Banana Island Ghost

Banana Island Ghost

I’ll start by saying that Banana Island was a good attempt at a romantic comedy especially for a Nollywood movie. Sadly, it didn’t live up to a lot of expectations but managed to leave a good taste in our mouths nonetheless.

The visuals were a breath of fresh air and a lot of thought went into the aerial shots and angles that spoke of superb cinematography. The music by Nigerian artists definitely served as major highlights and helped fill in the blanks when necessary. Some of the songs that were definitely worth hearing again were Kale Ni by Ruby Gyang and Empty by Cobhams.

 

The movie’s flaws however were mostly as a result of empty dialogue and a story with more holes than a basket. This caused the Banana Island Ghost to have pacing issues and trivialized a lot of its highlights.download-22-

The film felt more like a collection of moments than a well thought out story and the inconsistencies and lack of buildup in the film caused it to fall flat in the wrong places.

That said, the Banana Island Ghost definitely scored an ‘A’ for effort and comedy with Akah Nnani sending us into peels of laughter and proving that all it takes is skill and commitment to pull off a memorable performance.

Character-Poster-Serge

Patrick Diabuah was a sight for sore eyes and even though the movie did him little justice he still managed to give a stellar performance. Unfortunately, Chigurl’s character came off a tad bit confusing due to the various accent changes and the insincerity of her emotions during the particularly emotional scenes. It felt like she was playing multiple characters instead of one but the huge let down for me was her singing, particularly because I’ve heard her do way better.

Saheed Balogun managed to hold his end quite well and Makeeda Moka the Naija Ninja didn’t do too badly either.

Though a mesh of highs and lows, Banana Island Ghost takes credit for being a good attempt at what could’ve been an outstanding film.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Listen to

Kale Ni by Ruby Gyang http://smarturl.it/RubyGyangKaleNi

Empty by Cobhams http://tooxclusive.com.ng/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Cobhams_Asuquo_-_Empty_tooxclusive.com.ng.mp3

 

 

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You are not entitled

You are not entitled

Dear Artist,

You are not entitled

You are not entitled to anything on the mere basis of talent. Your natural gifts do not afford you the pleasures of life without hardwork, passion and commitment, as well as a good attitude.

It’s sad to see how talented artists in Nigeria waste away because they lack one or all of these things.

Now let’s start by acknowledging a few things that serve as a point of justification and defence. Yes, we know that pursuing a career in the arts is tough and takes forever to pay, yes we know you need the money because times are hard and of course, it is understood that dancers are not given their true worth but guess what; this happens everywhere in the world, movies have sold you gloss but the truth is, the struggle is real every where.

This doesn’t give you right of passage because you have it tough. Everything good in life comes with huge sacrifices, that have to be paid. Those that excel are the ones that understand this, your gift is to be honed, shared and given freely before you can receive. Like a seed sown into the soil, you must wrestle with the sand to bloom like a flower. 

Sadly, many an artist want to just become the flower without going through process. ‘Hian!’

If that were the case, everyone ought to have ‘hammered’ by now. But let’s not digress.

Talent is not enough, this can’t be emphasized any more than this. All talent gives you is a head start, you have to put in the work, go the extra mile to make something of it and succeed. If you claim to have passion for the talent God has freely given to you, then you have to have the discipline to train and hone it to perfection, the humility to learn from others and serve and the patience and commitment towards becoming the best version  of you.

No one can motivate you but you and the people you choose to look up to. Age is not a factor to consider when looking for a teacher or a mentor, experience and expertise is.

You must learn to maximize your strengths and daily grow and learn by outsourcing your weaknesses. Chei! Grammar!

Here’s what I mean: So you think you can dance right, baddest Naija lyrical hiphop dancer ever liveth etc etc but you suck at Naija styles and you know you need to learn. Pick the closest person to you with that skill, swallow a huge drop of humility and learn. Learn till you are as badass as your teacher or good enough to continue on your own. If you believe in value exchange, when you’re done learning, offer to teach your baddest hiphop too. Win, win for all.

Your attitude to work and opportunities determine how far you go as an artist. But first you need to have your priorities in check, if money is your inspiration then this isn’t particularly for you, but if your goal is artistry, mastering your craft, teaching it to people and creating a body of work exportable to any country in the world, then listen up.

You have to pay in time, service and your own funds to grow. Pay for training, volunteer to perform at platforms that will give you the kind of visibility you want and work with people who can move you forward.

READ! Artists seem to hate this word, not all but quite alot. You have to do research to grow, you can’t just rely on what you know. The internet is your friend but are you using it to your advantage?

Attitude. Every human being has an ego. Artists seem to blessed with robes of ego laced with pride and a crown of rudeness. *pauses for effect*

It’s the hard cold truth but we forget that these things do not help us and when displayed, only belittle us and what we have to offer.

People do not patronise pride, it doesn’t pay the bills and it is a bad investment but if that is what comes with your art then you will deprive yourself of greatness. The truth is a bitter pill to swallow but we must see it for what it is, the truth.

As artists we are too sensitive, too quick to take offence or be on the defensive. Too quick to judge but we hate criticism. Creating ‘beef’ that can feed a nation because you don’t want to be told what to do. Here’s my question, ‘ Who E EPP?’ At the end of the day, work is work and play is play, if you can’t tell the difference then, it’s your problem to deal with and nobody else’s.

On a lighter yet serious note, in order to be taken seriously in an industry of this nature, you must respect yourself and work ten times harder than anyone else. Throw your heart and soul into it, fight for what you love. It’s a harsh environment to live in, Nigeria that is, and it isn’t as conducive or structured enough for the arts industry but let that not become the excuse to do a sloppy job. Work your butt off and become the best, you may have been unappreciated and treated wrongly but never let it break you but build you.

Your response to your situation determines how far you go in life. So don’t give up, this art will pay if you put in the work and you will never regret pursuing your passion.

This comes from a place of truth, we would never grow without it

Yours,

An artist

Movie Review: Lion

Movie Review: Lion

Sometimes I wish I could have direct access to the people who inspire me, just so I can let them know just how much of an impact they’ve made.

Sadly, with celebrities you get pegged as a fan girl and would probably never get the chance. But that’s not why we are here.

I just got round to watching Lion.

Lion
Lion

It first caught my attention when Sunny Pawar’s interviews popped up on some of my favourite Bollywood review channels. Then, I watched Dev Patel and Octavia Spencer’s ‘Actor on Actor ‘ and knew it was a movie that was my calling name.

Alone and ready, I started the journey of this movie which ironically started with a journey. It took us through the hustle of brothers making ends meet on the roads of Ganesh Thalai. Soroo was young and eager to prove to his older brother, Guduu that he was tough enough to share the responsibilities of the home.

The love between them was evident and infectious. They had nothing yet loved each other as though they had everything. Guduu was protective, Soroo was determined. Their mum, a labourer, did all she could for the three children she had but could not afford to raise.

An unseen turn of events, changed all their lives forever. 

Lost at a train station, after insisting on accompanying Gudu on night ‘waka’, Soroo ends up locked in a train on a destination to nowhere. No education, no identity or clear idea of where he came from, Soroo went from abandoned, to street urchin to orphan. Despite his attempts, he could not find his way home and accepted his fate when adoption came knocking.

Nicole Kidman  played his adopted mother and both parents loved him unconditionally. Love was all the movie was about till Soroo was jolted to his past by an incident at a mini-indian party thrown by friends. The journey to finding himself after 25 years was a rollercoaster of emotions,deep and heavy, yet till the end we went with Soroo until he found himself and his family.

The beauty of the movie lay in the silences, the nuances and raw expression of selfless love. A love that exists but have forgotten how to share. A love that is blind to prejudice, race or country. A love that is there to give and receive. A love that just is.

Sunny Pawar is a child with a natural gift. I fell in love with his character before I could analyse it, lol. He broke through every emotion I owned by baring himself in the movie and playing it with innocence and zest.

Nicole Kidman breathed a life into this movie I had never seen before, the role hurt yet embraced my heart as her truth behind adoption gave me tears of grief and hope.

This is the world we should be living in, not the chaos we have chosen.

But Dev Patel had me from his first scene to to his last. Being lost is something I have experienced but this, this was a depth I had not seen coming. It was raw, confused, intense and real. I went through every emotion with him and at the end of the movie, with tears running my face, I was found.

A shared victory, I’d say.

Though I would have loved to see Nawazzudine Siddiqui a little more, the movie’s flawlessness left me perfectly happy.

I could go on and on but the movie was definitely worth every single Oscar nomination it got. In a world where sex is a sin and war is holy (Alicia Keys) Lion brings love that evicts all else.

I’m going with 4/5

 

The Adventures of Isys Drain: There is a Lunatic in every town

The Adventures of Isys Drain: There is a Lunatic in every town

There is a Lunatic in every town

I figured it would be kind of weird to write about something you are responsible for because you don’t get the chance to be an actual spectator but I guess despite the view I got, it was my adventure nonetheless.

‘There is A Lunatic in every town’ is a collection of poetry by my dear friend Bash Amuneni and is his first book. It is a book that appeals to the senses and brings to light the truth behind an average Nigerians state of mind, the socio political state of our country and the emotions we lay bare before one another. Each poem is like a piece of a puzzle and I was honoured to have read the manuscript and also plan the launch.

I had told Bash this event had to be different from what people were used to and as a spoken word artist he had to do justice to his craft. To my pleasure he gave me creative freedom and with each day, we worked hard to bring his book to life.

We hand picked some of the most talented people in Abuja to  take the stage and by the day of launch, amidst all the things running through my head, I was sure it would be a hit and it was.

From an array of poets doing pieces from the book to singers and instrumentalists birthing songs of the same name, the art that flowed was more than words could describe. When the words would not seize, dance took over and love was birthed in the piece called ‘These things you do to me’. As the end drew near, I was ecstatic and when it was my turn to sing I was happy and I let it rip. ( modesty would do a grave injustice to the show,lol)

At the end of it all, it was a success (despite the hitches). Books and tees were sold, contacts were shared, donations were made and I could breathe at last. The madness of the whole project proved that Bash was right, indeed ‘There is a Lunatic in every town’. 

An Open Letter to Don Jazzy

An Open Letter to Don Jazzy

Dear Don Jazzy,

http:/isysdrain.wordpress.com/donjazzy
Don Jazzy

I happen to be a huge fan of your work as business man and a lover of music mostly. You have proven that you genuinely know how to run a record label properly, despite the constraints Nigeria and its entertainment industry has but that’s not what this is about.

You have conquered mainstream, first with D’banj, who had no idea how much value you were adding to his career and then with the likes of Tiwa and Dr Sid. You took on the next generation and slayed with your triplets, Korede, Reekado and Dija, though I feel Reekado could use a bigger push and Dija is yet find herself fully. Nonetheless, no one could’ve pulled it off the way you did, so #wehdonesir

This letter however is about the new genres you are about to dabble into. The alternative music scene. It’s not about noisemakers and headbanging jams, it’s about quality content, depth and a true appreciation of the essence of music. I know you love music, it’s written all over your face when you talk about it.

I choose to believe this was a smart business move because you saw an opportunity in the market with alternative music and pray you make the most of it.

All I ask is that you stay true to the sound of the artists you’ve signed and by artists, I mean Johnny Drille and Poe.

Both Johnny and Poe are unique and extremely talented. If packaged and managed well they have the potential to change the game completely. Producers like Atta Lennel Otigba and Cobhams would know exactly what to do to bring out the best in them and there’s a huge niche market awaiting good content like that.

But what do I know? I’m just a music critic, talent manager and PR somborri. You’re the music mogul, I just want to still be able to listen to Johnny and Poe, whether they are with Mavin or not because I’m a die hard fan of both.

Who knows, maybe someday I’ll get to meet you, Don Baba Jay. For now accept my plenty grammar and keep being a baddo. The industry needs you

Lots of love,

Isys Drain