Archive for August, 2008

FOREIGN BASED NIGERIAN ACTS RUSH BACK HOME

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on August 29, 2008 by ayenithegreat

Banky - strutting to the top, less than a year after returning home

Banky - strutting to the top, less than a year after returning 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.

WEIRD MC- back on top of her game, since returning home in 2006 after a 10 year sojourn in the UK

WEIRD MC- back on top of her game, since returning home in 2006 after a 10 year sojourn in the UK

 

 

 

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.

Four years after returning home, D'Banj is on top of his game

Four years after returning home, D'BANJ has strolled fast to the top of the ladder. Now, many homeboys based abroad are lured to catch the next flight home

 

 

 

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.

 

Sound Sulatn - implores Nigerians holed up in foreign lands to return home, on his song Motherland

Sound Sultan - implores Nigerians holed up in foreign lands to return home, on his song Motherland

 

‘‘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.

POLICE DISBAND NIGERIAN REVELERS AT NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on August 29, 2008 by ayenithegreat

Homeboys soaking in the fun - before the cops came calling

Homeboys soaking in the fun - before the cops came calling

As expected, Nigeria recorded a huge turnout at this years Notting Hill carnival. But, for the second year running, Police would just not leave the green-white-green gathering alone to soak in the fun and get on with the groove.

 

In 2007, officers from the Metropolitan Police cordoned off Cambridge Gardens, the usual meeting point for Nigerians. Carnival-goers from the country that year wandered around aimlessly, with no float to follow, no major stand to network, except the Obalende Suya ground where many mingled and chatted in the absence of music.

 

This year, there were at least two majr meeting points for Nigerians: The AIT stand and the Blackknights/Grafton stand. But it was the latter, situated along Westbourne Park road, that attracted heavy crowds, including many celebrities from Nigeria. The music was setting the crowd on fire, and many more joined in the fun.

Until Police came in to disperse them all. ‘‘keep the roads free of traffic please. Or else they’ll chase us from here’’, the MC Tunde Ednut warned repeatedly. But the crowd was swelling. Soon, it was a thick ball of people, a sea of heads, and it must have appeared to the police-usually wary of Nigerians- that chaos was in the making. That’s when they stepped in to discharge everyone from the area.

 

With a helicopter hovering in the air, and stern-looking cops standing their ground, it became clear that the fun was over. Patriotic Nigerians left with their flags in their pouches. Looking forlorn and disappointed, many blamed the Police for spoiling the fun for Nigerians.

 

But one of the organisers told AyeniTheGreat ‘‘It’s because the crowd was too much. You know what we had was not an original stand per se.

We exploited a hole in the law which said people could gather in front of their houses, as far as they don’t constitute nuisance. But I guess we became too much and a sort of security threat. We’ve spoken with the authorities and they’ve told us to do things properly next year. We’ve even started preparing already. Nigeria should have an approved stand and float next year’’.

 

Meanwhile the rivers state government which had earlier planned for a stand at the carnival, appeared to have pulled out at the last minute. Branding materials carrying the state’s logo and activities were seeing sitting idly at a stand, with nothing to show that the troupe or the officials from the state were on ground. A source told AyeniTheGreat the government ‘‘pulled out’’ at the last minute. ‘‘They didn’t grant most of the team visas, so I think they developed cold feet, even though they had paid as much as £5000 to get a stand’’, the source added.

 

Also, speculations that the federal government had arranged to have a Nigerian float at the carnival this year were proved wrong. As the floats snaked through and everyone watched countries like Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Brazil, Greece, Jamaica and others put up brow-raising spectacles, Nigeria was again, conspicuously missing. A highly-placed source told AyeniTheGreat on the carnival ground that the Federal Ministry of information were in discussions to have a float this year.

 

And the Notting hill carnival continues to grow even larger, recording heavier turnouts this year. But it’s also causing the police more headache to manage the swelling crowds. Nearly two million fun-seekers attended the two-day street party this year, with the police making more than 250 arrests.

Only 164 arrests were made in 2007. and violence erupted in the final hours of the carnival last Monday as a gang of 40 swept in on unarmed police officers, throwing bricks at them and injuring many.

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MICHAEL!

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on August 29, 2008 by ayenithegreat

MJ, leaving court during a child abuse trial in 2006

MJ, leaving court during a child abuse trial in 2006

 

 

He still appears trim and fit. He still acts like a baby and likes to hang around beautiful kids. But-believe it or not- Michael Jackson, the record-breaking entertainer who has grabbed our attention for four decades, has come of age.

 

Today, the pop star clocks 50. And it’s a remarkable achievement for a guy like

Michael. With his weird lifestyle, drug addiction, numerous surgeries and personality problems, not many would have imagined the singer living this long. Bob Marley died at 36, Jimi Hendrix at 27, Elvis Presley at 42. So would it have been out of place if Jackson had left the stage, say, 2o years ago? No. pop stars live hard and fast. And quite often, they die quick. Accidents. Drug addiction. Depression. Heart attack. Gunshot. Name it.

 

Those that don’t lose their lives lose their careers; their relevance. They are dead, in a way; even though they’re still breathing oxygen. Not Michael. He still gets a regular space on the front covers by hook or crook. And, for good and bad reasons, he still has us all clutching our fork and knives, always ready to feed on the latest MJ scoop.

 

What do you want to talk about? How he has been a shining star right from age 11? How he outshone his siblings and gave A&R execs goose pimples? How he went on to record one of the most enduring, most successful careers of all time? How he ‘loves’ kids so much he’s almost always in court to defend paedophile allegations? We like to read about his plenty nose jobs; about his perceived sexual incompetence; about his regular clashes with his father, Joseph; about his failed marriages; and how he’s so broke he’s planning to sell off his Neverland ranch. Truth is, just like Elvis and Hendrix and Marley, we’ll continue to talk about Michael even long after he’s gone.

 

What is left to be known is what we will say about Michael when he’s gone.

 

Nearly three decades after he teamed up with Quincy Jones and shocked the world with Thriller, winning seven Grammies and selling over 100 million copies, today’s Jackson is not exactly that same little innocent kid with a tiny voice that caused the hair on your body to stand as you just want to hold, cuddle him and brush your fingers through his thick afro. He’s no longer that shy boy from Gary, Indiana who everyone loved to love.

 

Today’s Michael is no longer innocent. Yes. It’s easy to think he’s just a spoilt super star who’s fond of abusing little kids; it’s easy to think he’s just an adult who’s plagued by a deprived childhood; it’s easy to think he’s terribly eccentric and unrealistic; it’s easy to think he’s a liar and propagandist; it’s easy to think he’s an unrepentant slave of surgery, pain killers and sleeping drugs; it’s easy to think he’s a fading genius who’s desperately clutching to the thrills of past feats. It’s easy to think many things about Michael, and no one will ask for your head.

 

True, he may be all of the above, and many more. But he is also Michael Jackson – the greatest entertainer alive today; the man that made the biggest-selling record of all-time; the man that gave dancing a new name and authored the redefinition of pop music. That is the Jackson we should remember today, and after he’s gone.

 

This boy-man has many troubles, most of them a result of his upbringing, his extreme success, and a perceived condition known as Body Dysmorphic disorder. His success has been both a gift and a curse, and while friends and family may understand the burden of his celebrity, he alone, I believe, knows the torture he endures; he alone knows where the shoe pinches him. Only Michael knows how the boy in him robbed him of his manhood.

 

But for a generation that has been greatly influenced by his music; for a generation that has been inspired by his achievements; for a generation that’s still rocking to Thriller, Billie Jean, The girl is mine, Beat it and many other MJ classics, what we need to do is show him that he may have hurt and disappointed us many times, but we choose to remember how much of a blessing he’s been to us.

 

We’ve inducted him into the Rock and roll hall of fame, we’ve bought almost a billion copies of his numerous albums, we’ve seen his concerts around the world, and we’ve shown him the kind of love we’ve shown no one since Elvis. Now, it’s time to pick up our phones and wish the king of pop a very happy 50th birthday.

ANNIE MACAULAY SPOTTED IN LAGOS

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on August 18, 2008 by ayenithegreat

 

Annie with best friend Debola at 2007 Hip hop world awards

Annie with best friend Debola at 2007 Hip hop world awards

Contrary to the widely held belief that she’s hibernating in the Carribean, waiting to deliver her first baby for singer 2face Idibia, actress and aspiring TV host Annie Uwana Macaulay is in fact, in Lagos, Nigeria!

The young, charming actress, who grabbed national attention when news of her romance with Idibia first broke open in 2004, either did not make the purported trip at all, or has hurried back home following media reports over her alleged pregnancy for the star singer.

Ms Macaulay lost her first pregnancy for 2face after an unfortunate armed robbery attack on April 12, 2008.

Two weeks back, news hit town that she may have relocated, after she confided in close friends she was heading to Puerto Rico en route Amsterdam.

The idea, according to a reliable source, was for her to spend time out of circulation until she puts to bed.

 

She was reportedly already four months gone.

 

But last weekend, there were very strong indications that Annie was in Nigeria. on Friday August 15, she was spotted at a Karaoke bar situated insdie former Club Towers (on Lagos island). she partied all night in company of close friends. She told a reporter ‘i just went to holiday for two weeks. I never relocated. I’m back home now’.

 

‘She really didn’t look pregnant. She looked very slim and emaciated’, another source present opined.

And next day, she was hanging out with friends on Lagos mainland. A source said she stayed at a friend’s place after the night out.

 

‘She has changed her number, i don’t know why. But she’s in town. She only calls those she wants to reach’, our source quipped.

She called AyeniTheGreat last saturday- with an 0705 number- but no conversation ensued.

To those in the know, it is not surprising the young undergraduate is trying so hard to keep a low profie right now. It is still believed in some quarters that her last armed robbery attack, which led to her miscarriage, was pre-arranged by some forces who did’nt want her to belong to the community of 2face Idibia’s Baby mamas. ‘The attack could have been a set up, you know’, said one of her friends. ‘And then, all the media attention gets to her; the poor girl is just trying to stay out of all the drama’.

Well, the next few weeks will prove how successful that’ll be.

A GIFT FOR FELA KUTI

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on August 11, 2008 by ayenithegreat

 

 

Do you have some time to spare this weekend? I’d like to invite you to an interesting outing. Oh no, Asa is not in town again; they have not opened yet another Chinese restaurant in my neighbourhood; and I’m certainly not throwing a party.

 

I’m inviting you to Lagos. To a place in Ikeja called Gbemisola street. I’m inviting you to Fela’s home and final resting place.

 

Because I’m a nosy reporter, who is yet to master the art of minding his own business, I took a stroll around the late musician’s house last weekend, the weekend that marked the 11th anniversary of his death. Since 2004, it has become an annual ritual for me, to take a trip to Fela’s house, at periods marking the anniversary of his death (August 2) or his birth (October 15). At times, I’ll go inside the house, exchange pleasantries with occupants, dole out a few wads of naira notes, and inhale an overdose of marijuana. At other times, like last weekend, I’ll just wander around, thinking profusely and shaking my head in a manner that may suggest to on-lookers that ‘all is not well with me’.

 

A sad smile played on my lips last Sunday as I drove round Gbemisola. Definitely, all is not well with me, I thought to myself. But then, if Fela’s home and final resting place can be in the kind of sorry state that it is, then it is certain ‘all is not well’ with his multitude of friends, fans and followers.

 

When Fela died on August 2, 1997, the entire country was consumed with grief. Everyone was pained. In between sobbing and wailing and gnashing our teeth, we all took turns to extol his virtues and emphasize how he’ll be sorely missed by a people plagued by mis-rule and by a music industry desperately in search of direction. It was difficult not to like Fela. The youths, usually deviant and rebellious, loved him, his music and what he stood for. And the adults were divided into two classes: those who loved his music but couldn’t stand his weird lifestyle ad those who loved him and his music. There was none who did not like Fela’s afrobeat. The rich instrumentation, the polyrhythmic percussion,  the call-and-response pattern, the horns and trumpet solos, the groove of the guitar series and Tony Allen’s drums, and the prophecy of Fela’s lyrics. It’s wrong to say it was difficult not to like Fela’s music. Because, really, it wasn’t difficult. It was impossible!  The multitude of Fela-followers who gathered for his burial, the multitude who followed his coffin from the Tafawa Balewa square, on Lagos Island, to his home in ikeja, was a testimony to the kind of love we had for Fela and his music.

 

And as we all know, Fela was not a local champion. His death attracted global media attention and the thousands of musicians he inspired as today, scattered all over the world, spreading the gospel of Afrobeat and keeping memories of Fela alive. Don’t be surprised if you walk into a bar in Moscow, and the resident band is rendering their own version of ‘water’. Or you’re at a carnival in New York, and the most popular band is a group of white guys called ‘Antibalas’.

 

Like Bob Marley and James Brown and Elvis Presley, anyone who knows the colours of good music will gladly pay Fela obeisance and accord him the kind of homage only true geniuses deserve. And, just like Marley, he earns a few more feathers on his cap for his activism and pro-people lyrics. He may not have won a Nobel Prize or a Grammy, but we all know Fela was one of the greatest men to ever walk to surface of this earth. You know it. I know it. The world knows it. Even the highly-respected TIME magazine continues to list him among its class of the world’s greatest revolutionaries.

 

So, how come, back home, we his people; the people he lavished his musical talents on; the people he fought for throughout his career; how come we have forgotten him so suddenly? It’s only 11 years since Fela passed on, yet it looks like he’s been dead forever. On august 2, this year, just like the year before, there were no memorial advert in the newspapers, no memorial lectures, no friends, fans and followers gathered at his graveside to lay wreaths of flowers. I passed through Gbemisola Street. It was like just any other day.

 

To make matters worse, apart from his marble tomb, which still glitters as ever, the one-storey-ed building Fela lived until he died is in tatters; seriously in need of refurbishment. On the outside, the white paint has peeled off, giving way to fungi and other microbes. Most of the louvers are missing and the roof giving way. You can imagine what it’ll look like inside; inside Fela’s home.

 

Fela’s kids are alive and well. Dede, his ‘adopted’ son is doing well, performing fela’s songs all over the world and getting paid in full. Seun, his last son is presently touring the world, promoting his debut album after years of leading Fela’s Egypt 80 band. Femi, now the chief priest at the New Afrika Shrine, has grown to inherit his father’s throne; he has grown to become so much like his father: eccentric, polyamorous, hardworking and overtly critical. But he and his elder sister Yeni have yet to find it necessary to refurbish their father’s home. Even if they don’t care about turning it into a tourist destination, they could at least do it because that’s the premises their father will ‘live’ for the rest of his life! If the dead could see; if they could distinguish between good and bad; if the dead could write a song, then I imagine the kind of 35-minute lamentation Fela would record, condemning his kids and his fans and his friends, and screaming loud through his vocals that ‘na only eye service people sabi. Once you turn your back, everybody go bone’. Picture him stamping his feet on the floor, Howie T-sized marijuana between his fingers, as he hums the song this minute, then throws a yabis the next. They’ll be lucky if he doesn’t disown them all and head to the Little Saints’ orphanage to adopt a dozen kids…

 

If he were to be alive, Fela would have clocked 70 on October 15, 2008. There would have been hundreds of concerts, lectures, and exhibitions in his honour. Celebrities, government dignitaries, fans, self-appointed friends, and followers would have trooped to his home to pay tributes. Newspapers would dedicate pages to long articles in his honour; the rest of the pages would be filled with Congratulatory wishes: ‘birthday wishes to a true genius’; 70 gbosa to baba 70’, ‘abami eda has come of age’ etc etc. even Obasanjo, his ‘arch-enemy, would be tempted to place an advert.

 

But death is a terrible thing. Just as the 11th anniversary of his death has passed without any fanfare, his 70th post-humous birthday may go ‘uncelebrated’ too, if we’re not careful. So far, the only visible plans to honour him on October 15, is the annual Felabration concert being put together by Yeni Kuti and partners. I think Fela deserves more. Maybe we can start by totally refurbishing his house, and rehabilitate the dozens of clueless youths regularly holed up in there, smoking weed.

 

 

 

It’s over 30 years since Elvis Presley’s death – also in august- yet, his ‘home’ in Memphis, opened to the public since 1982, continues to attract nearly a million visitors yearly. Called ‘Graceland’, it is one of the five most visited home tours in the US, and the most famous home in America after the white house. The property’s economic impact on the city of Memphis is estimated at nearly $200M annually.

 

We can create another Graceland in Lagos. But first, we need to make Fela’s Gbemisola property a pleasure to behold. Then we need to find out who’s in possession of his saxophones, his trumpets, his original lyrics book, his costumes, his underwear, and his shoes. We need to gather all the mementoes and memorabilia – for, what’s a visit to Fela’s world without hitting your fingers on ‘his’ Keyboard?

 

But, really, whether we choose to refurbish Fela’s house and lock it up, or exploit tourism cum business opportunities therein like in he case of Marley and Elvis; Whether we all support Felabration or throw up other initiatives that would celebrate his life and times, I think we, as his people, owe him a befitting 70th birthday gift.

 

ANNIE MACAULAY RELOCATES?

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on August 7, 2008 by ayenithegreat

 

 

Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Macauley has pulled a fast one on us!

 

Since the past few months, the actress and aspiring TV host has been busy combing the nooks and crannies of Lagos, gathering materials for her TV show.

 

But now, while we’re surfing TV channels excitedly, hoping to catch the debut edition of ‘unwinding with Annie’, the young lady may have sneaked out of the country to begin her life elsewhere.

 

An impeccable source disclosed last week that Annie, who is 2face Idibia’s off-and-on lover, is leaving the country for Europe, and may not be back in a hurry.

 

My investigations revealed that she left the country on Sunday July 27 for Amsterdam where she’ll spend sometime before heading for Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean.

 

It is uncertain why she’s leaving the country at a time when her career is taking shape, but sources say there may be more to the relocation than meets the eye.

 

In a brief conversation with AyeniTheGreat before her departure, she confirmed that ‘Yes, I may be travelling out of the country soon. But I’m not relocating. I’ll be back’. She did not give details of her destination.

 

Annie Uwanna Macauley is the most celebrated of Idibia’s lovers. She was carrying the singer’s baby until April 12, 2008 when she had a miscarriage after an encounter with robbers in Lagos.

 

 

ENDANGERED SPECIES?

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on August 7, 2008 by ayenithegreat

Sunday Adeniyi Adegeye will be 62 on September 22.

 

The tireless performer and band-leader has enjoyed a career than spans over four decades. And as you read, he’s most probably getting his band boys together, in preparation for this weekend’s engagements. Attempting to tell the story of Sunny’s life, is attempting to tell the story of juju music. From an unsure enthusiast, to naïve guitarist and band member, KSA has grown to become a successful band leader. And he’s not just the most successful Juju musician of all time; he has earned a reputation as one of the most renowned artistes to emerge from Africa. He’s got stints with major records labels, a global fan base, and two Grammy nominations to show for it.

 

KSA has had it good. Most of his contemporaries have since faded away. Some died young. Some gave up the art, while others failed to find favour with fans. Since his 1967 debut (Alaanu l’Oluwa), KSA has, with each passing song and album, continued to hypnotize us until he overwhelmed us and took us all prisoners. Now, he has become such an oracle that it’s certain he’ll never leave the scene except death comes calling.

 

Sadly, the same cannot be said for the genre the veteran represents – Juju.

 

If Tunde Nightingale, Ayinde Bakare, Julius Araba, I.K. Dairo and other pioneers were to look back and assess the situation, they’ll be happy for Sunny and Ebenezer Obey and Shina Peters. But they’ll shed some tears when they see the situation of a genre they helped found. Truth be told, Juju is dying. Long abandoned by her caretakers, ignored by fans and bullied by younger, stronger genres, the once-upon-a-tine cherished art-form appears to be in a coma, and the possibility of her resuscitation is very uncertain.

 

There’s been Dayo Kujore, Wale Thompson, Dele Taiwo and Yinka Best. And we’ve seen less prominent apostles like Tunde Samson, Mega 99 and Segun Blessing. But since KSA and Obey, the only other act that made any meaningful impact on the growth and evolution of Juju, is certainly Shina Peters. The radical change he effected on the genre is similar to what Wasiu Ayinde wrought on Fuji music.

 

But while KWAM 1 has been able to inspire a generation of Fuji stars – like Pasuma, Saheed Osupa, Sule Malaika and Abass Obesere- who are now leading the genre into the future, no Juju musician has shown any remarkable promise since Shina Peters.

 

To make matters worse, today’s music fans are not very patient. Instead of waiting for a messiah who’ll save Juju and other traditional genres from extinction, they’re tuning to something else – pop.

 

So while we’re crying that Juju music is dying, that highlife is going extinct and that Fuji is growing at snail speed, a new artform is gaining ground; enlisting our young ones in their millions, and providing them with the kind of lifestyle they’ve always craved. Take a look around you. Ask the average youth around what time it is, and they’ll gladly tell you it’s ‘pop-o-clock’. There’s no juju or highlife in their dictionary. There’s no agidigbo or ikpokrikpo. Who cares about some local, ‘primitive’ form when there’s hip hop, R&B, Soul and dancehall to bounce to?

 

To the casual observer, it may appear easy to figure out: Juju, highlife and other traditional genres are simply endangered species, going out of fashion; giving way to more hip, more vibrant forms the young ones can identify with. But looked at deeply, couldn’t it be that it’s today’s pop-centric musicians, and their legion of fans that stand the risk of going ‘extinct’ in the emerging global village? Thanks to sporadic technological advancements, the whole world is shrinking into one little hut. What relevance, what influence we have as a people depend on what we bring o the table. And, as we continue to shun our own original artforms for borrowed creations, isn’t it obvious we’ll sooner than later, lose our identity and end up being lumped up with the crowd?

 

We may feel sorry now for the dozens of juju musicians battling hard to get their music heard. We may look at highlife aficionados and laugh behind their backs. We may look at Fuji evangelists and tell all who care to listen that they’re ‘just wasting their time’. We may plot all the graphs in the world and employ all the statistics available to show that these genres are endangered species; with no place in the present or future of our music. But if we don’t begin to encourage our music makers to look more inwards and imbibe elements from these pure, traditional forms, then it may just be our future as a people who have a history, a story, a culture, that’s endangered.

 

Maybe we should start by making traditional Nigerian music compulsory for primary and secondary school students. Maybe there should be some incentives from government, radio and TV stations for artistes who incorporate some level of local elements into urbane music.

 

Who knows, we may still create that hybrid music of Nigerian origin that’ll spread like a virus into homes and hearts across the world. Yes it is possible!