What’s the state of Rock music in Nigeria? It is simply just meh.. and that is just putting it lightly. It is surely not where it is could be, not even close. Not going to burden you or me with comparisons with any other African nation doing it big because it would be simply unfair.
This is not a piece that hopes to proffer a fix to the “problem” this is that article that will take you on a journey highlighting the issues. You can call it MY RANT!
In the Beginning
AudioInferno started with the concept of covering rock music from all over the world, it was a genuine passion because of our love for all were short on manpower needed to cover all the bands and do a proper job, besides there are a lot of online Rock magazines doing it already and doing it great. We found out early enough we would be shooting ourselves in the knee cap while rubbing our belly with our legs and rubbing our heads (if you tried to picture that we just laughed at you.)
We took particular interest and pitched our tent in Africa our home continent. It was evident from the get-go the massive potential and boy that potential shakes us to this very day. We felt the urge to tell our own story to the world and therefore pitched our tent on home soil. So what happened to that potential we saw even here in Nigeria?
NOTHING! A big fat nothing actually. It’s just there, lying dormant. Waiting for a pick me up, some outstretched hand or simply waiting for a kick in the backside. Simply put there is no self-motivation. Here in Nigeria, we are constantly bombarded with singles upon singles upon singles upon singles upon even more singles and barely any album. If we are lucky, we get an EP and this EP will contain all the single singles we just talked about. And so as a fan, you’re just sitting there, waiting for the next single even if you don’t want it. You’re like, “well, shit! A single is better than no single!”
Then there are the underground hit makers. Oh! you guys are really special. You score a really good song, the rock community loves it and then poof, the band vanishes, radio silence on their social media also. Like some, woodland magic you vanish and leave us to play this hit song over and over again till it becomes a second language. I won’t understand the need to relax after getting the rock community excited. I would think that would be the best time to do more, you know, stay in the light a little more. Don’t cock tease us then go MMM on us after!
Quick question! How many times do you listen to a band from Nigeria and say, “wait… is that rock? How and when?” If you fall in this category you aren’t crazy you are part of a large crowd of confused fans (me included.) if you aren’t sure of what you are playing, you can’t slap a ‘rock’ label on it and think the rock community will go with the flow. In case you don’t know, rock fans generally have well-trained ears. Most don’t know it but news flash, if you’ve listened to rock music for a bit you can’t tell what is what easily. They CAN ALSO DETECT WHEN YOU USE A DRUM MACHINE TOO! It’s like an unsaid rule honestly, avoid using those in your studio releases. You’re not fooling anyone! We want an actual drummer! Point is, you can fool yourself into thinking you’re doing rock music but you cannot fool the fans.
Tour! Lord God and Buddha! Why aren’t the bands here touring extensively?! How do you expect people who don’t know you to KNOW you? Wait? You think YouTube videos will help right off the bat? Pfft! No! But you are more than welcome to keep trying that! You need the fans know you enough to even consider you good enough to want to subscribe to your YouTube channel! You tried it all you say, try that too. Tour! Tour the shit out of places, Lagos, Jos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and more! Talk about that, a lot! Be your own PA!
The Rant goes marching on
How well do you know your music? Your genre? I mean, the technical part? You know, where to mic the amp at. That sweet spot needed? Or where to place the pedals, what order. You can’t just add to distortion pedals side by side you know. I mean sure digital pedals are great with all the models, stacks and presets in there but what about knowing the hard bit before the easy bit? To my best knowledge, most bands I know KNOW the technical aspect to their music. Which is why getting into the studio with a producer is always chaotic but productive in the end! If you sit in the studio nodding your head to whatever a producer feeds you and you don’t object because you don’t know what he or she is doing you will end up releasing what THAT producer wants not what you want. Rock music isn’t tumba music! Power belongs to the band! It always does. Creative control belongs to the band, it always will. The producer is your guardian angel… with a mixer and such and such. If you are friends with the producer and he or she isn’t doing you justice, CUT EM OFF!
The problems are numerous, these are the ones I feel need to be addressed fast. While the potential is clearly there, nothing long lasting will come out of Nigeria anytime soon if bands don’t make well-needed changes Quit ACTING LIKE AMATEURS. What solutions will you give to the band if they asked for help? Let us know in the comment section people.
The bands need it.