The only difference between a problem and a solution is that people understand the solution.the problem with understanding the problem is that most people don't realize that the problem is not that there are problems,the problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.the question now is what is the problem with the Nigerian music industry?the problem is that we do not realize that we have a problem.
Looking at the Nigerian music industry right now,one would be inclined to think that the industry is moving forward,which is not the case.only a fool would look at us right now and say we have arrived,i hate to be the one to break it to you but the promised land is not yet in sight.you can call me an harbinger,i don't care.i have been to a lot of places but i have never seen a country where mediocrity is celebrated like Nigeria.We are yet to win any grammy and none of our artist has been signed to a big record label,i personally don't see anything to write home about.to get a better understanding of what iam talking about,just take a look our music report card.
Proud to be african-Wyclef/tuface/sound sultan/faze
Nfana ibaga(remix)-Tuface/beenie man/reggie rockstone
African queen-Tuface(phat girls)
Danfo driver-Mad melon/mountain black(phat girls)
-Best world music album category-Femi kuti(nominee)
45th annual grammy awards 2003
MTV EUROPE MUSIC AWARDS
2005,african artiste of the year-Tuface(winner)
2007,african artiste of the year-Dbanj(winner)
MUSIC OF BLACK ORIGIN AWARDS(MOBO)
2007,best african act-Tuface(winner)
2008,best african act-9ice(winner)
with the rich variety of music we have in Nigeria like juju,apala,fuji, afrobeat,highlife & last but not the least naija hiphop.we are yet to make it to the world stage.i can't stop laughing whenever i hear a naija artist talking about winning the grammy,that's like saying the super eagles will win the world cup(you will have to qualify first).iam not a pessimist,its just that i don't see that happening anytime soon,at least not with the shake your head,move your hips mentality that most naija artists have.first of all,there is no such thing as a Nigerian sound,we don't have anything we can call our own.this can be blamed on the western influence as everyone wants to sound like jay z,beyonce,lil wayne,rihanna etc.the only thing naija artists are good at is copy copy & follow follow,which is why most international artists are not impressed whenever they get to Nigeria.there is really nothing new for them to see.we will never get the desired recognition until we can outdo the originators of this sound,but can we outdo them?that is a rhetorical question.
When you take a look at African artists that made it to the world stage e.g Hugh masekela,Yvonne chaka chaka,Late brenda fassie,Angelique kidjo,Yossour ndour,King sunny ade,Koffi olomide,Awilo logomba & the late fela anikulapo kuti,you will notice that they all have one thing in common-they created their own sounds.take for example,in the American music industry,the south stuck with what they were doing for so long that they finally made it to the top.they came up with crunk,snap kept on leaning & rocking with it till it became acceptable,now they run the hip hop game.
Despite the myriad of opportunities that we have had we are still nowhere to be found on the world music map.isn't it sad that not even one naija artist has benefitted from all the shows & concerts where international stars have performed in Nigeria.here is a list of all the international artistes that have performed in Nigeria since 2000
2001,October-Naughty by nature(NB plc)
2002,May-Eve/kci & jojo
2003-Ginuwine(Benson & hedges)
2004,December-Beenie man(grafton entertainment)
2005,Febuary-Boyz II men(Gordon sparks)
2005,December-Ja rule/kelvin little
2006,October-Jay z/busta rhymes/snoop dogg/ciara/missy elliot/beyonce/envogue(Thisday)
2006,December-LL cool j/Akon(Star)
2007,Febuary-Donell jones/112/chante moore/kenny lattimore(History of love 101)
2007-T pain/Kanye west(Star)
2007-John legend/rihanna/neyo/diddy/kelly rowland/shakira(Thisday)
2008-Rihanna/jay z/chris brown/usher/mary j blige/fat joe(Thisday)
2008-Brick & lace
2009-Lloyd(Mode men-black night 3)
Looking at this now,you will realize that if our artists are half as good as we think they are,they will be on def jam,interscope,bad boy,rocafella or even any independent record label in US and we would probably have won a grammy by now.lest i forget,we have actually won some grammys by proxy.
-kiss from a rose
record of the year(1996)
song of the year(1996)
best rap song by duo or group(2007)
-No ordinary love
best R&B performance by duo or group(1994)
best pop vocal album(2002)
Tunde baiyewu(lighthouse family),lemar & taio cruz have also done us proud on the international scene.
so how do we answer this question with no lifeline,no phone a friend,no 50/50,no asking the audience.how hard can this be?its just a simple question with a simple answer
Are we there yet?
FINAL ANSWER-CAPITAL N-O