The year 2019 was a great one for Nigerian Music and music as a whole, we saw quite a number of new acts rise to the top, we saw music records and numbers smashed by young musicians and this is a great win. There has been a massive introduction of new sounds and faces to the music market in general.
We won’t ignore the fact that this emergence has served as a light threat to the standing forces of the Nigerian Music Sphere, now the top dawgs have to sit up, and I think it’s safe to say that this has affected casual releases.
These new acts, quite a number of them as independent artistes, had a few factors that influenced their massive breakout into the Nigerian mainstream music scene. Without any further ado, let’s delve into that.
The new acts have a very strong force that’s converting than ever before – the social media. We can’t overlook the impact social media has had on the growth of these emerging acts, we have seen artistes in the top of this tier move to millions of followers, and then seal deals with international labels. These social media platforms allow for easy communities to be built, leading to sharp rise in self-promotion of products. An artiste can easily build a cult-following off them, with followers pushing their materials than ever before. In the past year, we have seen acts like Buju rise to the top through connections and recognitions gotten from the cult-promotion of their music, with Twitter being the leading platform for these promotions; possessing an easy-viral feature, products fly real quick on there.
I really need a verse from zlatan 😭 pic.twitter.com/7KU4jGM9YL
— Buju (@Bujutoyourears) June 27, 2019
WhoIsAkin also rose to the top in the early parts of the year 2020, with massive promotions on Twitter. But most times the Twitter method can be tagged as spamming if not properly used, so “promoters” need to be careful and not piss people off. You should not have people associate the music with something cringe-worthy.
— Don Eazi (@mreazi) June 17, 2020
Twitter is a microblogging platform in Nigeria that accommodates a large number of us, with billions of opinions from the multiple users day and night. As mentioned earlier, we have seen a unique class of Twitter Music acts rise to the top, the likes of Buju, WhoIsAkin, Fave, Loti, Ocho and a couple others. The app allows for unbarred interaction between act and the product, the app allows for criticisms, promotion and even in recent times, fetched collaborations.
Fave was discovered on Twitter, Ocho got Waje’s attention on there and they could be having some music out in coming days.
@ochoforeign it’s a mad jam! Like I’m speechless
— WAJE (@OfficialWaje) May 25, 2020
WhoIsAkin grew to be the Twitter sensation for the early part of the year, while also getting Mr . Eazi’s attention and helped a lot with promotions. Rema’s lyrical prowess has been tested, many actions and drama unfolds here! Again, the bird app is the home of a good number of youths ready to feed or feast on your material. Twitter can make or mar you, sometimes it is only for the strong hearted, especially with the emergence of the cancel and stan culture.
A few years back, I worked with a well known music promotion company, music placement on their sites cost a lot running up into thousands of dollars, but now music promotion is now very affordable due to the fast rise in the establishment of music promotion startups. The rain of these startups has allowed for a competitive price around music promotion, these startups help with music distribution, playlisting and promotions at very affordable rates. This for sure has helped more acts put out their materials.
With the emergence of Digital Service Providers (DSP) in the country, the music listening process has changed and is for sure giving these artistes a bigger advantage. A few years ago, we were all around Naijaloaded, 360Nobs, NotJustOk and the likes to fill our playlists. It was quite difficult to see Audiomack, Boomplay, Apple Music or the Deezer app on any phone, but this is fast changing as there is a strong tilt to these music apps as they make it easier to access a wide catalogue of music just from one app and yes, the fast growing number of smartphone users in Nigeria, ranging as high as 25 to 40 the million alongside the very young population is sure helping further this cause.
In the last months of 2019, TikTok and Triller gathered a good number of momentum invading the market. The double tee syndrome got serious as the amassed data on these converted to a good market for music. Then 2020, the invasion got more serious as the virus shifted the world’s focus to full digitalization of interactions as this was the only way to connect in these times. We saw the use of the double tee skyrocket worldwide to about 56Million installs in just the month of May. With TikTok handing users the best version of personal karaoke, allowing free flow of lip syncing and dancing, and the Triller artificial intelligence capability focusing on creators ability to manipulate videos, these help with music promotions and this has pushed for the new drive of various challenges. The double tee boasts of over 41% of their users not within the age range of about 16-24 and its availability in over 150 countries of the world has made music more accessible and marketable. These apps have fostered music growth and distribution and have for sure favored new acts as majority of their fan base are good subscribers of this app.
The challenge culture has also taken a great turn as it’s almost normal for all acts to commence a challenge upon release of a material. They upload a song, start a challenge then boom, their song is everywhere!
The oldies in the game are feeling the heat, we see the sit ups and it’s very interesting to see the young acts shake the oldies! Yes it is!! Some of us listeners have craved new sounds and are starting to get them, we’re being fed steadily and it’s very exciting to see. The OG’s are overwhelmed by the cult members of the young generation, the youngings keep diving into their audience. They don’t have anything to lose, they experiment different sounds and rhythm, and I mean, they still have a long way to go with a standing fan base ready to push anything they put out.
The radio is sure hit by this, I mean the radio interviews and airplays significance has dropped, Youtube Channels of the Music Startups are taking over, this is even better for the artist as there is a face to the voice but the power of radio still stands;
“Radio penetrates all!”
We are happy to see this, as it has resulted to the birth of new stars like OmahLay, Rema, EMO Grae, Fireboy, Starboy Terri, JoeBoy, YusufKanbai, Pandamonae, Straffitti, YungAce, Cheque, Buju, Loti, Ocho, WhoIsAkin, ZInoleesky, JamoPyper amongst others
The Future of the AFRICAN Music is bright and maybe we could be see a Grammy coming home soon.