FOREIGN BASED NIGERIAN ACTS RUSH BACK HOME
In the late nineties when Komo moved over to the UK, it appeared he had made a brilliant career move. The music scene was largely inactive lack-lustre. It made perfect sense to move abroad and begin plotting the graph of an international career.
Ten years later, the rapper is biting his fingers, wishing he never took the plane in the first place. But instead if cursing beneath his breath nd hitting clenched fists on a helpless table, he’s planning a revenge; he’s planning to return home and take his ‘rightful’ place.
The London-based act belongs to the league of talents that fled the scene when it appeared there was no way forward for Nigerian music. With his 1998 hit ‘Na today’, Komo was already an established name in music circles. But, as was the case with many acts of the time, chart positions did not directly influence patronage or earnings. There were no signs the future would be bright. So he sold his car and headed for London.
Komo was not alone. Several talents who today, should be bonafide stars have hurried away to foreign lands, hoping to establish careers there or simply get a hold of the ‘golden fleece’. Of course both have been as elusive as possible.
Now, music back home is booming. Their ears are aching from the news, and they’re hoping to return home and grab a share of the pie. Over the past 10 years, music of Nigerian origin have gained tremendous global attention, amassing billions of Naira in revenue and throwing up stars like Psquare, 2face Idibia, D’banj and Asa. And the future even looks good; brighter than a trip to the sun.
So, homeboys tucked in various cities abroad are calling their booking agents, getting their baggage ready as they hurry back home. Recent successes of returnee acts Weird MC and D’Banj have inspired many more, and there are no more doubts that many are now willing to take the plunge.
Last year, Komo’s younger brother Kdogg returned home finally, after a long stay in England. He hasn’t scampered back. He has now set up his own recording studio, and his debut album is on the way. Banky W, who abandoned a good job in the US to pursue his career at home, is busy hitting stages, and signing autographs for his debut album Mr Capable. Only last weekend, former Trybesmen front-man El Dee returned home finally after over half a decade in the US. ‘‘I’m coming back home for good. Permanently’’, he told AyeniTheGreat.
And many more are still on the queue, waiting to find their way back. ‘‘I’m coming back home this year, unfailingly’’, an excited Komo told me in London last week.
Other upcoming acts DWaves, King David, and Lambo have also confirmed that they have their eyes on Nigeria.
‘‘It’s tough making it out here’’, says Tonye Ibiama who runs a label in London. ‘‘They have to do regular jobs to survive, which means they have less time for music. Then they are out of touch with what’s happening back home; which means they may not be able to make music for home consumption. And here in the UK, they’ll just lump them up in the Black minority and ethnic market, that’s it’’.
Lexzy Doo, who left Nigeria for London few years back also told AyeniTheGreat ‘‘I have a new song and video now. I’m coming back home, coming back for good’’.
It might interest you to know that nineties stars Ras Kimono, Alex Zitto and Victor Essiet are all plotting their ways back to their motherland, hoping to make a career for themselves again.