Nigerian music has over the years gained prominence, even beyond the African continent. Many youngsters have become household names today through their exploits in the industry, and the Nigerian music industry is assumed to be one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Even with the successes recorded so far, Nigeria music is still breaking barriers.
Nigerian music before the late 80’s can be said to be in its incumbency stage in terms of acceptance in the international market.
Though some genre of music of Nigerian origin, like the Juju music, Afrobeat and Highlife music, were finding their standing among other already established genres of music of international repute like the Reggae, Hip-pop, R’n’B – just to mention a few, – hardly was there a fusion of this genres of music with any of the Nigerian music to create a hybrid.
But today, the same can’t be said as Nigerian beats are now incorporated in some genre to give what can be termed ‘African beats’ or ‘Afrobeats’. Over the last decade, Nigerian music acts have placed the Nigerian map in the committee of nation with a viable music industry
The likes of D’banj, P-Square, 2-face Idibia have all collaborated with one or two A-list music stars to broaden the horizon of the Nigerian music industry.
Recently, Nasarawa State-born Bez Idakula boosted the Nigerian music industry profile by becoming the first African to ‘world premier’ a video on American music programme with his ‘That Stupid Song’ video. Before this feat, Nigerian act, 2-face Idibia, had earlier set records that would take time to be surpassed.
Some of his achievements are NEA awards 2004 for ‘Song of the Year’, Channel O awards 2005 for ‘Best Male Video”, MTV African Music Awards 2010 for ‘Artist of the Year”, BET awards 2011 for Best International Act” and many more.
On the circulation and more international exposure of Nigerian music, the Internet, being the basis of world information, has helped major online music platforms, such as NotJustOk and Spinlet, expose music fans to the latest music updates from Nigeria and beyond by streaming music and creating safer ways to sell them legally, thereby reducing piracy which is one of the banes of the growth of the Nigerian music industry.
Aside its uniqueness, Nigerian music has come to be brand of its own.
2012 has been a year of total conquering for labels like Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E), home to Wizkid, Skales and CEO Banky W, who recently sold out at the Wizkid concert held in the UK with a turnout of over 5000 people.
Wizkid is currently touring the US with his team performing hits from his first album ‘Superstar’ and E.M.E collaboration album ‘Empire Mates State of Mind’, which dropped fairly recently.
His well-publicised affiliation and contract with Akon’s Konvict music has had him in and out of major cities like New York and Los Angeles, where he was spotted working in the studio with US rappers, The Game and Young Jeezy. His international collaborations feature Sarkodie, Akon, Dotstar, R2Bees, and he is even rumoured to be working with UK superstar TinieTempah.
Nigerian hit master D’banj and Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie also came together to work on a track called ‘Come To Me’, which was exclusively made available on NotJustOk in June, 2012. The major collaboration between D’banj and his new label, G.O.O.D Music, which is owned and run by rapper Kanye West, has left music fans wondering what he could possibly be cooking up in his hit-making kitchen.
In an interview with UK Radio DJ Tim Westwood, D’banj said he would be featuring Kanye on the remix of his song ‘Scape Goat’, which should be released later this year. In the meantime, he has been spotted on red carpets, in music videos and on sets with his new team consisting of Teyana Taylor, 2Chainz, Big Sean, Pusha T and Kid Cudi.
Hit making duo, P-Square, took on a joint project with American rapper Rick Ross, who featured on the remix of ‘Beautiful Oyinye’, a song from their latest album ‘The Invasion’. P-Square has remained consistent in the game right from their debut into the industry till date. They are referred to as the ‘most successful duo out of Africa’.
They have sold out shows all over the world, from the Afro Beats Festivals in the UK, to their first France show in May, where they recorded another International collaboration with famous French singer Matt Houston. The pace at which the industry is progressing, it will be one to beat in a couple of years to come.
Naija music, Nigerian music, Niija sounds and any other name the Nigerian music brand may be referred may just be the next major thing to take over the world music scene. Fans are hopeful that more barriers would be broken and more records set.