Precisely what the title says. And yes, I’m a Bez fan.
All posts in Music
Precisely what the title says. And yes, I’m a Bez fan.
This is the kind of stuff I do when I’m up writing at 3am.
Asides from the usual suspects – TuFace, Lagbaja, Cobhams, Asa, Ty Bello and a couple more, finding Nigerian music that makes sense means having to wade through tons of TerryG and WizKid-esque drivel.
I was yakking about this last week on Twitter when I was handed this inspired (and in my opinion, hopeful), piece of Nigerian indie music. Thanks a lot, Pamela.
Alright, fellow last carriers, y’all need to listen to this cover of Asa’s Jailer by Lindsey. Her vocals are wow, and the strings do the number justice. Stop carrying last…listen here.
So on the journey to discover my muse, I discover that my muse is also determined to find me. Like when I was invited to back Elder’s Corner on Kickstarter. Supporting Elder’s Corner totally rocked, and I’m really glad that we were able to get that project funded. But what probably rocks just as much is the fact that getting involved in such projects makes it inevitable that you’ll meet and form relationships with great people from all over the world, and who are also working on interesting projects. Like House Music Movie, a music film project by Muema.
House Music Movie is a feature length independent documentary film about house music, dance and global pop culture. The film captures candid conversations about the music, the dance and the passion it inspires. Having already wrapped shooting, his team is now at a critical moment in post-production and editing. They need a final push to help acquire archival footage in order to finish the film for a targeted 2012 festival premiere, and they’ve set up a fund on Rockethub where you can lend them a hand.
Interesting stuff, definitely want to see when it gets out. Find out more and support Muema’s project here.
In those days my siblings and I used to live for 4 pm. By 3:45 we’d already taken our places in front of the TV screen, avidly watching the test colour bars that told us that NTA 2 Channel 5 was about to begin transmitting. Even when there was no electricity, we still gathered in the living room, our bodies taut with concentration, willing NEPA* to ‘bring the light’ so we could watch cartoons on the approximately 90 minute long Children’s belt. I can still see it vividly, all of us hunched down in front of the TV, but in our hearts and minds we were flying through the air with Superman, leaping over the rooftops of Chicago with Spiderman, chasing villains through the back alleys of Gotham City with Batman. It wasn’t all about adventure though, there were also fun educational shows like Bright Sparks, Magic School Bus, Cro and many more. But I think the show that had the most profound effect on me must have been Sesame Street. Chalk it up to a hyperactive imagination, but it was almost as though I lived there with Oscar the grouch, Elmo, Big Bird, Forgetful Jones, Count Von Count, The Cookie Monster…in fact if you look hard enough at the post’s picture you might just see my small head poking out from somewhere…kidding!
Looking back, I can attribute a lot of what I am now to simple lessons I learnt from back when I lived on Sesame Street. To underscore this, check out these videos from the series.
Counting To Four
I was too old for this video at the time, but that didn’t stop me from totally loving it. It’s amazing, the talent and devotion that the producers of these programmes bring to teaching the simplest things.
Raise Your Hand
Though mostly a lesson in classroom decorum, this song taught me to be inquisitive and never be afraid of asking questions in class or anywhere at all. This usually earned me odd looks from classmates who dubbed me oversabi or ‘ITK’ (I Too Know), but I was always the better for it. Okay, maybe I extended the lesson a bit
Jack Black Defines Octagon
Who would believe how easy it is to explain what an octogan is to a kid? See how in this short but powerful video.
Watch the funny two headed monster go beyond shape recognition into abstract logic by fooling around with what they think is a rectangle…
Will.I.Am – What I Am
Obviously recent this one, it’s starring Black Eyed Peas’ Will.I.Am. Reaching children via popular pop culture icons is genius strategy, again showing the lengths the programme producers are willing to go to inspire children.
Naija To Banks…[Static]…Come In Banks…
In the real world however, I thoroughly hated going to school where we had to chant the times tables in an annoying monotone, and where the teacher decided to score me 9 over 10 in verbal reasoning because I had decided to spell ‘colour’ as ‘color’. Tell me, being in primary two or so at the time, how was I supposed to know the difference between American and British english?
It’s a good thing I had Sesame Street and similar children’s programming to learn from, watching those shows made up for my relatively unremarkable formal education. If the methods employed by schools in Nigeria are even half as intuitive as the ones in these videos, we wouldn’t be recording these dismal SSCE results. I remember the last (public) secondary school I attended (I attended four in all), I was killing their science students at biology, and without reading too. Between a few years worth of Magic School Bus episodes and a backward curriculum, I was able to give them a proper trouncing. Terrible. I’ll leave the rant about how unscientific our approach to education in Nigeria is for another post. But let me state the obvious. As far as educating the younger generation is concerned, we have a long way to go.
Not everyone gets the chance to live on Sesame Street. Recently I came across two boys who saw Superman on my laptop for the first time in their lives. This in my opinion is a breach of a fundamental human right. The right to know Superman. And sadly this is the case for a disproportionately large number of children who have no access to quality TV programming. I was lucky to have been influenced by these mediums. I hope that sometime very soon, in concert with other interested actors, I can afford others the same opportunity.
*NEPA – National Electric Power Authority
I’m backing a music project that seeks to chronicle and preserve Nigeria’s colourful musical history, and I thought I’d like to share it. I realise that like a lot of people, I must have fallen into the the cracks of culture at some point, and I’m somewhat saddened by how little I know about Nigeria’s golden oldies, about how our music, pioneered by legends, evolved through the years and came to be where it is today. For me, this is another chance to rediscover and help preserve our musical roots. Please find out more below or go straight to it here to support it - Bankole
Elder’s Corner is musical journey through pivotal moments in the colorful history of Nigeria as told through the lives and careers of the nations foremost music legends. It is a story about the eroding effects of colonialism, bitter ethnic clashes, politics, oil, power, money and their combined effects on a nation that recently celebrated its 50th year of self rule.
Shot against the colorful and gritty backdrop of some of Nigeria’s urban cities particularly Lagos and through the clever use of extensive in depth interviews, archival footage and still photographs, Elder’s Corner will take viewers on a musical journey through the country’s turbulent and colorful history. It will chronicle and showcase the lives and work of some of the leading exponents of the various musical movements that spawned Afrobeat, Juju, Apala, Highlife and Fuji music.
To date we have been able to capture over 30 hours of amazing interview and performance footage of each icon and gather incredibly rare photographs, memorabilia and other significant source material for the project. We have also interviewed legendary Jazz Pianist Randy Weston, world renowned DJ/Producer and Yoruba Records founder, Osunlade, legendary Vibraphonist and soul funk maestro, Roy Ayers as well as Afrobeat DJ/Producer, Rich Medina and singer, songwriter, performer Wunmi for the project.
Much of this has been achieved largely through self funding, unwavering passion and the kindness and generosity of close friends and family who strongly believed in the project from it’s onset. We now need further help to get us through the next 6 months of filming in Nigeria. Kindly lend your support to this historical film by making a pledge and helping to spread the word about it by SHARING it with your all your friends through your associated social networks globally.
UPDATE: We’re FULLY FUNDED, yay!!! Thanks to all who pitched in to make this project a reality.
Latecomer that I am, I just stumbled on this beautiful piece of music by J’odie, and I haven’t recovered yet…you know, that kind of music that has you digging through the archives just so you can learn more about it? Yep, for me this is one of them. I couldn’t get over the Carribean feel of the beat as well as the video, a feel which I discovered is Zouk-inspired. Zouk is a style of rhythmic music originating from the Caribbean islands. Read more about Zouk music here
J’odie made her first major appearance at the first (and I think only) edition of the West African Idols, alongside Timi Dakolo and Omawumi. There are those who believe that she would have won that edition of the show, but somehow it just wasn’t meant to be. That doesn’t seem to have slowed her down though, word has it that she’s just signed a deal with Sammy Okposo’s Zamar Entertainment. Issokay.
J’odie’s track has taught me so much in the past few days I’ve had it on replay. I thought it was just another love song until the unusually soft lyrics (your pretty little fingers so tender, like petals from the morning bloom) made me quickly aware that this one was different. I speak entirely for my self on this point, but for me, J’odie’s music was a refreshing change from all the akpako noise that our ‘entertainers’ churn out. The biggest takeaway for me on this is that a time is coming when we won’t have to look to only Asa, Lagbaja, Cobhams, Bez, RooftopMCs (and a few other guys) for a real message. I also know that our taste in music is evolving, Nigerians will soon begin to demand rich soulful music that will outlive chart ratings. Naija musicians, entertainment’s good, but some depth please? Oh well, whatever, no harm in asking. Do what you please, I just voted with my mute button.
Back to the star of today’s post, here’s the YouTube video for the track. Skillful directing by Toka McBaror, the flick complements the track perfectly. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you do, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I give you Kuchi Kuchi.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I daresay that there has never been a time in Nigerian history where Nigerian youth had nearly as much political awareness as they do now. Access to the internet and the social web has brought this heightened sense of national responsibility to the fore, and the youth are finding all kinds of creative ways to express it. Like my friend, Lulu Fadoju, former Sprite Triple Slam contender and voice-over artist in training.
Lulu can (among other things) do rap freestyles. And here’s a video of one from my last trip to UNAD Ekiti, where he talks about the realities of Nigerian politics and where the power to determine the nation’s destiny should reside. His message? Give power to the people.
Don’t mind us amateurs, Seun and I, forming expert guitarists, Lulu’s flow is far more important. And by all means, please share if you feel there’s people out there who need to hear this message.
Image via flickr