Naija Music Scene - Sunshade Copycats

Switch on the television today sometime around lunch hour and almost all the local TV stations in Lagos are showing musical video shows parading Nigerian artistes belting out their tunes in the setting of beautifully produced videos. Everyone seems to be doing it real good with their videos; even the wackiest of artistes manage to shoot something colorful.

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.

26 Screamer(s):

Sting said...

Good point! It's called lack of creativity, people don't want to think beyond the obvious.

Naughty Eyes said...

Spot on Afro! But unlike you, I will mention names. Durella's "Enu O se" video, mannerisms, slangs and even his singing style looks copied straight out of the D'Banj book! Not that I dig D'Banj like all that but this copy-copy is becoming too much. As for the shades, I spotted several "musicians" sporting them during the recent Guinness Greatness event at Astroturf which HELD AT NIGHT!
Every video nowadays, though great, looks like a DJ Tee or Clarence Peters rip-off. I keep on crying: what happened to creativity?
PS: Haters, if you don't like the fact that I just said the truth, KILL YOURSELF!

doll said...

LMAO

jhazmyn said...

i think the shades thingy exceeds the music scene, step into any club, show, whatever...at night, you'd see the shades craze happening around you

naija shawty said...

shades are even overrated to me. soem pple even wear them in the nite, thinkin the golden ris add a bling to their dressing. lol

I seriously hope the message of your post will click for all entertainers. They indeed have to stand out and be unique. They can do that via their music - creating their own sound that distinguishes them from others; or their image - creating a look that separates them from the pack.

Without that, entertainers will simply be "What's his/her name?" And they will lose out on an opportunity to make not just money but make themselves powerful.

Great post. BTW, have you seen this similar post?

Enkay said...

You know that creativity takes a great deal of hard work. Some of these guys just don't want to be bothered and I think it's a real shame.

Anonymous said...

HOLDUP!!! bros' ur list is not complete without.....Terry G aka the Bling Master aka Free Me Now!!;
funny thing dat pics looks so much like him xcept 4 d hair :-)



*howz iyawo? hope she's doing well

LG(blogger get scoin-scoin)

Olufunke said...

True talk!
you just hit the nail on the head, I have been wondering what is it about these 'dark shades'?
Even gospel singers on TV now don some kind of dark shades, and I was like 'cant people be themselves' ?
don't they just hate being a shadow or copy of someone else?
They even put on the dark shades at night!

but I should agree with 'jhazmyn' the shades thing has become a fashion now.
Well like you said, upcoming artists should work more on their creativity.
Cheers!

true story... i was actually thinking of the same thing this morning, when i remember that song figaro and how so much it spits dbanj and is kokolette song.

Naughty Eyes said...

Come to think of it, the pix is hilarious and yet spot on, even down to the exposed belt buckle and boxer shorts. Kim Masters he/she is a Master/Mistress of Art whoever he/she is...

SimpleeMe said...

HA HA...very true...e don tire me o

LusciousRon said...

The matter don tire me.

aloted said...

hehehe


this post is on point sha!

aloted said...

@naughty eyes...my sources in the music industry say it was dbanj that copied the durella guy....i agree they sound similar but i dont know who copied who

which one is my own sef!

mike said...

dont mind thos ecopy-cats! no idea in brain so na to follow follow them sabi! nice point anyway~!

Oyin said...

well.....thats how style is generated...someone has to start it.

Everyone doesnt look nice in shades

Oyin said...

where are you?

Buttercup said...

if only the 'culprits' cud read this..

how r u and the family jare?

Tairebabs said...

As much as I am proud of how far the Nigeria music industry has grown, I think the biggest problem really is the lack originality by some artists. A lot of them are doing a good job but a couple of artist are mere copycats. The sunshade thing irritates me...except on dbanj of course :-))

Afronuts said...

@Sting…You’re on point too. I always stress that creativity is seriously lacking.

@naughty eyes….But I heard that Durella was the original who got copied by Dbanj. Unfortunately, Dbanj hit it big b4 Durella. Abi did I miss something?

@doll…teeheehee

@jhazmyn…yeah. But shades has always been there right from the 1970s..

@Naija shawty…that is plain ridiculous. Wearing shades at nite?

@solomonsydele….If they ever get to read it. Thanks and good point u made there on ur site too!

@enkay…some of them are just plain lazy about it.

@LG…did NEPA take light on ur blog? Lol. The pic look like him? Hmm…

@olufunke….gospel artistes too? Oh boy

@Kopearl…which song is that?

@Naughty eyes…LMAO! I’ll pass ur message to Kimson…and he’s a ‘He’. I’ll do a post on him someday.

@Simplemee…me too oh

@Lusious Ron…me too oh!

@aloted….I heard the same too. Wow…then it must be true!

@Mike…shey? Bandwagon and crowd mentality

@Oyin…lol. Why do u sound different? And I’m still here, have no fear.

@Buttercup…you always have precise and smart comments sha! If only they could read this true true!

@TaireBabs…lol. I excepted Dbanj too cause he deliberately branded himself into the shade affair.

leggy said...

ur so rite...like some guy i saw hu looked just like d'banj and it got me so vexed dat even do he had good music i never listen to him again.....and i dey vex oh...were psquare and faze dey for ur orginality list?!lol but seriously i love those guys!
first time here...cool blog!

Maxi said...

Word!
Seriously though... if I could just find shades that made me look like a diva, I'd rock them even in the darkest dungeons :)
Just a small fantasy of mine...

Oyin said...

I can tell you how dammy put his face on that paper...but you will have to meet me on yahoo (pggcgirl)

Oyin said...

ummm different, meaning what??

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