Answering the question of whether this week’s theme for Nigerian Idol was a hit or miss is is subject to how much attention one pays to detail.
If you just enjoy good vibes and good music, no doubt tonight’s performances did it for you, but if you are a core fan of Fela, then the holes in tonight’s performances couldn’t be more obvious.
To say Fela had a unique sound and his voice is irreplceable, would be a tremendous understatement. Many have tried to replicate his brand of singing, and without fusing their own style, it wouldn’t have worked. Take for example, Wizkid and Burnaboy, both of whom borrow from Fela’s sound and fuse it perfectly with their urban flow.
With that in mind, the question is: “What happens when you are not really given the opportunity to infuse your own style into the legend’s song? What happens when your stay on the show is dependent on how much you can mimic the man, from his voice, to his drip, to even his dance moves, how then do you sell yourself?”
For most of the contestants this Sunday, it was a meh, they still had their moments. It also felt however, like the performances were desperate. Some tried so hard to sound like Fela, but it just didn’t sit well. For the ladies, the struggle was particularly glaring, Akunna sounded more like Yemi Alade than Fela and Comfort sounded more like a Disney princess, that the afrobeat’s legend.
Granted they are still very talented, and did fairly well, and tonight’s performances can be summed up as not bad, but not great either, but perhaps asking them to pay homage to Fela would have been a grander idea if they were given the autonomy to sing according to the strength of their vocal ranges.
Shout out to Kingdom and Francis, who both had the best renditions of the night, but what else is to be expected from the two deepest talents on the show. It was Francis’s night tonight, and his performance tonight added to the list of evidences as to why he should be this year’s Nigerian Idol.
For Chinedu Okafor, its all about making an impact with words, creating a profound impression on the audience with the intended narrative.