Hey everyone, it's me again. Sorry for not posting for so long - I've been on a decidedly non-Nigerian music binge and thus haven't found anything particularly interesting for you. However, once again thanks to the people at the MTV Iggy Blog (I'd specifically like to thank Beverly, who posts a lot of African music) I have some music for you all.
More and more Nigerians are getting into music these days, both at home and abroad. It used to be you could count on one hand the number of popular artists out there. Now I can barely keep track. Too bad it's mostly hip-hop and R&aB, with scatterings of indie music here and there - I would love to see what kind of music a Nigerian rock band could come up with. Anyway, I've stumbled upon a few Nigerians making music in obodo oyibo who are worth checking out:
1. The GTW
His name stands for "Greater Than Wealth" - which is totally a motto meant to be painted onto the back of a molue. Proof, in my opinion, that he's a true Nigerian. Hailing from Chicago, he recently dropped a mixtape and a couple of videos. I get a slightly Wale-before-he-got-famous type vibe from him, which is a good thing - he's not yet been changed by popularity, and still feels like he's coming from a genuine place. Here's the video for his song, "Blow Me Away" which has a great instrumental that combines a Nigerian beat with a nice neo-soul ambiance - best of both worlds for sure. The mixtape itself is a mix of new and old school sounds with some great raps and a bit of social commentary thrown in. Something for everyone, so make sure to check it out.
2. Chris Akinyemi
Aww, he's such a cutie. Here's New Jersey based singer-songwriter Chris Akinyemi's track "Radio", a song that criticizes the state of the music industry. It's also refreshing to see a different sound coming out of the diaspora - a little more pop-oriented than most Nigerian artists, but still with hip-hop and R&B influences. One for the teenagers, for sure:
Chris Akinyemi - "Radio" OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO from Jackpot in the West Productions on Vimeo.
Okay, so about four years ago Nosa and I stumbled across a project group called ASHTHOMAS which was a collaboration between some producers and rappers. We still talk about their album, the ASHTHOMAS Project Vol. 2: The Ascension. At the time, their sound was fresh, they had potential, they were going to change the game. But then, they all but disappeared. So when one of the rappers, KEX popped up again, I was on it immediately. He's currently based in the UK, making a quiet return to the scene with "In My Dreams", thoughtful and skillfully done, with a pretty compelling video. Trust me - Nigerian music needs this dude back on the scene - so show him some love so that he can get a Twitter or something and we can keep up with him. And so Nosa and I can stop talking about their old album and start talking about a new one - fingers crossed! (video via Last Plane to Lagos)