So my idea of a quiet Saturday buried in Jeffrey Archer’s ‘Honor Amongst Thieves’ was dashed by a very determined runaway friend of mine, Deola, CEO of Finix Consults
Dee (as I like to call her) had organised a cosy shin dig for a select group of media people in the Abuja entertainment scene. It’s purpose was to introduce a new entertainment outfit, listen and critique some of it’s work and basically mingle while we all munched on Deola’s amazing cooking *smacks lips*
It started out with a heated discussion about the state of the music industry in Nigeria. Various topics were raised on issues of artists vs management, content of the music itself and the success many artists that are hungry to achieve but unwilling to work for.
I sat silently, observing everyone in the room, taking in the various opinions being made. The most vocal of the lot was Tyeng Gang, an OAP with Kiss fm. He had witnessed the industry first hand ,as was the case with most of the people in the room, and had quite a lot to say about the attitude of artists towards management. ‘Most artists that have succeeded aren’t interested in seeing you do any better than them, everyone leverages on being a bigger jerk than his predecessor’ he said.
Korex agreed with this statement and went on to explain how ignorant the artists are about the business behind the success of their music.
This conversation was one I found quite interesting, though I chose to offer my opinion to Zubi, the deep-voiced OAP sitting beside me, I did chip in the need for sentiment to be separated from business in the industry, as that I feel is the basis for most of the bad blood between labels, managements and their artists.
The topic was thrown around the room like a stray ball till Dee took the floor to introduce the entertainment outfit we’d been invited to meet.
Hiltop International Entertainment was it’s name and Mr Charles Deigh, its owner. In his words, ‘ we have come to change the face of the Nigerian music industry’. Mr Charles, gave a summary of what his vision is, the desire to go national then global and create and promote good music.
Seemed like a good enough pitch to all that were present and a few questions were raised, to which he answered.
Dee with her side-kick for the day, the incredibly cray yet fun Winnie, decided to sharply stuff us with the main course so our mouths would be busy while we listened to some of the sample tracks that had been produced by Hiltops upcoming artists, with the warning BEWARE! IT’S COMMERCIAL plastered in our minds.
The music was… well commercial! *laughs* All four tracks had the elements of an average naija pop track today. A beat that would make you move, lyrics you can barely catch and well… For me, the songs were industry appropriate but lacked the originality or the ‘wow’ factor that would make any naija song memorable.
Korex, the only name in video production in Abuja worth mentioning, felt the songs needed more substance and a uniqueness that would sell as one of the artists had adopted a style similar to Olamide’s and Tyeng felt the songs had the potential to be hits if and only the if more attention was paid to the content as well as the style.
After that, a lot of advice went to the artists from various people in the room. The poor kids had their first dose of first-hand critique then and there. To be honest, I think they took it quite well.
The producer Jizo didn’t seem to care much for it but he did do some solid work on the tracks.
After that it was mingle, chow and mingle some more. I got talking with Jessica Bongus, an upcoming artist, creator of Campers (a monthly open mic session) and daughter of the famous Bongus Ikuwe. Soon Tyeng, Zubi and Joey jumped in and yet another conversation broke out.
Other people at the event were clay, Paul dokpesi,Bizzie, shola emmanuel and Kevin lar amongst many others.
The day gave way to the night and after singing along to Magic’s Rude! It was time for me to go home. It was definitely an outing worth my time, I live for stimulating conversations and this did justice. Looks like I just may have found a new crowd who knows… *pats ‘fro and exits blog*