Read Wale Ozolua's Reply to Ade Nelson @realpussiness Statement on Ibadan's Entertainment Industry

Music is a powerful tool…

Music can be a healing tool…

Music can be used to pass a message…

Music can help unite a family, a community, a nation and the world!

But then…that’s just Music As An Art!

There’s music as a business. Both are connected and can never be separated: Music as an art and Music as a business! If you try to separate the two…you would be making a mistake.

Several times and on several platforms, atistes have been told to not just understand their crafts and sharpen their skills. They have also been told to ensure that they study the business angle of their hustle. It’s not just about turning on the microphone and yelling at it while the producer struggles to create a balance between the beats and your voice.

If you are an artiste and you do not understand these things: YOU NO GO BLOW O!

My name is Wale Ozolua and I am an OAP with The Beat97.9FM Ibadan and I am addicted to good music; music of all genres as long as it’s good…I jump on it.

Lately, music talents residing in Ibadan (notice what I did here? I would have said Ibadan Artiste…I no want wahala abeg let’s go on)… So recently, music talents in Ibadan have been putting down their thoughts on social media following an article on Nigerian Tribune with the headline “Ibadan Hip Hop Artists Going On Strike!”

Everyone has gone back and forth on the matter, so many comments, so many disclaimers. I must confess, this is an interesting development for the entertainment circle in Ibadan.

My thoughts on this matter are drawn from just one article written by a Mr Ade Nelson. Please if you know him, do tell him I have nothing against him…but let me make some corrections on his article.

Let me begin with this statement he made: “Ibadan is populated by mostly Yoruba people and that’s why its easy for talents like Keanzo, Jayru, Portah, Tuwyze, Pizzy to pass a message to the people through their music. Dremo was never appreciated in the city because he is an English rapper but he moved to Lagos, explored the market, got Davido’s attention and today, he is one of Nigeria King of New School. You need to identify your market, explore it and you will get what you want.”

See, if he had said this back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s , I would understand. Ibadan is not “populated by mostly Yoruba people.” That is so wrong. Times have changed, the political landscape in Ibadan has changed, music, fashion, education…it has changed. Ibadan has a large number of tertiary institutions, would you say that the students there are mostly Yoruba? The businesses that dot the landscape of Ibadan, they’re not owned by Yorubas alone…please let’s not turn this thing into an ethnic discussion. Music knows no boundaries. It’s that powerful that even WizKid said in one of his songs “…MY MUSIC TRAVEL, NO VISA…”

Another thing Mr Ade Nelson said which I am struggling to swallow is that “…Dremo was never appreciated in the city because he is an English rapper but he moved to Lagos blab la bla…”

No be beef o! But if you do not have your facts right…don’t come out and spill the beans if you’ve not picked out the stones inside. Dremo was in Ibadan recording songs and making waves before he got on the Davido train. His three hit singles “OBT – Oluwa Baba Nla Turn Up”, “Normal Levels” and “Fela (Panda Cover)” were all released way before he signed the papers for Davido Music Worldwide! As for him not getting the props or appreciation…Call Dremo and ask him yourself.

The truth is, you can never be liked by everyone. You think it’s everyone in the U.S that listens to Jay-Z? I have peeps who would rather listen to the late AfroBeat Legend, Fela Kuti, than to twerk or dab to Panda by Desiigner or even listen to Future or Drake.

If you are into music: you need to understand these things, there’s a growing population in Nigeria. Ibadan alone has about 3 million residents; ladies and gentlemen THAT IS A HUGE MARKET!

Now, for the music talents who live in Ibadan. What do you want? Yeah, I know, you wan blow! So do I.

But do you even have a plan to get to that level that you desire? What kind of songs do you release, before you even release these songs, do you have a plan for the release? Shout out to all the artists and producers who labour everyday to churn out good music. God bless una hustle.

Music talents in Ibadan are complaining about not getting paid adequately for shows. I sympathise with you on that level 100%, but be honest with yourselves; what exactly makes you different that you can command payment from any promoter for a show in Ibadan or even in a city I love, Kaduna?

Yes I know you work hard, but do you work smart? Hard work pays, but you must work hard in a smart way.

You complain of not having enough funds to promote your songs or even record songs. I can relate to that very well. What I find hard to understand is how you as a music talent cannot create a good relationship with a producer and have a written agreement and you can both partner together and churn out hit after hit.

The entertainment industry is built on relationships, then you push it to the business level. Create relationships with radio stations, DJs, and bloggers, there would be someone who would listen and support you without even collecting a dime from you. It works trust me.

The entertainment scene in Ibadan is one large cooking pot of beans and it will take a long time before it would be ready for consumption. If you are an artist and you do not have your plate, fork/spoon and bowl of ijebu garri and cold water ready…you would only be dancing naked near the fire.

Concerning artists supporting each other…I can only say this: “no matter how fast a fan spins, the blades won’t touch each other.”

Create a team of people who share the same passion and dreams as you do.

Start a project and run with it!

God bless you!

Award Winning Blogger, Social Media Optimizer/Strategist & Entrepreneur.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

Previous Post Next Post