Thursday, 10 August 2017

Mayorkun: Thanks to Davido and the ‘Pon pon’ sound, 'Mama' is a new hit

Mayorkun has appeared to be worth the bang for the money…commercially.

Mayorkun's work so far feels like marking the script of a kid who cheats during examinations.

When Davido plucked Mayorkun from obscurity in 2016, and gave him a platform and resources, it was a beautiful sight. For the music community, it was the ideal continuity happening right in front of us, where blessed stars spread the blessings, and put others on.

Davido had time on his hands from his work with Sony, and he had just split his business from HKN. Mayorkun and Dremo became his new kids, picked for the pop and Hip hop community with a mandate to fly. And from the go, Mayorkun has appeared to be worth the bang for the money…commercially.


Who knew the kid had it in him when he scored his first speculative one, ‘Eleko’? Who thought that there would be another hit single by the singer once again? But we are here at this place and time in history. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new hit record, and it is coming from this unlikely source; Mayorkun.

Mayorkun’s music career so far has been a product of skilful reproduction and pasting of ideas and sounds generated by others. He grabs a successful material from some other successful artist, and seeks to recreate it by jumping on the wave. Flip through his nascent discography, and you could draw a line connecting much of his music to stuff created by others.

Eleko’ and ‘Sade’ are direct remakes of Kiss Daniel’s 2015 hit song, ‘Woju’, while ‘Love you tire’ grabbed hold of Mr Eazi’s wave of 2016, and commoditized it for another radio single.


But for new song ‘Mama’, he looked closer to his home for inspiration and raw material. Davido has had a great year so far, with ‘If’ and ‘Fall’ becoming hits. Both songs obey the formula of the ‘Pon pon’ sound, which has come to dominate radio. They are cousins, one distinctly similar to each other.

But Mayorkun took his art to another level. Where he previously threw his net into braoder waters, this one came home to him. Davido and Kiddominant had created ‘Fall’. He just needed to say ‘boss teach me na’, and he would grab something. Kiddominant did not waste time, providing a hybrid beat for ‘Mama’.

“The only two songs I have made that are similar are ‘Fall’ and ‘Mama’,” Kiddominant tells Pulse. “It’s what people want to hear. You just have to give it to them.”

Kiddominant is right. Commercially, people want to hear ‘Mama’. The video shot by Clarence Peters has over a million views on Youtube, and many DJ sets contain the record ‘Mama’. At a recent concert where students were gathered, a huge percentage of people I interacted with, had the song as a strong part of their playlist.

So far, this formula has been commercially successful for him. Mayorkun isn’t a huge star, but he is on the radar, and has achieved relative penetration. On some level, it’s his dream come true. Every time he steps out at a concert and people can sing these songs, it’s a personal blessing.


Critically, he is yet to convince as an artist. Nobody knows Mayorkun’s true style, nor his depth as an artist. His insistence on cutting corners and utilising short term formulas might work today, but it won’t for long. No artist can build a successful career by riding waves. At some point, they have to be the wave. His work so far feels like marking the script of a kid who cheats during examinations.

He doesn’t score a 100, neither does he really progress in the aim of his education, which is the improvement of his brain and development of his mind. But he does enough to pass through every class and survive yet another semester.

But anyway. Mayorkun Baby is getting fan love. His name is being rotated in the media. His music is receiving the attention he craves, and maybe, just maybe, there’s something below the surface. Something that is original and comes from a place of pure artistry.

Until then, like he writes in the song: “All your problems I know say solution na ego (money). Are you getting it?”

from - Nigeria's entertainment & lifestyle platform online

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