So, this week, a new trend of ideas just struck me about the current state that our Nigerian music industry is in as against the progress and development that have occurred in the last couple of years- with particular emphasis within the last decade. In addition to this trend of ideas, the sound of the music that most contemporary artistes produce these days has also become a phenomenon that ought to be looked into too.
For some of us who are music savvy and have been following the Nigerian music industry as a whole and the hip-hop music genre in particular, you will notice the very huge leaps and development that have changed the quality, production, creativity and the sound of music that we listen to.
For folks like me who started listening to music at a very young age courtesy our parents, the growth and development abound and is clear to see. Back in those days, I remember always waking up every morning to songs playing from my dad’s turntables and listening to the likes of Eric Donaldson, Bongos Ikwe, Mike Okri, Onyeka Onwenu, Orlando Owoh, King Sunny Ade, and the Commander himself, Chief Ebenezer Obey. Not forgetting the likes of Eedris Abdulkareem (Ignore the fact that the man acts up these days), Tony Tetuila, Blackky, Junior & Pretty, Danny Wilson, Baba Fryo, Plantashun Boiz and a host of others who made it into my stream of consciousness as I grew older.
Back then, the production of a single musical piece of work used to take such a long time to make to the point that musicians’ output in terms of produced songs used to be very few. I remember watching an interview with the late Chief Olisa Osadebe who confirmed that to record a single song, they (he and his band) had to always do constant rehearsals to perfection before proceeding to live recording because there were no computers or digital applications to make digital beats with. Therefore, there were lesser songs to listen to and very good songs had very long shelf lives as long as three (3) to four (4) years while still feeling fresh to listen to.
These days, all of that have changed with the advent of computers and digitization of music and the proliferation of internet. These days, my portable computer can store over two hundred thousand (200, 000) songs with an even expandable storage. However, in the past, to own only fifty (50) songs would have involved carrying either 5 Compact discs or Vinyl records, depending on the time frame under study. Also, nowadays, in a space of just three hours, a very good song can be produced from scratch to completion even with none of the artistes meeting face to face. All of these are results of technological advancement.
The results of this are easy creation of music, shorter shelf lives for songs as artistes are constantly producing songs leaving the music lover with so many songs to listen to- in essence, music overload. And by the way, have you noticed that a large number of our contemporary music have almost the same tone and sound these days? Or am I making up ideas in my head? I know this might sound controversial, but don’t you think that ever since Mr. Eazi ‘blew’, most Nigerian songs have been towing his mid tempo songs? If you haven’t noticed, then you need to pay attention and observe too.
I’ll have to go now, but in my next article, I’ll expose how all of these started and show you the proof that show that our trend of music has moved from the fast tempo being the large percentage of hit songs to Mr. Eazi’s mid tempo songs topping charts these days.
HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!!