Naija Music – The Sound Of Nigeria. For anyone individuals not familiar with Naija Common music – this is actually the sound emanating from the Nigerian Popular music scene. African common music is, in the whole, as diverse because the cultures found through the continent with every region enjoying its own unique style of music associated with an array of instruments many Westerners are unfamiliar with.
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Nigerian Music includes from Folk Well-known music to a lot of the Well-known Popular music found through the world. There are numerous indigenous and ethnic peoples in Nigerian – therefore it must not be surprising that every ethnic group enjoys its personal unique music flavour and instrumentals, poetry and music style.
Did you realize, as an example, that traditional popular music found in Nigeria is closely connected to its agriculture, with certain instruments not permitted to be played during various seasons? Labour songs really are a common type of indigenous Nigerian popular music which helps to maintain the rhythm of workers in fields as well as the river canoes (think slave songs in the Deep South).
The story is frequently told concerning the mother cheetah who comes back home through the hunt to find her cubs have been trampled to death by elephants. Knowing that she is no match for these particular giants, she blames and kills a herd of goats. Similarly, when a group of Kenyan musicians took towards the streets last week calling for less Nigerian and Tanzanian common music, they were killing goats. The elephant in cases like this is history. However, not really history is really a match for innovation.
It’s funny, however the country popular music star Kenny Rogers can come to Kenya today, charge an arm and a leg, and play a month of sold-out stadium gigs. Yet his heyday is in the ‘80s. Exactly the same holds true for top-tier Nigerian acts. Their time, however, has become. Kenya seems predisposed to preferring the foreign, the exotic, the western. At the risk of being accused of talking about ‘that old trope,’ all of it began with all the erosion of our culture if the colonialists came. Colonialism eroded Kenyan culture I daresay greater than it did in West Africa, in Uganda, in Tanzania. Kenya had been a settler state. The Brits had no plans of going anywhere. Ever. And then in their assistance, and under duress, we threw the culture baby out with the pagan bath water and planted the Church and the Union Jack within the scene in the crime dressed in mandatory, state-issued calico cloth threatened by the both mental and physical whips of our settler masters. And when the new government in independent Kenya clamped on the Funk movement from the late 70s in addition to all other artistic expression, threatening and jailing academics in the universities and strangling the media, we shrunk into our cocoons, allowing ourselves instead to get satiated and sedated from the likes of ABBA, The Bee Gees and The Beatles. Homegrown innovation was dealt a blow that could take us decades to recoup from. I was born middle class (and English-speaking) inside the ‘70s. My predilection for those things Western was established at the beginning of life. I would be irritated, nay embarrassed, when I’d get back home from school and locate the housekeeper blasting ‘that shady Rhumba.’ Once I began my music career within the 90s there weren’t many Kenyan musicians to look up to. Anyone that had managed to record anything have been condemned by society to dying, drunk or living poor, a result of ‘loose morals and bad choices.’
I’m always slightly embarrassed when I introduce myself to folks I meet across the continent. I’m ‘Eric,’ while the South Africans are ‘Kgomotso’; the Nigerians are ‘Olusegun.’ Even whilst the Tanzanians may be ‘Damien’- pronounced ‘Da-mi-YEN’- they speak Kiswahili with such ease and fluidity having studied subjects like Biology in their national language. The Kiswahili language rolls off their tongues like honey towards the easy beat of Bongo Flavour, as close as you can reach Zouk singing on dry land. As a result, in Tanzania, American Idol loses pride of place to Project Bongo, a real possibility show concentrating on homegrown talent. Conversely, urban Kenyans get as far as Sheng, a hybrid of Kiswahili and vernacular ipebrc so diverse that kids from estates separated by as little as a highway have different names for the same thing. Sheng dictionaries become obsolete by the time they go to press, due to the rapidity within the change of vocabulary. A Sheng speaker can date you to within a year of the birth, locate your house to within a street through the word you use for ‘car’ or ‘mobile phone.’ Within the rural areas, Kiswahili is as foreign as Greek, and it is spoken only by people who could have picked it up in class or by those ethnicities whose ethnic language shares a standard Bantu base with Kiswahili, akin to that between Italian and Spanish. We claim to possess a national language. Listen again.