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How Relevant is Technology in Nigeria Music Industry

music industry
Written by Abe Cherian

It is nothing less than astonishing, the monumental changes in the Nigerian Music Industry. The days of localization of our music does appear to be a very distant memory. It is nothing less than astonishing, the monumental changes in the Nigerian Music Industry. Good in terms of quality production, large fan base and consistent recognition. Unlike the gloomy days when winning the prestigious African Music Awards, KORA Awards, was too great a target for any Nigerian Artiste to aim for; these days, even the Grammy Award seems an achievable feat.\

It is noteworthy that this wasn’t always the case. Nigeria was never in want of quality Artistes. Onyeka Owenu, King Sunny Ade, Sunny Okosun, Chi Chi of Africa, Raski mono, and the likes, had laudable talents. However, they never made the kind of global strides TuFace Idibia is making right now. Artistes like P-square have made more numbers, in terms of sales and market distribution, than many of the aforementioned Artiste combined. Even a relatively young Wizkid can boast of more commercial endorsements than a number of his predecessors. Apart from a handful of standout performers, clearly ever contemporary Nigerian music artiste has greater global and commercial success than their predecessors.

Technology, the recurring theme that distinguishes today’s artiste from those before them. We can never belittle the diligence of artiste of the past; still, we can put their obvious limitations at the feet of technology. Technology has transformed the music industry much more than we can ever know. The presence of technology in the music scene occurs in different dimensions, but Information Communications and Technology (ICT) is the sound driver for this multi-billion-naira industry. This article is poised to examine just how relevant ICT is to the growth of the music industry in Nigeria.

The Relevance of Technology in Nigeria Music Industry

Nigeria and Nigerians have never been in want of quality music. What have been lacking in the past were production, distribution and marketing. Thankfully, ICT has more than bridged the chasm separating Nigeria’s music industry from the rest of the world.

PRODUCTION: Although the computer has been a recurring decimal since the 1970s, critical advancement in software technology is relatively recent. Some of this software happens to be very relevant in music production. Unlike before where an entire band of instrumentalists was required to create a music track, “fruity loops” and other software of its kind have grossly rendered this obsolete. One person can perform the duties of an entire band. Beats, rhythm, instrumental backup, and vocal backup, canal be generated with the aid of a single software. Even a person with a coarse voice is not without hope, as sound editing softwares can synthesize their voice until pleasant vocals is generated. This breakthrough technology is the true “Midas touch” the Nigerian music scene needed in order to have an almost viral-like growth. Also our music videos have attained high aesthetic appeal comparable with the global community. High Definition cameras, video editing softwares, high resolution lighting etc., are all elements of technology that have contributed vastly to our music videos.

DISTRIBUTION: The traditional distribution of music tracks to the public used to be through tapes, compact disks, and then DVDs. It’s safe to say now that these are gradually becoming obsolete phenomena. Music tracks are now largely being distributed via the largest and the fastest means possible: the internet. The internet offers the speed, variety, global reach and instant feedback no other platform can ever compare with. Using the internet, a musical “newbie” could turn megastar when a few of his contents go viral. An already established artiste can interact daily with his fan-base; hence he can build loyalty among them, in anticipation for his next album release. Also the invention of the mp3/mp4 audio and video formats has been nothing short of a revelation. Now just about anybody can gain access to music audios and videos on their phone with no hassle at all. Unlike before, when people only had access to music at specific places like their homes, cars etc., these days one has music with them everywhere they go, 24/7.

MARKETING: Undoubtedly, as much as artiste loves to see their fans enjoy their music, they are happier when their works become commercial successes. This challenge lingered for a while, but today, every music artiste has limitless opportunities to attain commercial success. The social Media revolution is it. Here you have the market at your fingertips, and you can sell virtually anything whether obviously or with subtlety. Using the social media, artistes can link their fans to their websites or blogs, obtain traffic, and eventually earn with every click or download. Also the Telecoms industry has seen the emergence of caller-tunes help the music artiste generate income as a subscriber purchases his caller-tune. With technology, the avenues for income generation in the industry are quite limitless. Marketers just keep stumbling on newer, fresher ways to market music unlike before.

We could go on and on about the relevance of technology in the music industry, and never ever be exhausted. It does appear that the depth of our potentials sudden experienced a rude re-awakening as advancement in technology set in. Every youth aggressively anticipates doing a music production these days, all thanks to technology. Even on an economic scale, the contribution of the Music Industry to National GDP keeps ascending as the technology involved keeps advancing. Certainly, we are yet to get the best out of this technology-music relationship. We can only dance in excitement as we wait earnestly.

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Abe Cherian

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