The Nigerian music is known all over the world today because of its dynamism in the way it combines traditional and popular cultures. Over the years, Nigeria music has made great impact with the likes of Highlife, Apala, Fuji, Juju, and Afrobeat genres; under the custodian of Nigerian greats such as Bongus Ikwe, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Christy Essien Igbokwe, Onyeka Onwenu, King Sunny Ade, Osita Osadebe, Ebenezer Obey, Dr. Victor Olaiya et cetera.
These artistes were not just commended for their musical dexterity, but the lyrical content of their works. It was more of a competition of inspiring and creatively crafted poetic words; such that no one could pinpoint who the best artiste was. However, with the current trend, where rhythm rather than lyrics that sells songs, many have come to argue that the ‘now’ music has declined in standard. From watered down lyrics that do not correlate to singing different songs on same beat, the state of Nigerian music industry leaves much to be desired.
Apart from serving as a source of livelihood, the old generation artistes also used the platform; and their God given talent to pass ‘positive messages’ that impacted positive ideals to people all over the world.
Cultural Purists Say There Is Too Much Imitation
Culture purists blame the regulatory bodies and media, particularly, the terrestrial TV station; and online media for their constant broadcast of obscene music videos. They say majority of the artistes are not versed and knowledgeable enough about the rudiments of music.
They argue that a lot of young folks who patronise these artistes do not have the ears and patience to listen to good lyrics; instead they prefer songs they can make them dance. As long as the beat is good, people will buy the CD even if all what the artiste is saying is, ‘free madness’, ‘kolomental’, ‘swagga maga’ and other babbles as they give credence to mediocrity.
Rather than promote positive values, today’s musicians have turned their music to platforms for promoting alcohol; marijuana, women, sex, nudity, money and drugs, which have done nothing but corrupt; and pollute the minds of our children and youths, who are fast taking to such.
In my opinion, the music industry needs to be revived. Talent is good, but Nigerian musicians must learn the trade professionally; and see how they can add value to the lives of Nigerians, especially young Nigerians.