REVIEW OF THE NIGERIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY FIRST HALF OF 2014
By Godswill Anene.
Nigeria’s Music Industry is no doubt the biggest music industry in Africa and the fastest growing music industry in the world. Fans of Nigerian music all over the world have so far this year had more than they had expected as new songs keep coming out day in day out.
So far in the first half of this year, we have heard new sounds and witnessed the break-in of new artistes and many more unprecedented achievements by Nigerian musicians. We have also witnessed a growth in terms of indigenous cinematographers; the quality of videos coming out of Nigeria has shown that our cinematographers have upped their games. Nigerian music producers have also unrelentedly improved and we now get variety of sounds and good music everyday.
The industry itself is an improvement as it keeps getting bigger and bigger. We have also witnessed artistes acquiring new homes and showing off their latest “machines” in their garages, Many artistes have also followed the trend of releasing hot singles preceding an unidentified date of their supposed album releases, and Artistes like Davido, P-square and Burna Boy fall in this category. We have also witnessed many upcoming artistes gaining grounds in the industry and Patoranking is no doubt of the few up and coming artistes who upped their games to match with our A-list artistes. His song ‘Alubarika’ was indeed a great hit as it officially launched his career followed by his two new singles, ‘Girlie O‘ and the remix which featured A-list artiste, Tiwa Savage
Another upcoming artiste who has had massive success this year is Runtown. The talented artiste who launched his career last year with his hit single ‘Party Like 1980’ continued this year with another hit ‘Gallardo’, featuring talented singer Davido. Gallardo has enjoyed massive airplay and has been likened to Davido’s hit, ‘Aye’.
We cannot review the success of the first half of 2014 without talking about the king of street rap Olamide. Badoo as he is fondly called has hardly gone sour since he stepped into the music scene. The rapper who definitely knows what his fans want has not stopped delivering remarkable hits. His hit single ‘Sittin’ on the throne’ has so far this year enjoyed media attention, ‘Turn Up’ – the single he released last year was a hit till the first quarter of this year. Also, Oritsefemi’s ‘Double Wahala’ a tribute song to the late legend Fela, was a massive hit. Dr Sid’s ‘Surulere’ featuring Don Jazzy was another fans favourite as the song became an instant hit upon it’s release.
Moving on to Artistes on Five Star Music, they have also enjoyed the first half of this year. KCEE, the Limpopo master who has been on top of his game after being separated from his former group, KcPresh, recorded great successes with hit singles- ‘Limpopo’ and ‘Pull Over’ running all through last year. So far this year, KCEE has released a couple videos off his album, followed by his latest single, ‘Fine Face’. His colleague/label mate Harrysong now known as Mr Songz, has been adjudged as one of the most talented fast rising artistes. The Delta state born artiste’s single ‘Story’ was a huge one for his fans and radio stations. He was recently featured on VJ Adams’ (Sound city) new single ‘Whazup’ which has also turned out to be big much recently.
We also cannot fail to mention the Made Men Music Group- MMMG. The label that has the emerging diva Emma Nyra and its lead artiste Iyanya giving his fans all over the world great new sounds. Iyanya’s hit single ‘Away’ has shown that he is indeed working to stay on top. Another newly signed Artiste on MMMG Tekno, toppled out with a blazing hot single ‘Dance’. The single which practically launched the talented young artiste into the limelight regardless of his previous singles is fast becoming a favourite for DJS, radios and fans.
Phyno is yet another artiste who has enjoyed the first half of this year; The indigenous Igbo rapper has had successes upon successes. His hit singles‘Parcel’ and ‘Alobam’ which is off the No Guts No Glory album have gained massive airplays and street credibility, especially in the Eastern part of the country.
Other Nigerian artistes whose songs recorded successes are Flavour, Chidinma, Sean Tizzle, Wande Coal, Wizboy, Wizkid, Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, Reminisce, Orezi, Seyi Shay, Eva and Charass. We also witnessed the celebrity wedding of Tiwa Savage and Tee Billz in far away Dubai, following the trend of Tuface and Annie. Also, Paul Okoye of P-square had his traditional marriage with his long time heartthrob and baby mama, Anita Isama in Port-Harcourt. Although, the wedding date is yet to be announced, but it is said to take place in Dubai also and will have both Paul and Peter saying ‘I do’ on the same day.
We also have had two of our Artistes being nominated for the prestigious BET awards for “Best international Act” Africa category. Davido and the first lady of Mavin records, Tiwa Savage made the list. Also at the MTV Base Africa Music Awards popularly known as MAMA awards 2014, Nigerian artistes proved yet again their growth as they carted Five (5) awards home.
Not forgetting Dbanj, who is no doubt Nigeria’s greatest export has been rather quiet as he has failed to record a massive hit after the release of his numerous singles. The soundtrack of the movie “Half of a Yellow Sun” came close but fans still expected more from the Koko-Master and his DB records. The likes of M.I, Banky W, 9ice were rather quiet also.
Rounding up the first half of 2014, I’ll focus on three A-list artistes.
- DAVIDO: Davido also known as Omo Baba Olowo is one of the most talented young artistes in Nigeria. The HKN representer has never gone sour after breaking into the Nigerian Music scene. After a successful 2013, where his songs ‘Gobe’ and ‘Skelewu’ were major hits within and outside the country, the artiste kept releasing singles after singles and also featured in various hit tracks. His song ‘Aye’ recorded the highest download of a Nigerian song this year and was on top of various music charts. Also, his new single which he featured South-African duo, Mafikizolo which was titled ‘Tchelete’ meaning Good Life has become an instant hit upon release and was nominated in the MAMA awards for best collaboration. Asides his nomination in the BET awards for Best African act, he also got four nominations in the MAMA awards 2014 where he brought home two (2) awards. It is indeed a promising year for Davido.
- P–SQUARE: The popular musical duo and identical twins have been Africa’s most loved group since they started out years ago. After a successful 2013 with their US tour and singles, the twins released a new single ‘Taste the money (Testimony)’. The song which talks about giving testimony of their successes over the years and enjoying their money has been fans favourite since it’s release. Their supposed break-up rumours almost tore their fans and sponsors apart as everybody became worried. It was relieving news to their fans all over the world when they broke the news of settling their differences on twitter. Their Album well anticipated is expected to be out later this year. It is important to note that P-square has been Africa’s most successful musical group for a really long time. Their song ‘Personally’ which was a tribute to the late Michael Jackson was still a heavy hit till the first half of this year and as at May, the song has eclipsed the 18million views mark on Vevo. The song was also nominated for song of the year category in the MAMA awards 2014. P-square also got three nominations in the awards.
- TIWA SAVAGE: After a successful 2013 where her song ‘Eminado’ featuring Don Jazzy became a great hit, the songstress and beautiful diva of Mavin Records has been nominated for several awards this year. She was nominated for the category of Best African Act in BET awards 2014, alongside Davido, Sarkodie of Ghana, Mafikizolo of South Africa, Diamond Platinumz of Tanzania, and Toofan of Togo. She also won the award for Best Female at the recently concluded MAMA Awards. With a successful wedding in Dubai which had many celebrities in attendance, Tiwa showed her versatility in the remix of Patoranking’s ‘Girlie O’. She came clean with a sweet reggae flow that made the remix a song to listen to. Aftermath of her collaboration with Patoranking, she tactfully released a raunchy video of her single ‘Wanted’ causing a huge buzz as different people had their own opinions.