One way to preserve the beauty of music for the next generation is by tweaking old tracks to keep music alive while paying homage to those who have contributed immensely to the growth of music in Nigeria. One organisation passionate about preserving Nigeria’s music legacy is Nigerian Funk. Nigerian Funk is an NGO that is focused on the preservation and documentation of Nigeria’s music legacy. A few days ago, the organization released ‘Golden Lady,’ a compilation of seven remixed songs by Nigerian female musicians. While announcing on their IG page, they said, “Golden Lady is a celebration of contemporary and legacy women musicians from Nigeria through the re-imagination of their songs.” The initiative is a unique one because it not only celebrates past and present music; it also gives producers the chance to experiment with old tunes. It’s like merging songs from the old generation with the new generation and educating us on how Afropop sounded in the past and shedding more light on how Afropop has evolved over the years.
On this project, producers like SirBastien, Sute Iwar, Johnson IP, and others flipped songs from artists like the famous Lijadu sisters, Sade Adu, Nelly Uchendu, Tiwa Savage, Tems, Lady Donli, and Lindsey Abudei. Initiatives such as the ‘Golden Lady’ allow producers to show their skills. For example, Nelly Uchendu’s ‘Love Nwantiti’ becomes a hip tune that sounds different from its original highlife sound. Also, Tems’ ‘Free Mind’ is remixed into a hard instrumental jam, the original version was good, but this remix makes it stand out even more.
Why do we need a project like this? You might ask; well, our history would be lost if we don’t get projects like this. Most folks from this generation aren’t familiar with how Afropop started; heck, I didn’t know Nelly Uchendu sang ‘Love Nwantiti,’ yes, it was a popular soundtrack to released movies in the 90s. Still, I didn’t know the whole song or the artist, which goes for many people. But as a result of this project, we can identify these artists and break whatever gap between the 1950s – 2000s era of music and ours for the next generation of artists. I think projects like the ‘Golden Lady’ initiative should be created for all genres of music in Nigeria; imagine if something like this were done for Fuji, rap, Apala, Highlife, RnB, Afrobeats, and many others. Then emerging artists would have a whole box of music to draw inspiration. Also, it is a form of educating music lovers, bringing their ears to what has been done in the past, and preserving the works of past and present artists. Kudos to Nigeria Funk and the producers who worked on the ‘Golden Lady’ project; they did a good job. Listen to the project here and let us know your favorite track.