Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Nigeria Music: Noise Pollution?


Many would jump at this article on sighting the caption. But hey, before you crucify me, what does good music mean to you, or how would you define music. "Music are sounds arrange in a way that is pleasant and exciting to listen to" Away from the dictionary, the musical legend and maestro define music in their own different ways and by what    they (have) preach. The late legendary Fela Kuti define music as the "weapon of the future". The RnB goddess Whitney Houston call music "the pathway to the heart of man". The Reggae legend Bob Marley define music as "the movement that would spark liberation and unite the world". A 65% reader of this piece would define music as any sounds arrange to be danced. Music is profound and thus far beyond dancing. Music is so powerful, it can incite violence or war, and so can it make peace and settle differences between loved one's.

It is amazing how the Nigerian musical industry has transformed into laudable achievement in the last decade.   Probably because of the yearning for a home base sounds over the much flooded foreign music. Whichever way, kudos to talented acts such as 2face, Eedris, Daddy Showkey, Tetuila, OjB, etc that never gave up on the "fame with empty pockets" era which later paved way for the new school actsThis opinion is not meant to berate any artist but to warn of the danger ahead of the growing Nigerian music industry. I've picked up Fuji music album couple of times and I get excited, relaxed at the unique way they pass across their message with its scintillating tunes. Also, i've had opportunities to see Igbo live band. 

Recently, I was so fascinated at an Igbo live performance that I couldn't help but that dance to the melodious sounds with no idea of what is being said. Later in the night, my colleague Ifeoma told me the artist was talking about the rising scourge of extremism in Africa! Pointing at government (corruption) as the catalyst of Africa woes.Little can we remember of the local albums or hit songs of 5years ago! I could remember a one time hit song, though can't remember the year but the chorus still rings in my ears "baby girl je ka collabo, hmmm i gat to go oooo baby girl je ka collabo ooooo......". The song was on massive replay both on radio and television. Infact, a DJ playlist isn't complete if he has not the particular song. Many called the song a huge success but critics would agree with me that the song was a total shame to a crawling industry. The celebration of noise I call it.With the emergence of young and  carefree superb producers,  our artist make "pop rozay, big booty" hit songs almost everyday.

 When was the last time we heard great songs like Majek Fashek 'Promise land', 2face 'African Queen', Tetuila 'E go better', Eedris 'Jaga Jaga' that traveled out of the shores despite its ban. D'banj 'Mobolowo', Sound Sultan '2010', 2face 'For instance', Paul Paly 'forever', Dagrin 'Thank God ft Omawumi and Democracy', Asa 'fire on the mountain', Oritsefemi 'Better', YC 'Pedophile in Power P.I.P' etc were all passing significant messages. With new songs out everyday, very few of them could be tagged "good music". Even the little one's that sing from the heart aren't encourage as the corporate societies have embrace the "noise sounds".

The lates Oliver de Coque, Fela Kuti, Chief Osadebe, Haruna Ishola, Sir uwaifo, Chief S. Ayinde Barrister and the living Sir Victor Olaiya, King Sunny Ade, Femi Kuti, etc left and have comprehensive archaive of their works as re-make, remix, dedication, even words from their songs are reeled out intoday's hit songs

 In one of the famous Martin Luther king Jnr. quotes, he says "I've a dream, today, that my children would not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their characters". We are indeed the generation Martin L. king Jnr. was talking about, our artist can take over the world through their music by telling African stories which is our character. True, the Nigerian acts do park the humongous part of the continental and regional awards, but for how long do we send irrelevant message to the world? It would indeed be disappointing and painful if the world discover the irrelevancies of our songs and thus the hope of African being the final resort of art and home of knowledge could be lost!

Finally, you and I won't be the last generation of this great nation/continent. It would be unfair and unjust if the next generation have nothing to behold or treasure of the God given talent of music of their father and their fore-fathers. Good music lovers including myself aren't calling for all artist to be griot or poet through their songs, but at least, some forms of decency and thought provoking music is all we ask. 

The whole world might be dancing to our music without the knowledge of the message but for the sonorous sounds. It is never too late to preach pure love from the heart, like my father would call musicians prophet which I don't think he will admit for the new school acts, unity, peace, and against social injustices like poverty, rape, racism, child factory, corruption, etc in the vastly growing Nigerian music industry accompanied with lovely 'danceable' tunes.


Words by AYORINDE, Abiodun Seun (Effizy)

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