The Nigerian music space is characterised by many sounds, some borrowed and some indigenous. These sounds are different in many ways and yet very similar. They are what we have come to know as the Nigerian sound.
In the eastern part of Nigeria, many artistes tilt towards the Bongo and Ogene sounds with a little mix of Afrobeats. In the western part, artistes generally rely on influences from the great Fela Kuti. These two sounds with a little influences here and there form the Afro Pop genre that is overtaking the whole of Africa.
In this very first edition of our new series “Pop Culture”, we talked to Lagboski, an artiste from eastern Nigeria and based in Owerri who has mixed influences and elements to do something different from what is the norm in this part of the country. He came around with his manager Kelvin and another friend Cash K who’s also a musician.
Lagboski’s music is mostly characterised by syncths and acoustics nicely layered on mid tempo sounds. He has been able to mix sounds from parts of Nigeria and Ghana together while retaining the Bongo influence indigent in Owerri.
In his words “Afro pop is a spiritual sound. It is mixed elements.” We agree. Afro pop is more than just a sound. It is not something you define. It accommodates new sounds and influences while still retaining it’s authenticity.
As one of the pioneers of the sound here in the east he has done a great job so far with singles “Sweet Love” and “Wetin you want”. Listening to these songs you feel an honest desire to get across to people. The beats, the melody, the vibe. It is just clinically done and well arranged.
“A new single “Joy” is in the works and it’s dropping sometime in December. So anticipate guys.”
A new single “Joy” is in the works and it’s dropping sometime in December. So anticipate guys.
Asked what he thinks about the music industry in Nigeria, he said, “It is growing at a fast pace though it is mostly resident in Lagos and partly in Portharcourt and Enugu.There are packets of it in Owerri too when you look at it from the artistes angle, asides that, Owerri doesn’t really have enough structures and platforms to support the industry,” he said.
To a great extent that is true. A city like Owerri that is aspiring to be one of the entertainment hubs of Nigeria should do more than it is doing for the industry.
Media houses should be more considerate, perhaps alotting a certain hour in their daily or weekly programmes for the upcoming guys. More record labels should be set up to scout and groom artistes. More gigs, shows, festivals should popped up by now but there is little or none of that happening at the moment.
“Yes, there are a lot of media houses in the city and some record labels but they’re not doing enough to support the musicians here.” He said. “And that is why we always say the entertainment industry is tougher here than it is in Lagos.” …And that is why some artistes move to Lagos because the city where they rep hardly recognises them.” Lagboski said.
“Moving to Lagos is not bad. Lagos is where it all happens as far as Nigeria is concerned and people move there to become more recognised and have a chance to play at the bigger league. It is totally normal. People in the US move to New York and Los Angeles, some to Atlanta to become more recognised. These days musicians from other African countries feature Nigerian big names to tap into our huge market. It is all part of the game but while we’re doing that we should remember to give back to the grassroots because that is where it begins.”
He however mentioned Eceleb Awards and Jollof Jokes as few platforms that try to support and grow the entertainment industry here.
Listen and download Lagboski’s rave of the moment “Sweet Love” below: