To say Nigerian music has really come of age would be an understatement. From the days of Mode 9, The Remedies, Plantashun Boys, Azadus and many others, so much transformation has unarguably taken place in the music industry to make it this globally accepted.
Thankfully, tere are at least a dozen phenomena one can point to as receipts for this recognition – Global downloads and streaming numbers, feature on foreign music charts, super collaboration, reception during world concert tours even in the most unlikely countries and so many more. Banku music pioneer, Mr. Eazi would even go on to win big at the Latin Grammy in November 2020; coveting the Best Urban Music Album for his work on Colores, J Balvin‘s fifth studio album and his sixth overall album.
The verdict is beyond doubt: Nigerian music is recklessly popular and the toast of the world. What may have been the glass ceiling for these hardworking nation however, was producing a winner of the prestigious Grammy Awards.
From Falana Precious‘ nomination for her song, Syncro System in 1984 as Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording category at the awards, each passing year has come with high hopes that a Nigerian name would appear on a Grammy plaque. And so, with the inability of subsequent nominees, Ataminor Jubilee, King Sunny Adé, Femi Kuti (4-time nominee), Seun Kuti, and Burna Boy (in 2020) to clinch the award, the dream appeared taller by the day.
One can therefore imagine the wild excitement that engulfed the country when Port Harcourt born singer, Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, as well as Starboy, Ayo ‘Wizkid’ Balogun were earlier in the year named winners of the award for the album ‘Twice as Tall‘ and contribution to Beyonce’s Lion King: The Gift album respectively.
That excitement for many (especially stans of Wizkid) couldn’t have been said to reach considerable heights when they were not sure if their idol would get a plaque from the Recording Academy for the feat. This hot-coal anxiety would therefore be laid to rest Thursday 23rd June, as the singer posted the award on his Instagram stories and became the second Nigerian to receive a plaque after Burna Boy.
This speculation mentioned earlier had caused rival music fans to troll Wizkid as not being the big masquerade his stans painted him to be, but it’s a known fact that all of those bants are settling in huge trash cans and dumpsites across Nigeria and beyond.
Spectacularly, for the singer who is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the release of his debut album, ‘Superstar,’ music watchers would have to agree that there can indeed be ‘no better time’ (pun intended) than now, to receive a plaque that in no small way crystallises his induction into Nigeria’s Music Hall of Fame.
Even more phenomenal is that an artiste who was relatively unknown just about ten years ago, has not only crashed the ceilings for others but is being inducted into this hall so young. Talk about Under-30 music legends!
So, when next you see a tweet, post from the Made in Lagos crooner or even meet him on the streets, do well to holla at your boy.
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Journalist, Political Analyst and Satirist with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.