Ladies and gentlemen, this is to invite you to the launch of my debut album. Congratulations, you are part of a select few that will witness the birth of Nigeria’s newest and hottest singing sensation. My printer guy, Emeka is already working on your invites. What is that you say? Oh you’d like to know if I have any sort of musical talent.
That is a very good question. You my dear future audience are a clever bunch. I am impressed. Can you smell the sarcasm? No, okay let me close the windows. There, you should be choking in it now. What kind of question is that? Am I a footballer? Did I say I wanted to be a dentist or an astronaut? I said I want to release an album in Nigeria. Do not get it twisted; my lack of musical talent is immaterial.
A few days ago I turned on the radio; I was immediately assaulted by a song from some random artiste. My 1st thought was who wrote this song. My 3year old niece can write better. The song made no sense and I instantly wrote it off. Or so I thought. For the rest of that day my head was a faulty CD player stuck on repeat. The hook played over and over again. I didn’t even need to think of it to recite it. It was imprinted on my poor brain.
Days later, I was at a friend’s party and alas, the Djay played my nemesis. Surely he should know this song lacked content. Well people, the joke was on me. Everyone had gone bonkers, not the sleeping kind, the crazy Yaba left kind. They were dancing and singing along like their lives were at stake.
I asked a friend “Why do you like this song?”
She said “Babes, it makes sense die”.
You cannot imagine how many deaths I died.
What had happened to my fellow citizens? Is it this easy to impress them? I got over my shock fast, realizing I had stumbled onto a goldmine. I’d found the secret behind making it in the Nigerian music industry. Relax, I am not a “chop and clean mouth person” so I’ll share it with you. You need only two things; a very hot beat that people instantly grove to and a very basic hook. It doesn’t need to make sense. Mumble a few words; just make sure we can all sing along.
Lyrics you say? My word you ask a lot of questions. Forget the lyrics, apparently the emptier the song the merrier. This, my dear friend is Nigeria; home of danceable beats, call back hooks and empty lyrics. Now do you see how utterly unimportant your question was. I do not need any talent whatsoever to make it in this industry. I have the killer beat and lullaby hook.
It is disheartening to know music in Nigeria has become a sport any regular Joe can indulge in. I remember the good old days when people looked out for the message behind the songs they listened to. Now, as far as we can instantly groove to it, nothing else matters. The customer is always right, yes? Let’s give the people what they want who cares if we end up sending Mr. Music to an early grave.
I considered becoming a hero and championing the “make good music” cause but I am not a messiah and besides it’s too much work without financial remuneration. Don’t you dare roll your eyes at me, money makes the world go round and I like my world spinning. Who knows maybe someone will come along and make real music. Until then, I will not let this money making opportunity pass me by. So dear guests clear your schedules, you cannot afford to miss my Album Launch. See you there.
Written by Isioma *Jazz* Osaje.