Alter Native


Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

I’m a lover of music - African music.

Music is certainly a powerful tool as it can start trends and end them, it can reveal a new pop-culture icon every time a new hit single is released, promote a brand, influence a market, start a culture, transform a mindset and so many more. The power of music in my opinion is unparalleled in driving a message deep into the minds of the audience. So wield it power wisely.

Also there’s quite a number of African artist who are blessed with the ability to wield this unique ability in a very unique way and are pulling major stunts across the globe, a number of them are from the most populous African nation, Nigeria. We can’t really talk about the entertainment industry without mention what our brothers in Nigeria are doing.

However, this article isn’t about the entire music industry but about the new school musician popularly known as the Alternative Musicians. Right now, this trend is blowing up all around Africa as people do not really want to listen to the traditional style of music, the want to hear something different, something unique, something beyond the ordinary. A couple of musicians fall into this alternative music category and they are doing so well, they include but are certainly not limited to Odunsi the engine, Santi, Amarae, Wavy the Creator, Chyn, Nonso Amadi, Funbi, Temsbaby, Ric Hassani, Johnny Drille, Terry Akpala, and so many others.

This certainly gives us a glimpse into the future as it tells us that for you to win in this competitive market, you must be authentic, original, innovative, and unique.


Is Don Jazzy Pointing to a Subtle Trend?

A music Mixer // Photo via

A music Mixer // Photo via

Not so much of news anymore as most of us would have heard of last year’s rather unexpected signing on of Iyanya, the label has added three new signings to their list; Johnny Drille, POE and the Voice Nigeria’s sensational DNA twins. Mavin Records new signing was rather shocking, not predicted and even unusual. Unusual because the artistes signed are distant in genre from the label’s previous signings. Beyond that none of the artistes signed specialize in the mainstream Nigerian music genre of Afro-pop or Afro-beat. POE who can be rated a C-list Nigerian act is a rapper, The DNA twins are more of into R&B and Johnny Drille into Alternative Music.

What can this mean for the artistes?

For the signed artistes, all are new players in the Nigerian music industry and this signing naturally would mean an exponential boost in exposure, marketing and general branding. Associating with a record label as solid as Mavin Records can only mean extra win for the acts. Nevertheless, many fear that this new signing may mean a forced change (directly and indirectly) in genre and sound for the new Mavin acts. It is common knowledge that labels influence their artistes’ sound, lifestyle and sometime overall identity. As much as the fans are excited about the new signing many are scared and dreading a gradual erosion or even sudden detour of the artistes’ original sounds.

What can this mean for Mavin Records?

As the popular saying goes “the more the merrier, this is exactly one of the many the label stands to gain. A fuller house, more diverse and vaster. The new dynamics can only birth newer and better sounds for the label artists. This new signing repositions Don Jazzy as a thought leader in the Nigerian Music Industry. The bold move of signing these new, young acts wins the label more fans. Also Mavin record wins the confidence of more fans as a super label able to hang and nurse more artistes under its wings.

What this means for the Nigerian Music Industry?

With the rise and rise of Afro-pop and new school Afro-beat, there is also a slow but steady rise and acceptance for other genres in the Nigeria music market. With Hip Hop/rap being the possible second most popular genre in the industry, a POE signing was rather safe and means a plus for the Genre as there was a slow decline in frequency in occurrence of Hip Hop/Rap over the years. A DNA twins signing was simply a message of hope to all young acts, stating that dreams do come true and that hard work pays. With the duo gaining popularity off music competitions and shows like X-factor and The Voice Nigeria, their signing was only a matter of time. 2017 clearly is proving to be the year of new possibilities in the industry and a Johnny Drille signing was a big win for unpopular music, for alternative music. This win is a future for Nigerian music. Nigerians are beginning to slowing craving something new, this sign says yes to the future. With the early pioneers of this genre not getting admission into mainstream and popular labels, this can only mean the beat is changing the industry is dancing to the new tone. We can only predict more signings of other unpopular alternative acts.

The Nigerian entertainment industry even in the face of many challenges ranging from the fight against piracy to a lack of structure in labels and managements, age and experience is clearly causing a weaning in these challenges and with more solid labels like Mavin records and YBNL, there is a future for the industry and the predictions of raking extra millions into the country’s struggling economy doesn’t seem bleak.