Mr. Eazi released Life is Eazi Vol. 1, Iyanya dropped Signature, YCEE put out First Wave and some fans are referring to these projects as albums.
While these projects are compilations of songs, and they share a number of other features with what is generally known as ‘studio albums’, it is important to point out that they are not studio albums. Rather, they are called EPs, an abbreviation for Extended Play.
Studio albums on the other hand, are referred to as LP, meaning, Long Play. It is quite easy to confuse an EP for a LP, especially with the wave of EP releases sweeping across the Nigerian music industry. From the many musical projects in the market, some fans struggle to see the line of distinction between an EP and a LP.
In very simple terms, an EP is a body of work containing more than one song but does not contain enough songs to be classified as a studio album. Usually EPs contain about 4 to 9 songs; a good example is YCEE’s First Wave project, which had 8 constituent songs. A musical project could also be classified as an EP on the basis of its length. An EP is expected to be between 25 to 40 minutes in length.
Studio albums are considered full albums. More people are familiar with this kind of musical project. They usually contain a minimum of 10 tracks, and the length of play is usually upwards of 40 minutes. On an average, fans expect that within the space of two to three years, all things considered, a new LP from their favourite artiste should be in the stores. However, this is not a standard principle. In some cases album releases could be more frequent while some could take longer. While an album is being compiled; singles, videos, mixtapes, EPs are some of the ways artistes entertain their fans.
In the same way EP and LP are wrongly interchanged, people sometimes mix-up mixtapes for EPs, but a mixtapes is another category of musical projects which could contain original or unoriginal works of the artiste. For a lot of artistes, mixtapes are seen as freebies, as the idea behind the release of a mixtape is not profit, rather, artistes use it to grow their fan base. M.I’s Illegal Music series or Show Dem Camp’s Clone Wars are good examples.
Contrary to how it is generally perceived, mixtapes and EPs are not limited to the rap community. Artistes making other genre of music get to release mixtapes and EPs. A perfect type of a non-rap EP is War put together by the clique of Odunsi & Nonso Amadi. The RnB/Soul singing duo put together an amazing 4 track long EP, which is helping them grow their reach in the circle of music lovers inside and outside of Nigeria.
With the observable growth that the Nigerian music industry is experiencing, artistes are constantly looking for new and better ways to entertain their fans. This is why they go on to compile different musical project to achieve specific goals. The fact that a lot of these projects are available to the fans, with little clarity on their differences, could cause confusion for some fans. It is therefore necessary to identify the different musical projects available and their distinguishing feature as is done in this article.
This article was written by Ibironke Oluwatobi. He tweets via: @ibironketweets