Saturday, November 28, 2015

What about the Universal Feel

I have heard that, initially, Jamaican music was heavily garnished with patois that folks outside of the island couldn’t relate to the messages in the music, but since the Jamaican artists wanted to connect more with their fans around the world, the patois was mellowed down. For more than half a century, Jamaican music has been all over the place, with children miming meaningfully and getting inspired.

If the target of a music artist is a global reach, then the culture must be urbane. The Nigerian artists who helped to push Nigerian music around the world, be they 2face, PSQuare, D’banj, Banky-W… never allowed the cultures of the villages from whose dusts the rose to dominate what they played. There is the Nigerian feel, but the music remains suave. 

Today, though, music from the southwest of Nigeria is often, highly dominated by Juju, or Fuji, or both. The others from the South East have strong elements of southeastern indigenous music –everyone seems to be retreating back to his hamlet. It also seems that the artistry if forgotten, there is bad flow and the music is more of jarring noise. This has faded the power of the music to find global lure, something that makes us proud, highly.

Many of us who worry about the troubles of Nigerian music do so if the music is made in a manner that it does not evoke pride. What music evokes pride? Music that evokes pride, for us, is music that would be played outside and strangers would talk well of the music, that which strangers can buy and store it proudly on their CD racks.

It clear that music has the strongest drive to launder the image of the country outside, more than any other weapon the powers think they can mobilize.  It is impossible to talk about whatever appeal Jamaica has without remembering Reggae music.

If your music must find a universal reach, conquering all folks around the world, then you must discipline yourself to sacrifice the rhythms that call to mind what you should have left behind as you walked your way to Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Jos, Kaduna ...




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