Music industry in Nigeria
I’ve been pretty much a spectator in heated arguments about young music talents in the South East packing up for Lagos. It’s painful seeing young talented Igbo rappers and singers with so much prospect getting lost in the Lagos traffic (pun intended).
According to Nuno Zigi in the interview with Voice of the East, “Music industry is not a physical location,” so why are our talents leaving?
Why are they leaving?
With this question boggling my mind, The Headbridge paid a visit to Ace Studio to see the legendary Odi Ikpeazu. An attorney, a songwriter and singer, Odi is passionate about music. I have not seen many that are passionate about music like him.
With a great feeling of nostalgia, Odi shared with us what music industry in the South East, Onitsha specifically, was like. In his own words, “Onitsha was not just the commercial center of Africa in terms of business. It was also an entertainment hub where great musicians allover the country and West Africa come to perform but it was truncated by the Biafran war”
Odi also highlighted the lack of investment in our entertainment space and this is in sharp contrast with what Lagos is doing. Business mugols in the South East want to come onboard only when the artiste is now national sensation, nobody is willing to look down the lower rungs to support the artistes there.
After the Biafran war, we had an entire region to rebuild so we had very little in our “20 pounds” to spend on recreational activities — rightly so.
However, it’s been 54 years since the Biafran war and we have reclaimed our position as the undisputed Kings of commerce, and the most developed region in the country. We’ve done everything well except the media — and in extension music.
Igbo apprenticeship system and music
One begin to wonder why the widely successful Igbo apprenticeship system hasn’t been replicated in our music industry. To this, Odi talked about the importance of young talents being patient enough to study music and masters of music, have a mental shift from making it big and soon to becoming proper musicians.
Solid advice but I’ll have to also highlight the need for our top dogs in the industry to do more in supporting these artistes. A remix or a collabo with upcoming artistes to share in their little fame doesn’t cut it.
The Shrine and Music Industry In Nigeria
Finally, our media houses in the South East have to do more. You can not talk about the successes of Afrobeat without President Obasanjo who mandated Radio stations nationwide to play 85% Nigerian music. This is something I can we can replicate at regional level.
We at the The Headbrigde under the umbrella, The Shrine, are dedicated to pushing these artistes and creatives in general to a wider audience.
To watch the full interview with Odi click here