Nigeria’s music, film industry regressing –​ ​​Veteran Manager, ​Biosah

A veteran artiste manager, Dili Biosah, says Nigeria’s music and film industries are regressing in contrast to applauses they are receiving.

Speaking in an interview in Abuja, he observed that the industries ought to have gone beyond their present status.

He said that with technology, sounds are now clearer but many Nigerian singers cannot sing without the help of auto-tune (an audio processor).

He said: “Looking at Nigerian music today, you will say that there has been a lot of progress but I have earlier pointed out to you; we have been on billboard number one with Timak and that is more than 30 years ago.

“So where are the other number ones on billboard? Nigeria’s first Grammy nomination was Sunny Ade, so where are the other nominations apart from Femi Kuti?

“You find that the world is still looking at arranged, well-structured music; the world has not dropped its standards.”

According to him, unlike the Nigerian music industry, the industry abroad is highly compartmentalised with song writers, lyricists and those who arrange the songs to fit, among others.

He said that as it was in the past, there should be a unit that would listen to the songs, make inputs before it is approved for airing.

“So you are not going to find yourself on air with rubbish; these days you find on air people that are playing guitar and the guitar is flat.

“Most of them who claim to be singers today, if you remove auto-tune, they cannot even sing in my village.

“The fact is that today, you can run to any studio and get stuff together and nobody audits, then you have big telecommunication companies that are looking for faces to use for advertisements via these artistes.

“So you find that an artist can buy a big car and all of those; but I say to them that all of that, in our days, was the money that artistes such as Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obey could make in one weekend show.”

He said that in the past, Nigerian musicians on a constant basis filled up venues in every part of the world, competing with other artistes.

He said: “It is not about the money; it should be about increase in the art and how we compete with the rest of the world.

“If you go abroad to where there are Nigerians and you play in a venue for 50 people and you say that is an international musical tour, what does that mean?”

He also observed that a Nigerian musician, Bukola Elemide, popular called Asa, who features at high profile meetings and assemblies, was not popular on Nigerian radio and television stations.

Reacting to the many awards being won by Nigerian musicians in many international concerts, he said that most of them are text-based, determined by the sentiments of voters not by the quality of the music.

“You don’t win the Grammy by text-voting. There is an academy and there are voting members.

“You don’t win the Grammy by asking people to text to one short code, I dare say that some of the platforms are susceptible to manipulation while some are very credible.

“Nigerians do not lack the quality to win, but like I said, an industry is like 90 per cent of what is going on within that equation,” he said.

Biosah has managed and worked with notable artistes such as Sir Victor Uwaifo, Cristy Igbokwe, Onyeka Uwenu, Sunny Ade, Billy Jackson, Cool and the Gang, Brothers J.

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