The first three-quarter of the year has been intense in the music industry. Songs have streamed from the hundreds of studios across the country to the mainstream music field, but most of the big jams came from the male artistes. Mad Over You, Come Closer, Fall, If, Penalty are arguably the biggest songs of the first three quarter of the music year. Probingly, not one was recorded by a female artiste, all of those songs were recorded by the guys. In the past, the industry had always been championed by the likes of Wizkid, Davido, Olamide, who are all male artistes but the contribution of the female artistes had never been as low as it was in the first quarter of the 2017 music year. Female artistes like Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Chidinma, Omawumi, Waje and co, are known hitmakers but in the said period, none of them was hitting anything.
X3M music songstress, Simi and Project Fame alumna, Niniola took the onus to hoist the flag for the girls. Simi was repping the most, with her impressive Smile 4 me and Joromi, while Nini’s Maradona kept her on music charts and made her one of the hot properties of the music industry. A lot of the other prominent industry ladies were largely inactive and for some, it has been months of musical hiatus. One of the revered female artistes, Waje was missing in action, Chidinma’s music supplies virtually dried up, Tiwa Savage waited till May to put out All Over and Omawumi was struggling to get the fans to relate with her career transitioning. Asa is known to bid her time, but her silence is disturbing at this time, in the Nigerian music industry. The Nigerian music industry has been growing in leaps and bounds with more and more international credits but the ladies weren’t getting any of it. It wasn’t the best of times for the industry ladies and at some point, concerned fans almost kicked off a bring back our girls campaign.
Had things continued that way, maybe we’d have seen placards and markings of the campaign but it appears the industry ladies had a meeting and they resolved to switch things up. In this tail end of the first quarter of the year, our ‘girls’ are back with the songs. Simi set the motion by releasing her 15 track album with 12 of the songs new to the public, Waje’s In The Air dropped quietly, Niniola rolled out a club banger titled Sicker, Tiwa Savage pulled attention to herself with the release of the Sugar Cane EP and it almost feels like there is a female revolution going on in the industry at the moment. Yemi Alade is part of the whole movement and she has made it known that her ‘Black Magic’ album would drop later, in October.
For the music industry these are good signs but for Nigerian female artistes, these sudden rush of activities means more. It means progress for the individual careers of these female artistes, it also means that the industry ladies are joining in the recent advancement of Nigerian & African music to the international front. For instance, Simi’s eponymous album debuted #5 in the world category of the billboard charts. Also, Tiwa Savage’s Sugarcane EP is getting the attention of international figures, especially with the video and social media post of Chris Martin of Cold Play, vibing to and endorsing the Tiwa Savage. The likes of Yemi Alade and perhaps Niniola are expected to add to this push to globalise the African sound, with the release of their projects later in the year and in general, the girls are giving the men, a run for the awards and the accolades.
In the end, the industry is currently popping with heavy sounds and the sounds from our songstresses are among the sounds being heard. It is a good thing for our female artistes and a blessing to their fans that life is breathed back into that section of the industry, especially because it supplies a significant fraction of the music in the genres of RnB, Afro-fusion, alternative music and the likes. However, even though the recent activities of Nigerian female artistes is a boost to their resurgence, it also means that the competition amongst them is heightened. But for the fans and award organisers, it is time to look out for who amongst these songstresses excels the most and deserves to be the Nigerian female artiste of the year, or even win the award for Artiste of the year.
This article was written by Ibironke Oluwatobi. He tweets via: @ibironketweets