The Nigerian music industry is definitely going somewhere but a lot of Nigerian artistes still need to learn a few things and get a few facts right.
There are way too many copycats on the music scene. I won’t mention names but by the time I’m through, when you see them, you’ll know them. Many artistes don’t really have solid identities. They just copy off on what some other artiste is doing and replicate it on their own fort.
Here’s what I mean – Today the artiste called D’banj is not only known by his name but he has A LOOK that has become elements of his brand personality; the dark shades (till today, I’m not sure I’ll recognize the dude without shades), his mannerisms which have certain slogans acquainted with it. His right-hand man, Don Jazzy, is well known for strutting about with a walking staff and a face cap or felt hat. There is a style to the way this duo present themselves. Right from the beginning, DBanj started with shades and ever since then, it’s become part of his persona.
Today, many upcoming artistes are now sporting shades. Almost every video I catch a glimpse of has the performing artiste wearing shades. Why? Na by force? Or are your eyes too ugly to look at? Or is it because that’s what they think it takes to look cool? As far as I’m concerned, it’s not the shades that stand you out but the way you package and brand yourself.
What are you known for? What’s iconic about you?
Ruggedman is known for wearing his iconic headwarmer (He looked rather odd in a video where he wasn’t wearing it), Weird MC will always be known for the funny hat she always has on her head, Lagbaja is unmistakable for being the masked wonder, Asa’s simple dreadlocks with her ordinary eye glasses seemed to have become her personality. Bouqui is known for sporting short-cropped beautifully dyed hair, GT the guitar man, is known for his fedora and guitar.
And then there are the artistes who have not bothered much about giving a particular definition to their style and that’s because their music is doing that for them – M.I (Who looks better without shades than he does with it), Sound Sultan (whose name also happens to be a powerful trademark), Dare Art Alade (who doesn’t even need unecesaary blings or shades to look good), Djinee (who’s bright eyes, babyface, voice and music style defines his brand) … and the list goes on.
What I take from this is simple – find out what works for you as an artiste. If your personal style can’t be iconic, let your music style be. And again you could have both.
Today, many upcoming artistes are wearing sunshades in their videos as if it has become the artiste uniform to looking cool, its also making so many artistes look alike.
I’m not against wearing shades but for goodness sake, artistes should quit using them all the time in the videos. Its becoming way too overrated and not the only element that defines being cool. There are other ways. Upcoming Artistes should quit being ‘sunglass copycats’ and start getting creative about the way they strut their stuff in their videos.