Tee Mac Omatshola in a new interview with Saturday Sun has opened up on the state of things in the Nigerian music industry.
According to him, many Nigerian artistes today are illiterates.
Read excerpt below;
Let us look at the state of Nigerian music today? Burna Boy got a Grammy nomination…
“In the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, musicians were hard working. They had bands. Before you could get a record deal, you had your full album rehearsed because studio time was expensive. We were touring. There were so many bands and my first band was Tee Mac and the Afro Collection.
“We had Berkley Jones, Laolu Akins, Steve Black, Tunde Kuboye and the Lijadu Sisters, and we made mind-blowing music. And when Ginger Baker came along, he signed off my entire band and I was miserable. But it turned out a blessing in disguise because I left Nigeria to go abroad and met a lot of success. Since the age of computers and Internet, music has become different, more commercial and not as serious anymore. 80 per cent of musicians we have today are music illiterates.
“They don’t bother to study music. They don’t know what key they are singing on; they don’t train their voices, and I must say I am not satisfied with the quality of what is being produced, because if you listen to the elders, they are evergreens. During the Ariya Eko Festival, we launched Ebenezer Obey’s 600 songs collection.
“Which of these new generation artistes can write 600 songs? My advice is, to compete internationally; we have to raise the bar. There are some people who are working hard because they are playing a lot. I give Burna Boy kudos even if his style of music is not what I would usually listen to, but we have some other ones whom I will say are actually dreadful.
“They spend a few hundred naira to do a CD and then they spend N5 or N10 million to shoot a video, buy expensive cars and parade big yash women dancing. It is a disgrace, and if you look carefully, they don’t actually make money. Their music cannot appeal to educated people or those who know music. If you are music illiterate, then you will make music that will only appeal to music illiterates.
“I call the music they are doing now Naija trash. It is ‘pokripo rythym’. There is no harmony or melody; just one chord kind of thing and that is what they call music. Some people say, ‘Tee Mac, you are old school, that is why you don’t like it’. But I say no, I have lived and loved all my life good music.
“When I listen to somebody for one minute, I can tell you how far he would go and how much he should work to make it. Anybody can work hard and train him or herself to become good. But if you believe you are a superstar with the little you know, because the girls love you, then you are stuck.”