For the custodians of the new Nigerian music movement, you will know that Blackface had a hand in influencing its direction with The Plantashun Boiz in the fore front. It was and is still not news that Blackface wrote a lot of songs for the group plus his countless vocals either as a rapper or a singer. Blackface is somewhat versatile and would sing a love song but he could still drop hot 16 bar verse with ease and don’t forget he could do the dancehall thing. It wouldn’t be far fetched if I called him a jack of many styles.
In a recent podcast on Pulse TV, Blackface narrated his ordeals of how he started his music, how h and Tuface met for them to be become a duo. In the podcast he also mentioned numerous encounters with other artistes who he influenced and in one way or the other their sounds came out to define the current trajectory which we find ourselves today in the music industry. Numerous names he dropped; Tuface, Tony Tetuila, Marvelous Benjy to even Kelly Handsome. In all of this it is obvious that Blackface was not just a regular singer but a leader, one who would influence the
industry from the background without many people noticing it.
One Wednesday night in 2005, while I flipped through the TV stations I bumped into a couple of Nigerian songs showing, I cant remember the station but this was the period when Nigerian music was beginning to gain traction as a mainstay. I was coming from an era that was predominantly dominated by foreign acts, so I was always thrilled when I heard music that could somewhat rival or be at least a substitute to what we got from outside Nigeria. That night while glued to my screen I saw the name D’Banj show on my screen with a song titled Tongolo, in my head I was asking who is this one again? I listened and watched on anyway. The next morning I heard myself singing “make I
tell them the koko oh, make I tell them the koko!” the song definitely was going to be a hit. It had the right recipe for success; simple lines that one could sing along to, a catchy chorus and a new buzzword “koko”. The beat was fresh, we had never heard anything like that before.
Like the saying goes, its not how far but how well. As for Timaya, it has been how far and how well. Over time we have seen Timaya lose weight to become more buff, drop the dreadlocks for a haircut and a beard to become a style icon, this self-reinvention has further more reflected in his music with Timaya refusing to be put in a box. Every time this man comes outs, he steps out with something fresh, you can actually see that he keeps pushing the envelope to create a brand that we have a vibe to but ultimately we cannot define. For every time we think we have defined him, he has come out a different person.
But this was not the Timaya we always knew. The brand Timaya was associated with a rough personality and the music showed the same. Even though he was already becoming a household name with his first and second albums having the same sound, it wasn’t until his third album “De Rebirth” he started breaking out of the mould he had set for himself. These first two albums were good for the market at that time but the fans were already growing tired of the “Dem mama, dem papa…thunder go kill you, my enemies will die” brand plus the growing need to focus on materialism which littered his first two albums; “True Story (2007), Gift and Grace (2008)”.
In September 2014, Scotland voted in a referendum to either stay or leave the United Kingdom, former Prime minister led the campaign to stay in with the United Kingdom, the theme of his message was simple “Better together”.
On this backdrop I would like to talk about Nigeria’s most popular twins, even though these aren’t the first or even the last singing and dancing twins with the likes of Mamuzee and of recent DNA signed to Mavin Records. Indeed no other pair can rival the success of this singing and dancing twins. Their star power was far more than what we have ever seen in this part of the world. Sold out concerts, stadiums packed full, girls screaming (in some cases fainting or crying), million naira endorsements and multiple awards the limit this particular set of twins knew no bounds except for them and their brother/manager. They were indeed larger than life, bigger than any stage they had ever performed but fame and fortune can create a rift that blood cannot hold together.