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…AND YOU CALL ME WACK?So 70% of the upcoming acts that ever get a chance to air their ‘stuff’ on radio are undeniably wack. Big deal! Which superstar artiste do you know today that hasn’t gone through the ‘wack phase’? The way I see it, it’s easier to comment on the ‘untastiness’ (forgive my home-made grammar) of a noodle brand when all you have to do is to eat it. Who really cares about the work put into making it, eh?Ok, let me clarify the equation for you guys. The average budding artiste in Nigeria is basically a genius. The poor lonesome fellow (chicks usually get it easier) doubles as a promoter, publicist, record label executive, a manager, a songwriter, producer and then an artiste. He is saddled with the herculean task of making hits and then making them hit! In a civilized, sanitized music industry this would have been branded as slave labour and a death wish but here in our anything-goes music industry, anything goes.Are you beginning to see with me the origin of their wackiness? I mean, who in their right senses could do all these and do them well? Even Batman in all his smartness wouldn’t stand a chance! And don’t start me on the role they have to play as local marketers of their ‘products’. There’s this artiste I know who has a fully packaged album all crammed into a rusted wheelbarrow that he wheels round the neighborhood miming the songs on his album at the top of his voice through a crude smelly microphone attached to a battery operated locally assembled sound system. He then brings it all home by doing a randy dance routine in the middle of the road with kids gathered around him all in a bid to sell a few album copies. Are you still here with me?Imagine this other scenario where an artiste gets ‘hit’ with a wonderful new inspiration for a song. He yelps the song day after day so as not to forget the darned thing and also because he doesn’t have a proper recorder while making strategic plans on which uncle to torment for the cash to record this ‘hit song’. Weeks turn into months and the strategy doesn’t any produce return on investment.He waits.Suddenly a stray uncle finally gives in and hands over a skeletal portion of the required amount. A decision needs to be made. He consults a manager (himself; who else where you expecting?) and decides to ‘manage’ the said resources on a quack producer. D-Day comes and he delivers a rough rendition of the song to the producer who shakes his head sadly and announces gravely, “the song’s aiight, but it lacks that naija flavor.” Said producer grabs his mouse and starts playing an already assembled highlife imitation of a beat and smiles, showing tobacco stained teeth. “You know naw. The song suppose get swagga like terry G or Timaya jam.”One week later the hit song is done. Voiced, mixed and mastered. All done in that space of time and you dare ask for something phenomenal? How dare you Andre? How dare u?HENRI YIRE for WITNESS www.witnesslounge.blogspot.com, @witness_MV-

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