Sometime ago, I sat a few rows behind some much older men on a bus. They were discussing loudly and the subject was the musical trends of the day. There was an aura of disappointment around their discussion, as they all acquiesced that the music of the day has been mostly a blatant departure (from a morality perspective) from what they used to know and enjoy as good Nigerian music.
They were concerned about the empty messages in the lyrics of most songs available, which brought nothing more than superficial enjoyment to mostly the younger generation. This, in their opinion, is the reason the youth should not complain about being relegated to the background when societal issues that affect them are considered.
According to them, music used to be reasonable and inspiring, forging brotherhood, positive values and standards. On the contrary, presently, music is mostly impulsive, selling the wrong perception of love, ridden with corrupt values, and produced mainly for fame and fortune.
The result? The typical stereotype for the youth: the clueless fanbase generation obsessed with social media, their mobile phones and their inordinate love for entertainment (particularly music) lacking meaning for nation building.
One may argue, though, that the exuberance displayed by the youth has spurred their creative interest in digital and mobile telephony technologies, thereby sparking (aside the seeming 'wrong' love for superficial music) innovation and the establishment of innovative enterprises. This is in addition to the enlarging entertainment business. In a country that rose to be the largest economy in Africa when the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was rebased to capture the entertainment sector, this may prove to be a strong position.
However, another strong argument is that we may be faced with the ever familiar case of growth and more growth made invisible by retarding economic development. A working capitalist system may bring about economic growth but the same is not the case for economic development. One cannot deny the strong social and cultural foundation (for instance, institutional framework) required for development. This foundation may be affected by music. With music, the destination is as important as the source. Music can sink very deeply into our soul and the very fabric of our being, influencing who we are and can be. And people are a necessary part of development because it is people who lead change.
Across the world, we are in one of the merriest seasons of the year. As you turn that music on, remember the need to promote decent, values-based music.
How has the music scene changed in your own country?P.S: Have for yourself a fabulous 2015!
Over the past 80 years, pop music has changed largely due to many reasons. For example, our technology has developed majorly, resulting in auto tune being overused by popular artists of this generation, along with the change in the way we regard music now. Also, the genres of music that are now popular have changed, and rap and alternative/indie music have advanced massively in popularity.
To begin with, technology has progressed a great deal, which has influenced music produced recently. An example of this is auto tune, which has been used by countless artists; Rihanna, Chris Brown, Ke$ha, Kanye West and Justin Bieber are only a small number of these. This means that music these days is much less natural, and artist’s voices are often entirely altered.
Another way the development of technology has changed how we listen to pop music, is websites on the Internet such as YouTube, which allow us to explore different genres of music much more easily. Since TVs, radios, and cellular devices have been made more accessible, advertising for new music has become much more common, this means that we are introduced to new genres and styles of music.
The development of technology has provided us with an overall easier access to music, and has opened us to different types of music that we would not have originally listened to. It also provided artists with a chance to use new types of editing to change the sound of their music.
Music is popular with children, teenagers and adults. More often than not, teenagers are seen with mp3s and earphones, but children are often singing music from TV shows, and adults singing songs from ‘back in the day’. In the 50s, pop music stopped being a genre listened to by children and adults alike, but started being specifically for teens.
Artists like Justin Bieber, One Direction, Elvis and The Wanted used sex appeal to make their music sell. Elvis was nicknamed ‘Elvis Pelvis’ for the way he moved his hips, and most boy bands are known better for their good looks than their music. Younger artists are now coming in with new music, and their music is appreciated more by teens who feel more of a relation with them, because of the closer age gap.