Music Business

Do You Agree? “Most Nigerian Musicians are Music Illiterates” – Tee Mac


I don’t mind comments like these from Veteran musician Tee Mac. However, I am a fix it kind of girl. So, I always want to know how the person saying there is a problem is fixing the problem. What is the proffered solution or solutions?

I am happy Tee Mac has the requisite training. What is he doing to pass on that training, whether for free or for a fee, to our younger generation? Don’t tell a young person in Nigeria, “go and learn music” or make it less “linear.” Speak English to them. Show them what that means.The presumption is that he is yet to pass this knowledge he holds. If he is already doing that, I stand corrected and hope that the industry locally, over there, supports him in spreading his message and educating our artists. Our artists need the music education that I have said on AML includes music business and music law.


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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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  1. Yes, I like that Uduak didn't assume. She stands to be corrected. Tee Mac is one of the founding members of MUSON Centre, where people go and study MUSIC.

  2. I hink Uduak has nothing to be corrected about. While Tmac is indeed a respected figure of music in HIS GENERATION, I think, with respect, that it is arrogant of him to assume that people who cannot read sheet or sing music like him are illiterates. What is good music depends on the TASTE OF THE LISTENER, NOT SOME CLASSROOM TEACHING. For instance Apala and agidigbo was good music to the older generation 40 years ago but will a 17 year old think the music make sense today?

    I am personally tired of people who think they know it all dub current superstars ‘music illiterates’. Who made them the vice chancellor of current music university anyway?. When a Dbanj or Psquare or Tuface makes N10million per appearance with MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN HIS GENERATION DANCING AND BEING SATISFIED WITH HIS MUSIC, where is the justification for calling people in that genre illiterate? Practical music literacy has more to do with ability to understand the kind of entertainment your audience wants as opposed to the ability to read some ancient manuscript on an organ. As a matter of fact, viewed from the point of view of satisfying customer demand or need, I THINK IT IS TMAC THAT IS ILLITERATE ON THE CURRENT PREFFERED MUSIC OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD.

    GOOD MUSIC is what the listener says it is. That is why rock and roll had its millions of followers, same with ALANTA people, just like Jazz people and Metal listeners think their own music rocks. I think the tmacs of this world need to accept the reality that being able to read music in a book designed in the 19th century does not make those can’t read it illiterate. On a parallel note, Most lawyers of today cannot read Latin which was the prefered spice of words for old school lawyers, does it mean lawyers who don’t speak Spanish are illiterates? From another example, most of the brilliant lawyers in the U.S including Judges actually laughed at me when I tried to bring Latin phrases into my submissions in american courts. They asked me if I didn’t know how to speak English!

    People like Obesere or Ice Prince or Olamide may not be able read a word of music sheet but they thrill millions of people who love their music everyday becos they know how to READ the music they want and give it to them. Same thing for the other different genres like Rap which makes no sense to the uninitiated but which drives its lovers into a frenzy. The late Dagrin cannot ‘read’ tmacs type of music but he surely can read the music his contemporaries want with his mesmerizing Rap music in Yoruba that thrilled his fans and probably made Tmac throw up his gourmet food.

    Finally, the test of acceptability is in the patronage. Let Tmac and his generation of ‘book readers’ step out against Psquare or Tuface and other musicians of their genration like Konga, Fokasibe or ice prince in a public arena and let the public, who really is the final determiner of who is illiterate or not decide!

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