Anyone observing the scene from sideline would wonder if these guys will ever get to the so called promise land. The land where ‘wanna-bes’ become musician, the land where musicians turn stars and celebrities. We eagerly await that moment, a time that plenty who are monitoring the hip-hop genre of the industry here in Owerri will consider not being far from now.
High life and bongo musicians have really done well compared to the hip-hop and gospel singer in Owerri, with the likes of Sunny bobo, Ugo Stevenson, Dr Sir Foreigner, and the rest of them going all the way to set the pace in this recent time after Oriental brothers and Peacocks had put Imo State on the map of the music world.
Today, an average Owerri family can boast of owing one or two high life albums made in Owerri, while for the hip-hip, none will be found except the remnants of Emex Didy’s Akalawu, Kelly Handsome’s first album before he signed for Kenny’s Music and Mc Donald’s my love. Aside these three I cannot remember any other that made waves so much that people want to buy them or good enough that there sounds on the speakers will disturb the streets like the initial albums mentioned earlier.
That will actually be for those that were lucky to release an album on their own without success. But for others, whom when you get close to, would consider better than those that have not released an album, you’ll still come to ask yourself what the problem is and why nothing has really happened on the side of these artistes as it concerns releasing an album.
Before going to these artistes individually, let us see some of the reasons that have prevented them from going to the top of their game.
Fund: Fund can mean two things and both have been the bedrock of all the reasons. The first is personal fund, since marketing an album is not easy and no one can achieve it without spending money as well as having the necessary connections needed within and beyond the state.
Another area of fund is the side of investors, recently most of the investors that came around have turned out to be people who want to make name for themselves as well as who want to exploit the present condition and rip all they can off these artistes. These fakes have scared most artistes away and no one wants to get the false publicity of signing a million Naira contract when they will end up not seeing a thousand fraction of it.
DJs and Radio Stations: This is a very sensitive area because apart from these artistes themselves, only few people in Imo State can boast of having twenty made in Owerri tracks in their phones or computers at home. Only few people can sing along five tracks made in this town. The reason is that they go to night clubs and parties and don’t hear any of these songs, the DJs prefer songs made outside the state even when the songs made here are better. Even some radio stations find it difficult to play these songs unless these artistes pay for airplay, for God’s sake, while making your money, are these media houses not supposed to render Social Corporate Responsibilty? How do they leave up to this? Is it through discounts in their products? That is supposed to be another business strategy and not living upto one’s Social Corporate Responsibility.
No matter how good an artiste is, without the media, he is just another noise maker in his father’s sitting room! These media houses should also remember that the songs they play without getting anything are nothing different from the ones they didn’t play. A bad music can turn hit track if it gets more airplay than the good ones.
The focus is actually on the artistes and not these factors. We shall quickly run down through a list of artistes, see some of their popular tracks and how far we hope they can go.
SeaFlow: Call him the tiokolo master. That track is really a banger. If the encounter with Kaycee Records last year was actually what it looked like, SeaFlow would have gone to the next level. With great songs done with the like of Free Windz, SeaFlow still remains one of the best lyricist in the town when it comes to soft hip-hop and if the wind of change this year favours him, he will surely not let this town down.
X-Buster: He will call himself the lyrical one-chancer. And you can’t take that away from him. He is famous for being the best in the free-style game and you can see him do his thing the remix of the Ibari Ogwa jingle with Ruff Coin, BigChance & CyphaTyte as well as laughing. With his good voice and melodious rap tempo, he does his thing in a way that leaves you saying only X-buster can do this. Feel him in Jijiji-Earthquake, where he was featured by General Sleezy. RedLoaf: His name has been a ringing bell for a while and you would be wondering why he is not yet in that promise land. His track, wife material sure puts him on the A list at the moment and he is surely an elder lyrics maker, just like he is a member of the group called O’town Elders which also has Acharaman in it. O’town Party with BigChance & CyphaTyte is still another track will surely life this fair skinned rapper who turns Igbo language into export quality lyrics.
General Sleezy: Another lyric militant as I will always call him. Sleezy always plays the attacking formation when it comes to singing. He will never see himself as a rapper, but what he does when he sings is really in a class of its own. Call it sing-rap, Sleezy is something very unique. Wicked Boises, Jijiji-Earthquake, are two tracks that will surely make you ask “who is this guy?”
Harmony: The first lady in the list because most ladies are serious with getting married unlike this one that has chosen music as profession. Harmony is blessed with that voice and female stage swagger that has been missing in this town. With these two tracks Get down with you and Good love, she has said more than I have arrived in the industry. Being one of the few who can sing and still put up good dancing steps at the same time, she’ll be remember for this eventually. Her promo tours of the South-East and South-South states are simply a come and get me message to good marketers and promoter and it won’t be long till that happens.
De Dukes: Much is already known about this duo nationwide because of their hit single knock on your heart, which also has an MTV Base standard video. Aside this track, De Dukes have shekpe, as their latest single and they have been busy putting things together for their album. They are making plans with big names and right now, only Wizkid has leaked. The rest are known to them, but these guys are surely not a walk over when it comes to making good music and performing it on stage because them de sing and de dance for the same show.
CyndyO: Second lady on the list, she was gone from the game since 2007 and back now in 2012. CyndO on her departure left with the track Aristo babe and upon her return is Just move. It could be argued that as a returnee, she would have to spend a lot of time to adapt, but I doubt that because once a soldiers is always a soldier. Watch out for more things from CyndyO.
BigChance & CyphaTyte: Owerri list cannot skip this duo of two opposite that have formed a very thick blend. With BigChance dark with a very thick voice, Cyphatyte is fair with a soft voice that was given to him alone amongst all musicians that I know. The dark complexion, thick voice, fair complexion and soft voice blend is the bed rock of PMJM entertainment. Edikwansa, Shanbash and the popular Ibari Ogwa jingle puts them among the most wanted list should a marketer come hunting in Owerri. BigChance & CyphaTyte are expected to shoot up soon, and should that happen, don’t be surprise.
Aifee: The iwe na-ewem guy has risen to the A list in Owerri and how he started has surely become an old story. Aifee is targeting the next level of his career and surely believes that his tracks hav what it takes to push him up. Aguleri boy is another hit track by the Anambra State born artiste and I’m so sure he didn’t record any disappointment as a song.
Acharaman: He is known for his energy on stage, which is beyond swagger and more character. Acharaman currently has done a hit track with Ruff Coin and 2shots, which is in Abuja top ten chat currently. One of the O’town Elders, he lives up to that name by working so hard to help others. Acharaman is currently on promo tours and still remains in a class of his own when it comes to making hit tracks.