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Once Upon A Time, They Were. . .

By Daniel Anazia
13 February 2015   |   11:00 pm
THE Nigerian music industry like every other sector of the economy that Nigerians ventures into and support, has become a factor to reckon with worldwide, not just because of the support given to it, but most especially the rhythm and lyrics that are daily churn out from it. Although, it is not yet at its…


THE Nigerian music industry like every other sector of the economy that Nigerians ventures into and support, has become a factor to reckon with worldwide, not just because of the support given to it, but most especially the rhythm and lyrics that are daily churn out from it. Although, it is not yet at its highest level, it has brought with it a world of revolution.

    Known as a centre stage in the music world over, each both the established artistes and the upcoming, strives to hit track that would enjoy massive airplay across the country, and attract the attention of the populace, particular the young, up and mobile music lovers, which constitute bulk of their fans base.

    As the industry continues to boom, with the wave making acts not resting on their oars, especially the young talented and determined artistes, who are giving the big shots a run for their money and ready to take advantage of any blunder from the ‘chairmen and bosses’.       

    Once upon a time, the industry was rule by some notable names, which were regarded and revered as heavyweights and they were everywhere, performing at major shows that went down in the country. However, a careful observation of the industry showed they have dropped out from the music popularity, perhaps as a result of high level of competition industry.  

    It seems many of the ‘big-shots’ have accepted defeat in their quest to promote their kind of music, as they are nowhere near the B-list artistes needless say the A-list stars who shone like stars in the firmament in 2014.

 Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo (D’banj)

Many say he has struggled to achieve musical success since parting ways with his former business partner, Don Jazzy. Business wise, the Koko Master or Bangalee as he is called did well for himself, particularly with a recent deal he signed with Apple/Beats by Dre. However, the No Long Thing crooner failed to impress his ardent fans on musical grounds as he managed to release not more than four singles in 2014. Again, unlike in the past years, when he was most sought after artiste, D’banj doesn’t headline any show these days. He managed to put a show with 10 years anniversary, bringing the American actress, Amber Rose to the country, but that…

 Michael Stephens (Ruggedman)

As one of the revolutionist of the Nigeria music industry and pioneers of rap music, Ruggedman or Rugged Baba as he called appears to be lost in the revolution, as he had drastically faded out. Industry observers say he has not been able to keep aflame the fire he lit in the Nigerian music industry, as the firebrand young rappers like the Alobam kingpin, Phyno and the Yahoo Boy No Laptop (YBNL) chief lyricist, Olamide raking the money and the awards. Though, the rapper rolled out some singles in 2014 including Successful featuring another artiste Wande Coal, who incidentally could not find his feet in the industry last year. Whether music pays or not, and he is not getting gigs and awards, Ruggedman seems to be making money from his clothing line, September 20.

 Babatunde Olusegun Adewale (Modenine)

Revered as Nigeria’s best rapper of all time, Modenine last year failed to impress fans and industry watchers. Investigation by Weekend Beats showed the rapper did not perform at any of the major shows that went down in the year 2014. Also, there was no endorsement, and hit single to tell he still in the game! Despite releasing an album tagged Above Ground Level in July featuring artistes like Ice Prince, Don Jazzy, Reminisce, 9ice… the rapper still could not achieve musical success in the year; little wonder he was snubbed at the Headies 2014. In a recent interview, he admitted music has given him fame and not money. 

 Akinmayokun Awodumila (Mr. May D)

When he entered the scene with his hit single Sure Boy, the song brought his instant fame and fortune, and he was the name every young person wants on the billboard and posters of any show/concerts. It appears the self-acclaimed Sure Boy is the architect of his own misfortune? Since releasing his debut album, little has been heard of him and many industry observers say he has been a very lazy artiste. Known to put out decent records, which many said if he had been consistent, he would have released more hit record. In 2014, he was only able to release one single all through the year, titled Ibadi. The video for the song was released recently. According some industry critics say if Davido, Wizkid can be releasing songs almost every month, Mr. May D, as he now called has no excuse for his laziness.

 Oluwatobi Wande Ojosipe (Wande Coal)

Wande Coal, no doubt was among music lovers list of favourite acts and one of the sought after artiste in the country, but in 2014, it seemed he was one of the biggest losers. Though he was able to put out smash singles in the year including Baby Hello, My Way and Plan, but somehow, he failed to match his previous height, as he is yet to release any major project that equals his Mushin2Mo’Hits and Mo’Hits2Mavin. 

 Olanrewaju Ogunmefun (Vector Tha Viper) 

He swore he is going to make a comeback with his 2014 mixtape, #A7, which he released on September 1, 2014 and till date none of the records on the tape has gone viral. He released a video for one of the songs, Shiga. Business wise, the rapper did cash out, as he sealed a deal with Vitafoam and Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). The rapper has started the year 2015 on a strong note with the release of the video of his new hit, King Kong, which was shot at multiple locations in different parts of Lagos, and directed by fast-rising video director, DuksArt.

 Chibuzor Orji (Faze)

He shot into fame with his Kolomental single, and after that, he had not been able to build on his success as one of the most sought after R’n’B singer in Nigeria and the continent. Since he released the hit single, Kolomental, he has not been able to up the expectations of his fans expected of him. It appears he wants to try his hand politics as he was seen on Wednesday in Port Harcourt among the high powered celebrities supporting President Goodluck Jonathan at the presidential rally that held in the garden city.  

 Adegbite Adeniran and Tomomewo Olakunle (Artquake)

They introduced the dance step Alanta, and they were give thumbs up for the innovative dance song that almost the youths like bug. Fans had hope to get more from them, but that was the last time a major was heard from them and enjoyed such massive airplay in Nigeria. 

 Lanre Dabiri (Eldee)

He was a major force in the Nigerian music industry and was doing quite well, but his decision to relocate to United States of America (U.S.A) in 2002, has reduced his popularity and influence in the industry. He recorded a solo album titled Long Time Coming and followed up with Return of the King in 2006. The latter album earned various nominations and awards for both videos and songs, including the Nigerian Entertainment Award for “Best International Album”.

 Olusegun Osaniyi (Lord of Ajasa)

Regarded as the pioneer of Yoruba lingo rap and he’s been duly credited for it. However, despite critical acclaim, Lord of Ajasa, has struggled for years to make it big. Pundits say he is one of the artistes that dwell in past glory. He is known for adding spice to songs as well as the lives of upcoming acts he developed. He boasts of raising stars, which today are far bigger than him both in fame and fortune. In an exclusive interview with Nigezie TV, Ajasa opened up on why he has been away, and also slammed people saying Olamide made him quit music. He also revealed that he produced Olamide’s first song, thus called him his son.

 Kelechi Orji (Kelly Handsome)

He made wave with his smash singles, Maga, True Love and Like Play, but has not been able to keep up with the momentum. Rather than concentrate on his music, he thought it wise to take verbal blasts at some of most prominent artistes and record label chiefs such as the then Mo’Hits clan (now Mavin Records and DB records respectively) and then-emerging rapper, M.I. While the Mo’Hits had a more brutal approach towards the matter (they reportedly got Hansome locked up behind bars years later), M.I and the Maga music boss went back and forth releasing diss records and subliminal shots at each other. 

 Samuel Oguachuba (Samklef)

Music producer, Samklef, couldn’t get his music career going in 2014. Despite picking fights with Wizkid for publicity reasons, the former hitmaker had a negligible music year. He released an album, dropped five singles, and three music videos… yet his music career in 2014 was nothing to write home about.

 Yetunde Alabi (Sasha P)

Regarded as the first lady of the Nigerian and African hip-hop, Sasha P has not been impressive in recent time as she has completely backed out of the music industry. Sasha P, might not be frequent in the music scene, but the singer is not relenting in her efforts to make a good name for herself as she tries to use every little avenue to touch lives. With a stiff competition from other female acts, the rapper seems to have found her groove in fashion as she now owned a clothing line. 

 Anthony Olnarewaju Awosanya (Tony Tetuila)

He rocked the airwave with his hit single, You Don Hit My Car. He enjoyed the fame that came with the song, but suddenly, he fizzled out as the centre could no longer between and the record label, Kennis Music that gave him the launch pads for his career. He ventured into politics under the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to vie for a seat in home, Kwara State House of Assembly, but was warned to bury his ambition for a more grounded politician.

 Kenny Saint Brown (KSB)

Industry observers say she has been unstable with music career for some time, as she could not make judicious use of her big brothers’ music label, Kennis Music, wherein she is signed unto to push her music. Instead, she dived into the murky waters of politics, seeking to have a seat in the Lagos House of Assembly under the APC, but was showed that politics is not music of big brother’s label out, where she can easily walk in and get what she wants.