As a lover of music, one thing I have come to realise is that— Good music is actually relative. What one person considers “good music” may be outright trash to someone else and what one considers trash, may be enjoyed and appreciated by someone else. This brings to mind the extremely common saying: “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”.
There really is no standard definition of good music. For some, good music is music that stimulates them mentally, the kind that takes the listeners on a journey, one that tells a good story or drives home important lessons about life, love etc. Others may define good music as music that advocates against societal vices, bad governance, police brutality and other pressing issues in society. And to others, good music is music that makes them feel good, the kind that lifts up your spirits or makes you dance your heart out, whether or not you’re a good dancer. While most Nigerian artistes are efficient at making the latter kind of music, others such as Johnny Drille, Asa, Brymo to mention a few, have carved niches for themselves in an entirely different genre which many have begun to fall in love with. As much as I love and appreciate the aforementioned artistes, I find it utterly annoying when their fans criticise artistes who make more upbeat, lighthearted songs such as Davido, Wizkid, Olamide, Lil Kesh, Yemi Alade and others.They also exhibit a sort of holier-than-thou or “smarter-than-thou” attitude towards the fans of such artistes.
While I strongly condemn songs that promote questionable means of acquiring wealth, as well as other societal vices, I think there really is no need to bash artistes (and their listeners) who pay more attention to good beats than good lyrics. Such artistes have probably figured that the average Nigerian just wants to dance and forget about how bad things have become in the country lately and as such, making upbeat songs without necessarily putting effort into writing good lyrics would make their music appeal to a larger audience which means more hits to their names and more income. I’m pretty sure that most of the persons who criticise these artistes would be thrilled if they got the opportunity to make millions of naira from singing songs with “terrible” or “meaningless” lyrics. We need to understand that to some artistes, music is a passion and to others, it’s just a means of livelihood, hence, most artistes are likely to venture into a genre that would earn them more listeners, more fans and more money.
Although, constructive criticism is not bad and frankly, there are certain songs that are just laughable and are not considered “good” by anyone, we should learn to respect other people’s taste in music. It is wrong to assume that a person who prefers Davido to Johnny Drille is unintelligent and a person who prefers Johnny Drille to Davido is boring.
This article was written by Grace Onojeta; connect with her on instagram here