You can’t deny the fact that without Nigerian music, the African entertainment industry would be in a completely different place right now (and I’m talking negatively!).
Nigeria has been repeatedly referred to as Africa’s music capital. There are so many reasons why it is always easy for Nigerian music to go viral even across continents. In this article, we discuss the glaring points that make Nigeria stand out as Africa’s music powerhouse.
Reasons why Nigeria is Africa’s music powerhouse
First, Nigerian musicians typically go heavy on quality. From the visuals to the audio quality to the beats that the producer creates, everything is usually in check and that is part of what makes Nigerian music so great. A typical Nigerian producer and director will hold no bars when it comes to producing quality beats and videos. They usually don’t mind the money spent because they see it as an investment to getting at the top of the chart and securing millions of streams and YouTube videos for their songs.
When it comes to making international music, Nigerians have the highest number of globally recognized musicians. Take a look at Burna boy, Davido, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Tems, Fireboy DML, and so many more. Most of these artists have reached a level of international repute. Plenty of Nigerian artists have collaborated with musical giants such as drake, future and this has served to skyrocket their careers and contribute to their global recognition. That brings us to our next point.
Another stand-out factor of Nigerian music artists is the collaborations. It has become a very common occurrence to see Nigerian musicians collaborating with international music acts. These sorts of collaborations tend to create leverage and give the Nigerian artist in question access to the foreign musician’s fan base. The level of international collaborations of Nigerian musicians with international celebrities is higher than in any other African country. It is not news that securing those kinds of top-notch collaborations is not an easy task.
Nigerian music artists tend to easily adapt their music to suit whatever comes at them and this makes their music easily relatable. Take any beat, any trend, and a Nigerian music artist will own it. Just like they say in pidgin “dem no dey carry last”. Take the recently trending genre: Amapiano for example, we’ve seen several Nigerian artists hopping on the Amapiano trend with songs like ‘Loading’ by Phyno X DJ Kaywise, and ‘Squander’ by Falz X Niniola. These artists have managed to produce beautifully crafted Nigerian songs merged with Amapiano even though it is originally a South African sound.
Nigeria’s music industry ranks very high on the global scene and this is partly due to the advantage of numbers. I once heard a music analyst say that any sound that Nigerians hop on tends to blow up simply because we have the numerical advantage. And we all know that numbers themselves give us an edge. Nigerians have even been known to blow up foreign artists because of their numerical strength. One popular example that stands out in my mind is that of Enisa. Using Twitter as a platform, Nigerians made her track ‘Love Cycle’ blow up using multiple streams and re-tweets. The impact that Nigerians made on making the song popular was so intense that Enisa came out to thank them and even did a remix of the song with Davido. She didn’t stop at that though, just for laughs, she also added that she had now gotten a Yoruba name which was ‘Eniola’ if I’m not mistaken. That example just goes to show the effect of the numerical capacity of Nigerians on the music industry.
Streams and chart-toppers
In research conducted, it was discovered that the number of Nigerian music streams on Spotify ranks second in the whole world right after Pakistan while Kenya was third on the list. At the time, Nigerian users generated about 1.3 million playlists on the platform which supersedes any other African country by far.
Nigerian songs have also been known to be chart toppers. ‘Fall’ by Davido ranked high on global Billboard in 2019. Other songs like ‘Essence’ and ‘Peru’ have graced the Billboard chart as well.
Nigerian music artists’ language flexibility allows them to get their sound out to the entire world more easily. In the Nigerian music scene, the primary language utilized in most tracks is English. This makes it easier for most Nigerian songs to gain global acceptance since it is easy for foreigners to understand what the song is about. Apart from English, Nigerian artists are very skilled in fusing the local languages like Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Efik, and others into the tracks to make them more appealing and authentic.
Some African countries are more restricted in terms of the language used in their songs. Even though music in itself is a language of its own, it has been discovered that countries that are more limited in language find it more difficult to gain global reach. The language barrier can sometimes hamper the spread of the songs to foreign borders.
With top music Nigerian artists like Burna boy, Davido, Wizkid, Tems, Fire Boy, Olamide, Aryya Star, Joe Boy, Mr. Eazi, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Rema, Adekunle Gold, Dbanj, Simi, and M.I, it’s easy to see why the Nigerian music industry stands tall in Africa. These are unbeatable artists who know their craft and bring their best into every track, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that Nigeria is Africa’s music powerhouse.
Now you’ve seen it for yourself, all the reasons that make Nigeria stand rock-solid at the top of the African music industry. With these points, even a doubting Thomas will have to agree with me that Nigeria is not just the “giant of Africa”, but the musical giant of Africa. Granted, other African countries have contributed their quota in pushing the African sound to the global scene, but the undisputable fact remains that Nigeria is Africa’s music powerhouse and that’s on period.