In my opinion, 2013 was the worst year for Nigerian music continentally and globally; oh sure we had a few hard workers putting in their best. Kudos to ‘Limpopo king’ Kaycee, Wizkid, Burna boy, Sean Tizzle and Flavour. When D’banj’s ‘Oliver Twist’ penetrated the European music scene in 2012, most of us thought that Nigerian music had finally ‘arrived’ and it would only be a matter of time before our artistes start getting serious Grammy nominations and not the honorary nominations they keep depressing Femi Kuti with.
Unfortunately, Nigerian BIG stars squandered this opportunity; rather than invest their financial rewards in promoting their music internationally, most of them simply chose to occasionally flaunt their wealth on social media circles- inundating their numerous fans and followers with recent material acquisitions, wedding proposals, birthday parties, engagements, brand endorsements and senseless controversies.
Let me zero in on some of the ‘big’ artistes that ‘messed up’ in 2013:
D’banj spent the immediate part of his post Oliver Twist era loitering around Kanye West and other ‘akata’ artistes in the USA, bragging about it and taking foolish pictures with them. D’banj produced a few horrifying collabos with some of these American artistes and before long he found his way back to Nigeria trying to salvage his music career. D’banj has released about four music videos after Oliver Twist, NONE of these videos have attracted up to 400,000 views on YouTube after many months online. Oliver Twist has over 20 million views and still counting.
In 2013, it seemed the duo of P-square (Peter and Paul Okoye) were more interested in getting married to their ‘baby mamas’ rather than pushing their career further internationally(Which is not entirely a bad thing). Yes, P-square had several sold out concerts in some African countries, but Africa is already a familiar territory for P-square. The duo ought to have concentrated on promoting some of their other hit songs on INVASION Album by shooting more music videos. Imagine, hit songs like FOREVER, BU NE YA ENU and DO AS I DO were abandoned without music videos; rather P-square preferred to go shoot an unnecessary (but great) tribute music video to Michael Jackson. PERSONALLY was good, but it’s a big shame that that was the only music video P-square shot and released in whole of 2013. ALINGO was released in November 2012.
I can’t blame the brother, he’s a married man with seven children and he’s not even forty yet. God help him if he allows his career to go under, in spite of all the numerous mouths he has to feed. Enough said.
Since the inception of Mavin records, some of us had mad faith in Don Jazzy’s ability to deliver. Unfortunately somewhere along the line it became clear that something was wrong. Don Jazzy did not disappoint as he did put up several great tunes and productions but alas there was a problem with his artistes, at least two of them.
Don Jazzy should have summoned up enough courage to do away with the chronically talentless duo of Dr Sid and D’prince,while he concentrates solely on Tiwa Savage and Wande Coal-both being the only real talents at Marvin records. Sadly, Wande Coal has now left Mavin.
In 2013, the only ‘monster hit’ songs by Mavin records was ‘The kick’ (by Wande Coal) and ‘Eminado’ (by Tiwa Savage). . . any one surprised?
Forgive me, but I believe M.I is jinxed or possessed by a very short demon. Here’s one of Nigeria’s finest rappers who for one reason or the other has been unable to shoot music videos for all the biggest tracks in his career thus far. Where do I start? Anoti, African Rapper Number One (ft Flavour), Girl Pleaser (ft Gen Pype), One Naira-million(ft Waje).
In 2013, M.I chose to give us CHAIRMAN-a senseless bragging song with a distasteful music video. I pray for him in 2014.
SKELEWU would have become the biggest African song in 2013 if someone had agreed to leave his pride (and) ego inside his father’s house. I’ll stop there.
Becoming successful in the Nigerian entertainment industry is by no means a bad thing; especially when such success is attained through hard work, ingenuity and God’s favour.
Today, the Nigerian entertainment industry has grown with a bandwagon effect on other media-related industries including social media, events packaging, luxury retail and what have you.
Another massive area of growth is in the ego of our celebrities, especially musicians. They’ve smelt small success and they’ve gone lazy. While the much much much richer Rihannas, Jay-Zs, Beyonces and Kendrick Lamars are busy working their butts off, dishing out fresh music and fresher music videos, a lot of Nigerian artistes are busy bragging about . . . God knows what.
The South Africans worked very hard in 2013 and a lot of their songs became continental anthems. No wonder why they picked most of the international music award categories for Africa. At the 2013 Channel O Music Awards for instance, Nigeria only managed 3 awards plus one jara, the Southern Africans pulled out the bulk.
Hence, while D’banj was being booed off stage in Zimbabwe and Tuface was performing to near empty stands in Malawi, the people of Harare and Lilongwe were busy jamming to the likes of South African Mafikizolo’s Khona and Dj Ganyani ft FB’s Xigubu (both happen to be my top two songs for 2013, the third being Flavour’s Ada).
I think I’ll stop here and I hope that the affected Nigerian artiste(s) listen to this message but ignore the messenger.
(Republished with permission.)
NOTE:The information and views set out in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Africa Music Law™ (AML) or AML founder.
Stanley Nwabia, is a media consultant with years of experience in broadcasting, advertising and banking. He worked as the head of Nigezie TV between 2012 and 2013, and was a banker for many years prior to.
He is now the Managing Director/CEO of Firewood Media, a multimedia production company and advertising agency.He blogs for fun! You can follow him on twitter at: @MrStanleyNwabia.
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