Are Wizkid, Davido and Olamide the ‘Holy Trinity’ of Nigerian music?

 

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The obvious answer to this question would be yes.  But if you still doubt this, read what NET chief correspondent Dayo Showemimo wrote about them in his article published on March 11, 2016.

“You don’t need to be a prophet to see how the trio of Olamide, Wizkid and Davido have dominated the Nigerian pop scene in the last 3 years and the fear that their dominance MAY continue for a long time has been expressed is some quarters.

Just so you don’t get bored with ramblings and thoughts of a pundit, let’s call on the NUMBERS to help out (as they say, numbers don’t lie).

Between the 3 of them, they have;

8 Albums

7 Endorsement deals

22 Years of Professional Career

66 Awards

54 Collabos: Between the 3 of them, they have featured on 54 songs in 6 months (Between October 2015 to March 2016)

And of-course they have countless HIT songs to their credit.”

How have these 3 musicians emerged as the top 3 musicians in the country presently? I say it’s down to their recognition of trends, building on those trends and putting in even more than the required amount of work, and strategic thinking has helped Baddo, O.B.O and Starboy claim their place at the top.

 

Where are Nigeria’s Female Rappers?

 

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I’m writing this article not as a writer or journalist, but as a fan who is sad and disappointed at the current state of female rappers in our music industry. Gone are the days where the likes of Sasha, Kel, BOUQUI, Muna and Blaise held sway at the top of the female rap food chain.

The last I heard, Sasha now concentrates on her budding shoe design business- Eclectic by Sasha and as for Blaise who hands down was the best lyricist among the lot, no one seems to know what she is up to. Kel was more of a flash in the pan rapper. After the mega success of her single Wa Wa Alright everything seemed to go downhill. Her fight with her Clarence Peters led record label didn’t help too. She now works with Cool TV.

Muna never convinced me that she had what it takes to survive in this industry. Maybe it was her modelling background or the kind of music she put out, she just never did it for me. And judging from the trajectory of her short lived music career, this was the general consensus amongst majority of Nigerian music lovers.

BOUQUI showed early signs of genius. Even though she focused mainly on Gospel music, she still released songs that everyone could vibe to. In recent times however, her output has dwindled. Some say her move back to the U.S.A may be responsible. She deserves some plaudits though because via her Unstoppable Rap Competition, she may have found in (Greatman, winner of the competition) the next star of Gospel rap.

Our current crop of ‘Femcees’ are just there. If I was to pick one that stood out, Eva Alordiah comes to mind. Eva’s rise to the top had the makings of a fairytale. Yes, she put in the required work, but some still feel the position she enjoys now boils largely down to luck. I say its her understanding of how the entertainment industry works that is responsible. You see, Eva understands that the 21st century Nigerian entertainer cannot be ‘one sided’ if he or she wants to be truly successful. We now have people who we thought were just singers producing hit tracks, Singers transforming into businessmen/women, singers transforming into good actors and video directors etc. In Eva’s case, the music is still a big part of her but she is also a successful makeup artist, model and writer. If you cannot recall any hit song of hers, then you must have seen her makeup works, or read an article of hers. These different parts of her help keep in her in the public eye.

Another Femcee that is attempting to carve a niche for herself is Mz Kiss.  The Capital Hill signed artist has jumped on the indigenous rapper train and only time would tell how far she goes.

Splash is another female indigenous rapper that has some buzz around her. Despite her new deal with Mbong Amata’s Bong House record label, I’m still waiting for her to outdo 2013 hit Church Agbasa.

Many are of the opinion that the Nigerian music industry does not favour female rappers. This is simply not true. The problem remains that most of the Femcees have refused to adapt to the realities on ground. Hardcore rap or punch line heavy songs do not get played on radio or anywhere else as much as the pop infused rap tracks. The likes of M.I, Olamide, Phyno, Vector and even Illbliss have realised this and tweaked their songs to fit the status quo. That is why they can compete and perform on any stage like their colleagues who are more grounded in the pop genre. The same thing can be said of Nicki Minaj.

So for anyone hoping to make it as a female rapper in this part of the world, it’ll do you good to know what you want and how far you are willing to go in order to get it music wise.  Forget the trappings, forget the drama, and forget the lies. Hardwork, ingenuity and resilience are the only guarantee for success.

Perhaps It’s Time For Mavins to Try Something Different

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First there was Dorobucci, then came Oga Titus, followed by Jantamanta and most recently, Mungo Park. What do all these songs have in common apart from the fact that they were all released by Mavin records artistes? You could call them ‘corny’ and you won’t be wrong.

Don Jazzy is a genius. Let me state that clearly. His exploits in the Nigerian entertainment industry are second to none. But some of the songs that he and his team at Mavin have been churning out recently leave a lot to be desired.

One cannot blame the Mavins though. Corny songs have a way of resonating with Nigerians. We dance to them in clubs; we play them at our ceremonies even at sober events like burials. The Mavins have probably realized this hence the predominant style of music they put out. Having found success with Dorobucci, Don Jazzy and his Mavin team probably decided that this was the path to follow. Almost all the songs they put out after that had the same tempo.

This in itself is a good decision but at the same time, Don Jazzy should have seen the handwriting on the wall after the release of Jantamanta. I mean, this song was dead on arrival. The video did not help matters. Even the starring role of popular Nollywood actor Imeh ‘Okon’ Bishop in the video of Oga Titus could not save the song from also crashing.

One might say the music style of the Mavins is working judging by the social media attention the songs mentioned above have gotten but I beg to differ.

The average Nigerian music lover is wants to hear more than the current crop of commercial sounds that are constantly in our faces.  There exists other genres of music our musicians can explore. Most of them even have songs like this but the fear of the ‘Nigerian market’ syndrome won’t let them release the songs.

These days, some are of the opinion that the Mavins as a collective unit have lost their music appeal because of the rate at which they put out cheesy songs. Some even claim that they can predict the kind of song each artiste on the roster may put out. This should not be the case.

One of the things that endeared Don Jazzy to and the defunct Mo Hits crew to fans back in the day was the fact that no one knew what they were up to music wise. There was always excitement in the air whenever D’banj, Wande Coal, Dr Sid or even D’Prince announced a new song that excitement has been lost today in the Mavins.

With the number of talented artistes Mavin records has on its roster, perhaps it is time for them to switch things up.

Photo Credit: Obi Somto Photography

Nollywood Stars and Their Misguided Musical Careers

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All over the world, true entertainers are considered to be those that have the ‘triple threat.’ Meaning they can sing, dance and act. When such an entertainer has these 3 traits, he or she is considered to be well rounded in the industry.

We’ve seen many musicians delve into the acting world. It is easy for them because they already do some form of acting in their music videos. But for actors who want to become musicians, the transition is not that easy.

The misguided musical careers of the celebrities listed below are a testament to this fact.

Saint Obi

This veteran Nollywood actor is the latest to seek out a career in music. He recently established a record label ‘Agwhyte music’ and released 3 singles You & I, Imagine and Sarakute. I’ve been very hesitant about listening to his songs primarily because I do not want to be disappointed. The record his colleagues from Nollywood have when it comes to music is not encouraging me to listen to any of his stuff.

Genevieve Nnaji

Genny puts the B in beautiful. A talented actress and a force to reckon with in Nollywood, it came as a surprise when she dropped a song titled ‘No more.’ We tried to like the song and in all fairness it carried a strong message of women empowerment but the delivery and by this, I mean the person singing the song was not impressive at all. And since Nigerians don’t forget easily I’m sure she still gets shaded for partaking in that ‘stunt.’ Even though she claimed she got paid by a brand to release the song and its accompanying video. Publicity or not, that’s a stunt she should never partake in again.

Jim Iyke

AKA ‘The bad boy of Nollywood.’ Jim has a repertoire of very aggressive love roles under his belt, Naturally one is forced to wander why someone with that kind of reputation would delve into music. This question remains unanswered even as I write this article. His debut single ‘Who am I’ which featured 2face never really captured who he was. The song was more of a rhetorical question and God bless 2face’s heart for jumping on that track but even with all his clout in the musical world, 2baba couldn’t save the 5min long track.

Omotola Jalade

Delectable mother of 4, impeccable actress and humanitarian. Omo Sexy’s list of accolades is plenty but unfortunately, musician is not one of them. She even released an album and her most successful single off the album in my opinion was Naija Lo Wa which was a feel good jam but then that was it. Every other attempt was easily forgettable. In her reality series Omotola: The Real Me, we see her going to some big music studios in USA and also meeting with music execs but none of that has translated into another single. This may not be such a bad thing.

Desmond Elliot

I don’t know why he even considered it. Talk more of actualizing it. The current Honorable representing Surulere in the Lagos House of Assembly once released a gospel song. I even feel he lip synced in the video but I won’t add to his grief about it because he was ‘publicly shamed’ by AY the comedian at a comedy show so I rest my case.

Tonto Dike

The only thing the music business got her was the fact that it made her Nigeria’s most controversial celebrity (term is used loosely) so I guess she doesn’t need a fantastic octave to achieve that feat.

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This post originally appeared on writer Callilope’s blog suyaandashow.wordpress.com

Recognizing a Wack Song: 10 Phrases to Look Out For

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My being a Nigerian youth makes me an authority in identifying wack songs. So I write this article based on the experience I’ve garnered listening to the ‘junk’ which most Nigerian musicians churn out these days in the name of songs. Here are 10 tips which will aid the average listener in identifying a wack song or ‘non hit wonder.’

1) ‘Girl Shake your asset/ukwu/bum bum/baka/ booty or, the way you they wine’
This phrase is self explanatory. So I’ll just go to the next.

2) ‘Before dem they call me monkey’
Dear artiste, you probably look like a monkey, and people are just stating things the way they see it, don’t take it personal, don’t feel slighted and please don’t use it in a song. It’s plain monkeish.

3) ‘The girls now call me honey’
This goes hand in hand with ‘before they call me monkey’. Totally stupid phrase. So predictable also. Has been so overused no one can stand it anymore, please stop. No more abeg.

4) ‘Ibadi ni jo wa
It’s like other parts of the body do not matter to our musicians. They all seem to focus on the butt. One can blame them though; God knew what he was doing when he created that part of the body. But someone needs to ask our artistes to focus on another part of the body. Ask us to dance with our elbows or something…

5) ‘Baby’
We can allow this since it is better than hoes or bitches. Some of us are getting tired of most musicians referring to every girl as ‘baby’ its no longer cool.

6) I can die for you
This is obviously a lie. After Jesus Christ, there is absolutely no human being that can die as a result of the romantic feelings he or she has for someone. This stated, I see no reason why this in should be included in any song.

7) I pop bottles/champagne/Moet/Hennessey e.t.c
There is this clip making the rounds of a wannabe music star shooting a video and one of the models ‘mistakenly’ popped a bottle of champagne that they were showcasing. The star’s reaction was priceless! As in, I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. The so called star immediately went ballistic! Accusing the model of trying to ruin him because apparently, he borrowed the bottles and he was supposed to return them untouched. Alas, some of our musicians are in the class of the star in the story above. If you can’t afford to pop the Hennessey you shamelessly mention in your songs, abeg leave that line out. It’s not by force.

8) I get money/mula/pepper/dollars/pounds
Sigh… Another obvious point. On to the next one.

9) All ma lay lay lay lay lay lay lay ladies
When the first musician used this phrase, it was kinda cool. But when every Tom ,Dick and Harry started infusing it in his or her song, it became un cool. Dear copy copy artiste, find your own phrase and stick with it.

10) Unnecessary rhyming
This is not a phrase per say, but when a musician rhymes likes this:
“My girl uses the best cream
So I had to reward her with ice cream
Then off we went to the stream
Living out our lives like it’s a dream”
What else can you do but judge the musician, the song, his record label and those affiliated with him as wack?

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This post originally appeared on writer Callilope’s blog suyaandashow.wordpress.com