Victor Aderibigbe

Simi Parts Ways With X3M Music

Popular Nigerian singer, Simi has parted ways with her record label, X3M music after five years. This comes just after a few days after the successful release of her critically acclaimed third studio album, “Omo Charlie Champagne” which is still topping charts all over the country.

Simi’s exit from the label is reported to be as a result of the expiration of her recording contract.

Unlike most label-artist splits in the Nigerian music industry, this is a very peaceful and amicable departure, as both parties decided not to renew the expired contract, according to Vincent Nwanze, the A&R executive of the label.

Over the course of her time at the label, Simi grew from a burgeoning alternative sensation into one of the biggest acts in the country. Ever since singing with X3Min 2014, Simi has scored a number of hits and also released two acclaimed albums including the culturally and commercially successful self-titled album “Simisola” which bagged the album of the year award at the 2018 Headies.

According to X3M’s management, “We only sign artists that we love and believe in. We know our taste in music is rather different, but we only sign talents who meet that taste. Fortunately, we have been able to find millions of music lovers here and abroad, who share similar tastes, as is evident in the success of all the artistes we have worked with, including Simi who is without any doubt one of the biggest music talents in the country today…

Although Simi is yet to confirm the news on her social media pages, we at the PGM Club wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

Muyiwa Akhigbe And Rhye Ali Release Joint “Conversations” EP

Muyiwa Akhigbe, a gifted soul singer who now doubles as a rapper has teamed up with rising lyricist, Rhye Ali and producer, Trill Xoe to create and release a new joint EP titled “Conversations“. This project which is actually Muyiwa’s sophomore EP is a highly experimental one for the act as he leaves his comfort zone to create a thematic hip-hop project with a skilled rapper.

True to its name, the 9-track EP opens with a recorded phone conversation in which Muyiwa reaches out to his partner-in-crime Rhye and convinces him to work with him on this project. This, however, is just the first of five conversations in the project, each one recorded over the instrumental of the following record. Through these conversations and records, these artists present a soulful realness and detailing to their realities as youths and young creatives in this country.

Tracklist for “Conversations” EP (Twitter/MuyiwaAkhigbe)

This is, therefore, a highly relatable project as the pair rap and discusses topics and themes that every twenty-something in this city should familiar with.  As mentioned earlier, this EP is solely produced by Trill Xoe and engineered by David Rotimi. Enjoy.

The Nigerian Music Landscape: Survival or Immortality?

“Only real music is gonna last, all the other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow” – Jimmy Smith (Drake’s ‘Pound Cake’ Intro)

 

Today, we have a breed of young creatives in Nigeria and across Africa challenging the status quo and making beautifully crafted sonics. Despite industry pressures, these acts seem focused on making music that resonates. Such that they craft their stories and experiences into melodies that a lot of their peers can relate with.  Not the extravagant wealth splashes and materialist bluster that characterises the majority of our pop records but baring their soul, fears, aspirations, concerns, insecurities on records. Even when they make ‘feel-good’ or dance music, it is creatively packaged and executed that it sounds so lively and fresh.

When they are singing about love, they view the banal theme from varying lenses, viewing and expressing it via various spectrums such that it doesn’t feel bland, bloated, or repetitive.

It’s amazing that most of these guys are unsigned and independent yet they still put out so much music. Labels understandably care more about the financial returns than the purity of the art because these labels are businesses, with aims to record profits. And many have not found viable ways to market and monetize these sounds so they simply focus on the pop cash-cows.

In comparison to their colleagues and counterparts in the pop world, many view this breed of artistes as fools. Why make good or healthy music when you can just give the people what they want. People want to escape their present realities and just have a good time.

Some might even say, “Why spend so much time and energy creating songs that might not even sell in this market, when you can easily hop on the latest dance trend, get a banging beat and just spill out whatever comes to your mind. It’s not like these people listen anyway. They just want to dance and have a good time, that’s all.”

Sadly, a truth about this set of artists is that they might not record mainstream commercial success all through their careers. They might remain opening acts for the bigger pop stars and scramble for the feeds that fall off the table of these stars. They might not even be able to sell out their own medium-sized venues.

The quest for survival has made some dabble into pop music for relevance. Seeking ways to create pop records that people can easily dance to all while still staying through to their art. Another survival tactic for some is to collaborate with the pop stars and meet them halfway when it comes to music so they can tap into each other’s audiences. There are some, however, that want to make pop records but they just can’t. They aren’t wired that way.

Some have also managed to successfully shuffle between day jobs and their music careers. Thereby, making enough to survive and fund their passion while doing what they love on the side.

However, good music never truly dies. They are often re-lived through samples, interpolations, and mixes. Sometimes, young artists turn to the sounds of the past for inspiration. For instance, Odunsi‘s beautiful “rare.” was hugely inspired by 80’s music. Falz‘s critically acclaimed “Moral Instruction” was also heavily influenced by Fela‘s music. Many other Nigerians from Wizkid to Burna Boy have constantly talked about how much Fela helped to shape their music.

Even the African pop sound is named after Fela’s Afrobeat. News and videos have also surfaced of American artists such as Diddy, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Common, Joe Budden vibing to Fela’s music. His music has also been sampled by  Kendrick Lamar and J Cole, two of the biggest rappers in the game at the moment.

But Fela wasn’t always seen as the hero he is today. While he was alive, many brushed his music asides as grating and unmelodious with his lyrics poor in poetry. Others felt he was too preachy and saw him as a noise maker with utopian ideals. Some were also displeased with the length of his songs and their extended solos. Many just couldn’t comprehend what Fela was building.

This was a new sound with radical energy powering it and maybe the people just weren’t ready for such. Regardless, Fela stayed true to his art, continued to experiment and explore new musical complexities. With his music, he fearlessly stood as the voice of the people against the military governments at the time. He also used his art to teach the people of his Afrocentric ideals.

No! Fela was not perfect but his energy, as well as his music, was raw and genuine. And lifetimes after, we are still feeding on Fela’s music. Occasionally going back to it for inspiration and references.

These young guys today are trying to create something different. They are steady pushing the limits and experimenting with new sounds. In fact, and are now redefining what we refer to as Nigerian or African music. These guys have been persecuted and mocked because they are aesthetically different. But we can’t deny their genuine energy and efforts.

These artists need support. And the least we can do as listeners and consumers of the art is to consume their music through appropriate channels, purchase their projects, attend their shows, engage with them, provide positive feedback, and let them do what artists do best – create.

 

Illbliss Is Raw & Relentless On New Joint ‘Nkali’ With Bigfootinyourface

Illbliss is showing no signs of slowing down. The hip-hop veteran released a critically acclaimed EP titled “Illyzilla” earlier this year, a joint project he released with prolific hip-hop producer, Teckzilla. And now, he is teaming up with Bigfootinyourface who has also had a very busy year to release a new record titled ‘Nkali‘. It would be remembered that this is Illbliss’s second record that is actually titled ‘Nkali‘ as the opening track off his 2016 “Illygaty:7057” album, featuring the living legend, DJ Jimmy Jatt also has the same title.

This new record is the first single of the coming joint EP by Illbliss and Bigfootinyourface which is expected to be released soon.

Nkali‘ which directly translates to ‘superiority’ finds Illy in boss-mode again as he flexes lyrically switching flows between English and Igbo, his native tongue. He brags about his artistic and general successes showing why he is a respected OG in the game who still has it very much in him over the dazzling Bigfoot production with scintillating riffs from the Oja flute.

BarelyAnyHook Is On Full G.R.R Martin Mode On His ‘Dangote’ Cover Titled ‘Tempest’

In celebration of his 27th birthday, burgeoning rapper, BarelyAnyHook has released what he refers to as a ‘party pack’, a cover of Burna Boy‘s 2019 smash, ‘Dangote‘. This is a hookless cover where BarelyAnyHook brilliantly showcases his lyricism and an airtight delivery over the laidback instrumental of the raving hustler’s anthem.

The introspective verse, replete with Game Of Thrones references possesses a soulful realness to it. As he touches on his week-old GidiFest performance and metaphorically reflects on his artistry as well as some of the lessons learnt over the years. He also reminds us of his forthcoming “Barely.Big.Enough” project which is scheduled for release in “a month and some change“.

As he revealed on Twitter, this might just be the first instalment in a series of Game Of Thrones-themed releases scheduled for May. However, you can enjoy this freestyle alongside his other singles like ‘Line Up‘, ‘Vibrations Clearly‘ and ‘Lava Lamp‘ with Sute.

Happy belated birthday to Johnny Seabass from the PGM Club. More Life!

Preye Itams and Davina Oriakhi Seek To Awaken Our Consciousness On ‘Bang The Drum’

Preye Itams and Davina Oriakhi have provided us with a second taste of the material they’ve been working on, titled “Our Venus” which is due to be released later this year. The pair had earlier released a soulful duet titled ‘Vanity’ which is also expected to be among the tracks for the forthcoming project.

Produced by Nosa Apollo, ‘Bang The Drum‘ finds the singers with their fierce vocals and brilliant poetic lyrics lead the charge for a great awakening and renaissance that aims to secure for us a better future. This record is sure to leave you in awe of their amazing talents and artistry and it comes highly recommended from us at the PGM Club. Enjoy.

Bigfootinyourface Teams Up With Akym Aremu On New Melancholic Single ‘The Journey’

2019 has been a really busy year for Bigfootinyourface. The year which has seen just four months has seen the multi-talented producer release a joint EP “Vita.Amare.Libidine” with Kel as well as executive produce Pasha‘s “Love, Sex & Loud“. He has also released a string of singles working with acts like Monseeka, Jemal, Maka ,IllBliss and others. In fact, it is safe to say that Bigfoot is living up to his name because he has been all up in our faces with quality releases all year long. And let’s not forget that he was one of the DJs at our our This Is Hip-Hop event which held earlier this month at The Harvest.

And now, in the spirit of his Downtempo Fridays, Bigfoot has released the seventh installment of the weekly series titled ‘The Journey‘ featuring Akym Aremu. This comes after the raving ‘Nkali‘ with the hip-hop veteran, IllBliss.

With a run time of about three minutes, record opens with a piercing guitar riff which precedes Akym Aremu’s melancholic but though provoking verse which details some of the struggles and harsh realities of many Nigerians as he rhetorically asks in Yoruba where we are all headed.

We at the PGM Club highly recommend this record. Enjoy.

BOJ Links Up With Ghana’s Finest On ‘Awolowo’ With Joey B, Kwesi Arthur & Drako Vibes

One of Nigeria’s finest hook killers, BOJ, has teamed up with an all-star cast of young, talented and vibrant acts across Nigeria and Ghana to produce his latest offering titled ‘Awolowo‘. This new single is named after late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, one of Nigeria’s most iconic politicians credited with introducing free primary education and health care in the Western region of the country.

Produced by the acclaimed ‘alte playmaker’, GMK, BOJ recruits a team of Ghana’s finest acts Kwesi Arthur, Darko Vibes and Joey B who did not fail to bring an international flavour to the scintillating jam. The song also features additional vocals by Zamir and guitar by friend-of-the-family, Tomi Thomas.

Awolowo‘ is BOJ’s first release since he paired up with the self-acclaimed ‘sugar mummy’, Teni the Entertainer on ‘Obe‘ in January. One of the first things that would catch you about this record is how the faces of this young acts-pushing the limits of their crafts in their respective countries- replace the face of Nigeria’s revered politician, Awolowo, on the 100 Naira note issued by the “Alte Bank Of Africa“. However, he is not totally out of the picture as his face can be seen beside Ghana’s most respected political figure, Kwame Nkrumah at the top left corner of the cover art.

The song itself even does much more justice to the memory of the legend as BOJ is on full alchemist mode as he delivers a chilled golden hook with his gruff voice over the simplistic but dazzling GMK-production. Kwesi Arthur, Joey B and Darko Vibes also did not disappoint as they deliver their impressive 16s in English, pidgin and their native languages’.

This is no doubt a jam that is going to last a while on your playlist. Enjoy

Join Johnny Drille In His Search On ‘Finding Efe’

Nigerian alternative sensation, Johnny Drille has released a new single, titled ‘Finding Efe‘, his third single in 2019, after opening the year with the dual release of ‘Forever’ and ‘Shine’ which many cant seem to get enough of. He also made an appearance on Ladipoe‘s latest single ‘Jaiye‘ which has been gaining traction on the airwaves.

This single is actually the product of a real life experience, which Johnny Drille shared on his Twitter about two days ago, about a girl he met briefly in Benin but he missed out on his chance to get her contact.

On this new self-produced record, Johnny Drille is a shy secret admirer who timidly missed out on his chance to express himself to Efe (as implied by the title) and has therefore been looking for her ever since. He has made several futile efforts just to reach out to her and this song seems to be his last hope of reaching out to her. As expected with Johnny Drille’s songs, this record is highly rich in instrumentation and a vivid imagery.

The video opens with Johnny Drille, a photographer, packing his bags and getting in his ride for a long search for his crush. He goes around with a Polaroid picture in hand trying to locate Efe. The beautiful video is directed by Timmy Davies.

Check Out The Energetic Visuals For Prettyboy D-O’s ‘Pull Up’ Featuring Santi

Prettyboy D-O has unveiled the highly cinematic visuals to ‘Pull Up’ featuring Santi. This is one of the standout tracks off his debut mixtape “Everything Pretty”. This video directed by Demola is a very energetic one that matches the ferocity of the record.

This dark, gritty, and energetic video has spurred conversations on social media with many trying to still understand the somewhat elusive alte and their creative process and artistry. Due to the intensity of the video, a number of people picked up where they left off with Santa’s video for Rapid Fire, referring to the alte as just a front for a cult group.

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