event held recently in New York. Mavado will be dropping his sophomore album, Mr Brooks – a Better Tomorrow for VP Records in November and will be making a triumphant return to New York on October 25 at Club Amazura. Serani continues to put out new songs with Naked and Whine My Girl.