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The Nigerian Music Industry


When we discuss the Nigerian music industry we are now inadvertently taking a short sharp and innovative look at one of the world’s most listened to genres of music. Nigerian music or musicians of Nigerian heritage/influence have become truly dominant (within a short space of time). It stands to reason that Nigeria with over 150 million people and hundreds of thousands of people in Diaspora should possess the unbridled potential of harnessing a truly thriving music industry.

 

Today, led by P-Square, D'Banj, 9ice and 2Face Idibia, Nigerian or Naija music is well sought all over Europe and in places where Africans live in Diaspora but particularly in Africa itself where in some cases it is accepted as being more popular than the local music.

The main reason for the above has been the much needed investment from major (labels as supported by bankrollers) sprouting record labels like Kennis Music, Storm Records, amongst others. The success has also been fuelled by the distribution channels of Youtube and many other websites where the videos have been provided for the millions of expectant fans to view again and again. The potential is clear to see in this market from the millions of hits individual artist videos receive, it is even more surprising to realise the level of these viewings from outside of Nigeria and Africa

 

But for a majority of artists an unfortunate situation exists of Underdevelopment in areas such as marketing, music and artist management, piracy, stereotypical views, lack of investment and sluggish innovation has lead to the market being left behind. The root of the problem is very wide, from the sectors of distribution, supply, booking agents, video promotion and international coverage the industry is beset by problems.

Despite the above Online marketing and exposure has allowed many millions of people to experience Nigerian music, particularly those of Nigerian heritage who certainly research and search their favourite stars. But the latter does not generally reflect in physical sales (of units) rather it simply constitutes a series of online hits and a demand to see the artists Live, which again has its problems e.g. contacting the artists, availability of the artist and entrance Visas for the artist to foreign climbs.

The mega stars of Nigerian music have used their popularity to pick up major awards. The only two MTV Europe Best African Acts are both from the Nigeria (2Face Idibia and D'Banj. Tuface's African Queen has become a mainstay at African parties across the globe, rivalling the likes of Magic System's Premier Gaou, Awilo Longomba's Karolina and Brenda Fassie's Vulundlela. This artist also won the Best African musician at Britain's Music Of Black Origin (MOBO) awards in 2007, and was followed by 9ice, another Nigerian singer. Nigerian artistes picked up most of the major awards at last year's Channel O Music Video Awards and the MTV Africa Music Awards. Over the next few articles we shall expose the industry further.