Joey’s Monday Musings: Wizkid’s wider market is influencing his music

Wizkid’s foray into new markets will see him try to satisfy a wider audience, and he has gotten hold of a genre to give him the penetration. It gets boring at the top. It gets very monotonous when you’re at the highest point of the food chain, and stay there long enough to qualify as a long-term leader.The novelty of being the best fades away, and boredom sets in. Every new achievement becomes parallel with the previous one, with growth appearing to be horizontal instead of vertical.

For musicians, when you get to the top of the food chain in Africa, it can a bit boring. How much money is too much, how any magazine covers and press rounds? The crowds become the same, the cities flow through like a blur, the movement, recording and results are all repetitive, everything becomes gold, the sycophancy is top notch and the women are in gazillions. There’s hardly anything that is not within your reach in your existence. You have wealth, fame, and fans. You have alcohol, women and music. Heaven has a high opinion of you, and then you begin to seek new ways to enjoy life.When stars reach this point, your need for more pushes you into different directions. Many self-destruct in the need to find a spark. Others chase more businesses and expand their economics beyond what it is.Wizkid is expanding his market, and it is beautiful to watch. Having dominated the continent and grown to the best possible height, Wizkid began to feel the numbness of having it all. There was a certain template to his music, and the shows felt like everything was a series of predetermined moves.

But then came Drake on ‘Ojuelegba’, and the rest became history. You can argue for Wizkid not being prolific in terms of music releases, but he has chased the markets that are beyond the shores of Africa. These markets are across the Atlantic and the Pacific. They are comprised of people with a different music culture and art preferences. They have provided Wizkid with a new outlet for his creativity, and he has begun to make music to suit them. The local Nigerian flavor is almost gone. What Wizkid is chasing is slightly universal. He is working hard at utilizing the influence and penetration of the Caribbean sounds to the world.He isn’t doing ‘Tungba’ music. What he is chasing is totally different from the sounds that many Nigerians expect him to push. Instead he is going the way of the Caribbean, and creating music that is cool experimentation of their dancehall template.

We saw this happen in ‘One Dance’, where Drake appropriated Dancehall for profit, and Wizkid played multi-faceted role in it. Then he pulled it off with Tinie Tempah on ‘Mamacita’. Before flirting with Justine Skye in a way that is totally not Nigerian on ‘U don’t know’. But it is ‘Daddy Yo’, his single from 2016, that brings the resignation that Wizkid is chasing a different route with his quest for ‘international exposure’.  Wizkid relies on the classic Reggaeton beat as a base, before layering it with a melody that is both forward and immersive. Then there’s the chorus taken by Efya. Wizkid is hoping to penetrate the American market, and his leaked “Hush up the silence” song with Drake shows that he intends to serve them what they already know. The American market is very favourable to a number of Caribbean markets.In recent memory, straight-Caribbean hits seem to only pop up on the U.S. charts in the summer. Think of last 2015’s “Cheerleader” by OMI. Think of 2014’s “Rude” by Magic! For many, those tunes are right for wearing white linen in the scorching heat. In 2016, Drake held the Billboard 100 top spot for 12 weeks with ‘One Dance’. Before that Rihanna had carried the culture again with ‘Work’.

Wizkid has a firm history of this, and Sony Music Entertainment, which signed him up to a huge deal in 2016 have their fingers on the pulse of the market. They will be responsible in the direction of the artiste and the music that would be useful to their business.Dancehall does that. Reggaeton does that. Soca fusions would do that. But straight-up Afrobeat never has. That’s a gamble that many label executives are unwilling to make.Wizkid’s foray into new markets will see him try to satisfy a wider audience, and he has gotten hold of a genre to give him the penetration. That genre is what he is currently chasing.

Source: PulseNG Music Buzz

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