Greetings AML readers. It’s a couple of days before my birthday (May 5th, 2012) and I am excited! Yesterday, I had the opportunity to catch KQED feature D’Banj on their ‘World’ show. KQED is a local station in the San Francisco Bay Area whose demographic are mostly highly educated listeners ranging from doctors to lawyers, judges, engineers, executives, teachers, college students and so much more. They actually reach the whole Northern California.
They have a segment on their daily schedule which is called ‘World.’ It basically syndicates world stories as reported by the National Public Radio. The National Public Radio reaches the same aforementioned demographic, only nationwide via smaller stations like KQED.
In any event, I had the opportunity, just as its world feature was coming to an end, to catch the spotlight on D’Banj. Needless to say, I was excited and happy. What made me particularly happy was that I recall an article I wrote in October 2011 here on AML. The article refuted the thesis by a writer, at one of Nigeria’s leading music website Notjustok.com, that gave three (3) reasons why Nigerian music would never go mainstream in the USA.
I happened to strongly disagree with that article, excerpts of which I provide below. Fast forward to May 2012, and here we are. “Nigerian” contemporary music by Nigerian artists on the continent making important inroads here in the USA. We’ve been seeing it all year long from important collaborations to signing of major deals, mainstream print media reports on and offline and slowly but surely, radio following suit.
Indeed, you all can’t truly begin to appreciate what it feels like to see a barren landscape in terms of African fashion and entertainment in the USA 5-6years ago, yet foresee and believe the soil would be rich, germinate and be full of healthy African fashion and entertainment fruits. To see every thing you said would happen come to fruition, one story at a time, is a great feeling. Needless to say, I certainly haven’t been sitting on the sidelines in this process.
I look forward to D’Banj among many Nigerian and other African artists becoming mainstream here in the USA. Call me crazy but I believe it. It is just a matter of time, as I have said repeatedly. Also, the world is watching us. The feud between D’Banj and Don Jazzy even made the news below. Lol! Be on your best behavior AML artists and industry. AML American industry, get with the program my people. Africa in your backyard, whether you like it or not. Y’all might as well get on the good side while you can. 🙂
Alright folks, on a more serious note, find an excerpt of my article on why Nigerian music would go mainstream and the edited audio clip from KQED. Audio clip is copyrighted KQED/NPR and its respective affiliates.
13 Reasons Why (Nigerian) Naija Music Will Be Mainstream in America
“I had the privilege of visiting Notjustok.com recently, my other residence online, and had a good laugh when I read an article by the latest addition to the Notjustok.com, AJCiti, titled ‘Why Naija Music Will Never Be Mainstream in America.’Notjustok.com is family for me so welcome AJCiti.
Ms. AJCiti gave three key reasons why Nigerian (Naija) music would never be mainstream in America. Her reasons were as follows: “1) Artistes sing in languages and use phrases and terminology unfamiliar to most American; 2) African culture holds very little influence in America; and 3) Generally speaking, Africa as a whole carries a negative connotation in America.”
Further, she defined Nigerian artists as follows: “The main points to realize about Asa and Nneka’s careers are that although they are African and sing with Naija influence in their music, their musical careers did not develop in Nigeria, they are not signed to Nigerian Labels and therefore cannot be categorized as typical Naija artistes.”
I’d like to think I am “always on the money” when it comes to spotting the next big thing, trend or talents in my specific niche area i.e. fashion and entertainment. Accordingly, mark your calendars on this date because one day, not too far away, Nigerian (Naija) music will be “mainstream” in America i.e. played on your radios and Nigerian stars and their music videos will be seen here in the USA. Before I get into my 13reasons outlined below for why this will unequivocally happen, I’d like to “move to enter into evidence as exhibits” as I do in presenting my cases, at trial in behalf of my clients, my knack for getting it right for new comers reading this who are not familiar with my work. Knock on wood; this will be no exception.
Sample Exhibits include: Zander Bleck now signed to Interscope Records, M.I Abaga signed with Chocolate City, Paul Carrick Brunson (the only African-American Modern Matchmaker in the USA about to just shut things down nationwide), Activist and Philanthropist Saran Kaba Jones, Fashion Designer Korto Momolu, Breast Cancer Survivor and Founder of Tiger Lily Foundation Maimah Karmo, my publication Ladybrille Magazine (four years ago no one believed my predictions), X.O Senavoe (y’all can’t even understand what lies ahead. It’s done. He is just walking his way backwards to show you all) and yes even D’Banj now signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D music label. When D’Banj first visited the USA in 2007, he was unrecognized, even among Nigerians. Yet, at the 2007 Nigeria Reunion Convention of which I was invited as a panelist, I felt there was something about him and it pushed me to wear my journalism hat, and go out of my way to interview him for his first ever USA exclusive interview. Special thanks to Olasupo Dosunmu, relative of Filmmaker Andrew Dosunmu, who made that interview a reality. . .” – Full story here.
LISTEN TO D’BANJ’S FEATURE ON KQED
[audio:https://africamusiclaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Africamusiclaw.com-Exclusive-Dbanj-Featured-on-San-Francisco-KQED.mp3|titles=Africamusiclaw.com Exclusive Dbanj Featured on San Francisco KQED]