Nigerian artistes are living the dream life with Jaw-dropping mansions, limited edition G-Wagon jeeps, sold-out concerts, billions of Naira in annual income, private airplanes, flashy big-budget videos, expensive apparels, and diamond jewelry as if that isn’t enough, with Multi-million dollar endorsement deals, major coverage on MTV Base, Channel O, BET, BBC and CNN, best-selling albums and an amazing fan base, Nigerian entertainers are finally getting paid in full, after years of toiling and languishing in poverty but let’s not forget who paved the way for this growth.
The new class of entertainers is inspiring a generation of troubled Nigerian youths; influencing the way we live and painting a mural of hope, on an otherwise bleak canvass.
The late 90’s started it all, music industry’s leading kingpin Kenny Ogungbe and Dayo Adeneye came in with a new breathe of hope to our entertainers and everyone who had eyes; who had ears, could not help but admire, even envy the duo.
Adeneye and Ogungbe, both co-owners of Primetime Entertainment, literally led contemporary Nigerian music business by the hands, to where it is today; Starting from the late nineties when they sold Nigerians a new type of pop music coming from a three-man band named Remedies.
As presenters of AIT Jamz, the most popular prime-time show of the nineties, Keke and D-One sowed the seeds of celebrity pop culture, indigenous urban music and glam lifestyle that’s today not just sprouting but already bearing fruits and driving an entire industry. Let’s say, at a point when everything was in comatose; when no one thought it made sense at all, the pair gave Nigerian pop music culture a ‘mouth-to-mouth’, reviving an entire industry and inspiring what has today become the most dominant music scene on the African continent.
If Keke and D-One planted the idea, sowed the seed and used their media power to drive the new sound and style, it was the musicians essentially, who took it up and gave it life.
With their first single Shakomo, the Remedies (made up of Eedris Abdulkareem, Tony Tetuila, and Eddy Montana) hijacked the whole nation, becoming instant stars and pathfinders for a whole generation of pop stars that were to come. And as if they were waiting for someone to push the green button, they quickly showed up in their dozens. No, not new cats or unsure wannabes but truly gifted talents
From Plantashun Boiz to Def O’Clan, X-Appeal, Black Tribe, Black Reverendz and Maintain, a fresh set of talents were amassing space on playlists (especially on Nigeria’s first privately-owned radio station Ray Power 100.5) hitherto dominated by foreign music. It didn’t look like it was going to be a journey but to our pleasant surprise, (and to the chagrin of many who had reservations about pop music and the culture) Music of Nigerian origin began wearing pop overalls: Fuji and Juju stars soon embarked on a collaboration spree with hip-hop stars while promoters quickly went to bed with the leaders of the new school.
Today, ‘the Remedies’ are no more or any of the mentioned group above but the pop and Hip-Hop industry they helped re-define is still very much around. Today, the hits are bigger
, the stars are brighter, the scene is crazier, and the pay is fatter; Unbelievable, wannabes of yesterday are now the ‘kingpins’ making hits by the day, rocking stages from Lagos to London, and getting paid in full.
Yes, they’re sagging their pants; they’re piercing weird parts of their bodies; they’re singing about fast life, fast cars, fast money, and fab life and posting pictures of all that on Instagram by the second all because a duo of enlightened men saw the business behind the business. Using the exposure they experienced overseas, they brought into the industry and re-branded the word called “Record-Label”