As we all know, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced that Nigeria is in a recession sometime ago. Most Nigerians, as the easygoing and hopeful people they are, took this casually.
A set of Nigerians who are not finding this funny, or aren’t pretending that everything is okay, are the artists.
Many relatively unknown Nigerian artists — especially gospel artists — could easily charge N500,000 – N1,000,000 to perform at big gigs until the beginning of this year.
They’ve since noticed that most dignitaries won’t even pay that for B-list artists anymore, not to talk of fortunate upcoming Artists. Artists who were receiving nothing less than N3 million last year, are now being asked to perform for N1 million now or worse, for free.
Nigeria’s most buzzing artists are hardly seen in Nigeria these days. They’ve probably planned for the future — I mean no one wants to jump into a burning bush or a troubled home.
Davido signed a $1 million global record deal with Sony Music Global in January, and was working with artists like Young Thug and Tinashe recently. Olamide is on a foreign tour which might go on for a while, and Wizkid has been busy since last year from featuring Drake on Ojuelegba remix to being on Major Lazer’s to being on R. Kelly’s album to being Drake’s album, Views (2016) to starting his Starboy World Tour this year. Tiwa Savage recently signed a managerial deal with ROC Nation and is on her US tour, The RED tour.
Even other A-List artists like Patoranking are looking into their markets in Southern Africa and East Africa, while Tekno is also looking into the East African market.
The last time sometime like this happened to the Nigerian music industry was in the 1990s, when artists in the limelight like Majek Fashek, Mike Okri, Alex O, Alex Zitto and others had to travel out of the country because the Nigerian economy still felt the effect of the recession it entered in the early 1980s. No matter what happens, these acts have the right to do what’s best for them.
The writer of this article Isima Odeh can be followed on Twitter and Instagram: @IsimaOdeh.