Death is an inevitable end for any living soul. One of the painful distastes it leaves behind is the agony of a vacuum it forcefully creates without any option for either the family or the community.
Since the exit of some notable music celebrities from Nigerian domestic scene, it has become pretty difficult to ascertain whether the proverbial rolling stone of Nigerian music is truly progressing or gradually fading away, gathering no moss. To me, according to the facts and figures we have on ground there’s one undebatable fact that if Nigerian music would not be said to be fading and retrogressing, definitely it has lost its cutting edge.
When comparative analysis is drawn between the post independence and this digital age, what is being served today in terms of lyrics, depth, content, rhythms, focus, influence, direction, education and message scores below average.
Two decades ago some of us started raising alarm on the deteriorating and depreciating state of Nigerian music, going by the rate at which it started losing its flavour and content, but it seemed no one cares. Today, the Nigerian music scene is a shadow of itself.
A nation hitherto blessed and endowed with creative artistes across the various genres of music such as the people’s mouthpiece Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a Freedom Fighter in the mould of Sunny Okosuns, Moralist/Social Crusader, Christy Essien Igbokwe, Nico Mbarga, have lost its touch, essence, value and impact on the same generation it is supposed to guide.
Where are the likes of highly philosophical songs of late Haruna Ishola, Stephen Osadebe and Yusuf Olatunji?
I have heard some of our leaders confessing to inspirational and motivational tonic drawn from the rhythmic and lyrical succour of that Juju music maestro, Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey. Unfortunately, what abounds today in the name of music production is an empty vessel, barrage of unwarranted noisemaking and decorated eggshells without yoke.
I can remember how musicians of old have had to oblige themselves by looking into the society, people’s sufferings and societal challenges to make a balanced report in their albums. By so doing, these ‘learned’ musicians would end up educating, informing and enlightening the populace. Most importantly they will end up assuaging the feelings of the citizens which invariably will boost the patriotic instincts as well as build trust in the government of the day.
Today, such sense of duty has been lost which is a reason why this generation is suffering.
The present melancholic atmosphere as generated by the global economy has plunged all human endeavours including music industry into a state of depression, undue aggression and pitiable recession. The pathetic story about this development is how we all stand aside and look. As it is, we are all culpable if we stand akimbo and become indifferent to how all factors and agents of anti-depression are allowed to be washed away.
Music, without doubt is a powerful antidepressant. Not only that, music has been discovered to be a strong communication link, a potent force in generational gap. Lately, the country is awashed with stories of suicide cases among teenagers and other Juvenile Delinquencies. It is my belief that such decadence is largely due to the failure and collapse of our aesthetic values, of which music plays a predominant role.
You will agree with me that music teaches, educates, heals, soothes, relieves, inspires, grows, corrects and enlightens. Yeah, music elevates the spirit and leads the spirit aright. Music salvages broken and confused heart from destruction.
In this age, the best form of communication a teenager understands and enjoys much better is done through his/her earphone device. Fact is, these teenagers will listen with rapt attention to their friends, peers, colleagues and music better than their parents, teachers and even the society.
Why can’t we come to their level of communication if that’s what it will cost us to save this generation from all the suicide mission of this world. It is time to return music to its good old days. The days of in depth lyrics, quality content and compact rhythms.
The culpable crime among today’s broadcasting stations is as tragic as painful. These professionals have opted out of serving the public with rich and valuable music in search of empty junks and hollow music being served now, under the guise of creating and providing ‘trending music’.
Nowadays, to make matters worse, any piece of music goes on air regardless of its vulgarity and obscenity, once the singer is able to pay the bill . This has been the psychological oppression the viewers and listeners are subjected to, with no less pretence by the government owned Radio and Television stations at the expense of tax payers money.
The tragedy now is, where comes the inspirational flow of this present generation? Where lies the creative source of the present-day youth? I know the answer is blowing in the wind. The ANSWER is nothing but only that empty bombardment of heavy digitalised electric drums that can only find solace in the eardrums of shisha smokers. Don’t ever stop the ever-soothing, healing, inspirational music. There lies the fond memories of yesterday, strength for today and the vision for tomorrow.
If music is food of love, play on, and give me the excess of it.