The Lack Of The Rock Genre In Nigeria Mainstream Music
I know I won’t be winning any popularity contest. My opinions aren’t always popular either. My name isn’t of importance but I will tell it. It’s Cheyi. I consider myself a Speed/Thrash Metal enthusiast (I grew up listening to a certain genre of Metal and I still do, more than 20 years after and trust me I’m proudin’ on that there)
I started AudioInferno with seven unnamable warriors who all wield fabled sword, sword to protect the plains of Myrithiftyl (good luck pronouncing that.) The initiative of AudioInferno is simple:
Provide the space Rock bands in Nigeria and Africa need to excel.
I run the podcast section of the site and it airs every Friday. So far, the site has had an insane amount of success, we’ve interviewed over a dozen bands from around Africa and the UK and we keep getting positive feedbacks from these bands. We feature their songs on our site and that gets them pretty excited. We have formed connections with a host of bands and we’re hoping by next year we will be getting invites to cover the numerous concerts in South Africa.
I could sit here and tell you all you need to know but that can’t beat you seeing it for yourself, so head on to our site.
“The human mind fears what it doesn’t understand.”
Music is often considered a form of language. As a language, it can’t be understood by everyone. Most times you have to want to understand so you’d be able to communicate with other with that very same language. Languages are complicated. Even the one you’re a natural in. it’s even more complicated when you aren’t familiar with it. In time, you either grow to hate the language or you simply stay away from it… because you don’t understand it, you fear it… you become like everyone else. A commoner.
Rock music isn’t for everyone. And Rock fans will tell you they love it that way. And why won’t they? An average fan of Rock music feels a sense of uniqueness. They probably spend their time thinking they are much better than people who listen to other genres of music. Rock fans are also posers and that extend to the bans also. They won’t admit it but it’s there, it’s evidential. No fuss.
I’ll be honest here, I don’t have time trying to convince anyone to listen to Rock music. Your preference is your business. I started listen to Rock music when I was 6 years old, in 94’ and I’m still doing so right now, you do the math, how many years. Perhaps that makes me better than you all… it doesn’t matter. Music is a universal language, it caters to different ears.
Nigeria is a very funny country. It’s a country that is trend driven even more so than countries like the US or England. That extends to the kind of music we love here. Nigeria doesn’t have a musical identity, feel free to argue with me if you must, I’ll welcome it but before you do, pick a pen and a paper, go on the internet and range from 1960 to 2015 and you’ll realize how often the Nigerian music scene has changed. From Jazz (yes!) to Highlife to Afrobeat to Disco to Reggae to Nigerian Reggae to HipHop to Rap (in particular) to what I like to call “What are we listening to now” music. Picture this folks… you may think the current music we listen to right now in Nigeria has been here long but not too long ago African China was a legend here. About 5-6 years ago too.
With this in mind you get a feel that the rise of Rock Music in Nigeria is around the corner. You doubt? Alright, have you heard of 1lastAutograph, CLAY, Threadstone, Nathmac, Stage1, +234 Band, The Clones, Rock Engrafted? NO you haven’t. Maybe not all. All these are bands or Rock Acts currently functioning in Nigeria. These guys are all doing what you think is impossible in Nigeria. And they are doing it well. I have seen them perform live and they are as impressive as their brother in Rock Music nations. Hell, I’ve had the chance of performing with 1LastAutograph and we’ve wowed the crowd. You don’t know them from a list of reason ranging from you don’t want to believe they exist to you won’t give them a chance.
“If you don’t know, doesn’t mean it isn’t.”
The lack of the Rock genre in Nigerian mainstream music isn’t a concern for a real rock band. A real rock band isn’t entirely bothered about publicity. They usually shy away from popular award shows because they know their categories are few and often neglected. Reason they only pay attention to Rock Themed award shows. And there are dozens of them around the world. Yes, I can tell you all the reason why Rock Music doesn’t have a spot in the Nigeria music industry… I could but I won’t. It doesn’t matter why they aren’t given publicity what matter (to me) is the rep they get. Labeling a band demonic without listening to them is a bit naïve, ignorant or better yet shallow. How can you understand what you haven’t heard? You meet people often who tell you they heard a Rock song and they spoke of demons and Hell and they immediately tell you all Rock songs are the same. As a Rock fan, you immediately want to tell them there are over fifty different genre of a sub-genre of Rock music. METAL has well over a hundred sub-genres also. Which means THEY ALL SOUND DIFFERENT!!!!! Very. You want to tell them but you’re thinking…
I’ve complained about how people view this genre of music in this country and I’m way pass convincing people so I started a site with a couple of buddies of mine, Audio Inferno (www.audioinferno.com) We wanted to prove the presence of Rock Music in Nigeria and we’ve done that already, ages ago in fact, our focus is on bridging the gap with other bands in Africa (yes, there are more than a thousand bands in Africa…. Now you know, you are welcome.)
Rock music isn’t lacking in Nigeria (per say) it’s the universally publicity that’s lacking, you know the kind D’banj gets. Nigerian music moves in cycles… the Rock phase hasn’t happened yet. But it’s coming. Nigerian rock bands have already done covers for Banky W’s Yes/No and Korede Bello’s Godwin. I call this The Cover Wars. Soon, other bands will realize they can get publicity by covering popular songs then the floodgates will open properly then you will see or hear.
Rock music is present here, you don’t know doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Perhaps you know now or perhaps you chose to remain blissfully ignorant. I get that, I do that but still, Rock bands are here and they are getting bigger… slowly but surely.