4 Reasons The Nigerian Music Industry Is Still Backwards
What passes for good music these days in the Nigerian music industry? Well, that’s probably the toughest question in the world even though it has the simplest answer; ‘the same thing that’s making the industry fail.’
It’s really appalling because now international artistes are using our afrobeat sound on their songs and they are making it the music way better than Nigerian artistes – save for the few good ones, – ever did. Why are all these things happening, you ask? It’s simply because the Nigerian music industry is still backwards and below, you will find the 4 major reasons why this is so.
The art of payola has been a plague in the industry since the radio was invented. OAPs play an artiste’s song – no matter how crappy the song is – for a stipulated fee, especially in the guise of promoting the artiste’s song. Yes, I know the radio personality wants to make as much money as possible because things are hard in the country, and while this is helping to foot the bills of the radio station, it is, in turn, killing the music industry because of the amount of not-so-good songs that we listen to on radio every day. And Nigerian music is kind of setup in a way that you end up enjoying a song, you initially hated, after you’ve listened to it too many times. So payola is helping make wack artistes and wack songs popular.
Lazy artistes and producers
There is this deeply ingrained ‘one-corner’ mindset in many Nigerian artistes; the art of following the trend. When pom-pom beat first came out, the following months resulted in over half of the songs that were released in the industry all having that beat. Every year, many artistes also keep trying to invent new dances without substantial lyrics to back them up, and many other instances like that. It all boils down to laziness. Artistes like Asa, Tuface, Banky W and all the other top artistes in the industry are still on top because they do not have this attitude, from their songs, you can definitely tell that they actually put in work. There is a touch of their personality in every song they sing.
Piracy, in its own right, is a morale destroyer. After an artiste has put in the necessary work and the producers have done their jobs, pirates will come in from nowhere to steal the credits and reap the rewards meant for the creatives. It can make an artist start thinking ‘well since people are going to steal it anyway, I’d rather not put out my best work until the piracy is sorted out.’ So till then, the music industry will be riddled with crappy songs. It might not seem like a legitimate reason, but trust me, it’s one of the things that can really harm a creative’s mind.
Perhaps the greatest reason which also is a bitter pill to swallow, but we the fans are probably the ones who should be blamed the most for the Nigerian music industry failing. Here’s the thing that many people don’t want to admit; Nigerian musicians will always try to give Nigerians only the kind of music they will accept. So if we continue accepting, vibing and enjoying the crappy songs that these artistes put out there, then that is what we will continue getting until the end of time. It’s so sad that artistes like Bez, Asa, Darey Art Alade and others have more fans outside the country than inside. It is what you allow that will continue. If we start patronising the good artistes with good lyrics and messages behind their songs then other artistes will have no other choice but to sit up.
All in all, these four things need to be rectified as soon as possible if we really want our industry to be the forefront of music in both Africa and the world.