Sometimes I am hasty in my condemnation of some artists that I review. P-Square and Waconzy are some victims of my swift judgment. Eventually however, they proved me wrong. My latest victim is Nigeria’s reining music act, Davido. Right now, he is about to prove me wrong too, especially with his bandwagon, Skelewu.
In every business anywhere around the world and, perhaps, beyond, what adds value to the practice are new inventions. Just imagine the change and rise that has been brought about by information and communication technology.
Music is, perhaps, as necessary as bread is to life. Furthermore, it is a generator of amazing prosperity that sustains millions directly and indirectly. The ability of music to continue to play this role in life is reliant on the capability of the artists to remain creative enough to keep the fans hooked. New styles must be born so as to hound away boredom in the music and keep the fans. It takes an artist with a big heart that knows the significance of a new style and sees its attraction to be able to make out a potential for a new variety and then work towards ensuring it does not fizzle out. Along this line, Davido has proven that he’s got a big heart and is not a run-off-the-mill opportunist that I thought he was.
The music assortment which I will like to call the Sexy Swing is currently called Iyanya Dance after another Nigerian singer, Iyanya who invented it. The style manifested in his song, Your Waist, a song that found rave reviews across Africa and beyond. I never really loved the music that instigates dancers to swing their waists and hips seductively thereby making onlookers to suddenly move on to a heat session. Seeing the popularity of the song however, I was compelled to join the bandwagon. This finally happened after a radio presenter I hold in high esteemed played the song on air. I asked her what she thinks is the attraction in the song and she replied that she saw relevance in the song as a result of the widespread acceptance the song has received among music lovers.
Besides Your Waist, the flair of the Sexy Swing did not reflect in any of the other songs by Iyanya. Thus it is difficult to say that Iyanya invented the style consciously. If he had made a complete album of songs with that flavor, it would have been easy for one to conclude that he knowingly invented the style.
After I listened to Wande Cole’s Ten-Ten I perceived the potential for a distinct music color and wrote to say that if the artist can carry on with that discrete music type, he would have invented a new one. He never sustained it and everything just vamoosed. Not only that, the artist also disappeared from the scene, again confirming and re-instating the fact that Nigeria is a country of wastages.
What Davido has shown, by doing a song along that line, is that he is aware that if other artists can continue to do songs with that flamboyance, then a music invention would have been recorded.
One thing about the Nigerian music industry is that it has the capacity to drag creativity to the latches since music marketers insist on what elements should and should not be in music if they must market it. By that they take away music democracy and frustrate the possibility of new inventions. If Davido and the others to follow are aware of the dangers of the demands of the marketers and work consistently to ensure they maintain the flair, then Iyanya Swing would have established itself as new music style that was made in Nigeria.