Sunday, June 4, 2017

USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re: Nigeria’s Afrobeat Music Scene Is Booming, but Profits Go to Pirates

Writing from my kitchen studio ( music and sex are things about which a man must not boast..

Gregory Porter : We Are All Like Children

It's a sad story.

Writers don't have any problem making a few bucks from their stories, poems, plays, etc. but what can be done about the woeful exploitation of musicians? It fits into the general category of corruption - now extending and taking root in the music industry. Muhammadu Buhari should wage war on this sort of piracy, but how? To make everybody happy, I think that President Muhammad Buhari should start a "Ministry of Sound" responsible for entertainment tax etc. and protecting the rights of musicians , growing the music and entertainment industry - even if initially this could be a problem as there could be fierce competition for the post of Minister of Sound, with individuals from even the least artistic ethnic group in the country wanting to fill that position...( smile)

Do I hear a very fierce somebody thundering (like Ogun) and whipping out one of his Benin bronzes, "And who in your opinion is "the least artistic ethnic entity in Nigeria "? May I suggest the baga-baga tribe, since she wants to know, for sure. Of course such a question or answer should not lead to inter-tribal warfare or a civil war . Take this brother of Shakespeare for example singing, "I can't dance" - he comes from the nation known as the kingdom of pop and they make the most money from that commodity. (By the way, Sweden is the number two pop nation in the world!)

Nigeria - still as one country - has the greatest musical diversity in Africa. Naturally - and there is no question about it, Nigeria's Afrobeat artists are the world's leaders in that genre started by the iconic Fela Kuti .

The artist must live!

Apart from satisfying the domestic market, the export of such music should have been a huge foreign exchange asset, but alas - from way back in the early 80s of the last century, piracy was already a problem and not only for Nigerian artists. At Mile One Market in Port Harcourt - with a bad conscience one could readily purchase any of the Nigerian or international hits for a mere naira - they would be illegally mass copied and distributed as cassette tapes, without any royalties going to the artists. Something must be dome to check this kind of exploitation...

Things have got a lot worse now that the era of the audio cassette has given way to the age of the CD, the DVD and the tremendous musical output from Nigeria - most of which can be downloaded, free of charge from the net.

Today, recording artists make their money giving concerts - Bob Dylan@76 is still on the road - as he sang a long time ago . "But me I'm still on the road, heading for another joint"...

On Sunday, 4 June 2017 13:49:32 UTC+2, Toyin Falola wrote:

Subject: Nigeria's Afrobeat Music Scene Is Booming, but Profits Go to Pirates

From The New York Times: Nigeria's Afrobeat Music Scene Is Booming, but Profits Go to Pirates Artists worldwide battle illegal sales of their work. But Nigeria's piracy is so ingrained that music thieves even worry about rip-offs of their rip-offs.

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