I still recall listening to some dude on the radio sometime in 2007. He sounded so distinct and I couldn’t place what he was singing but I liked it. The music was so mmmmm… I just liked it! I recall running to my little sister and trying to get the earphones in her ears. The song had stopped playing so I had to describe it.
“The song is so nice. The guy sounds raz, the song sounds raz but it is nice. I really like it,” I enthused. It was not long after that I discovered that was ‘Nice’ in ‘Gongon Aso’.
I listened to it everyday on my way to work and wouldn’t start my day without it. Before the end of that year, though I didn’t ‘kole’ or ‘buy Bentley’,’gongo’ did ‘so’ for me as I moved up big time.
I cannot really recall what I was listening to when I later fell down. I think it was Chris Brown. Don’t mind me. Just fooling around. But seriously…
I was blown away when I saw a video of a foreigner on the internet, playing his guitar and fluently singing ‘gongo aso’. I am sure that the guy fell in love with the song because of its local ish. I am ashamed to admit that even I do not know the lyrics of that song.
But I like local music. By local I don’t mean pure traditional music, neither do I mean Fuji or Juju, I mean a mix. A sort of cross-breed of genres; Juju and Hiphop, Fuji and RnB etc. The beat also has to be something for me to fall in love. I guess that explains my love for Nice, Jaywon, Brymo and recently Davido. Now Davido isn’t exactly my type because I think he is a little too hyper but I can’t resist the pull of his localism. There is just something about it! A certain… je ne sais quoi… Yes! I can see you arch your left eyebrow in disdain. It is African panache and I love it! Don’t get me wrong I love Dare the cool dude, I loooove his music. I also love ‘kele kele love’ crooner, Tiwa Savage. The tush ones make amazing music really but I just need that local ish. It feels like a different language – like localese. Tastes good on my tongue too. Localese is in the voice. It is harsh and raw. A refined version of what you would find in a garage or mechanic workshop.
Now when I say raz, I don’t mean totally classless music. I mean refined raz. King of the Zanga kind of raz. I just remembered Rasqui. At some point, we had a ‘very true’ moment when Rugged man called Rasqui a ‘raz kid’. I will not dabble into the veracity or otherwise of the latter part of that description. I’ll simply say that localese has to be refined and attractive.
I couldn’t for the life of me understand why I would like a song like ‘Tinko Tinko angel’ but alas I do! I like Jaywon. He is a ‘Nice’ with more steeze.
If you are considering a career in music, I’d be the first to tell you to bring on the ‘local’. Without it, you might not hit ‘it’. It doesn’t seem to matter what you say these days, as long as you say it in localese, you’ll be just fine. Great in fact.
Copyright 2012 Owolabi Deborah