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Media personality Larry Asego: Why radio has changed so much

Media personality Larry Asego says radio presenters need to innovate or die because the radio landscape has changed a lot.

The former Kiss FM radio presenter spoke to Nairobi News about how different the landscape is now compared to when he ruled the airwaves.

Larry explained: “Media, in general, has changed. Radio has changed even more. Radio started to fragment a while ago when people started getting more particular. You rarely find a radio station that plays all genres of music.

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“Right now, when you have stations that focus on reggae, soul music for different groups, it has fragmented to meet the needs of the audience. Especially an audience that has access to music without necessarily going through the radio, so the content you are talking about is now the presenters that make the station. Not just the music, but the personality on air that makes the station. And you have to be as creative as possible”.

He added: “Either you adapt and change or you die.

Larry also pointed out that radio stations are adopting a more visual means of reaching audiences.

“Radio is no longer audio. There are a lot of visuals because nowadays, you have live recordings that are streamed online or on whatever platform, so you can actually see what the presenters are doing and saying.

He noted: “This gives you the opportunity for advertising and placement in the studio context, but it has evolved. So you evolve with it or you die. So we have to respond immediately to what the audience needs. So if somebody wakes up at 6am and wants to hear Tina Turner, you better give them that or they will tune out and go to somebody who will give them Tina Turner.”

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US singer Tina Turner sings during her performance at the Macy’s Passport ’97 fund raiser and fashion show 18 September in San Francisco, CA. The show is to raise funds and awareness for the AIDS virus. Rock legend Tina Turner, the growling songstress who electrified audiences for decades, died May 24, 2023, at the age of 83 after a long illness. (Photo by MONICA DAVEY / AFP)


He concluded: “So it’s adapt, change or fade away. The audience has a lot of choices now.

Paying tribute to the music icon, who died at 83, Larry said: “She was a legend in her own right. When you hear about Tina Turner, the first thing that comes to mind is the powerful voice, the legs, the hair and most importantly, the energy when she performs.”

He continued, “She has the energy of 6 people on stage together. How many people can sing with that soulful, deep, rich voice? She performed like there was no tomorrow, and it was in all her songs.
There’s a video of her running over a bridge in high heels, and I’m like, my goodness. And she is not out of breath and performs the song perfectly. She is a legend, and people will celebrate her more. She was the queen of her craft.”

Larry will host his second-ever one-man stand-up show after a three-year hiatus dubbed Laugh N To Hold on June 9, 2023, at Alliance Francaise. Tickets go for Ksh 1500.

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