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Tuesday, 8 December 2015


One till today, would be full of surprise with respect to how the Music and Arts industry has greatly improved with notable collaborations between Nigerian artistes and their foreign counterparts which was in the past seen as an impossible feat. You and I are big fans of these microphone handlers, that’s why it’s no surprise to see how many of the works of these studio and camera rats (pun intended) fill our memory cards. At a point in my life, I used to walk the streets with ears plugged with headphones, reciting every word of the lyrics of these Harry Potters who use the microphone as their magic wand.

But then, let's come back home. Let's come back to the real essence of music—the real meaning of music, the reason why the great likes of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Bob Marley, Lucky Dube and other late legends made music. Was it to show off the latest bling, the latest of cars, movie money or half-clothed females for less than five minutes in front of a camera? Was it an avenue to tell the world how your enemies do not want your progress or how many haters you had while growing up? Was it meant to tell how you are so much in love with a female's buttocks? The buttocks were created as avenue to pass out excreta as well as sitting. So if someone sings about the buttocks when it’s meant for those two aforementioned reasons, then I don't think that should be called music.

A dictionary I found lying carelessly in my room defines music as, "vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion." After reading this statement, all I could mutter was "Well said but this doesn't happen again where I come from." Though I do not know about all the characteristics of music, I sure can say that music has a strong influence on our sense of reasoning and judgment. Most of us grew up trying to dress, talk and act like our favorite musician. We would buy books that contained the lyrics to popular songs at the expense of our lunch in school, since it was a thing of pride to be able to recite all the lyrics of a very popular song.

With the advent of technology from the developed parts of the world, music has become easier to make thereby making our musicians very complacent when it comes to time for business. I could swear that 70% of the musicians in Nigeria today cannot play an instrument. Someone reading this would scream "Gospel musicians in Nigeria can do it" but my question to you would be, "Have you ever seen your favorite gospel musician play an instrument in the studio?" Whether secular or gospel music, you should be able to play an instrument comfortably well.

You weigh the lyrical content of some popular songs these days and you just weep on behalf of artistes that continuously give their sweat, tears and blood in order to pass a positive message. Bob Marley wrote a song encouraging women and giving them reasons why they shouldn't cry. Fela Anikulapo Kuti would consistently take shots at the Government of the day for not treating the masses in a right manner as well as embezzling public funds for personal use, just like Mayweather beating the hell out of Pacquiao. They at most times got into trouble for their mode of emotional expressions but the world celebrates their achievements anytime their songs are played on radio.

But what could be responsible for this sudden decline in the quality of the music we listen to today. They are as follows:

1. What The People Want: You and I have indicated severally and unconsciously the kind of music we want to listen to. I mean who has the time to listen to sensible and positive message filled songs when all we bob our heads to are songs that worship the buttocks of a woman and how much we want a taste of her flowers. We aren't even interested in you writing meaningful lyrics as far as the beat of the song has a danceable tune.

2. Education:  The likes of Terry G, Wizkid et al can get away with singing with words that sometimes do not even exist anywhere in English or Pidgin language. Music is supposed to be an educative tool, improve your vocabulary while at the same time teaching the listener something new. But then some of the people hardly ever go to school or never complete their education. That is why; you see some of our entertainers find it difficult to hold a normal conversation or interview without speaking vernacular. Tell me what you expect to learn from someone that has learned next to nothing.

3. Fame: A popular Nigerian rapper dropped a song titled “Popular” where he expressed his views on the sacrifices one has to make to be popular. Most of the artistes we have today are primarily interested in becoming very famous, and not actually giving us food for thought. Our Gospel artistes are not spared either as they are fond of remixing old songs and trying to make hits. I remember one that practically remixed that popular song we sang as kids when we wanted to eat in school “SOME HAVE FOOD, BUT CANNOT EAT”. I stared at him while he sang this song with so much sympathy, and I concluded that he just didn’t have what to sing.

In Summary, I am trying to tell you that we can revive our music life. Choose wisely what you listen to. Get tired of listening to AjupapaJupapaju or Kporokotom ton kom music, or music that worships a woman’s beauty or buttocks so that tomorrow, our younger ones do not follow in their shoes. Music telling you how many bottles of alcohol the singer bought and how ladies surrounded and flock around him because he has money to throw away does not pass any meaningful message. Let’s listen to music that lifts the mind, music that encourages and inspires you (secular or gospel). Let’s chase bad music out of the market and promote music that develops over time into an evergreen history. 

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