I have discussed Drake’s new hit song ‘One Dance’ featuring Nigeria’s Wizkid and UK’s Kyla. In the context I discussed the song, it was to point out the success of the song (top in the Billboard and UK Charts), and how the featured artists (including producers and songwriters) would be paid. At the time I discussed the song and its success, there was no listing of Osabuohien Osaretin aka Sarz, a Nigerian producer on the song credits. That has changed. Sarz is now listed as one of the co-producers of the song alongside DJ Maphorisa. DJ Maphorisa is an artist from Soshanguve, Pretoria who is also part of Wizkid’s production team.
‘One Dance’ is now number one on the U.S Billboard Hot 100 chart. The full list of producers are Nineteen85 and 40 (who are both part of Drake’s OVO label in Cananda), Wizkid, DJ Maphorisa and Dr. Sarz who are all part of Wizkid’s Star Boy Records production team. In a recent interview I shared on AML, Sarz also discloses Wizkid has more upcoming collaborations with Drake and Chris Brown, among others.
Congratulations to Sarz and all the creatives who helped produced ‘One Dance.’ It is great to see the impact Nigeria’s creative industry has had and continues to have on the global music business. It is a prediction I made when I first launched this blog in 2011. The terrain looked so barren and most doubted Nigerian music or its artists could penetrate mainstream America. I didn’t. I in fact predicted it will happen and it was only a matter of time. It is a prediction I continued to reiterate over the years. So truthfully, I am not surprised we are finally here. There is needless to say, more to come. I say often that Nigerians are dynamic, unique, brilliant, bold, among some of the great choices of words to describe them collectively as a group. In almost every industry sector you can imagine and across the globe, we have made our mark. It is expected and it is who we are. With our culture of over-achievement, conquering or making an impact on the global entertainment industry shouldn’t be the exception to the general rule.
The trick now, as far as I am concerned, is how do we really monetize our entertainment business and do so in a way where we do not shoot ourselves in the foot before we really even begin. To me, the answer lies in working together. I cannot stress how very divided we are. We do really have a crab mentality towards each other’s success. I believe that is and will be our downfall where the entertainment business is concerned. Instead of collaborating and creating a collective and stronger force, we often prefer to go it alone in an already deeply fragmented industry. The only time you really see us work together is when the oyinbos (westerners) are at the helm of what we are interested in doing. Their presence often validates, for many of us, that our ideas, ventures etc. are valid. Trace the money in any major media and entertainment business in Nigeria today. It will often lead you to the door steps of foreign conglomerates. Arguably there is nothing wrong with it, per se. However, we too can and should work together to build our own.
Our colonial mentality must change if we are really serious about monetizing our creative industries and creating a sustainable future and lasting legacy for future generations. If we can learn to work together, there is no place we can’t go. Grammys and any global awards we seek will simply be no big deal. Many including western industry heavy weights will flock to our shores, without us having to entice or lure with large sums of money, much the same way many of us do western shores. We really have to work together, bottom line.
Photocredit: Babafemi Smyth
- AML142: The Business of Music in North Africa
- AML 141: Meet Camille Storm, Founder of C&C Distro, a Kenyan Music Distribution Company
- AML 140: Abiola Oke & Richelieu Dennis Sexual Harassment Claims: Lessons for Employers & Executives
- AML 139: Beyonce’s ‘Black is King’: Merch & Music Royalties for the African Artist
- @NYPost Please Correct your Misleading Headline Stating a “Beyonce-Endorsed Burna Boy Makes Afrobeat go International”