The ‘Rosie‘ crooner, Blakky, who was all the rave back in the 90’s, recently opened up on the state of the music industry as he turned older.
On the music industry today;
“We have a lot of problems with the music industry. I wouldn’t even call what we have a music industry, I’ll call it a music scene. We have not grown to the level of a music industry. Can you imagine a whole Nigeria, we don’t even have one single recording company. When I started we had three recording companies, but now what we have are just labels. We don’t really have a music industry because there is no structure. What we have is just the content. We have artists that are hustling, trying their best to put out good music, but there’s no structure, no marketing, no distribution, there’s no record company that can invest in this music and take it global.”
“Now the artist has to hustle by himself and try to push the music. Music sales is a mess right now, artists have to take their music and pay for them to bootleg and pirate it. People are downloading for free songs artists worked hard to put out. How do we call that an industry?
“I try to follow up on what our Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, PMAN, is trying to do because if anything is to change, it has to change as a collective effort.
“There’s a lot of squabbles in PMAN right now but we are hoping that with the new leadership, we’ll be able to untangle a lot of this underdevelopment that is taking place in the music scene. My duty is to follow up on what PMAN is doing and try my best to participate as much as I can so that we can all put heads together and chart a way forward.”
“What I’ve noticed with a lot of sounds these days is that everybody is following one lane. Everybody is playing the same beats. When we started we had music producers, now they have beat makers who just make the beats and that’s it. Most of the music these days do not have soul.”
“That’s one thing I’ll love to change, for artists not to be afraid to stay on one particular genre of music. Ask artists today what genre of music they play, they’ll tell you I play a little bit of funk, a little bit of pop, a little bit of dancehall… they’ll mix every single thing. When you have event ceremonies coming up even the event organisers don’t even know who is under what category. The average artist wants to join all genres just to play it safe.”
“I’ll like to encourage artists to build on one genre and then have the confidence to push that brand of music forward. When you get involved in all genres you lose your identity over time.”
As regards new music;
“Still music, still live performances… those are what I’m up to. I did the Ajebutter live concert, I performed in the Lolo concert two years back. I was at the ‘Love Like a Movie’ concert last year and at the Classic FM concert, so I’ve just been performing.”
On Tuface and Blackface fight, and protest;
“It’s important that if you are an artist that really represents your art and you are conscious of the music that you are posting, it’s important always to feel the pulse of the masses and be able to always go out there and speak on the masses’ behalf. If you feel the government is shortchanging the citizens and downpressing the citizenry, you as an artist, it is your job to be able to use your voice to amplify the people’s frustration.”
“So any artist who takes that step without any financial motivation, but solely for the humanity of the country in which that artist dwells, he should be encouraged.”
Written by Clement Oluwasegun