Monday, September 30, 2013
Music is a universal language that everybody can connect to. While we may not all necessarily share the same taste in music, it is safe to say that everybody loves music. You don’t have to necessarily understand the language of a song before you can appreciate the melodies. The Nigerian music industry has come a long way from what it used to be having broken into the international community, with songs by Nigerian artistes appreciated by the foreign community. Talented musicians have been nominated and won international awards in recognition of their outstanding talent while top-notch musicians have held sold out concerts within and outside the country.
Of the teeming list of musicians that seem to dominate the music scene in Nigeria, two names that ring a bell are those of singer Wizkid and rapper Olamide. These two young artistes have been able to carve niches for themselves in a seemingly difficult market where a lot of hustle, talent and as some would see it ‘perceived luck’ is needed to strike gold.
Wizkid (born Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun) is a Nigerian artiste who rose to fame with his hit single ‘Holla at Your Boy’ which became a chart topper and had music lovers shaking and grooving to the brilliant lyrics of the song. Coming out of obscurity into the limelight, Wizkid has come a long way from his debut hit song to become a force to be reckoned with, having become a favourite among Nigerian youths. Personally I call Wizkid ‘the man with the golden touch’ because whatever song he releases always become a hit track and it is no wonder that this young wonder has come a long way since the release of his debut album ‘Superstar’ in 2011. The self acclaimed superstar has also collaborated on hit songs with the likes of son of legendary Afrobeat musician Femi Kuit on Jaiye Jaiye, Iyanya on Sexy Mama, Omawumi on Warn Yourself, Sarz on Beat of Life, international superstar Wale on Drop among many others. He has gone on to win many national and international awards in his career including Promising Artiste of the Year (Dynamix all Youth Awards 2009), Next Rated (The Headies 2011), Best African Act (MOBO 2011), Best Artist in the Africa/India/Middle East Region (MTV Eurpoe Music Award 2011), Artiste of the Year (The Headies 2012), African Artiste of the Year (Ghana Music Awards 2013). The aforementioned awards are just but a few of the many that the Pepsi Ambassador has carted home as he still has many other accolades and credits to his name.
Olamide is another young Nigerian artiste that has been able to carve a niche for himself in the Nigerian music industry in the genre of rap. Olamide is known for his versatile rap style, free spirited delivery and creative lyrical ability. He has had his career likened to that of late rapper Dagrin because of the similar rap style which is a blend of English and Yoruba language. Many critics are even of the opinion that Olamide may not have come into recognition had Dagrin not succumbed to the cold hand of death in 2010. However the focus here is not about Olamide’s career against that of Dagrin but that of his and Wizkid. Just like Wizkid, Olamide hit major recognition when his single ‘Eni Duro’ became a success and was accepted by Nigerians. Not resting on his oars, the young star has been able to make good on his boast from one of his songs when he said in his lyrics ‘Like java I have got game I’m from the project and I have got fame, why the eff I gats go dey fill form for MTN project fame.’ Keeping up with the success of Eni Duro he has been able to churn out other hit songs like, Illefo Illuminati, Jaale, Go Down Low, Stupid Love, Yemi My Lover and collaborated with other artistes like D Banj on Ibadi, Davido in Panumo, Phyno on Ghost Mode among many others. The self acclaimed “Baddest Guy Ever Liveth” is no doubt very much loved on the streets having come out of a ghetto area like Bariga to become the famous star he is now and his latest effort ‘Durosoke’ is receiving major positive response from fans and critics alike. He also has awards to his name and was the biggest winner at the just concluded Nigeria Entertainment Awards carting home three awards.
The success stories of Wizkid and Olamide has been compared by many and there has been the debate of who is better between the two. The argument of who is the better artiste has been a bone of contention and I would like to point out that in itself it is not comparing these two artiste as their genre of music differs, while Olamide can be safely said to be a rapper, Wizkid on the other hand is more of a singer fusing together African hip hop, afrobeat and afropop. There have been arguments in support of Olamide as having better content in terms of lyrics and swags while many believe that Wizkid is the bomb although if you ask me both basically sing the things that many Nigerians want to hear and there is no real depth to their lyrics. Olamide has been termed more mature lyric wise and this can perhaps be attributed to his originality and creativity in the mix of languages. For comments on who seems to be better you can check out these polls on NAIRALAND and also this comment page on FACEBOOK .
Having had an opportunity to attend shows that both artiste performed at, it is safe for me to say that Olamide has more of the street credibility in terms of being able to carry along the crowd and work on emotions. While Wizkid can also effortlessly drive his fans into a frenzy by his mere presence on stage, the average guy on the street can relate better with Olamide because he is more “Nigerian.’ The average Nigerian can easily relate with Olamide’s first hit track ‘Eni Duro’ notwithstanding that most of the lyrics are Yoruba while Wizkid’s first single ‘Holla at Your Boy’ could be said to be a bit more refined in terms of lyrics and swags.
There have been arguments that Wizkid has more awards and accolades to his credit than Olamide could ever hope for but honestly if you ask me I will say that it is not by the awards. How many of our musicians have won the prestigious Grammy Awards? Yes you answered right none, but this hasn’t stopped them from holding sold out concerts within and outside the country and put Nigeria and indeed Africa as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to music; it hasn’t diminished the fact that they are talented. However if the ratings are to go by the awards, Wizkid beats Olamide hands down.
It also goes without saying that Wizkid has more international presence than Olamide does having been able to collaborate on songs with international acts and also win awards outside Nigeria. What Olamide may lack in international recognition he makes up for with his ever loyal fans in Nigeria unlike Wizkid who has had some bad blood with fans stoning his car and calling him names for his perceived pride. Wizkid came under heavy criticism recently when he called a fan broke for correcting his English and took intervention of the likes of J Martins and P Square to talk to the youngster not to forget his roots.
The two artiste collaboration together on a song way back titled ‘Omo to Shan’ was a major success and it may have even generated a bit of controversy in its own right of who had the better lyrics. Olamide in an interview with This Day September last year had said he and Wizkid were not particularly friends and more of colleagues.
There is no doubt that many more arguments could be raised in favour of any of the two artiste but in the end it all comes down to personal choice. Whose music gets you grooving or whose songs can you relate to more. Whether you go with Starboy Wizzy or Baddoo the baddest guy ever liveth is your choice, there is no disputing the fact that the two are both young and talented in their chosen fields and are kings of music in their own right.
Do let us know, who would you rather take, Wizkid or Olamide?
Akinwale Akinyoade is National Diploma holder in Mass Communication from Yaba College of Technology and currently majors in English at the University of Lagos. He loves reading, writing and networking. Follow @gidigenius