From Past to Future: The Journey of The Nigerian Sound II

The Nigerian sound is fast becoming one of Nigeria’s major export. According to PwC, the Nigerian music market will witness a compound annual growth rate of 12.9 per cent, which will see the industry rise form 47 million dollars in 2015 to 86 million dollars by 2020. 

PwC also released a report which stated that the Nigerian music industry generated $51m in 2016. Looking back to the budding years of the industry, the Nigerian music scene has grown into an international sensation in Africa even beyond the continent’s shores. This is evident with the frequency of international recognition, collaborations and international record signing going on currently in the industry

Nigerian Highlife/Afropop artiste, Flavour on stage at the One Africa Music Fest // Source: www.thisisafrica.me/

Nigerian Highlife/Afropop artiste, Flavour on stage at the One Africa Music Fest // Source: www.thisisafrica.me/

The Nigerian Music Industry is rich in culture of youthfulness and life, beyond inventing and unintentionally exporting cultures like the dance (“Skelewu”, “Shoki” etc), language, fashion and much more, the Nigerian Music scene with its rich culture provides a viable, untapped ground for revenue other than the music itself. The music industry is clearly ripe and has the required audience, locally and abroad to set up local franchises just the likes of House of Blues and Hard Rock Café. With a high followership of top Nigerian artistes, there is a gap in availability of credible and quality marketing collateral and memorabilia for fans. This poses as an untapped mine in the industry. 

Fans of Nigerian Afropop star Wizkid wait for him to perform at a concert in Bamako, Mali, November 15, 2015. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Fans of Nigerian Afropop star Wizkid wait for him to perform at a concert in Bamako, Mali, November 15, 2015. REUTERS/Joe Penney

2016 had many notable feats as regards of international recognition, collaborations and international record signing. The Sony Music signed artiste, Wizkid surpassed other Nigerian artists last year in this regard. The artist collaborated with lots of international artists including the huge collaboration on Drake’s ‘One Dance’ – which later became the most streamed song of all time on Spotify. He also won the Artiste of the year, Best Male and Best Collaboration awards at the MTV Africa Music Awards, alongside the Best International Act Africa at the BET awards indeed making him a tall tree amongst others. Wizkid was invited to join Chris Brown on his "One Hell of a Nite" world tour in May 2016. Other Nigerian artists like Patoranking, Reminisce etc. also made into world billboard charts. 

But beyond the awards, is there a plan or strategy to keep and preserve this vibrant export; The core, the root, the culture? The Nigerian music industry must be deliberate in conserving and preserving its culture. A good local example reflects this possibility –New Afrika Shrine and Felabration

The New Afrika Shrine is an open air entertainment centre located in Ikeja, Lagos State. Which serves as the host location of the annual Felabration music festival. The space is a replacement of the old Afrika Shrine created in 1970 by Fela Kuti, the Nigerian Music legend and activist who invent the aforbeat genre. Fela’s shrine showcases photo galleries of Fela and music performances by his sons Femi Kuti and Seun Kuti, and also quality Fela marketing collaterals and memorabilia for fans. This space has grown to become a tourist attraction and a high point for afrobeat culture in Nigeria.

Dancers at the New Afrika Shrine // Source: http://thesoleadventurer.com/

Dancers at the New Afrika Shrine // Source: http://thesoleadventurer.com/

Afrobeat fans at Felabration 2016 // Source: http://thesoleadventurer.com/

Afrobeat fans at Felabration 2016 // Source: http://thesoleadventurer.com/

Like the Afrika Shrine, Felabration contributes to nourishing the ever growing Afrobeat culture. Felabration, a posthumous annual music festival, conceived by Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti in memory and celebration of her father Fela Kuti last year, enjoyed a successful third consecutive run. This festival with is beyond your average concert has kept the music, life and times of Legend, Fela Kuti fresh and relevant in the Nigeria music scene. 

Seun and Femi Kuti Performing on Stage at Felabration 2016 // Source: www.thesoleadventurer.com/

Seun and Femi Kuti Performing on Stage at Felabration 2016 // Source: www.thesoleadventurer.com/

Fans of Fela Kuti at Felabration 2016 // Source: http://thesoleadventurer.com/

Fans of Fela Kuti at Felabration 2016 // Source: http://thesoleadventurer.com/