From the outset there has been a long bias against women in music (female musicians), they are always deemed as very expendable. And rightly so, female musicians seem to have a shorter career than their male counterparts stemming from obvious reasons such as motherhood, marital status, age (when the sexual appeal gradually wears off) etc. At some point in time they are less sellable and more of a liability for record labels to keep investing in.
After all, there is really no conspiracy theory against female musicians it is sadly how it is. Worst still the lifespan of female artist in Nigeria is apparently leaner than those of her foreign counterparts. It doesn’t come as a shock that no female Nigerian artist has celebrated 10 active years on stage.
Even then, factually speaking the bulk of our female musicians are under performing, only perhaps 2 or 3 have stood out of the herd.
Putting 2017 in full perspective, female Nigerian musicians failed to give their male counterparts a run for their money. Somehow the trio of Niniola, Simi and Tiwa Savage managed to shine through. Most laudable among the aforementioned female artists would have to be Tiwa Savage.
Perhaps her enviable work ethic and prominence led US rapper Fat Joe refer to her as the ‘African Beyonce’. None of her female colleagues have done enough (musically or otherwise) to dare rival her for the title of the queen of Nigerian music and by extension she is still the queen of African music. Despite all the odds and fast changing dynamics in the Nigerian music industry the mother of one has kept on shattering glass ceilings.
What is it that other female Nigerian artists are not doing well?
Without mincing words I can draw a conclusion that 90 percent of the females on the Nigerian music scenery are very complacent.
Cambridge online dictionary defines complacency as “a feeling of calm satisfaction with your own abilities or situation that prevents you from trying harder.” Often times, the female folks in music get to attain certain level of accolades and achievement and they settle in and get too comfortable with themselves. Suddenly it becomes evident their work is lacking fervour and creativity. For example a certain female artist ‘blew up’ with a certain type of music and since then she has stuck with the now stale pattern of music. Evolving to something better is a problem with the females in music.
Suddenly some go MIA or AWOL
As soon as one begins to suddenly enjoy these female musicians they suddenly go missing in action or away without official leave. Those who fall into this category are so much some have turned ‘little breaks’ to retirement. The Sasha Ps, Mo Cheddahs, Munas KSBs etc., have all rested their music careers without mentioning. For some marriage comes into the picture and they syddenly lose steam and momentum. How would the females give their male counterparts a run for their money with this laissez faire work rate?
Not Enough Collaboration With Male Colleagues
One of the reasons most female artists are washed up is mainly because of the fact that they don’t get to work together enough with their male counterparts. The top female acts have great working relationship with the guys. Simi has good working relationship with her producers – mostly males, fellow colleagues like Falz, Adekunle Gold, Davido, Praiz etc. Tiwa Savage is a diva with the demeanor of a Tom boy, she easily mingles with the male folks in the industry.
Despite the above reasons stated, there are also many more factors why it seems female music acts are second fiddle to their male counterparts and easily expendable.
The popular narrative that female artists work double to get half of what the male music act get is fast becoming cliche. The dedication shown by male artists is enormous hence the massive influence the weild with music and beyond. The ladies only need to put in more efforts and dynamism into their craft to stay relevant and in the news.
After carefully examining Tiwa Savage arguably the most influential female music acts out of Africa. The following assessment can be made for a strong form and performance.
- The 38-year-old singer does not rest on her oars, her work rate is phenomenal.
- She has surrounded herself with the best minds.
- Tiwa Savage doesn’t fit a stereotype, she adapts, experiments and evolves.
- The Roc Nation signed artist has a super cool working relationship with her male counterparts. She puts herself out there.
Besides Tiwa Savage most female Nigerian artists are easily expendable and more of a liability. The perception can be reversed if the other ladies in music shun complacency and suddenly begin to hold their own. A popular saying goes thus ‘what a man can do a woman can do it better’. It’s about time!