Posts Tagged ‘P-Square’

Popping Naija again

Posted: June 22, 2009 in Uncategorized

Abidemi Dairo

The Okoye twins have been heating the pop scene for almost five years. Photo:

The Okoye twins have been heating the pop scene for almost five years. Photo:

The dynamic nature of Nigerian music can never be over emphasised. Aside from the fact that the industry is one of the fastest growing in the world, the plethora of genres available is arguably second to none in Africa. With increased airplay locally and internationally, it is something to talk about.

Come down selecta

Before the late 90s rejuvenation of Pop music, Dancehall and Reggae ruled the airwaves. The likes of Daddy Showkey, Baba Fryo, Daddy Fresh and Father U-Turn were constantly bombarding local airwaves with the likes of the Remedies and Trybesmen getting a few spins here and there.

In recent times however, great success has been recorded in the different genres of Nigerian music, making it almost impossible to pin down which is the most successful of all.

However, like in the 80s and early 90s, the ruling party genre, Pop, is slowly creeping back on top. A large percentage of today’s big songs in Nigeria, although popularly termed Afro Hip-Hop, should be classified as Pop.

Space Pop

Let us bear in mind that music classification, with emphasis on urban music, is becoming tighter and can be said to be merging into a form of hybrid.

Kanye West went from rapping to doing whatever it was he did on 808s and Heartbreak and the critically acclaimed Lil Wayne also has questions to answer for the infectious “Lollypop” song.

Pop Royalty

Pop music is mostly known for its noticeable rhythmic elements, melodies and catchy hooks. Pop elements are not new in Nigerian music as they are one of the major imports that arrived with the use of western musical instruments.

Early 80s Nigerian pop singers included Chris Okotie, Bongos Ikwe, Onyeka Owenu, Christy Essien Igbokwe and Felix Liberty just to name a few, while the late 80s to early 90s paraded the likes of Alex O, Alex Zitto and Mike Okri amongst others.

The emergence of Afro Juju singer, Shina Peters in the late 80s ushered in a new sound that signalled the end for regular pop music.

On and Poppin’

However, coming back to the present, Pop music is finding its way back into Nigerian music. Most of today’s hits have more than a little Pop element in them. The likes of 9ice who won four Hip-Hop World Awards including Artist of the Year and Album of the Year is arguably a Pop artist. Former Trybesmen member, eLDee went through a regeneration process and re-emerged as a pop artist, recording one of the most successful albums of 2008.

Also Mo’ Hits’ front runner D’banj’s songs are always lined with great hooks and there is always some definite rhythm to it. PSquare is another group that has popped its way to superstardom.

With the recent success enjoyed by pop music in Nigeria, it is no surprise that there is a heavy influx of foreign based Nigerians trying to leave their mark on the music industry. Or maybe they influenced the return of Pop.