When you think about the entertainment scene or consider the music industry in Nigeria as a whole, your first thought is most likely of Lagos. Considerably, like every other economic sphere - telecommunications, technology, banking & finance, industry, even in Government and Agriculture, Lagos is considered the commercial hub of all business activities in Nigeria; so it is therefore not surprising to identify the hub of music and entertainment as Lagos, Africa's most populous city. Why then when you think of some of the biggest names to have grown in the industry - Innocent "Tubaba" Idibia, Burna Boy, Omah Lay, MI Abaga, Ice Prince, producer TY Mix, Jeremiah Gyang, Eldee Tha Don, Sound Sultan of blessed memory etc - they are linked to other cities of Nigeria bedsides Lagos. The general belief has always been that everyone must move to Lagos to be able to thrive in the music industry, hence the reason why the artistes like those listed above came to be in Nigeria's entertainment capital.
Is Lagos still the only place where Nigerian artists have to be to make it? Is this trend still the norm or there are other ways now? Does this general notion that there are no discoverable and existing talents outside of Lagos hold? If there indeed are talents in other cities, how do we find them and how do we tell them that the industry has evolved and they no longer need to task themselves with the responsibility of relocation?
The questions about untapped talent became a task for our team as there seemed to be many unsatisfactory answers. In this new world where location doesn't matter - you can make good music, distribute from the comfort of your home to over 50 global digital music platforms, gain listeners from every part of the world and most importantly make money & get paid royalty earnings wherever you are - we decided to take the gospel of Distribution according to TuneAfrique to the rest of the country; in came the TuneAfrique Music Session.
The objective of the music session being clear, it became our goal to visit with artistes in different localities and have candid discussions about the prospects available to them by a simple click on the mobile device which is now part of our everyday lives. On the TuneAfrique Music Sessions journey, not only have we met raw, undiscovered, unsigned, independent talents, we were exposed to the art life and industry in the different locations and got introduced to the different music genres and the use of beautiful Nigerian languages in the craft. In Jos Plateau State, we heard a variant called "ndeng ndeng" championed by "Dantala", in Makurdi Benue State, we saw home grown music sung in Tiv, Idoma Etilo & Igede languages, in Calabar Cross-River State, we were introduced to "Calapiano", a new genre that also has the interest of the government and sung by artistes like "Effiom Trombone".
For the Artistes in attendance, and for our team, the TuneAfrique Music Sessions have been a learning curve. It has also helped us to conclude that as an industry, the talent surface hasn't even yet been scratched, and we are on a mission to take on as many destinations as we can. Do It Yourself, you too can sign up on TuneAfrique today to start your music journey wherever you are.
Think there's enough talent in your location for us to come through? Contact us at Musicsession@tuneafrique.com
Hembadoon is a Singer, Songwriter and Artiste & Label Services Director for Nigeria and Anglophone West Africa with TuneAfrique Distribution. With the team, she is currently on a drive to get as many artists in the inner cities of Nigeria to take advantage of the DIY opportunity available on TuneAfrique.com to monetize their music. Her music "Lady", "Hey Lover", cultural single "Kule Kule Hemba Ayem" and other songs, are distributed through TuneAfrique and available on all digital music platforms. FB @hembabubba | IG @hembabubba | T @hembadoonmusic