Is Technology Influencing The Nigerian Music Industry?

technology

During my last trip to the UK, i was privileged to have been invited to a video shoot of one of UK’s finest. With a serene but highly technological ambiance, i quickly plugged in and started this piece. I knew i was going to get some juice out of this 6hr. long shoot. Hours after a few cups of punch & few slices of pizza (Which is a standard for music video venues), artiste and video crew finally arrived. Shoot about to start; expecting to see one of those huge RED camera’s with a lot of manpower & human labor, instead a DRONE appeared with a server back-up Setup on site & adequate network infrastructure; Live storage of any pixel of feed produced by the Drone. My first time witnessing a video shoot via an automated but humanly controlled Drone.

Fast-forward hours later, after speaking with the video director on his tech-direction with video creation and what influences him (which i shall upload to the site in due time), i decided to finish this piece. First question that popped in my head; Is Technology Influencing the industry back home in any way? Do we have any tech forward artiste’s/Producers/Video-Graphers (Asides the regular social media pop(ular)-stars)? Is there any hope in this regard? These questions needed answers, but none in sight or thought. I reached out to a few industry insiders hoping to get some insight as to the industries tech-direction. No positive responses, some totally lost as to what i meant. This thoroughly got me thinking, are we truly moving forward in Nigeria?

A few years back, i stumbled upon a post of Will.i.Am expressing his love for Coding & how he intends to implement this in Music production. This was two/three years ago, imagine the progress he’s made so far. Heck, he’s probably creating Beats with Code. By, 2030, knowing how to code would be a necessary job requirement, Mark Zuckerberg reports. After numerous research from various available sources, I’ve come o the honest conclusion that Only 7% of Nigeria is familiar with Code. That truly is an alarming number.

What stops a Don Jazzy from producing with Code? What Stops a Leriq from getting a higher level of audio programming expertise, thus improving our quality of music? What stops a Clarence Peters from shooting Nigeria’s first Drone-Shot Music video? What stops a Wizkid from having his own Mobile app? or Hosting a monthly U-stream interaction with his fans?

Technology is ubiquitous. Thus it is hardly surprising that it has had a profound influence on the art of music in the western world. It has altered how music is transmitted, preserved, heard, performed, and composed. Less and less often do we hear musical sound that has not at some level been shaped by technology: technology is involved in the reinforcement of concert halls, the recording and broadcast of music, and the design and construction of musical instruments. Many church organs, for example, now use synthesized or sampled sounds rather than actual pipes; instruments are now available that have what look like piano keyboards and make what sound like piano timbres, but which are actually dedicated digital synthesizers; virtuoso performers whose instrument is the turntable are now part of not only the world of disco but also the world of concert music. We need to evolve with this moving train or risk being left behind and forever suckers to America & the rest of the world. We need to be welcoming to change in Nigeria.

At the very least, our conservatories and universities must train their music students to understand and respect technology, not to fear it. A young violinist may still spend countless hours alone in a practice room, improving his/her sound. But how often will that sound be heard without the intervention of recording, broadcasting, or acoustic-reinforcement technology? That violinist need not become a technological expert, but at least must learn what technology is capable of doing and how to communicate with engineers. Any musician who does not know the meaning of words like equalization, digital editing, sampling, reverberation, mixing, etc., is out of touch with his/her art and is, in a real sense, illiterate.

Was at the Nigerian Entertainment Conference last week, put together by the good guys at Black House Media & my Egbon, Ayeni The Great and was totally amazed at the plans individuals & Bodies have for the Nigerian Music industry. At this same event, did Eldee The Don pitch what i ascribe to be the ultimate game changer when it comes to Music Distribution, Royalties & tech-forwarding , Play Data. Providing musicians with real time intelligence on the broadcast use of their musical works, increasing promotion efficiency. Providing content owners, content users, and societies with a verifiable royalty collection and sharing solution. Basically helping artists accurately understand broadcast promotion strength or weakness of their musical works among-st others. For this platform, We Salute You eLDee. Ventures as such should be 100% supported and funded.

Technology has become an integral part of most aspects of our lives, including the ways we hear, compose, and perform music. It used to be fashionable to speak of our era as one of transition. Today we can be fooled into believing that the transition is ending, as postmodernist aesthetics have produced superficial (and more apparent than real) returns to earlier styles. I believe, on the contrary, that the transition in the arts will end only when people-artists as well as audiences-confront the full impact of the technological revolution. Whether our music is to be tonal or atonal, chaotic or ordered, harsh or gentle-these are not the important questions. What our music (the music we perform, hear, and produce) tells us about our technological culture is a far deeper indication of our society’s temperament

The Very Truth is Technology will continue to advance and change the music demographic worldwide. The Nigerian Music Industry must not fight this; they must embrace technology and take advantage of the opportunities available to climb to the top.

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