The entertainment columnist of Sofo.ng, Peter Talker has voiced out after years of keeping mute over the state of the Nigerian Musical content creation and distribution. He said in a statement, “Our musical content is dead, we just don’t want to believe this fact. The earlier we realize this, the better we can go back to creating great musical content that will minister to the next generation. – Peter Talker said on Sofo.ng
Nigerian music has developed and grown beyond the shores of this nation. Our music artiste is now export to other continents shutting down the concert arena from Europe, Asia, the Americas and different parts of the world. But, one thing is certain, and that is, our musical content is dead!
This article is not to praise these several good deeds of our so-called superstars but to call our musicians to a particular course in which they’re forgetting – focusing on producing quality musical content that can stand the test of time.
Our Musical acts are neglecting content, I repeat quality content. Content is what makes up any work of art attractive and loaded. Art is more enjoyed if it passes a meaningful lesson to its audience.Peter Talker
Content in music makes a vivid picture of what the musician wants in the mind of their fans. Content in this context usually gives more beauty in the heart of the audience.
Let’s go way back ( throwback), popular music acts in the ’80s and ’90s like Chief Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Ade, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Chief Osita Osadebe, Sir Victor Olaiya, Victor Uwaifo, Orlando Owoh, Dasaria Jos and a whole lot more.
These great musicians created the art of storytelling flavored with an interesting composition of perfect sounds from musical instruments through their bands and not software-made music producers use these days.
Take time and listen to ‘Osondi Owendi’ by Chief Osita Osadebe, the content in this song is catching, the guitar strings, the cool composition of percussion, the brass work and the decent use of indigenous language ( Igbo language). This song was released in 1984 and since then it has become a complete eastern classic. It makes one who doesn’t understand Igbo enjoy the soft highlife instrumentation, that is contained in another form.
Our present-day acts just want to sing( blow) but don’t care about the musical content especially our so-called street-pop artiste like Zlatan, Naira Marley, Small Doctor, Idowest and a long train of them. Their songs are just popping in the walls of clubs, street carnivals, digital streaming apps but practically nothing to gain from the lyrics because these lyrics promote cybercrime, foul words, cultism, drug abuse and different crazy menace in the society.
The Instrumentals are just computerized beats, percussions are looped, progressions are not well written while some contain well too many sound effects (SFX). This does not just stay with the street-pop acts but our major exports like Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage e.t.c, who I think know what music entails do this same act ( poor lyrical content) in their music just under the umbrella to get more fan base – this alone is a true fact that our musical content is dead! Let’s correct this menace in our industry before it turns into a ‘Pandemic’ just like the Covid-19, and corrupt the society.
Our musical content is dead, but whose fault?
The Act, the Audience, or the Music Producers?
The audience can also dictate what enters our society, a big instance was ‘Logo Benz’ by the YBNL general ‘olamide’ with YAGI headliner ‘Lil Kesh’ whose lyrics promote money rituals and cybercrime in the society. The audience critically and massively refused the song and different measures were done to ban the song and the song didn’t get enough airplay before it went into extinction just for few weeks.
Let us start to accept quality entertaining musical content to better our society and the next generation. This content does not just attack the artistes alone, the music producers are not left out. Some of our music producers know nothing about the theory of music, most of them just know the production. I listen to some of these songs and I get tired of the beats because they’re repeated almost in every song, same rhythm progressions nothing creative to deduce from it. Varieties make life sweet. Give us a jam that will live beyond the artiste existence, take a look at Fela’s afrobeat they gave birth to this day present-day afro-pop with a fusion of different genres added to it.
Let’s praise some hardworking producers like Pheelz, Don Jazzy, Cobhams Asuquo, Samklef, Pappy J, Sossick, Id Cabasa, Dj Klem, E Kelly, Dr. Frabz, Sheyman, e.t.c their works are great. Let’s take a throwback at these producers who gave beats that still ring in our hearts like yesterday.
Producers like OJB, Terry G, Laylow, these guys gave us good instrumentation that made us remember them for life. Terry G’s baselines were always blowing up our speakers back then. Then producers help us give these artiste good Musical arrangements for their songs.
Also when training or mentoring upcoming producers let them learn the complete rudiments of music, this expands their musical horizon and creates imagery in the mind of the audience. With the new kiddo on the block like Fireboy, Joeboy, Rema, Tems, Teni and the alternative artiste like Johnny Drille, Chike e.t.c, I think the future of great content in music might be resurrecting but we more of this so that our younger fans can relate to. Alaga Ibile, Reminisce at one time was granted an interview at a popular newspaper in our country, the interview was about his songs that are banned from getting radio plays. He replied saying, most of the songs released by these artistes and producers are not been checked by the right authorities before they are released.
What I want us to get from these is that the Nigerian government should set up a working and functional Music Censor board that will check every Musical work of art that is been released within our country before it goes into society. We have a Video/ Movie Censor board that checks our movies before it enters the market. Can we also replicate this in music?
These measures will put artiste and music producers on their toes to create quality content. Not trying to deform or destroy any musician or their works but to tell you guys to improve and do better. I will conclude this article by a tweet I came across some few years back
“I listen to the lyrics in music more than I listen to my parent”
This tweet was by Nigerian youth, this just reflects that music has a great effect on our society. Let’s promote good and quality music. Say No to Bad Songs……