Before makossa, a genre of music from the central africa became the rave for most Nigerians ,it was the lengendary Manu Dibango ,who,during the early and late 70s,made in-road into the Nigerian music scene with that brand of African Music.
Little was then known of Makossa ,unlike presently when every Dele,Emeka,and Musa is busy doing the Makossa stuff.
Corporate bodies have also caught the makossa disease as some have been involved in promoting the music through sponsorship of makossa musical shows across the country.For example,some years back,brewing giant,Nigerian Breweries Limited of (NBL) brought Awilo Logomba to do his thing before a live audience in Lagos .The objective of providing the sponsorship,according to NBL was to relaunch the new Star beer,a product of NBL to its customers in the country.Sounds good,however,one big question begging for an answer is ;what has happened to our indigenous music and musicians?
Does it means that Nigeria could no longer boast of musicians who could prove their mettle?Is it that the country no longer appreciates the works of indigenous artistes?
Though some argue that our musicians are lazy and lack creative competence when compare to their counterparts from central Africa that are threatening to overrun our socio-cultural system with their brand of music,some Nigerians musicians and music critics disagree with this line of argument,contending that government as well as corporate bodies should be held responsible for the poor state of Nigeria's music industry in recent times.
In addittion ,some also argue that broadcast stations across the country ,especially those on the frequency modulated (FM) bands and even the government owned Nigerian television Authourity(NTA) have done more harm to the development and marketing of indigenous music than the several corporate organizations that have been importing one makossa artist or the other for thier media campaigns.
A school of thought is of the view that though as makossa is the "in thing" now because it has received the necessary support in terms of promotion and international exposure among others ,there is nothing new or creative about that brand of music as played by its exponents.
According to them,though some of our musicians have lately been aping foreingn artists by playing some brands of music like rap,it does not mean we don't have some of them who could excell,given the necessary support.Afterall ,they said,this coutry has produced great musicians like the late afro-beat king.Fela Anikulapo Kuti,Alhaji
Sikiru Ayinde Barrister,Chief Osita Osabede,Late I K Dairo ,Suny Ade,Chief Ebenezer Obey, Rex Lawson and many others..They believe that even today Fela's son Femi,Lagbaja ,Shina Peters,Kwam1,among others are doing quite well.
A popular musician saw it from different perspective.His words."here in Nigeria,the only thing we know is Makossa or rap music;nobody is taking of how to uplift our own brand of music to the outside world."
"The annoying thing is that people keep saying that we are lazy and lack creativity instead of addressing issues like piracy;inadequate promotion of our works,undue preference for foreign music by television and radio stations ,among others.
"Untill we begin to address these issues,our music and musicains would never be accepted beyond the shores of this country".
Undoubtedly,one can go on printing out some of the problems that have contributed to the poor output of music industry.
However,one thing is clear;the poor state of the nation's economy has also helped matters.Most musicians would not hesisitate to tell you that they don't survive on music alone as they have to do other things to survive.
One may be tempted to conclude that given such scenario,some of our musicians may ,afterall,be labelled"jack of all trade and master of none".
Again,the mutiplier effect of the poor economy on the music industry has created so much suspicion between the recording companies and the artistes,such that both continue to blame each other for poor returns
in terms of record sales.While some of the musicians will bluntly tell you that some of the recording companies often create this false impression that their albums are not selling because of one reason or the other,the recording
companies contend that the poor economy has also affected record sales such that the average Nigerian these days,unlike in the 70s and 80s finds it difficult to part with #100 just to buy a cassette.
With the increase in the unmbers of performing musicians in the country today courtesy of new recording companies,musicians such as Daddy Showkey,Baba Fryo,Paul Play I K Dairo,,plantation Boys,Remedies,among others may eventually
bring back the good old days when every Nigerian,young or old ,listened and danced to indeginous music,made popular by notable musicians like Sir Victor Uwaifo,Chief Ebenezer Obey,Sunny Okosun,Christy Essien Igbokwe,Onyeka Onwenu,Victor
olaiya,and host of Others.
Untill we make efforts to reverse the current trend,we may as well continue to gyrate to the makossa beat.