Fela of the 70s through to the 90s, is considered to have made the most impactful Nigerian songs. Michael Jackson is said to have led an era of high-level musical entertainment. Da Grin led multitude to appreciate the beauty of the then “underground” indigenous rap music. Goldie Harvey was a music star whose fashion style amused millions of fans till 2013 but the space allotted to these icons in our memories, is slowly being occupied by new events and new trends.
For many years during their respective careers, these stars made music that brought meaning to the lives of a lot of people. In their different niches, these stars made so much impact that earned them titles and hero’s statuses. They commanded respect and adulation of horde of fans but death in its cold way of doing things, rushed these stars to the after-life.
For each of these stars, many fans gathered to mourn the loss of an impactful figure, at the gatherings; tears freely flowed, past moments of the lives of these stars were recalled and fans made sure to pour out their hearts in respect of the dead artistes but what usually happens afterwards is slow wearing off of the once absolute influence of the artiste.
Fela Anikulapo Kuti of blessed memory is arguably the greatest Nigerian musician for all his contributions to the Nigerian music, social and political culture but his memory is today tied to Felabration, an annual concert organised to celebrate the life of the great musician. The event, though internationally recognized, has not had the following that you would expect of the celebration of a figure like Fela. It is even more disappointing seeing the following of Felabratioin slowly shrink.
Similarly, Michael Jackson is considered to be one of the most entertaining artistes of all time, with hundreds of millions fans during his life time but a close look shows just how the MJ aura lessens as time advances, especially with the number of pop artistes of today, ensuring that the fans do not have to look to the past for entertainment.
Likewise in the case of Da Grin, the revolutionary indigenous rapper who died in April 2011, a lot of his fans have moved on to new trends, with Da Grin only sparsely remembered on the anniversary of his death and in few occasions where the history of indigenous rap is being discussed. The fact that he died in his prime made his death even more painful with a lot of fans believing that he had a lot more to offer, had he not died, but the hardcore of a lot of Da Grin fans has been softening since his death.
All of these muted changes has a valid explanation. There is a theory that expounds these habit of fans which this article is not penned down to condemn but to lay it out, that time changes, seasons come and go; the relationship between a fan and an artiste is usually not for better for worse. The position of “favourite artiste” is not one that an artiste holds on to forever, a new artiste could come to claim it, so long he/she comes bearing convincing-enough offerings. Cassper Nyovest captured this message in his song Confused, when he said “the new guy would always excite the crowd more.”
This article was written by Ibironke Oluwatobi. He tweets via: @ibironketweets