Dear Nigerian Music Industry…

*Disclaimer- I don’t have any degree in music production, the culture of music neither do I have any knowledge of music marketing. However, I do have ears that love to listen to good music. Ears that love to dissect and stitch together good lyrics. Ears that definitely love to pick apart the different instruments in a beat.*

Oya, let’s go there…

Who wouldn’t instantaneously start dancing when “Kukere” by Iyanya starts playing? Or let’s say songs like Davido’s “All Of You,” and the big time “Like to Party,” by Burna Boy? (A couple weeks ago, that was the song I listened to second thing in the morning and second to the last thing before bed at night)

I love me some Nigerian songs. I look for the slightest opportunity to share them with my friends who aren’t Nigerians. I share almost any song from M.I, Asa, Tuface and Nneka. Some other folks I consider from time to time are Brymo, Flavour, Omawunmi, Banky W and Omawunmi. Don’t get me wrong, these are all great musicians.

The other day I got a text message from a friend of mine who is a British Virgin Islander whose second home is London. ( For the past couple years, he’s been staying in London during the summer and runs away as soon as winter shows its dry and cold face. lol. The Island boy can’t take the cold. Oh that’s by the way. He’s a musician by the way. and I’m sure you guys will love his music. He’s the lead singer of Blue Essence ) He was at a local bar here in the BVI and he heard a local DJ playing Oliver Twist by D’Banj. I felt so proud.

See, this friend knew it was a Nigerian song because, he’s heard it from radio stations in London and he’s interacted with me a lot to know Nigerian songs. But my guess is, 99 percent of the folks who were at the bar that night couldn’t tell where the song was from. That is if they were paying keen attention to the song. Oh well, maybe just like me, D’banj’s strong Nigerian accent may have led them to immediately think he had to be from “a country like Africa.”

I’ve shared some songs with my friends and mostly their reaction was “Oh that sounds so Americanized,” or “Did he just say ‘Yea Man?'” or “Is he trying to sound a bit Jamaican?” Mind you, these reactions were like “I’m sort of disappointed.”

I share the same sentiments as these folks sometimes. The music industry in Nigeria has come a long way. It has travelled slowly from days when we heard songs from legends such as Ebenezer Obey, Oliver De Coque, Osita Osadebe, Tilda (can’t remember her last name- She’s the voice behind the classic tune “Sweet Mother”) Fela and Dan Maraya. We’ve come from days of legends to days of some sort of legends like Wizkid, Davido, Skales, Ice Prince, Murna, Eva, Mo’Cheddah and believe it or not, Tonto Dikeh and Terry G and many more. (Not that there’s everything wrong with these folks. I love me some Ice Prince… I mean I almost have no choice. I’m a Jos girl for goodness’ sake)

As I said above, who wouldn’t listen to the latest Nigerian songs and begin to dance? But at the same time who wouldn’t listen to songs like “We are Loyal,” from Ebenezer Obey, or “Afro Juju,” from Sina Peters, and dance even more.

Two weeks ago, I was almost hooked on Burna Boy’s “Like to Party.” As much as I’ve grooved to that song, chances are, in three weeks, I won’t vibe to it anymore. But play any of those old school songs and I shall dance to them till the end of time. (by the way, who remembers Eva Edna with her “Wish You Happy Birthday song?” Mehn, if that song wasn’t being played at any birthday party, you’d think twice about going…lol)

Anyways, I can feel myself ranting (But wait I’ve been doing that from the get go.)

Oh well, If you’ve followed this post this far, you might as well just finish up shey?

Most of the people who I’ve shared Nigerian songs with, liked it but never loved it. Most of them were looking to hear something traditional.

Granted, cultural values all of the world are being lost. On the contrary though, lots of folks I come in contact with daily still believe Africa to have all those old “days of Adam and Eve,” cultural values…(I don’t blame them much if they rely heavily on international news to feed their curiosity…

Chei… Okay, I’m drifting away from my topic fast now…lol

My point is, I’m tired of the tumpam tumpam music now. Give me something I can listen to in 20 years. Something my children can look at as good music. I want to hear the music performed live. Not a bunch of guys with pants below their butts and dark shades at 12 p.m. lip synching to an over produced beat. I want to hear real life vocals not auto tune all the time. I want to see the ladies wear proper clothing again and not the skimpiest of clothing… I want to be able to share “traditional” music with my friends.

Well, on the bright side, I still have people like Asa, Nneka, M.I and Tuface to keep me musically sane when it comes to Nigerian music.

I don’t want any more “Crazically Fit”  songs or keep having “Free Madness” anymore.

Okay I’m done day dreaming…

This has been yet another senseless post…


21 thoughts on “Dear Nigerian Music Industry…

  1. I’m totally with u on dis 1,I’m sooo tired of listenin to different songs with 1 same beat or d same line in every1 song!if I hear ‘pop somethin’ in one more song,I think I’m goin to scream!!!!its really hrt breakin sha…I jst console myself with d thought dat d era of dis kind of music will soon fade out,it jst has to! Nice 1 by d way 🙂

    • Thanks!
      Nne, I feel you on the whole “Pop Something,” madness too oh… that thing is so annoying. I wonder how many of them have actually had proper champaign. I’m tired of them popping my perfect music bubble each time…lol If it’s not your waist they want, it’s your medicine they have…lol

  2. U are on point. Nigerian acts r not rily renowned for their voices, except for the likes of Omawumi, Tiwa Savage, Timi Dakolo, et al…still beats my imagination how Iyanya won Project Fame, cuz he’s not much of a vocalist. Maybe the competition wasn’t really based on vocals alone.
    Lyrically, Asa is amazing and has depth, even her vocal abilities are soulful

    • Can’t say I know much of Timi Dakolo’s songs. I should probably search and listen to his songs. Tiwa Savage is okay to me.. She use needs to stop trying so hard to be like Beyonce. I don’t know much about Project Fame either (Geeez… i’m so out of touch with these things)
      I’ll listen to Asa, anytime anyday…
      Thanks for clicking John!

  3. Well I agree with you, but we are in the “phase” of the azontos, alingos and alantas, a major part of the audience is just looking to dance, then we have the few who are interested in content, all the same tho Vou….. Lovely post 😀

    • Thanks David,
      But you see, IMO, the problem is, those hungry for azonto, alanta and the likes are constantly fed just that. Feed them good music and see if it doesn’t change… They consume what they get.

  4. I just can’t agree more to this….. Their sounds are great, but these are songs which cannot stand the test of time in accordance to our musical appetite.. Play Ara by Brymo now and u will see an unbelievable negative reactions from the same people who can jump from 10th floor because of it…. But why is it so? We really need to work on songs which can stay in our hearts and not songs which simply stimulate our hormones or emotions…
    None the less, just as u concluded, there are still a few with such character…. Tuface (True love, weting I go do, One love etc), Faze (originality, Need somebody), Paul Play (forever, Angel of my Life, beautiful love), and many of such…. I have such a collection I listen to and when my friends hear me do so, they laugh at me, but after spending just 2 minutes with me all they say is “Good memories” “lovely songs” “How can I forget such songs?” etc… So hopefully, we will get there… If Americans can love country music of the 50s, blues of the 60s, R & B of the 70s and 80s, soft hip hop of the 90s and early 00s, why not our highlife? But, I am sure we are getting there….
    Thanks for this wonderful piece Vou!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s