Regardless of what empty industry hype will have you believe, no Nigerian artist is an inborn Young Thug or Roddy Ricch.
A couple of days before Rema was trapping out the submarine (on his popular “Freestyle” EP of 2019), he was on a Mavins song singing Yoruba — he’s not even a Yoruba boy.
It all makes sense. Don Jazzy, who doesn’t have an American accent will tell Rema, “oya, sing with an American accent, na wetin go sell now be that.” Rema, who wants to blow and is new to the industry, has to listen and do whatever the Don says and do it exactly like that.
That’s why there are so many clones in the industry these days. Everybody sounds like someone else now. So many new artists out there working effortlessly to clone Wizkid, the labels think it’s a formula and it is, so they make their artists do the Wiz impression.
The success of these clones makes others wanna copy. In the past year, a handful of new artists have started doing the Rema impression, because that’s what is selling now.
What’s more? These artists don’t really have a choice. If you’re not doing what these labels want, you won’t get signed and you fit no blow. So, Don Jazzy makes Ruger chant like Rema and brands Ayra Starr like Tems.
Most of these artists probably don’t ever get to do what they want, the kind of music they wanna make. No creative freedom in the music industry anymore.That creative freedom that has been lost in the mainstream for a long time, is what Olamide has consistently given away on a platter. And that is why more urban alternative sounds like that of Adekunle Gold and Fireboy, have come from YBNL.
Take a look at all of YBNL’s previous artists, from Chinko Ekun to Adekunle to Lyta to Limerick to Temmie Ovwasa to Davolee, and now Fireboy. There’s a pattern; all of these artists have different sounds, unconventional sounds.
This simply means Olamide just gives them the platform and lets them do what they want, the kind of music they make best. He doesn’t make them conform to industry standards.
Luckily for Olamide (and YBNL), artists like Adekunle Gold and Fireboy have defied the odds and become successful even with alternative sounds that A&R people swear the fans don’t like.
The handful of other artists who have something similar to these alternative sounds are independent artists. Many of them, you’ll never hear their names. Because they’ve refused to chukwu leke give you kplansi scatter your backa.
That’s why we must protect YBNL at all costs!