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Showing posts with label Music Views. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Music Views. Show all posts

Sunday, 29 March 2020

SONGWRITING FOR OTHERS IS NOT CHEATING




Two days ago, after breakfast, I heard my eight-year-old son singing in the sitting room. He enjoys singing my songs and the songs of other singers and songwriters and he does so everywhere; bathroom, kitchen, etc. He has a lovely voice too. 

He and his elder brothers listen to my songs after I compose them. They make their comments and I edit the melody or lyrics if necessary before I hit the recording studio. They are my cheerleaders.

The following conversation ensued between us;

ME: My baby, you love singing so much. Would you like to be a professional singer in the future?

SON: No, mommy. Have you forgotten about the things that I want to do?

ME: Certainly not. You want to become a footballer and a robotic engineer. Right?

SON: Yes, that is right.


ME: You can still squeeze in singing or drop one of these careers along the line. That will not be difficult since you already play the piano and the drums. You never know.

SON: Even if I decide to sing, I do not know how to compose songs like you.

ME: I can write your songs for you.

SON: No, that would be cheating. A singer is supposed to sing and write his or her songs too.



ME: No, it is not compulsory for a singer to also write his songs. It is called music publishing. In fact, some popular singers do not write any of their songs and some songwriters have terrible voices. Some songwriters who write only the lyrics of a song (lyricists) may not be able to provide a melody for their words (composers).

SON: No, mommy. I do not agree with you.

ME: So, if a singer is supposed to do everything, will you also produce your own songs; play your own piano, guitar, drums, etc at the same time?

SON: (Silence).

So, I got him there.

In practice, many international singers do not write their own songs. Many great songs are not written by the people who performed these music.

The likes of Rihanna and Elton John of this world are simply not gifted with the art of songwriting. Albeit, Elton John creates melodies from the lyrics of Bernie Taupin, his lyricist. Thus, Elton John is a joint copyright owner with Bernie in the songs that Elton performs. (Lyrics + Melody = Song).

This simply means that poets (lyricists) can have their poetry converted into songs by working together with a melody creator (composer) and make extra cash for a lifetime.

Whitney Houston never wrote any of her songs. Beyonce collaborates with other songwriters. She has never written one song by herself.

The likes of R. Kelly, Chris Brown and DJ Irawo *winks* can write for themselves and for other singers. Thank God for our multiple talents.

The late Michael Jackson wrote 99% of his songs too. His children are now swimming in billions of dollars from royalties made from all over the world.

Do I need to tell you that Fela Anikulapo Kuti's children are basking still basking in millions courtesy of their father's self written music from all over the world?

This is the beauty of music publishing.


Independent music artists or their independent record labels seek songs from music publishers. Major record labels like Sony Music have their own publishing company.

It is only in Nigeria that a Nigerian singer will want to write his or her own music by force even if he or she is poor at it. 

Even if he or she gets songs from a songwriter or music publisher, the singer will want to buy off the song instead of licensing it and will want the songwriter to be hush-hush about the song so that Nigerians can say about the singer, “Oh wow! What a wonderful singer and songwriter he/she is!”

Songs like Yolo performed by Seyi Shay, Nackam performed by Yemi Alade, Ferrari performed by Yemi Alade, Sade performed by Davido, Applaudise and Gift performed by Iyanya were all written by a Nigerian songwriter who does not sing professionally. His name is Ikemefunna Nwanbonye.

Gobe and Aye performed by Davido were written by Password and Runtown respectively.


In music, there is no such thing as 'too many cooks spoil the broth'. The more, the merrier. 

Simply involve your intellectual property lawyer and music publisher (if you care to hire me) in your deal to avoid future roforofo.

In advanced countries, about five to seven people can write just one song and the song will become a hit, generating millions in performance fees, blanket licensing, mechanical licensing, performance licensing, synchronization fees, general and specific royalties.

We should begin to collaborate more and follow due process in the Nigerian music industry for its further growth and development.





Tuesday, 24 March 2020

TEN SUCCESSFUL NIGERIAN MUSICIANS WITHOUT A UNIVERSITY DEGREE




In Nigeria and generally all over the world, a university degree is not a prerequisite for a successful music career.

A higher education is only sufficient but not adequate for success in this life.

If you are unable to pass the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination to secure a place in a federal or state or private university, you ought to be able to get into a federal or state polytechnic or college of education or other private tertiary institution to study music. 

Did you read me clearly? You should study music and not any other course.


My bone of contention is with what you intend to study in this higher institution.

If you intend to be a full time professional musician and you are studying mechanical engineering or accounting or any other course different from music at the higher institution then you must be a joker. You should switch your course now!

You should take a cue from the late musician, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, who changed his mind from studying medicine to studying music at the university and it paid off for him.

Peradventure you get a great record deal offer while studying for your degree or diploma or certificate course, take it. Grab it with both hands! 

If you cannot combine school with the requirements of a busy musician life, drop out of school and forge ahead with your music career because you might never get that opportunity again. This is because the younger you are, the faster it is to become a successful musician. If you wait till you finish school, the world will forget you. Musicians need the world to remember them in order to succeed in their music career.


If you intend to become a music business professional such as a music manager, tour manager, record label executive, entertainment accountant, music publisher, etc, you should study courses like accounting or entrepreneurship or business administration. After your degree, you should get a diploma in music.

If you want to become an entertainment or music lawyer, you should study law and then get a  diploma in music.

If you want to become a music journalist, study media or communication and language arts or mass communication or journalism, etc and then get a diploma in music afterwards.


Study a course at the higher institution for the purpose of using it to work or enhance your career and not just for the purpose of merely having a university or diploma or certificate.

The following musicians knew what they wanted and they went for it even without a degree or diploma or a certificate in music.

THE VETERANS


1. Chief Ebenezer Obey


He was born on April 3, 1942 as Ebenezer Remilekun Aremu Olasupo Obey-Fabiyi in Idogo, Nigeria and is nicknamed the "Chief Commander".

He is a songwriter, singer and guitarist.

He began his professional career in the mid-1950s after moving to Lagos. 

After tutelage under Fatai Rolling-Dollar's band, he formed a band called The International Brothers in 1964, playing highlife–jùjú fusion. The band later metamorphosed into Inter-Reformers in the early-1970s, with a long list of Juju album hits on the West African Decca musical label.


Obey began experimenting with Yoruba percussion style and expanding on the band by adding more drum kits, guitars and talking drums. 

Obey's musical strengths lie in weaving intricate Yoruba axioms into dance-floor compositions. 

As is the characteristic of Nigerian Yoruba social-circle music, the Inter-Reformers band excel in praise-singing for rich Nigerian socialites and business tycoons. 

His music is laced with Christian spiritual themes. 


2. King Sunny Ade



Chief Sunday Adeniyi Adegeye MFR was born on September 22,1946. 

He is a Nigerian jùjú singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. 

He is regarded as one of the first African pop musicians to gain international success and has been called one of the most influential musicians of all time.

Adé left grammar school in Ondo City under the pretense of schooling at the University of Lagos. It was in Lagos that his mercurial musical career began.

3. General Kollington



Kollington Ayinla ranks alongside his friend and late competitor, Ayinde Barrister, as the two most important artists to dominate Fuji music from its inception in the 1970s through to the 1990s by which time it had grown to become one of the most popular dance genres in Nigeria. 

Anyila Kolawole was born in 1953 in Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria. Between the mid-70s and late 80s, Kollington ranked with Barrister as the leading star of Nigerian fuji music - like apala and waka, a Muslim-dominated relation of juju, retaining that style’s vocal and percussion ingredients but abandoning its use of electric guitars in order to obtain a more traditional, roots-based sound. 

He began recording for Nigerian EMI in 1974 and in 1978 achieved a pronounced but temporary lead over Barrister when his introduction of the powerful bata drum (fuji had until that time relied almost exclusively on talking or ‘squeeze’, drums) caught the imagination of record buyers.

Ayinla and Ayinde were soldiers who resigned from the Nigerian army to pursue their music career.

He is songwriter, singer and saxophonist.

Although, one regret that General Ayinla Kollington has is that he does not have a university education Albeit, he was still successful without it and he can still go back to school if he truly desires a university education. There is no excuse for a lack of education.

He remains my best fuji musician of all time.


4. Sir Shina Peters



Born Oluwashina Akanbi Peters in Ogun State, Nigeria, Peters' career in music began at a young age when he played with friends under the handle, Olushina and His Twelve Fantastic Brothers.

While playing with his friends, he taught himself how to play the piano and later joined Ebenezer Obey's band. 

Thereafter, he left Obey's band and joined General Prince Adekunle's band as a guitar player. Adekunle's band played in Lagos hotels such as Western Hotel, Palm Beach Hotel and Executive Hotel. 

When Adekunle was ill, Peters sometimes acted as the lead singer. He left Adekunle to form Shina Adewale, a band with juju maestro Segun Adewale. However, the duo soon split. 

Shina Peters, after releasing many albums with Segun Adewale through the 1980s, went on to form his own band, Sir Shina Peters & His International Stars.

THE UNDER 45s


5. Wizkid




Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun was born on the 16th of July, 1990. 

He is a songwriter, singer and the CEO of Starboy Entertainment.

He dropped out of Lead City University, Oyo state to focus on his music career.

6. 9ice


Alexander Abolore Adegbola Adigun Alapomeji was born on the 17th of January, 1980. 

He attended Abule Okuta primary school and CMS Grammar School. 

He is a songwriter, singer and the CEO of Alapomeji Ancestral Records.

He dropped out of his law course at the Lagos State University to focus on his music career.


7. Olamide


Olamide Adedeji was born on the 15th of March, 1989. 

He is a songwriter, rapper, singer and the CEO of YBNL Nation.



He dropped out of Tai Solarin University of Education because his father could no longer the tuition fees.

8. Dbanj



Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo was born on June 9, 1980. 

He is a songwriter, singer, rapper, harmonicist and the CEO of C.R.E.A.M.

He dropped out of his mechanical engineering course when he was in 300 level.

9. Don Jazzy


Michael Collins Ajere was born on the 26th of November, 1982. 

He is a record producer, singer, songwriter and the CEO of Mavin Records.

He dropped out of the Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma in his first year.

10. 2Baba



Innocent Ujah Idibia was born on the 18th of September, 1975. 

He is a singer, songwriter, record producer, serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, humanitarian and activist.

Innocent Ujah Idibia dropped out of the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu to pursue his music career.


Saturday, 21 March 2020

HOW THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) HAS AFFECTED MUSICIANS GLOBALLY




The coronavirus is believed to have emanated from the bat and the pangolin.

A team of Chinese researchers suspect the pangolin of transmitting the novel coronavirus to humans in the Chinese city of Wuhan; the epicenter of the pandemic that has rocked the world.

The pangolin meat is bought from Gabon. Before  now, the Chinese ate Pangolin meat and used its scale in the production of their medicine but since the outbreak of the virus, the sales of pangolin meat in Gabon has nosedived. It is needless to say that the Gabon meat sellers have lost their most valuable customers.

The symptoms of the coronavirus include;

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty in breathing
It is not surprising to me that the coronavirus began in China because those mongoloids eat anything under the sun. They eat cats, dogs, rats and I guess vultures too. I gave up on them when I watched a documentary on television where some Chinese kept a cockroach farm. They reared cockroaches and ate them as food! I do not patronize Chinese restaurants. I could never.

Their gluttony has put the world in a mess and it has severely affected us; the musicians.

Several musicians have had to cancel or postpone their music concerts and tours within and outside Nigeria because of the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Foreign musicians like John Legend, Bono, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Pink, John Mayer, Keith Urban, etc have had to postpone their passions which will ultimately cost them a fortune.

Nigerian musicians like Asa, Femi Kuti and Beautiful Nubia have had to postpone their source of daily bread too. Singer Davido is not left out of this ordeal.

Asa ran away from the coronovirus in Europe to Lagos. Hopefully, her music concerts in Lagos and Abuja, on Saturday April 11 and Easter Monday April 13 respectively will go on as planned.

John Legend and Asa have devised a means of performing from the comfort of their homes to their fans via online videos.  I cannot say for sure if they get paid for their performances.

I look forward to researchers getting the cure and vaccines for this disease just as it has been found for the ebola virus.

I have also had to postpone my music concerts until further notice but I should able to resume the recording of my songs for my debut album, My Freedom, in April.

Two musicians have also been pronounced dead as a result of the coronavirus. 

The singer of soukous from Congo-Brazzaville Aurlus Mabélé, passed away this Thursday, March 19th in Paris region following the coronavirus. He was 67 years old.

Marcelo Peralta, an Argentine saxophonist renowned for his innovative approach to the avant-garde and South American musical traditions, died March 10 at a hospital in Madrid, Spain. He was six days past his 59th birthday.

As musicians, the stage is our playground. The world is our territory. We need to resume play without restrictions.


















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