This must give African parents who have always wondered what modern afropop and mainstream pop music is about a lot of joy. But it turns out they were right. All forms of pop music is garbage and it’s ruining our brains.
According to a research conducted in 2008, at the Heriot-Watt University of Scotland, listeners of pop music tend to be less creative than people who enjoy other genres of music. The study conducted by Dr. Adrian North witnessed the largest study of musical taste in human history, involving 36,000 people, 60 countries a total three years of research just so you know these guys were not fucking around.
The study had everyone declaring their favourite genres in order of preference. Though all the participants who enjoyed any form of music exhibited some measure of creativity, those who particularly enjoyed pop music demonstrated a total lack of creativity.
Of course, any sane person knows this doesn’t necessarily translate that only stupid people love pop music. The findings only just confirm that any mainstream music form that doesn’t need us to read between the lines for subtexts and higher value other than mundane money, nyansh, party rhetorics trains our mind to think on the surface. Music is one of the most human experiences anyone can have, so when the industry behind that experience is only interested in making hits from simplified music to cash cheques, we are all being short-changed. A similar research has also proven that music was better in the days of our parents than it is now.
According to MiCdotcom, researchers have studied the musical composition of songs that made hits in the 50s to discover that modern pop music is a watered down version of the kind of songs that made charts in those days. Vocal timbre — the character of the voice — has become less diverse and pitch content has become totally monochromatic (fewer chord and melodic variations) while everything has gotten much louder overall. Our popular music is literally being dumbed down.” Journalist, Taylor Jordan Sloan reveals.
Back here in Nigeria, it is no different. The old days of excruciating rehearsals that go for long hours on end until sound arrangements are perfect for a live performance are gone. The same applies for thematic content which used to range from folklore to politics to love often peppered with witty sayings and traditional proverbs. What we have now is a black hole of directionless empty music made for a mass audience that won’t think too deeply about a song’s message before hitting the play button.
Modern afropop is not only guilty of lacking creativity, the music has also been converted to what music critic Ted Gioia calls lifestyle reporting. Fancy cars, gold chains, drugs and unclad girls are flaunted in the face and ears of the listener as their minds are poisoned by a sonic culture oblivious of its own self.
Even worse, this trend is not ending soon.
The mainstream quality of all forms of pop music makes it easily accessible. This means a larger majority of music lovers all over the world are more likely to pay for pop music than any other genre. And as long as money is being made, the music will not change. This is even worse now because both digital and conventional media force feed us pop music in different ways.
The only solution is for us to stop granting anyone not enriching our lives with their music listenership. Then maybe we can go back to listening to real music (whatever the fuck that means.)