Written by Alexander Thandi Ubani
Unarguably, the Nigerian Music Industry is Africa’s largest depot of talented, industrious, creative, budding and evolving musicians who have taken Nigerian music to the world stage. Such names as the renowned Fela, Tu Face Idibia, Don Jazzy, Davido, Olamide, Wizkid, Flavour, Dbanj, Psquare, Banky W, Tiwa Savage, Asa, M.I, Ice Prince, Wande coal, Naeto C et al are household names making waves in Africa and far beyond. The quality and style of music being dished out by upcoming and established acts can only be A-classed.
This new development is a thing of great joy. Everyone is living up to the challenge to be counted as the competition has resulted in better quality of audio, video and lyrics in demand. Even better, the music sphere is graced with international collaborations, adding another milestone to the success story being recorded. Well known international acts like Rick Ross and T.I got featured by Psquare; Dbanj also saw music legend Akon feeling it in his “Feeling the N*” and a host of other international collaborations with Nigerian musicians which points to the growing popularity of the industry not just in Africa but the world.
Such banging hit songs as Olamide’s−Eleda Mi; Davido’s−Aye; Flavour’s−Ada Ada; Kcee’s−Limpopo; Patoranking’s−Girlie O; Tiwa Savage’s−Eminado; Psquare’s−Collabo and a host of many other banging hits showed the enormous growth the industry has recorded over the years. Interestingly, the increase in the number of television channels showing Nigerian music is a great plus to the industry. Stations such as MTVAfrica, Channel O Africa, HipTV, Primetime Africa, SoundCity, TraceTv, AfroPop TV and many others play important roles in bringing many of the numerous talented artistes to the global stage. More so, the introduction of awards for best performing artistes and the rewards for hard work has propelled many to work even harder. Such ceremonies of distinction and recognition namely: Channel O Music Video Awards, Headies Awards, Afrimma Awards, MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) etc are milestone novelty gestures fertilizing the rapid development of the Nigerian Music Industry. Added to it, are the mouth-watery prizes for winners. It is no wonder then, that the artistes have sworn an oath of high performance to churn out high quality and top-notch audio, video and lyrics for their teeming fans. By this gesture, Nigerian artistes have indicated a high degree of seriousness in setting the pace for others in Africa to follow.
However, the success story is not starved of little hiccups; the profusion of the industry by fame-thirsty individuals has resulted in congestion and somewhat increased number of musicians singing for honors. We are not left out in the controversies, gossips and rancor as it adds spice and fun to it all. Some of the celebrities fight it out with abusive words on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. On twitter, these fights become more demeaning as tantrums fly here and there, which adds to the whole fun after all. The Nigerian Music Industry is a bubbling platform offering many of our idle, yet very talented youths an escape route to stardom. It is pertinent that those who have benefited from the industry should emulate the good gestures of their international colleagues by providing enabling platforms to grow others who are of little means but well talented. This way, they would have given back to society and affect positively the lives of others.
Today’s reigning acts like Davido, Olamide, Flavour, Patoranking, Phryno, Shayi Shey, Praiz, KCee, Eva et al all have the stage for grabs. It is interesting then to note that, this industry must be supported to grow all the more as it plays a pivotal role in Nigeria’s economy. The industry employs a sizeable amount of our numerous idle youths who go on to become responsible members of the society. The issue of royalties, piracy and theft of intellectual properties (songs) must be considered with utmost seriousness as musicians should be given what is theirs and what they have worked for. The Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) must ensure that piracy is rooted out of the system and measures taken to punish people found wanting.
The Nigerian Music Industry is a wind that will blow without stop. The future of the industry is filled with promises. Many more will come. Let us all join hands to make it a success!