Music is a broad art form.
No sound can therefore be written off as a pathologic infection of anyone’s sound tastes. Genres outside conventional pop have also carved niches for themselves.
Here are eight reasons Fuji artists are more influential than their pop counterparts.
#1 They have more fans.
Undeniably a larger number of Nigerians find traditional music more relatable. The language factor, lyrical simplicity and originality of sound, groomed from years of practice gives traditional music a mass appeal that no other Nigerian music genre has transcended.
#2 They perform more shows.
Traditional artists perform at more events than many afro-pop artists as a result of Nigeria’s obsessive “every other Saturday” partying culture. If there is a high-society Owambe, you can bet there is a band set-up with a front man singing in his local dialect.
#3 They are better paid
Since they perform more shows, they definitely earn enough not to even need endorsements. The dollars that are sprayed on them at Owambes are not for decoration. But this may come to an end soon.Daddy Buhari isn’t smiling with anybody.
#4 We grew up on them.
If you grew up with your parents, you should have memories of your younger self in the back seat with your parents. Your older self may not be so fond of their music now, but you cannot deny their existence.
#5 They have raw power.
If you live in Lagos, you should seen the good men of NURTW (National Union of Road Transport Workers) raise their hands to the sky as if they had a gun pointed at them. That right there is respect. Whether they are dining with traditional monarchs or celebrating politicians, traditional artists have a measure of raw power pop artists may never access. Their mass appeal makes them a first contact for influencers of social issues and public policies. A fuji singer once reportedly rejected a monarch and his people asked him to consider abdicating the throne.
#6 They sell more records.
While album releases by pop artists are bogged down by label politics and album roll-out brouhaha, Fuji artists are smiling to the bank. They sell more records than they themselves can keep up with. Every week is a new show, every show is a new album.
#7 They are better performers.
Whereas pop artists are often fond of lip-synching their live performances, Fuji artists do not enjoy this luxury. Instruments must be properly arranged and background vocals must sing with the right keys. This is an art of stage craft acquired from years of practice and training as opposed to sitting in front of a laptop and fiddling with colourful buttons.
#8 They have more powerful, industry-defining beefs
Pop artists often shy away from facing off with each other. Discords among artists are often watered down in diplomatic resolutions for so called progress and unity. This is the exact opposite in the Fuji music industry. They are not afraid to take on one another. They have a cult following of teeming fans whose egos are almost as big as that of their favourite fuji artists. There is no forgiveness or diplomacy here, if you disrespect another man, you will get a reply for it. This is not a joking sturvs