Nonsense sells; and as much as this statement is cliche, I also radically disagree. I once asked a popular artiste why they keep churning out the same type of baseless music, he said that’s what the fans asked for.
Dear fans, why are you being used as a lying apparatus, and when did you meet a Nigerian musician and asked him to sing about s*x and stuff?
So a corporate company that wants some more brand exposure, some more customers, some more threat on their adversaries in commerce and most importantly a viable Return-on-Investment, after signing a six-figured cheque for a not-so-talented but accepted artiste to go home with, ends up adding a subtle stain on their brand identity after their ambassador messes up in several ways.
What is your definition of an A-list act anyway? Headlining shows or having baby mamas? I’ll pass on that; talks for another day.
According to the bling-bling’d and sun-shaded boys that flock around the music scenery, Music is only best when it’s danceable, when you startup mentioning your producer’s name and follow up with your record company and management’s name, when you repeat one verse three times and throw words that you wouldn’t hear your children speak, when you mention car brands that you have never driven and alcohol brands that turn deaf ears to your melodious lobby of getting endorsed by them, when you mock females and their vital parts and when you mention your sponsors or potential sponsors at the end of the endurable four-minute long noise. What a definition. This, according to them, is AfroPop.
So you ask a superstar wannabe, “what kind of music are you into?”, the stress of thinking about something accurate launches into them and without further ado, “AfroPop” rattles out of his mouth that is fenced with a bleached set of lips to fit into the starter pack of musicians in that genre.
I sense that artistes who struggle to find a niche for themselves seldom hide under the shadow of AfroPop. Some suffer from what I call Ennui, but really, you do not have to release music every other week if there is no content for and in it. But our dear brothers in the game will go ahead to force out songs that they cannot be proud of decades down the line.
Sometimes I wonder if these guys have notepads and stuff for jotting down words or lyrics that randomly drop into the mind of creatives. I am still here wondering.
Back to why I am writing this, AfroPop, fully know as African Popular Music, has been defied it’s true definition. Afro music was/is fathered by the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti and as you would expect, he had deep messages synchronized with his music, but now that you want to inherit it, why are you leaving out the sense and the messages? Who said you wouldn’t ‘blow’ still?
As an artiste, nobody cages you to be a one-style icon, as a matter of honesty, we want versatility and diversity, just like Wikipedia states, AfroPop does not refer to a specific style or sound. Therefore, it is NOT a genre. Why not find a more streamlining and specific genre to describe your music and quit hiding under the AfroPop umbrella to churn out terrible music that lacks content and creativity.
Fans get bored, they want a breath of fresh air. Little wonder the YBNL toaster, Kunle Gold caught wild fire real quick. He was a pacifier to all the other noise makers the record label has on board.
New Age, Easy Listening, Electronic, Highlife, Apala, Juju, Coupe Decale, HipLife, Soukous, Folk and so forth are genres that slowly going into redeemable extinction.
Take a cue from this. We have more than enough noise makers that pollute the air waves already, why not be creative about yours as you come into the densely populated industry with your Demo CD and gold chain and Versace shirt.
Written by:- Taiye ‘Pappintin’ Adeyemi (@taiyaaay)