Our editors are hard at work everyday to bring your the best releases of the week.
On this episode of PGM Radio Show; top-tier Talent Manager Godwin Tom, Entertainment Lawyer Akinyemi Ayinoluwa and fast-rising rapper; Mojo sit down to discuss the rudiments of Music management; including contracts, artist manager relations and the reoccurring harassment of innocent Nigerians by men of The Nigerian Police Force, under the auspices of the dreaded SARS.
Music has always been a powerful tool in driving for social discuss and change. Legends like Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Bob Marley recognised this early enough and laced their music with messages of neo-colonialism, justice, freedom and promotion of world peace all in a quest for a better world for their people. But human problems also evolve with time. And with his latest release,’ Virtual Love‘ Garey Godson seeks to spark a long-overdue conversation about how social media is rapidly shaping human interaction. And it’s not exactly for the better.
Thanks to technological advances, communication has gotten faster, easier and considerably cheaper. But more isn’t exactly better in this case. Communication has simply degenerated to something less expressive. We’d rather sit leg crossed and text in the comfort of our home than move out to go visit friends and check up on them like we used to.
One intricate part of inter-personal communication often missing in today’s instant messaging is context; often provided by gestures, body postures, eye movements and the ambient energy in face-to-face conversations. And this has an insidious way of affecting our interpersonal relationships. Little wonder why relationships and friendships aren’t what they used to be.
Using his medium as an artist, Garey Godson is tackling this issue head-on with ‘Virtual Love‘, telling a story that almost every youth is familiar with: a story of a relationship turning sour and complicated due to ineffective and efficient communication between the lovers.
Check out the record above.
A few months ago, we had the gifted soulful singer, Ilaye on our D’Watchlist for her emotive single, ‘Metaphors’. And now, she is making a stronger case for herself by releasing her poetically rich and beautifully crafted debut EP, aptly titled “Pneuma.”
This a 6-track EP led by her previously released singles ‘Binoculars’ and ‘Metaphors’. And although “Pneuma” is entirely a solo effort, she works with a superb team of producers including Tiwa Dara, IBK, Tejiri, Sirbastien and Atta Otigba to impeccably execute this project.
Give this project a listen and you won’t even have to get past the first track to figure out why we speak so highly of it.
Singer and rapper, Bella Alubo has unveiled the album art and tracklist for her “Summer’s Over” EP which has been re-scheduled for release on Friday, November 1. This would be a follow-up to her “re-Bella” EP with standouts ‘Aiya‘ and ‘Ask Bolaji‘ which was released to good reviews last December.
According to the tracklist shared on Twitter, the EP is set to contain 10 tracks (two bonus inclusive) with appearances from Mr Eazi, Ajebutter 22, Zlatan, T’neeya, Ezi Emela, Poe, Tengo John, and Ko-jo cue. In fact, Bella appears solo twice throughout the highly collaborative tape on the second track ‘Fire‘ and on eighth track, ‘Follow Me‘.
Check out the tracklist below.
Produced by Krizbeatz, ‘Dakun‘ is a midtempo Afropop record that finds Ycee dolling out complementary melodic raps for his love interest. He promises to love her right and therefore pleads with her to succumb to his advances.
It, however, seems like Ycee’s label troubles arent just over yet as his former label, Tinny Entertainment, leaked some of the records off the coming album to sabotage its release. But Ycee looked unmoved as he goes ahead with the rollout of the album like nothing even happened.
About four months after its initial release, Prettyboy D-O has finally unveiled the long-teased visuals for his first post-“Everything Pretty” single, ‘Dey Go Hear Wehh‘. This is also suspected to be the lead single for his imminent debut album titled “Pretty World.”
On the high energy dancehall-influenced record, Prettyboy D-O comes for non-believers and detractors, assuring us that they will soon be shocked beyond measure. D-O delievers frisky verses over the hard-hitting instrumental before coming through with the highly infectious hook cut from a popular Nigerian pidgin dictum.
The Seyi Akinlade-directed video opens with Prettyboy getting jumped by a mob. He is later seen in his hideout clutching his baby in his hands while his spouse dashes into the room upon hearing what happened. As he is being moped up and treated by his babe, his war-ready boys thirst for vengeance, as they prepare to launch for action. D-O then goes back to business as usual and is later found treating his goons to an energetic performance of his new song on the beach, probably to pump them up for the next line of action. The cinematic video then ends with one of the suspects awaiting D-O’s judgement.
Our editors are hard at work everyday to bring your the best releases of the week.
In a private listening session for his long-overdue sophomore album “Good Time” scheduled for release next month, Davido had a few choice words for his colleagues: “Give your songwriters credit“. Barely ten days after, on Saturday, Septemeber 16, the singer took to twitter to appreciate Adekunle Gold who he revealed, co-wrote one of his (Davido) favourite songs off the coming album.
This wouldn’t be the first time Davido publicly admits to employing the use of songwriters or even going further to appreciate them. In fact, he is fast becoming one of the key voices in the advocacy for the proper treatment and remuneration of songwriters. In recent times, the singer who is one of Nigeria’s biggest acts and music exports is often praised in industry circles as exemplary for paying songwriters their due and openly giving them credit.
And despite all the backlash received for his continuous use of songwriters, the DMW boss has emerged bolder and even more resolute. When a fan responded to his Saturday tweet, suggesting that Davido needs to learn to write his own songs, the singer simply replied, “Maybe more artist[s] should learn to tell the truth.”
Except you’re in denial, it’s now common knowledge that many of our biggest superstars are guilty as charged. Most of them purchase songs from songwriters but refuse to credit them openly – and in some cases even pay them. Davido is just the most vocal in a long list of creatives that employ the use of songwriters.
However, the bulk of the Nigerian audience hasn’t come to terms with the fact that singers adopt the use of songwriters. For all our fervent demands for depth and poetically rich lyrics, it’s quite unfair that Nigerians remain highly critical of the patronage of songwriters. Many see it as a sign of laziness, a dearth of ‘real’ talent or a symptom of the absence of originality or authenticity.
Nigerians’ resentment toward the embrace of songwriters is probably matched by the American hip-hop community’s hostility to using ‘ghostwriters’. ‘Real’ rappers simply can’t have their verses written by anybody else. And although fans have – in more recent times -grown more accommodating to the use of ghostwriters, it still remains one of hip-hop’s most deadly sins. Remember 2015 when Meek Mill claimed he would have taken Drake off ‘R.I.C.O’ if he knew his verse was written by someone else.
In the early years of his career, even Davido was much more discreet about his patronage of songwriters. In 2013, it was reported that Davido had bought his chart-topping smash ‘Gobe‘ from Password for ₦350,000. This was revealed after a mild controversy when an impostor accused Davido of jacking his single which had been released earlier.
Most recently, Teni – a burgeoning act at the time – came under fire when she excitedly disclosed that she was the brain behind Davido’s 2017 closer, ‘Like Dat‘. Describing her stint with Davido as a bitter-sweet experience in an interview with Notjustok TV, Teni revealed that “In the first place, I wasn’t even doing it for praise. I was just excited that in my lifetime, I have been able to do something that has challenged me and that has made me grow which is writing for one of the greatest artists in Africa. It was a big deal for me and it was something I was very proud of myself for, so I tweeted it and some people took it badly and some people took it wrong but nevertheless.
“Nigerian industry, we still have a long way to go in terms of writers and us being able to come out and say this is what we have done and I feel like we will get there someday. I feel like most artistes because of the mentality of the people, they think if you have a songwriter then that means you are not good but that’s not true because I have read books that have four authors. Two heads are better than one.”
In the Nigerian music industry that strictly operates on the mechanism of natural selection where anything goes, where copyright laws aren’t respected, songwriters are easily exploited and are often on the losing end. Stories of cheated songwriters pop up on blogs from time to time, but we simply move on to the juiciest stories. And when they complain or demand credit, Nigerians are quick to shut them up, tagging them as “ungrateful”. “You no even dey thank God say him even use your song” you’d hear.
Many of these songwriters are recording artists themselves who are okay with taking the backseat so long as they are paid and credited for their work. Some have even grown so successful at it that over time, they abandon their quest for the spotlight to fully make a career out of helping other artists in crafting records for a fee. Others have used their songwriting stint as a launchpad to further their own careers as recording and performing acts.
There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with using songwriters. It’s standard practice all over the world. The only time a problem arises is when they aren’t paid for their services or given due credit. One good thing, however, is that the awareness about the salient role songwriters play in the recording process and how well they should be compensated is growing. But there is still so much to be done.
Davido is no doubt doing the Lord’s work, using his platform to shed light on the abuse of these songwriters that contribute a tangible quota to the industry. His message is simple – give them credit for their work. Over the years, he has benefitted enormously from their services and it’s fair and admirable that he is looking out for their interest. And since it’s not coming from songwriter, a critic or a fan but a musician – a very successful one at that- maybe they’d listen. Songwriters are grossly cheated, underpaid, and often bullied into silence. It’s high time we put an end to that.
On Wednesday, August 21, Cameey‘s team desperately called out for help. They revealed that burgeoning rapper, Cameey was battling liver cancer, and needed $100,000 (N35,000,000) for a transplant. In the flyer, the usually vibrant and energetic singer could be seen bare-chested with a bloated stomach, lying helplessly on a hospital bed. Many were shocked and so moved that the picture started to make rounds on social media, echoing the call for support and donations.
But barely 19 hours later, hopes were shattered as Cameey was pronounced dead. “Breaking News We Lost Cameey…R.I.P Please Stop All Donations Right Now!!!” read the latest post on his Instagram pages, confirming rumblings and suspicions. Immediately, tributes and condolence messages started pouring in all over social media, particularly from industry insiders.
Born Joel Essoumam in Cameroon, Cameey had always wanted to be an entertainer. For years, he had admired the Lagos music scene from afar, which at the time was mainly dominated by the dual forces of 2face and D’banj, and he wanted to be a part of that space.
In 2009, Cameey and two other friends decided to leave the warmth and comfort of Cameroon for Nigeria to pursue their lofty dreams in the city of excellence without having any relations or friends in the country. They practically knew no one in Lagos. But that didn’t stop them.
At the time, Cameey used to perform with celebrities as a dancer. But he wanted to be bigger. He wanted to be a star. And dance couldn’t get him there, so he decided to fully invest in his music career.
He and his friends formed a crew named the SK Boys. But the road to stardom was not as smooth as they envisaged. Talent and passion weren’t just enough. In an industry like ours, it’s just the starting point. They had to keep hopping from place to place, sleeping outside people’s homes. About five years later, the group dissolved. One of the defunct group members had had enough and returned to Cameroon while Cameey was then focused on pursuing a solo career.
Cameey caught a huge break at a gig in Surulere in 2015, where he came to the attention of Nonso Odigboh who later came to be his manager. Nonso began to seek ways to help this young talent whose energy was so infectious. “So I saw Cameey perform, we exchanged numbers. I now said I’d see what I can do to help you. And we started helping him get gigs and shows to perform.
“Then he was staying with a producer Jaybeatz, somewhere in Aguda. So basically, I was just coming in the capacity of assistance like recording, paid for recordings, all that stuff, lifestyle generally, feeding, helped with clothes when I could. Just in my small capacity, I was assisting.” Nonso tells me over the phone.
A year later, Nonso partnered with an investor to set up A1 Muzic, an imprint which was then used to push Cameey’s career. A couple of months later, he released his official debut single and video, ‘Better Days‘, a gloomy story-so-far record, beaming with the hope of imminent success. And it did quite impressive numbers across platforms. This was followed by ‘Supernatural’ which currently has over 75k views on Youtube.
In 2018, A1 Muzic secured an affiliation with Chocolate City to promote Cameey as an artist. On the PGM Radio Show with Douglas Jekan and WDS_LINK_PLACEHOLDER_e3993f3cc0bad7c2966d974b5d288330 sometime last year, Cameey also confirmed that he had only signed a distribution deal with the label. It was under this deal he released the Otis-assisted ‘Juice’ alongside its video in June last year.
Cameey kicked off 2019 with one goal in mind: recording and releasing his debut project. In fact, he had already started building a buzz around his 5-track EP originally scheduled for release this week. But it was in preparation for this project’s release that he fell ill with what was thought at the time to be a mere fever.
“A couple of weeks ago, he just started complaining of fever, thinking it was normal malaria or typhoid. So he just used normal drugs and the rest of that. Then he was better.” Nonso recounts.
Even Cameey himself felt that all this was behind him and wanted to immediately get on with the roll-out for the EP. On Tuesday, July 30, he shared the cover art and the title of the project “O.H.S (Only Hit Songs).” “Been a minute guys and I have been working on an EP of 5 songs , the title of the EP is “O.H.S” …… in the process I seriously fell sick but I thank God am back on my feet again 🙏🏼 … this EP will speak for its self and I do this for “YOU” ❤️ my Friends aka my Fans aka my Family ❣️❣️❣️ Art by @uchay_of.
EP is coming soon …………” he wrote on Instagram.
But this lasted only a short while. In a few days, Cameey was down again. “The label got him an apartment in Surulere. I barely ever go there anyway, so when he was sick I didn’t even know. One day, I was at the mall and someone bumped into me and went, ‘this guy was really down o’. So I went there, saw him, he was on a drip. I asked what was up and they were like ‘The thing don weigh am down again o’.
With the drip, he was actually getting better. They now ran a lab test, that what they were suspecting because his eyes were a bit yellowish was Hepatitis B. Hepatitis generally. So the next day, the lab results came out and they found it was actually Hepatitis so they started immediately treating. They said the treatment was a load of IVC* to flush out the system and to the best of my knowledge, he was getting better real quick.“ Nonso continues.
Again, everyone thought it was all behind them until Saturday, August 16, when things took a turn for the worse and he had to be rushed to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). By this time he was already losing so much weight and was developing a protruding stomach. After carrying out a series of tests, the doctors found out that his liver had been damaged and needed immediate attention. Friends began to make frantic movements to arrange how he can get flown out to India for a liver transplant.
In Nonso’s words, “We tried to get in touch with some hospitals in India to send us feedback on the pricing and all. So we waited on Monday, Tuesday, it didn’t come. By Wednesday, we were already getting frustrated. We agreed that we can’t just keep waiting for these guys to send a mail and this guy is just depreciating.
So, let’s just start a campaign immediately because they had told us verbally that it should be within the rate of 100 thousand dollars. We were waiting for an official invoice because you know Nigerians are quite sensitive with money. But considering that and the risk of losing someone, I didn’t even care. I was just like let’s start this campaign quickly, let’s start raising money so that hopefully, within a week or two, we should have gotten somewhere really good.”
Immediately, his team kicked off a campaign on social media to raise the estimated funds needed for the liver transplant. Nonso was quite shocked at people’s swift response because, by the next morning, they had already raised about 1.2 million Naira.
But it was perhaps a little too late.
Cameey’s condition continued to worsen. He was in really terrible shape, wallowing in pain and discomfort and grew hysterical. The fear of the inevitable filled the air but this was dispelled with hope. However, their unspoken fear was confirmed when the consultant taking care of Cameey called his friends to side and told them “guys, let me be straight with you. This guy is not going to make it.” She further told them that “even this transplant thing you’re talking about, this thing has gone way beyond it. The guy’s system had packed up.” She then advised them to surround him with love by gathering family and friends around him in the time he has left. This was around noon on Thursday.
No one gives up on a loved one on a sickbed. Even when the doctors had moved on since it was concluded that his system had shut down, friends and family were holding on to hope and giving it everything they could.
“We were just trying to do anything, the pastors were there, they were giving him coconut water, they were giving him lemon. There was a drug we got, it was like a supplement, food and all that in powdered form, anything just to help him and keep him alive. All those things didn’t work o. We just kept trying, so it kind of just dawned on us that what the doctors were just saying was actually true.”
Slowly, Nonso’s tight grip on hope was loosening as he was constantly confronted with the reality of the situation. “At that point, people were reaching out from Yankee that ‘create a GoFundMe account so we can put in something’. My guys were telling me to create something. But I didn’t know how to tell them that there’s no need. So I just kept stalling. They were so upset. I just said, there’s no point collecting people’s money. At the same time, part of your mind doesn’t want to lose hope. We just didn’t want to believe all the things the doctors were saying. So I was like let me just watch this guy, if I see that he is more stable, I’d ramp up campaign times ten, like go really really hard.”
Sadly, Cameey passed away sometime between 2 and 3 pm. And upon the official announcement, people started to pay their tributes. A gem had been lost, a dream chaser denied.
— princess_paris💝 (@princess_paris3) August 22, 2019
Rip Cameeygram 😣😣 pic.twitter.com/HvknO2hRPZ
His family has decided to bury him in Cameroon, his home country, where he can rest in peace with family, not in a land where he had spent his youth chasing his dreams of being a superstar. And while at it, he had also created a family here. Not one of blood but one of shared struggles, values and experiences. The money raised was partly used to settle Cameey’s hospital bills and the rest expended to his family.
Nonso assures me that the EP is eventually going to be released although he isn’t exactly sure when. For now, family and friends are all focused on the burial rites and when that is over with, they’d have to make key decisions as regards of the project and its release. One of which is the proposed title of the project, as some feel that it should be reworked into something more befitting for Cameey’s legacy, while others maintain that the original title is left exactly the way Cameey wanted it.
Regardless of what is eventually decided, the posthumous project will always be cherished for what it truly represents: Cameey’s last gift to us.