The Nigerian music industry is full of every genre of music: gospel, hip hop, RnB, rock, afrobeat, fuji, you just name it. Nigeria has one of the biggest music industries in Africa and the world at large. However, I’m fascinated at how our minds are blown when we see a white person dancing to our music, or hear it in a Hollywood movie. On the other hand, it’s no big deal to hear western music in our movies or to see our people dance to it. How can we expect others to appreciate us if we don’t begin to appreciate ourselves and realize that we deserve international acclaim and more?
Now, the Nigerian music industry though widespread has its own faults. So appreciating our music doesn’t mean ignoring or being blind to their many faults. A lot of upcoming Nigerian artistes are more concerned on how to create beats that makes you want to move, and while there’s nothing wrong with dance pop or club music, music is so much deeper than that. Music is about emotion, inspiration, experience, education even. So limiting it to just the beats is taking something away from what makes music music. The lyrics of a song are equally as important as the musical components. Personally, I’m a music snob and refuse to listen to or patronize any song that has no intelligence behind it, no matter how good it sounds. It’s quite unfortunate that a lot of Nigerian songs fall under this category. Nigerian artistes sing more about lust and how big a lady’s behind is. If that’s not the subject, then it’s money and how wealthy they are.
Regardless, there are still Nigerian musicians who are different from the lot. A personal favourite I have is Darey Art Alade. I see a lot of work and talent behind his kind of music. I also love Banky W, Cobhams, Praiz, Bez, Asa, Fela, just to name a few. I believe though that these ones who sing with intelligence and genuine passion do not quite go as far as those who just create a beat and sing out the first thing that pops out of their mouths no matter how stupid. So a lot of times, these musicians begin to conform to the norm just to catch up. I don’t blame these artistes; I blame the Nigerian people for patronizing music with no meaning behind it. Let’s patronize good music please. I however must confess that we are trying sha. The new artistes on the block do make music with meaning so I can only hope and keep my fingers crossed that it remains that way.
Another good thing about the Nigerian music industry as of now anyway is that we have begun to popularize our cultures and languages. Now, while I may snob a whole lot of Nigerian music, I still really appreciate those who sing and rap in their indigenous languages no matter how stupid the things they are saying are. We Nigerians are different and unique in beautiful ways. Our diversity, our cultures makes us who we are and it’s a good thing that we show the outside world.
All in all, being widespread is not synonymous with being good, so the Nigerian music industry can definitely do better. Agree or disagree? Leave a comment.