12 April 2019

Nigeria: Falz, Olisa Adibua, Others Discuss 'Loopholes' in Nigerian Music Industry

MTV Base's flagship show, Musicology, on Thursday gathered some of the brightest minds in the Nigerian entertainment scene to discuss the challenges and future of the business.

On the panel were Falz, DJ Kaywise, Olisa Adibua, Jay Chikezie, Bayo Fatoba, Adetola Adekoya, and Edi Lawani.

VJ Ehiz anchored the show.

The focus of their discussion was the prospects, challenges and business of events and live concerts in Nigeria.

Top on the agenda was the issue of 'African time' which they all said is a major challenge.

Speaking, Falz, said, "I feel the standards of event and concerts have gone down. We have still not got our sound engineering right in 2019. I don't want to come on stage and hear my voice three seconds later, but it happens all the time.

"I have attended dress rehearsals only to hear a different sound output on the day of an event. I think show promoters need to understand the demography they are selling to and tailor their show to that. Consumers need you to give them value for their money."

One of the many problems discussed during the session was the nonchalant attitude of musicians.

Showbiz promoter, Edi Lawani, also addressed the issue of live concerts which always kicked off several hours behind schedule.

He said, "There's something about control. If an artiste says his money is N4 million and you beg him to take N1 million, you have already lost 80 per cent of your control over him. This is because you won't be able to say anything if he arrives late to your show. It's almost like show promoters need to define what value they are selling at concerts. The consumers take whatever is thrown at them.

"As a result, artistes have naturally become lazy. Show promoters need to understand their brand concept and package those show experience(s) with value."

Creativity, performances, promotion

During the discussion about creativity, performances, promotion and ticket sales, media personality, Olisa Adibua, asked a funny rhetorical question which took the panellists by surprise.

He said, "If from January to November, I see you at everybody's show popping up here and there, then you say in December you want to do a concert, why would I come to watch you? What's the value you're bringing?" Table water and groundnut at a show with table seating?"

Olisa, who is also an on-air personality at Beat FM, also spoke about the lack of coordination of on-stage activities at major Nigerian shows.

"I see people who have no business being backstage running the live shows. Let us remove sentiments; it is business! I've had fights, there have been times when we have had to get people off stage. You know Davido, you've to beg to get his army of people on stage and off the stage during shows. I love Davido, but he comes with a lot of baggage.

He added, "Davido is not the only one guilty of this. Ice Prince also comes with a lot of baggage, so you have to get people off the stage. I am calling you out. I'll look at the guys and be like look, are you rapping, are you singing, are you dancing and the answers I get is "no."

Musicology is an MTV Base special designed to look at the different aspects of the music business and journey of the industry in Nigeria.

Panellists who have appeared on the show recently include Skales, Niniola, Naeto C, Teezee, Veteran disc jockey; Jimmy Jatt and music executive; Godwin Tom.

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