Do Nigerian Female Artists Need To Feature Each Other More Often?

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It’s very easy for one to assume that the Nigerian female artist isn’t very welcome to putting her fellow woman on the path to success, it in fact is very common to assume so; why? ‘Because it’s quite a normal phenomenon’ 

We’re so often fond of capitalizing on this and making undue conclusions that compared to a typical Nigerian artist who puts his fellow man on the pedestal, a female artist shuns away from that. The very fact of this baseless assumption is in fact, a ‘baseless assumption’ 

This discourse has taken place year in and year out, it’s a conversation that never seems to get old and everyone has a think piece to claim, or not. And true, this debate recently occurred, it in fact, took place on the day set aside for the reverence of women (that being international Women’s Day) and this time, it’s the usual talk of women ‘needing to do better’ in comparison to the likes of Tuface and Shallipopi who have quite the range of putting their men on.

For a better analysis of this think piece which seeks to enlighten the ignorant minds of those who still assume that women aren’t very open to helping their fellow women in the Nigerian music industry, we’ll turn back the hands of time to the days of 00s, just to prove one single point. Walk with this writer.

For music enthusiasts, does it bring to your memories when the music industry was indeed booming with female artists but of a certain kind? The kinds of rappers? The ones whose music was very much under the rap genre and they were closely in tune with male rappers also? From the likes of Weird MC to Sasha to Mo’chedda. Whilst there also were female artists who imbued the typical RnB genre, singing their hearts off in tune with love pieces, it was often the female rappers, being the movers and the shakers of their time. 

There’s only one point to prove — these female rappers had undeniable talents but it only goes to show they never really have had it easy, not one bit. As opposed to men who simply had to cook up one or two lyrical mishaps and earn a hit song, women have had to do twice as hard, while focused on intently curating their music to a point of perfection, under the very scrutiny of the Nigerian music audience. 

It’s pretty glaring how some of those female rappers would have indeed gone with the RnB flow, given artists such as Mo’Chedda were indeed talented both ways, but hard rap sold the market, and to thrive, which they indeed did, they went with the market demands. It was the only way to earn recognition. 

Unless this writer has her facts wrong, it’s largely had to recall how many female artists thrived before the arrival of the Tiwa Savage kind (except you’re counting Goldie who of a truth, wasn’t much reckoned with as the likes of the female rappers) 

Not very few but also few female artists have been able to go head-to-head with these male artists in terms of music competency and that’s because women largely have a lot to prove, even when all facts shows they indeed are worth their onions. 

For a song as good as “Somebody’s Son”, quite a number of men largely refused to associate with the song being the content of its lyrics and how it negates what they’d rather sing, ignoring the fact that the song is indeed enjoyable, as well as it is a mark of Tiwa Savage’s expansion, featuring the delectable Brandy. 

While these men opposed singing to this song, they’d rather be identified singing songs which lack mirth and substance, simply because ‘na man run am’ 

Nigerian female artists are in fact, making an attempt to building a long lasting legacy for themselves, and it’s in no way easy for them, given the saturated male dominant industry, which they most certainly won’t have easy on them. So in an attempt to correct, the conversation was never and should never be built around them being unwilling to help their fellow woman, how about every one of them is trying to build a thing for herself, and the stakes should be lowered for this reason? 

It’s relatively easier for one to dismiss a woman’s music and stereotype it because candidly, women are more inclined to base their music on emotions and feelings themed lyrics, than men who can make anything out of anything— which simply implies that if a woman artist wasn’t rigid enough, she might have to bend and twist so as to meet the demands of the market. 

Asides factors as this, there is often many intentionality that Nigerian female artists often have to put in their personal brand, because it’ll do more for them in the music business, than simply existing as an artist. Certain examples exist such as the like of Ayra Starr, Fave, Tiwa Savage, who have tailored their aura to a certain majestic level and have an appeal massively undeniable to ignore. 

Regardless of how much efforts women have often had to put into making their marks in the industry, it still doesn’t shield us from the truth of acknowledging that there have indeed been collaborations between the female gender, which is sequel to collaboration with any artist of any gender, because collaborations are very intentional and can be strategic. It begs to question the reason why any artist would simply feature any artist for the sake of ‘empowerment’— a side note being that artists should be at liberty to feature who they want to feature, because it’s their song and there’s a certain spice that is needed for their craft. 

It should never have to be about ‘female and female’ it should be more about what sells for the artist. Certain female artists have often collaborated and have in fact, made timeless music, the likes of Waje and Tiwa Savage with the song ‘Onye’ which should definitely ring a bell, Ayra Starr and Darkoo Vibes with “Disturbing You” 

While although it is rare for female Nigerian artists to collaborate, and also acknowledging these women for still spreading tentacles in terms of collaboration outside the Nigerian shores. It is a most definite appeal to give these women a break and try understanding what it means to be a woman, making an attempt to settle well within the music community and not be under much scrutiny. A side remark on this is, would you rather they express fake love in the name of female empowerment? Than do what needs to be done, and feature whom it is they wish to? 

This writer thinks female artists are the realest in the music game, and one shouldn’t have to brood much on their lack of collaboration amongst themselves. 

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