By: Aisha Gallion
“You are now listening to Minnesota’s Twin Cities Radio, the best music from around the world,” a deep voice chimed in.
Power Hour Logo, Courtesy of Mr. Music
Upon first listening to the Power Hour on MNTC Radio, I was struck by the natural flow and progression of the songs. Not that every song sounded the same as much as it’s a smooth listening experience. Listeners will also notice that much of these artists are ones they may not know. Power Hour on MNTC Radio is an indie music station that is “curated, produced, and recorded in a professional studio in South Minneapolis in Minnesota,” as stated by the host Ethan “Mr. Music” Horace. Mr. Music works alongside Crystal Meisinger the Project Manager, Derrick Mayes Jr. the Director of music and PR, and Zachara Ormsby the Station Assistant. Part of the goal of this station is to not only expose the general public to indie music but also spread the music to gamers in their partnership with the platform Gamerized Music. That partnership connects video game streamers to indie artists.
Ethan “Mr. Music” Horace, Courtesy of Mr. Music
The FM radio stylization of the podcast makes those of us that are still quarantining regularly, feel as if we are not in the house, but cruising around in our cars. Every now and again one will hear Mr. Music’s friendly voice, but without the continual interruptions of gregarious radio personalities, listeners are left to create a stronger sense of appreciation for the music (genres span the gamut: folk, pop, Afrobeats, R&B, etc.). The Power Hour doesn’t discriminate in regard to appreciation either; meaning this indie music is from across the U.S. and around the world.
Music Player Magazine (MPM) had the awesome opportunity to ask the host, Mr. Music (MM) some questions about this syndication that happens to be featured on iHeartRadio. Here’s what Mr. Music had to say.
MPM: Hi Mr. Music! How did this show get started and what made you want to go with an FM radio format?
MM: I found out in June of this year that iHeartRadio decided to syndicate my Power Hour to their platform. I knew it was a time to not only do a show that would be beneficial to the best indie artists alike, but also a show format that represented the iHeartRadio brand well. That’s why I decided to go with an FM sounding format. I also did research and saw there are no other podcasts playing all music like a format as such. Once I put that together I was ready to move forward. Something else was the old Power Hour had mainly Minnesota artists. This new version has Minnesota artists and artists from around the world.
MPM: I see. So, as this is a platform that promotes indie artists, what artists have you all featured on Power Hour?
MM: There are so many artists I’ve played but since this is an opportunity to shed some extra light on them via press, I’m going to have to highlight some who have been getting great rotation and putting out great content. Yogishine from Norway, Sinikka Monte currently residing in Austria, Jaspen out of Florinda, Soda Supreme out of Minnesota, B. Morgan from Bronx NYC, and Soflogrizz currently in Miami definitely deserve some mentions.
MPM: How do you see this platform growing? If y’all do, what other goals do you have in mind for this show?
MM: Since the platform has been growing it seems to be known as not only the new premiere radio/podcast to support artists but we are also getting a name to be more open to playing female music and LGBTQ artists’ music. So, that’s a message I want to be spread as we grow. Another goal is to start the TV version of the show and start giving back to communities via the show and its resources. If anyone wants to donate to us, they can via cash app at $PowerHourMNTC.
MPM: I see on your Twitter that you gave airplay to a song that addressed the recent murder of George Floyd. What do you think your show is providing for people during these times?
MM: It really took time for me to understand that this show was making artists feel great to have their music heard. Personally, I feel I just have a good ear for music and that it was just going to be just another podcast. With people being able to have their music heard during a time of racial injustice is strong for my African American culture and even for other cultures who are impacted by the situation and COVID as well.
To that end, the Power Hour on MNTC Radio is recorded at KFAI FM in Minneapolis, who according to Mr. Music, “has opened their doors up and have been more open to catering shows by Black hosts since the George Floyd tragedy as one of their ways to continue their community mission.”
During a time like this, it is beyond pertinent that KFAI FM in Minneapolis continues to uphold their mission to “foster values of social justice.” Even more so, having a mini escape like Mr. Music and his team’s Power Hour on MNTC Radio is one of the best ways to spend time hearing from new international and national voices in music.