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Is Today’s Music Safe For Youths?

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By Tobi Adebayo

Nigerian artistes have in the past decade, placed the country in the spotlight with their music. The international recognition has increased and the airwaves are being dominated by Nigerian music.

However, the quality of music being churned out these days by some artistes, especially the up and coming, has become a cause for concern due to the impact it is having on the youths.

The modern Nigerian music is a far cry from the old school music in terms of lyrical content and music videos, which are now characterised by vulgarity and nudity.

Some weeks back, a concerned mother took to her Facebook page to narrate how her daughter and some of her female classmates wear no undergarments, under the guise of being “Marlians”, a name given to the fan base of controversial singer, Naira Marley, who is popular for his lewd and suggestive lyrics.

In a chat with AN24.net , HOD, Creative Arts Department, University of Lagos, Dr Albert Oikelome said, “the new and old music are far more apart, in the sense that the people that did music in the old times had their motives for doing it, and those that are doing it presently also have their motives for doing it.

“The people who did it in the old times actually did it for fame. Money was really secondary to them, that is why you see that a good number of them were not very rich, but their songs were very rich.

“In the old time, they concentrated more on the content than on the sound, because they believed that it was the content that actually drove the music, and they believe more in using music to tell the story of our culture. You will find out that a good number of songs were actually laden with lots and lots of lessons, for people to learn, and they were on very long plays where you would find some of them talking, it’s like telling a story really.

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“Then they were doing the music for the immediate society, it wasn’t for the global sphere, only very few actually had that in mind. As long as they were able to reach the local people with the local content, and they achieve the result of fame, popularity. It was more like a competition, Sunny Ade competing, another one competing in Sakara. That was what was happening then, and a good number were getting by based on that content.

The Associate Professor of music said further that the ‘get rich quick’ syndrome is much more prevalent in today’s music.

“The desire to hit it big with money flowing in, and especially with the fact that it gravitates more towards the young people, so the content is more towards what appeals to the young people than to the general public. The world is now a global village, and the word ‘trending’ is trending.

“They want a situation where everything that trends must trend within the social media and the internet has helped to bring the world together. The young people are now doing a confluence of several music typologies from outside to make their own music that appeal to the young folks. It is like an indomie concept.

“They just go into the studio, they don’t take time, they just mix the beat and they tell you ‘listen to the beat’, and the words are lacking in depth, they could be conglomeration of lyrics that are highly unsensible.

“The point is, they are in their world, and they are enjoying their world. The only problem is that their world is a mirage, one way or the other, they would move out of that world into another world, and this is where the concept of evergreen comes in. How many of these songs actually achieve the evergreen status?,” He said.

Music Director and Composer, David Akinboyewa said; “most modern songs are not making any positive impact on our generation. These new age artistes are confusing the young ones. You see children trying to emulate these artistes.

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