Gameli Hamelo talks to YFM and Etv’s Giovani Caleb on hosting the ‘Late Night Celebrity Show’, music, YFM, where he is Programmes Manager and the challenges that come with the job.
Read full text below.
How’s the experience been like so far on The Late Night Celebrity Show?
It’s been normal. I mean, I’ve always been a fan of the show so I think it makes me fill in quite easily. It’s got its own challenges but we’ve blended in good and I’m thinking we’ve not been too bad.
What are those challenges you referred to?
Mostly technical and internal so I don’t have to really talk about those. People are still getting used to the new time; you know it used to be 10 0’clock now its 9:30. And we kind of changed the face of the show a little bit, so for now it’s good. It’s just a few months into it; we’ve been good so far.
Do you think your guests understand that appearing on TV for interviews could be a way of getting across to their fans?
I won’t say it’s because they understand being on TV as a way of reaching their fans. I think it depends on how well the host gets them to talk. You know not too many people … people might have a lot to say but it depends on the line of questioning and I think I kind of make the platform easier for you to say a lot even though I might be meeting you for the very first time. I kind of have a way of making you opening up, letting you spit it all out. I think it’s something I have noticed about myself that comes naturally. I’m naturally a chatty person so I know how to get the stuff out of you.
Let’s talk radio: A few weeks ago, Miss Naa quit Y FM, were you guys surprised?
No, we were not. She had to leave based on personal issues which management understands very well. It comes at every point in our lives so we were kind of prepared for it. We were not very surprised; it was sooner than we thought. It was supposed to be later in the year but we are okay.
Yourself and Jay Foley are sitting in as temporary hosts; do you have an idea when a permanent host will be chosen?
Do you have any names in mind that management is considering?
I will simply say just watch out for it; there might not be any names but as you know our core mandate is to bring out the best in the youth so we might just…
Is he/she going to be an in-house person or an outsider?
Just watch out for it. Just watch out for a new face for the morning show. It might be a whole new team all together so just watch out for it.
The ‘new’ Live FM is being positioned to compete with you guys , for want of a better word, are you guys worried or you up for the competition?
Worried? No. I’d rather appreciate the competition coming on. We’ve enjoyed some sort of monopoly over the years, for the past six years; I’m thinking it’s just right that we get some competition. Well, I’ve also heard rumors like that but until they come, we will never know what they have up their sleeves. I’d say we are also positioning ourselves to ensure that we still maintain our glory in that sense but we just welcome them on board.
Radio is becoming interesting these days, some of us appreciate that. We are witnessing the future of radio now so it’s a good look.
You know whenever there is a new radio station; there is the tendency of staff of existing radio stations being poached, do you look forward to the possibility of some Y FM guys moving to the new station?
I will never know what someone is thinking at this very moment but let us just say we’ve got our back up plans. For now, we are just being careful, we are being strategic and we just wish them (Live FM) the best. That’s all I can say about that.
As the Programs director of Y FM, you have lots of young people send you music to listen to and possibly play on air. Do you think there are talented musicians or most of these guys are just interested in being a one hit wonder and moving on with their lives without pursuing music fully as a career?
Like I keep saying every time, talents come in, day in, day out. Gradually, radio is losing that power to make hits. What I usually do is – to create my playlist, I go on the internet, get the songs myself, listen and I make my playlist. Those who bring it to me as well, I listen and if it’s something I want to play… It’s solely an individual thing, I wouldn’t be in charge of what Sammy Forson will play, that’s how come his playlist would be different from mine. I won’t be in charge of what Vision or Kess will play so it’s a totally individualistic playlist.
I’m sure it will get to the time when we have to introduce the play-listing here in Ghana and the whole royalty issue, you know, where you mature on that stage and people will get to submit their content for us to review and it becomes more like a station policy to promote. Things are changing on radio so people don’t … you never know.
Are there any talented non mainstream guys that are not getting that support?
There are quite a number of them and most of them are actually dancehall artistes. A lot of the talented new artistes coming up right now are dancehall artists. Some of them have learnt well, I presume and they are coming so hard and they are getting the street credibility; I think that’s the whole idea. The streets are endorsing their own and radio is picking it up from there, it used to be the reverse.
Do you look forward to a situation where non mainstream guys would win awards over the mainstream guys because of their talent and not popularity or radio rotation?
It will be a day of joy. I’m gradually looking forward to that day but currently with the structure of our awards scheme in Ghana, it will be a difficult thing. Unless of course, something happens, a misfortune happens to some of these big names and they get on there.
The structure is continuously making the bigger names bigger and the smaller names smaller. I’m sure it’s a good thing they’ve introduced the ‘Unsigned’ where upcoming artistes that enjoy some fan base get to have an opportunity to perform on the big stage on the night and I’m sure it’s just their own small way of promoting this and I’m sure if stakeholders in that vain continue to promote events that afford the opportunity like Y FM Area Code, its solely an underdog festival if I should put it that way , so most of the people that come there are fresh talents – people you don’t really know and three, four or five main artists to headline it. If we all come together as an industry looking at the way of promoting some of these young guys, I’m sure we will go places.
The Music Awards is coming up next month, who do you think would win the most awards?
2014/2015 has been a very busy year musically, and I think one artiste I totally respect for his hard work under the year in review is Stonebwoy. He’s really worked; he’s played the most shows last year. I was thinking it was going to be Castro but you and I know what’s happened to Castro. For me, Stonebwoy, he’s worked very hard. After Stonebwoy, maybe Sarkodie but then yeah, the monopoly, the big names getting bigger issues comes up again.