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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Wizkid: Is the demand for conscious music ruining our enjoyment of good vibes?

Wizkid in Hunger Magazine photoshoot.

Let’s demand what we want, but not lose what we have been given. Vibes aren’t flaws. Vibes are a state of mind.

One of the flaws Nigerians have placed on Wizkid’s “Sounds From The Other Side,” project is its one-dimensional theme. Every record on the album is written from Starboy’s romantic, sensual and sexual interaction with numerous women. There’s a consistency that Wizkid shows with that theme, to a point where it becomes almost monotonous. You click on a track with your headphones plugged in, and you know that Wizzy will throw Qhis lines at a lady.

I have had conversations with numerous music heads, and art enthusiasts who believe that although he is pushing the culture forward with that project, he failed to drop anything that they can hold on to for future generations. They wanted more layers, more constructive and instrumental songwriting, where thought is thrown to conscious realms, the music reflects that.

“Wizkid could have dropped something that could be timeless just like ‘Ojuelegba’. He could have provided us all with some meat,” a colleague tells me.

 

I see the same conversations on Twitter and all over critical ‘hot takes’ about the project. People want this, and they have their reasons. Wizkid’s entire international campaign was given a boost because of the penetration of ‘Ojuelegba’ into different markets. The record was a conscious creation, made from his struggle as a person and artist, spoke about the hustle of everyday men who are stuck in a loop in Africa, crying out for divine intervention.

That’s the stuff that worked. That’s the gem that shone far beyond the shores of Africa. That song, gave Wizkid a new life.

But artistry should be respected. Artists are creative beings, tapping into their environment and all the influences around them to create the art. They are influenced by a number of factors, which create a state of mind that they curate via music and writing to make art. Whenever you consume a record, or listen to a new one from Wizkid, you are drawn into his world, his mental space, his universe. The artist holds your hand, grabs you by the arm, and leads you into a tour.

It’s an emotional experience, one that tugs our heartstrings and creates deep connections that we words can’t fully explain. Do you wonder why a part of you is still drawn to every artist who have ever provided you with a hit song? Do you know why you are reading this article about Wizkid? Do you fully know why you care?

 

It’s that connection. That bond. That unification of the spirit and soul via music. Every artist has this interaction with the people who consume their music. The bigger the bond, the larger their celebrity. The stronger the bond, the longer the artists stays relevant. That’s why Banky W, D’banj, M.I, Psquare, 2face Idibia, Wizkid, Davido and Tekno are kings. They have had this dance many times with you. They are your kin.

And that’s why we want the best for them. We cheer their victories, criticize their misbehaviour, listen to their words, read their interviews which provide insights into their lives and how they view the world. That’s why we egg them on to bring something of value, and provide their best work, so we can hold hands with them, and go on that dance again.

One more time. One last time.

The calls for conscious music comes from this place. A place of love and interest. People want Wizkid to be at his best. They interpret this ‘best’, as him giving us more structured and multi-layered work. And so they project these thought on social media, in articles and comment sections.

But isn’t this a selfish? Aren’t we dictating to a creator what he should make? The first times we fell in love with Wizkid, it was because he had the space and time to create something that reflected his space. Aren’t we now projecting our space to him? Aren’t we asking that he abandon a formula that has worked so spectacularly for him, to give us a forced record with little or no soul?

 

Wizkid is in a different space. He is chasing a different market, with a different strategy that favours vibes over substance. He is providing a record that curates sounds to egenrate a specific feeling and appreciation. It is that emotion of happiness, and supreme turnt abandon that drives the project. It is what drives Wizkid right now, and judging from the influences around him, will do so for some time.

But it’s okay to demand. It’s okay to request a favour from your friend. But while we do that, we shouldn’t ruin what’s on the table with a loss of focus. May our need for conscious music not make us dismissive of the vibe and the benefits of tapping into the happy feelings that come with the turn up from “Sounds From The Other Side.” Doing that would rob us of a chance to further experience our artist in his light, his element, his safe and happy place.

Let’s demand what we want, but not lose what we have been given. Vibes aren’t flaws. Vibes are a state of mind. We only need to tap into it.



from pulse.ng - Nigeria's entertainment & lifestyle platform online

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