NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING boosts a song’s popularity and assures its lasting fame even after its time has passed, such as the fortunate and very lucky incident of that song introducing or at least popularizing a unique style of dancing.
Awilo Logomba’s fame all across Africa was (and is) not only due to his fast paced and groovy instrumentals. He obviously didn’t introduce the popular Congolese makosa dance but he succeeded in popularizing the dance beyond even the shores of Africa. Back then, if you had to know just a dance step, it had to be the Makosa.
Coming back home to Nigeria here, remember Olu Maintain’s Yahooze? It would be tough to argue with someone who is of the opinion that the Yahooze dance was more popular than the song itself. Olu Maintain apparently invented the dance and his mega hit single alongside the dance were the central theme of Nigerian contemporary music for almost two years. Even former American Secretary of State, Colin Powell did the yahooze dance on stage with Olu Maintain! In fact, it still won’t be particularly weird to see someone doing the yahooze as a standalone dance or in combination with other current dance steps.
What of Artquake’s Alanta dance? Both amateur and professional dancers had a field day with this one. Artquake did not invent Alanta but they released a single under the same title and history will always appropriate it to them. Different variations and styles of dancing the Alanta sprang up and even though it’s about four years since the song was released, the Alanta dance is still very much around.
If you are someone given to dance, I know you must have enjoyed reminiscing on those old dance steps, you probably started daydreaming while remembering parties and clubs where you rocked all those dance steps. Let us however, for the sake of space and time come back to the present. Oya, pinch yourself in the cheek……back yet? If not, do ten frog jumps, if that also doesn’t work, what the heck? Daydream on and come back to conclude this article later.
Anyways, either you snapped out of your daydream immediately or had to come back to this post after a while or didn’t even daydream at all, welcome to the present! I mean now, today, an era where the Azonto dance is the in-thing and of course it is closely followed or even superseded in some places by the Kukere (Etighi) dance.
The Azonto is a Ghanaian dance which has been around for quite a while but Nigerians have only just got bitten by its bug. I doubt if any single song is the front liner in the “colonization” of the Azonto presently but a few songs “have more mouth” than others e.g. Fuse ODG’s “Azonto”, Wizkid’s “Dance for me”- which is affiliated to the Azonto not really because of its instrumental but mostly because Wizkid did the Azonto dance in the song’s video, Olamide’s “First of all” and a host of others.
The Etighi dance was apparently an existing Calabar dance. The Calabar people may claim they invented the dance, but the ownership of the dance is now Nigerian. Hugely popularized by arguably the biggest Nigerian hit song this year, Inyanya’s “Kukere”, the Etighi dance is just referred to by many by the title of the song.
There are other dance steps which I have not mentioned. The aim of this post is not to create an encyclopedic list of dance steps which have been famous in Nigeria of recent but to mock, scorn, taunt, deride and lampoon attempts by some Nigerian artistes to create and then try to seemingly impose their own dance steps.
And I am unapologetic about it too.
The reason for this is simple; I believe that the fans should choose the dance, and not the way round, i.e. the artistes shoving dance steps we are not interested in up our asses.
Guess who the first victim of my onslaught is? Artquate- yep, the very duo responsible for bringing the Alanta dance to us came up with something they called the “Milando” dance in 2011. I have nothing much to say about it as history itself passed judgment upon them. Nigerians quietly listened and watched what they had cooked up and sassily looked the other way. I sincerely hope that is not the reason they haven’t released any other song since!
Next is the D’banj with what he called the “Oliver Twist” dance- named after his international hit single, “Oliver Twist”.
D’banj succeeded in selling his song to Nigerians and foreigners alike, but not even an elaborate dance competition could popularize his dance style. Apart from when he himself does the dance during his performances, the Oliver dance is essentially non-existent.
Next is someone generally regarded as a legend on the Nigerian contemporary music scene- Eldee, through his Trybe record protégé K9. Eldee is an old timer who has witnessed the rise and fall of several Nigerian artistes and therefore recognised the power a widely acceptable dance style confers on a song.
It is therefore quite understandable that he came up with the not-so-brilliant idea of organizing a “dance competition” obviously to popularize the “Kokoma” song by K9 and subsequently the dance style. In a blunt, brazen and shameless manner, the competition even requires that entrants shoot the video entry for the dance step in a “public location”! Haba! Na by force for us to like your dance?
In an unlikely twist of events, Eldee is even now been accused of stealing the Kokoma dance concept from a group known as the WADUP dance team. If this is eventually proved to be true, it goes to show how desperate the music industry is to shove new dance steps in our faces, whether we like it or not.
Last but not the least here is the duo of lookalike twins, Peter and Paul Okoye, popularly known as P-Square. Their latest single, “Alingo” was released a few months ago to a mostly indifferent reception.
How could they popularize this failing song? Of course, try and shove a dance step into the faces of Nigerians and have their song ride the wave of the success of the dance- and to the utmost surprise of even me, they indeed tried really REALLY HARD!
How do I mean? P- Square who haven’t danced really much in ANY music video(Not even the award winning “Roll it” where popular dancer, Kaffi led the choreography) since the good old days of “busy body” came out in full force to dance energetically in Alingo’s video.
Hopefully, they won’t launch a dance competition for it too!
If they do however, I gladly encourage youths to dance for the price money- just like they did for the “Oliver twist dance competition and are currently doing in the Kokoma dance competition, and then sweep the dance styles under the carpet- where it belongs!
We will dance as we wish, not as they wish.
No hard feeling towards anybody oh, if you vex, na u sabi, Rick Ross kuku don tell you say negative energy go only give una cancer. LOL.