Someone was allegedly reported to have tweeted “Recession is just a word”, a few weeks back. While the veracity of that tweet is in question, financial experts can better breakdown that term RECESSION, and it is not just a fancy lexicon. That word typifies “hard times”, paucity of cash, high cost of living etc. Figures and statistics show the Nigerian economy is wearing a stern look and it boomerangs on her citizens explicitly.
The economic crunch has impacted the Nigerian Music Industry in every other way but positive. Even our music stars are not left out, this might be comforting to sadists.
Take a close look at the industry you will find out 2016 has been a year of mixed feelings. Let me draw your attention to some happenings so far.
Have you notice many artistes are finding it hard to score a major hit this year? That’s how much the bad economy has mirrored itself on our artistes. Creativity has suffered a decline. Creative juices seem to be running low like our country’s foreign reserves. Only few artistes have had a stellar outing so far this year, some big names have flopped. Some have suffered economic induced menopause others are on a “go slow”. There has been severe lackluster.
Desperate attempts to make popular songs, powered by incessant competition with pleas of financial gains and other benefits for winners. First of all we understand the economy is bad, and there is hardly any cash anywhere or so it seems. Hence, our music stars have decided to cash in on the situation to their advantage. Now and then you hear a big artiste announce a competition, encouraging you to download his/her song, record your own cover or choreograph yourself, submit and pray you win. This for me has more advantage for the artiste than the competitors. It’s now more of a promo strategy than a charitable act. Isn’t it just one person who emerges winner from the whole lot? The competition rarely caters for runners up. When the resources put in by a contestant are weighed against the final outcome it may not be worthwhile. How much does the winner take home? “Ahum hum” clears throat, let me check again. Dear artiste if your song is hip and trendy you will not need to announce a competition to make it grow on people, it will be a self ignited wildfire.
Singing about financial succor this season of cash trap is another likely way to make a hit record. Typical example comes from the quarrelsome Okoye brothers, Peter and Paul. The singing duo has released a somewhat trending song “Bank Alert”. An average Nigerian on the street will wear a wide grin when he gets a credit alert this recession, even myself. “Bank Alert” lacks originality but it sure strikes a chord among the populace. Any song about money has always eventually been a hit record, judging from antecedence.
Many sheep have since gone to graze greener pastures on the other side. Have you noticed many true A-list artistes are rarely seen in Nigeria at the time? Better paying shows are outside the country. Gigs and shows have scaled down a bit in Nigeria. Some artistes have confessed to being invited to perform at shows for half the usual price. Meanwhile abroad, some Wizkid reportedly turned down £25,000 for an international show. These days the grass is greener on the other side.
Some artistes have not had it so well, as their ambassadorial contracts have been severed. Endorsing companies can’t keep up with the fees, especially when those ambassadors are not performing any specific task.
The last thing any artiste would think of at this moment is wasting a Nigerian’s resources on very distasteful piece of music this recession. That will only elicite a frown and verbal out lash. With current economic realities, music sales from digital stores may not be impressive. Nobody will want to expend their on substandard material. I won’t waste my megabytes on any crap music.