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INTERNATIONAL LOCAL: SOUND FROM THE OTHER SIDE

I can’t wait for Tiwa Savage to release her first song under the foreign label she’s signed with.

I want to check something.

You know, the African audience is a subset of the world music industry. Some have pointed that we hardly form part of the mainstream. Regardless, we’re still visible on the radar.

Some of our local artistes make songs we appreciate as “hip.” The beats, rhyme, vocals, videos seem to be coloured, influenced by the works and culture of the international music scene.

These kind of songs appeal to us particularly because they are more “brandished” than our regular local songs and bear a semblance of works from advanced industries, while still retaining a good preservation of African content.

In the same vein, these songs, bearing a semblance of works from the international music industry, appeal to the international audience too – though not as much as it appeals to us- as it is similar to the kind of music they know.

So we have African songs that is a blend of Africa, with some mix of international, giving us an “improved” Afro sound, though not a full composure of international music. But enough to attract the makers of it; international music. We always receive with cheer, the news of another of our stars who gets signed up with international artistes.

Tiwa isn’t the first artiste to broaden her coast beyond the home font. Wizkid “made it out” even before her and list is longer than I thought initially.

But one thing I’m yet to establish firmly is that it seems once they go beyond local, they begin to make music that does not resonate with the Nigerian audience like their past works used to.

I remember Wizkid’s “Star Boy” album. I was a big hit. He has had other hits unarguably, but in recent times, more of his hits are recorded on international charts….. which is a good thing, of course.

But these international hits are hardly a local buzz. Only few are.

I may be wrong.

These artistes are spotted as “Afrobeat stars” and appreciated as such. In collaboration with international stars, they keep the “afro” just enough to be recognised as so, retuning everything else to be international, thereby almost losing their salt; the very thing they were spotted for.

Thankfully, we have a truck load of songs featuring Nigerian artists; Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Burna Boy, and others on a Lion King album by Beyonce coming out this July.

You want to know what I’m talking about, stay tuned, let’s weigh the songs featuring our Nigerian artistes and see how “afro” and “foreign” they sound.

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