Nigerian music versus Neo soul: which genre came out on top on Nigerian Idol?

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Nigerian Idol has had a great run this season three, and with a spectacular choice of both current and older song choices from Nigerian music as well as songs from overseas, there has been a lot to like for music fans.

This week the song choices were from two genres: neo soul and recent Nigerian hits. The contestants had plenty of feedback from this week’s judges Femi Kuti, Jeffrey Daniel and Yinka Davies, along with guest judge Mike Okri. The show also had a surprise guest: seated in the audience was the talented soprano Abiodun Koya, an opera singer who has performed for countless dignitaries, including former US President George W. Bush, and current US President Barack Obama.

Debbie Rise sang Jill Scott’s ‘Golden’ dressed to match in a gold dress and accessories. It seems her risky choice to mix in a fuji break in the song went well, however the judges had some comments to make on her vocals. Jeffrey appreciated her choice, saying, “Great song choice. Your vocals are improving and you are getting more balance.” However, Mike told her, “Quite a wonderful performance…but there were some notes you weren’t hitting.”

Her Nigerian hit song choice hearkened back to childhood songs as she performed Bez’s ‘Stupid Song’. While the nostalgic tune kept the crowd going, the judges also had some words of advice for the singer. Jeffery told her “Come out like you are a star and control the stage!” Femi reiterated the point telling Debbie Rise, “You must come out like a winner!”

For Safeeyat, she sang Maxwell’s ‘This Woman’s Work’ as her neo soul choice. While she was complimented on her clear vocals and the emotional impact that started the song, the judges were hoping for more of a climax. Mike told the singer, “It was wonderful, but you can do better.” Yinka gave her some tough advice, telling Safeeyat she needed to find a way to inject emotion into her singing.

Her other song for the night was the catchy ‘ In the Music’, sung by Omawumi. Here she seemed more in her element, which was reflected in the comments offered by the judges. Femi told her, “You are where you should be,” while Jeffrey said, “One of your strongest performances…but when you let go, let go! Because you’ve got it.”

As the final man left in the competition, Moses had many expectations to live up to, and he did not disappoint. He started his night off singing Maxwell’s ‘Pretty Wings’. Mike was effusive in his praise
telling the portly singer, “I can’t believe what you just did. You delivered.” Jeffrey was impressed with his growth throughout the competition saying, “You started in a lower register, and here you are stretching your vocals. That is the making of a superstar.”

His second performance saw him reach for the high notes, as he went local with Omawumi’s song dedicated to the everyman: ‘Today Na Today’. Femi told the Moses, “You have always been one of my favourites, and you are doing everything right tonight.” Jeffrey was impressed with his stage presence telling him that, “When you come out here you own the stage; you just grab us.”

Which do you think they did better? To watch video of these performances, visit Nigerian Idol is the biggest music show across Africa and it is brought to you by Etisalat, in association with Pepsi and supported by Beat FM.

Debie Rise A Debie Rise B Moses A Moses B Safeeyat A Safeeyat B



The 6 o"clock man.

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