The Punch columnist is back at Nigerian artistes and this time, its about their music. Read the piece below:
“Shoki hey hey Shoki!” cries a voice from the radio to the beat of a nerve-wracking pandemonium that seems designed to drive you insane.
A quick flick of the dial and “Shakiti bobo” is playing. The worse thing is that the raucous noise emitted by the artiste is no match for the loud, odious din coming from the beat. The lyrics are completely lost – which may not be regrettable to some – but the whole tumult sounds more like bad static than music.
I tuned the dial again. This time it was Olamide screaming “VANESSA VANESSA.”
As the last strains of the song died away, the OAP cheerfully and enthusiastically breaks in, “Yes, that’s for all you listeners out there. That’s the way we do it right here at your cool station. We personalise our playlist to make you feel cool.”
Cool kor, cooler ni…. I felt like telling the OAP that his choice of songs made me feel SICK.
This is simply today’s Nigerian music! Something is terribly WRONG with it! Yet millions around the country – especially the young people – listen to it by the hour. WHY?
What is there about this music that is so gripping? How can something so meaningless hold millions under its spell? Why does it serve as a common denominator – as “the tie that binds” – for so many youths?
Judging from how and what they’re saying and singing, it is easy to conclude that some of these artistes should be taken for mental evaluation! Music mirrors our emotions; it reflects our thoughts; it echoes our activities – it shows us the way we really ARE!
Most Nigerian artistes are confused and bewildered – or they wouldn’t sing songs about not being able to tell right from wrong, or songs which purposely don’t say or mean anything, or which try only to “embody an emotional state that points indirectly to marijuana and crazy sex positions.”
Music – just like other forms of art – is like a social barometer. A strong and healthy society produces dynamic and stimulating music; a diseased and decaying society produces sick and decadent music.
It’s a simple matter of cause and effect!
This is now a SICK SOCIETY and, therefore, it produces SICK MUSIC. It’s just that simple! Both parents and the young people are to blame. My point is, we all don’t have to be a part of this sick society – or its sick music.
Even talking about today’s gospel songs, many are lacking in purpose and quality. The gospel singers are forgetting that God believes in QUALITY. Look at the universe He created! He also believes in human improvement and GROWTH. “Become ye therefore perfect” (Matt. 5:48) and “Grow in grace and knowledge” (II Pet. 3:18), He commands.
God wants His people to grow in the right kind of culture – the right kind of appreciation for the finer things in life. He says that mature Christians are “those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to DISCERN both good and evil” (Heb. 5:14).
God wants us to EXERCISE our five physical senses. He wants us to learn what the true values for the enjoyment of the senses are. One of these senses is hearing. And one of the ways we need to exercise our hearing sense is in the appreciation of quality music. Quality in music involves, first of all, the way it is composed or arranged. Secondly, it involves how the music is performed. And thirdly, the setting (the place and occasion) in which the music is heard.
You attend a concert only to see artistes with a hodgepodge of idiotic noise played from a CD and the audience seated at round tables like they are in a canteen, screaming with mouthful of small chops and ‘samosas’ as every new song is introduced by the performer. What utter nonsense! What is WRONG with us? How did we completely lose our sense of value regarding music? Do we even know the purpose of music?
A mother justifies her daughter who’s listening to an obscene song by saying, “If you listen to the words of that one, it’s pretty rough. But it has a real good beat. My daughter says she doesn’t pay any attention to the words anyway.” Are we really that naïve? What erroneous reasoning! Go along with the crowd – even if the crowd is on the way to suffering, misery, pain, extinction? Do we think that these songs have no part in the tidal wave of promiscuity, venereal disease, illegitimate babies that are all over the country today? If you are one of those who likes today’s Naija music, you ought to honestly and truthfully ask yourself WHY.
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