Is Don Jazzy Pointing to a Subtle Trend?

A music Mixer // Photo via djstayhome.com

A music Mixer // Photo via djstayhome.com

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.  

Will You Pay to take a University course on Wizkid or Don Jazzy?

YOU CAN NOW STUDY THE "POLITICS OF KANYE WEST" AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? 

Kanye West 

Kanye West 

Pop culture is breaking barriers and crossing borders into lands where it never treaded before. The biggest shocker was having Bob Dylan snatch the prestigious Noble prize for Literature. No one saw that coming! Now, Washington University says you can study the Politics of Kanye West right in their university.

Bob Dylan // Source: www.time.com/

Bob Dylan // Source: www.time.com/

The course was crafted to do an in depth study of everything Kanye West and Pop Culture, from the intersections of hip hop and sexuality to the infamous Taylor Swift MTV Video Music Awards moment; targeted to reach students in their own language. Speaking on the course, the lecturer said “It is a good way to get students to connect issues of politics, race, gender, sexuality, and culture.”

Noting how both relevant and timing this would be for his students he said:

I knew my students had connections to Kanye… They’re always referencing his music and performances and videos and fashion. What better time than now to take seriously Kanye West as a cultural icon? I’m always interested in how he’s pushing whatever boundaries.
— School Lecturer
Kanye West on Stage // Source: www.independent.co.uk/

Kanye West on Stage // Source: www.independent.co.uk/

 

Now this is the future of school, bringing relatable realities home that students can connect and relate with. Imagine plating serious issues like politics, race, gender, sexuality, and culture on same table as Kanye West who indeed is the main dish of the course. In the Fall of 2014, the University of Mossouri offered a course on Kanye West and Jay Z’s just around the heat of their ‘Watch the throne’ album. Some Students of the University needed to buy a copy of the ‘Watch the Throne’ album while signing up for the course (English 2169). A Georgetown University offered a course on Jay-Z in 2011. Both figures, Jay Z and Kanye West are big hip hop icons and strong role models for young people.

A similar course was set up at the University of Texas at San Antonio, offering a class on Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ album. Classes centered on pop culture megastars like Bruce Springsteen, Tupac Shakur, Mayin Gaye and others have been taught in colleges in recent years

Official Album Art for Beyonce's  Lemonde

Official Album Art for Beyonce's Lemonde

 

Bringing this home to Africa, it’s high time we started embracing the reality of the influence our art has on daily lifestyle and culture. As pop culture unofficially makes its way into sacred lands, we might just have to make room for official grand entrances like the ones mentioned above. A course on the ‘Falz’ lingual influence on the average Nigerian should be springing up now or Fela, his Afrobeat and the Nigerian culture, new courses on Funke Akindele, Wizkid or Don Jazzy following. Considering how much influence these icons have on the daily lives of young people, it’s about time African schools harnessed these influences in General Studies, Arts and Social Sciences. Culture must be consciously curated and passed on. Schools must be deliberate about carrying students along. Pop culture is offered as that ready and available medium. 

Wizkid // Source: www.nigezie.tv/

Wizkid // Source: www.nigezie.tv/