Music is a food for the soul, it’s a form of art used in different application, be it relaxation, entertainment, empowerment, motivation, protest, etc. Over the years, Nigerian music has rised massively as the entertainment sector now generates huge and massive revenues for the nation and individuals in Nigeria. Nigerian artistes are making it big locally and on the international stage, artistes like Fela and Femi Anikulapo-Kuti, Ras Kimono, Majek-Fashek, etc paved way for young and aspiring musicians and serve as a mentor to them. These legends were known for their good music exploit, tackling the bad economy system through the use of music. Their music thought lessons and was used as a tool to propel change. A lot of the songs also gave the masses a sense of self-esteem and pride as it taught them about human rights and fighting the corrupt system.
Most of the music we listen to on radio, television and the internet recently are mostly about love, party, sex, alcohol, drugs, guns etc. The question here is why are young Nigerian musicians afraid to talk about social issues? With all the violence (Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, SARS and corruption etc.) and economy problem Nigerian is encountering as at now, it would have been safer if these artistes are making effective use of the tool music serves them. While some react directly, which is mostly on their social media accounts, some would rather keep mute.
Majority of this said artist delve into music because of the money and fame aspect, everybody wants to turn to a celeb, drive exotic cars and live a lavish lifestyle e.t.c, they are less concerned about societal matters. Sponsors and record labels are business minded, so when a record label or sponsor spends money in developing and marketing an artiste, they are in a hurry to make the money back and would like the musician to make the kind of songs that are currently trending.
Some say Nigerians don’t listen to lyrics; they just want to dance to the beat, but considering how Nigerians still love the older stars of yesterday that made political songs, maybe there is room for a musician that sings these type of songs (and not just “shake your bum-bum” and “shaku shaku” music). Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the dance jams like everyone else. I just think we need other forms of music. As we mourn the legend Ras Kimono and remember great musicians like Fela, let’s hope musicians like this return to the Nigerian music scene soon.
Yes! We like to dance and have fun but we also want music that can appeal to our soul, music that corrects the ills in the society and music that preach love and kindness.