Africa: The Problem of not making Musical Bangers in Nigeria
The Nigerian music industry has undoubtedly achieved overwhelming success in many areas and is unarguably one of Nigeria’s biggest job-creating sectors today as it creates opportunities for complementary services like music/movie production, event management, DJ services, equipment purchase/leasing, marketing, retailing, etc. According to Joey Akan, a Contributor with Guardian Newspaper “Nigeria as a music market is diverse, with lots of audiences spread across geographical locations and demographic divisions.
But the highest earners at every point in the past 10 years, have been the people who can connect to the highest amount of listeners. They speak the language of the masses and offer them entertainment which inspires them mostly to dance. Check out every year since 2010 and name the top 3 musicians by December, and you would discover great artists who offered entertainment first as a commodity, before caring about the finer points of the music. Also, these winners are the ones that the critics mostly hate for making a special type of music: Bangers.”
These bangers or hits are the main reason why Nigeria is regarded as a hub for African music. Every time a Nigerian song is released, there are willing ears and hearts across the world, waiting to connect to our rhythm and drumming. Joey Akan on his ‘Weekend Starter’ for Guardian wrote “Let’s not get it twisted. Bangers are amazing.
They are ‘sweet’. They hit you like a great friend, hugging and rocking your body, through heavy beats which inspire you to react to the music. With each timed intricate step you take, or every twist and whine you do to stay ‘on-beat’, you are catapulted to a higher state where you are happier, and the world feels a little rosier at that moment. Bangers are the reason why Nigeria is regarded as a hub for African music. Every time we export our music, we find willing ears and hearts across the world, waiting to connect to our rhythm and drumming. People rock with Afrobeats because it soaks them in the elevating powers of our bangers.”
“Then why are Nigerian intellectuals and ‘core’ creatives averse to the very concept of it? Well, because they value technique over vibe. And while a technique is important for the creation of anything that matters, we also have to understand that music is an effort at creativity, which is itself, a force of nature that is in constant flux. Creativity as a concept is synonymous with change. And if people can alter the mix of their elements to create a product that skips traditional requirements, but connect on a stronger level with their listeners, isn’t that a triumph for creativity?”
“There’s an argument to be had here that bangers are sonic fluff, and creating an ecosystem that is banger-centric will push artists that make inventive sounds far away from mainstream consciousness that the general consuming public will lose absolute interest in helping sustain these creatives by patronizing them. But those aren’t fact.
They are fears. And this specific fear is limiting. Why suffer and persecute a winning sound because it doesn’t fit some archaic rule? Why obstruct the happiness of the majority because some dead guy told everyone that music must have sensible lyrics? Who makes this stuff up? They are humans right? If yes, why aren’t you, a human, seeking to tear the rules to fit your audience? Why are you relinquishing your power?”
It is not secret that bangers sustain the Nigerian music industry and also make the artiste stay relevant. And for all the complaints about the lack of lyrics, it continues to thrive in countless spaces that accept it for its lyrical poverty. So many artistes have gone under for not producing hits. According to Vanguard Newspaper below are of some artistes without bangers and have since gone under:
Well, K Switch is popular; after all, he is D’banj’s biological brother. But that may be the only gene they share because musically, they are certainly world apart! He was a member of the defunct Mo’hit group but even back then, K Switch was just there, he wasn’t so spectacular.
Once upon a time, 2shotz was the man of the moment. That time is quickly fading in the minds of many; so many people may not even recall what songs shot him to the limelight. His song, ‘Superman,’ which was released in 2012, would have put him back on track because it gained a lot of public acceptance but that did not seem to be enough as he still wasn’t able to top charts. Apart from allegedly battering his girlfriend Beverly Osu and later on, his wife, and the stories making headlines, nothing more has been heard from the talented guy who used to make so many fans dance with the great songs he put out back then.
Presh may be wondering which god he offended; since he and his former Best Friend Forever (BFF), KC broke up, Presh’s career has almost gone into oblivion. As a group, their (KCPresh) career wasn’t even fantastic as they didn’t have a great hit that could earn them fantastic points even after they had won at the Nigerian Breweries sponsored music reality show, Star Quest. However, they had performed on stage for so many years (all thanks to Nigerian Breweries sponsored concerts and gigs) with other A list international and Nigerian musicians. Interestingly, they broke up and KC started dishing out club bangers back to back while Presh is…just Presh.
Thank God Sasha P got another calling. Her musical career became practically dead and so many people felt that in order to remain relevant, the one-time rap queen switched to clothing and shoe business.
Take away bangers, and what we will have left is a drought of everything nice, and an expanse of land filled with tuneless music, broken artistic dreams and failed attempts to fly. Bangers are the reason why we have any pride in this music.