Yesterday, the internet was put in a frenzy of both rage and excitement as one of the top artistes in the nation, decided on ‘schooling’ a fan by telling him, ‘School is not for everyone, just drop out and pursue your dreams.’ Now, in as much as I would love to share my thoughts on his rants from the moment he posted the above to the very last tweet that emerged from his account, I’d let things slide and focus on the topic, how exactly does education impact today’s music industry.
To make things easier to assimilate, I will break it down in three sub-headings.
Music, as I love to say is like a compass that shows/directs you in the right (wrong) path to tread and this can be fully understood if fully and clearly expressed. We all know, for anyone to be able to garner that skill on how to express his or her thoughts perfectly, that one person needs the powerful help of formal education. The magnificent hands of Literature added with the powerful hand of English, come to play to create the most beautiful expression needed to convey whatever message need be.
Nigerians today are more into songs that not only stimulates their creative side but also evokes not one but several emotions all in less than 4 minutes and for an artiste without formal education backing to achieve this feat, it will be almost not possible.
You want to write a well composed, grammatically clear with lyrics well researched and smartly picked to convey the ultimate melody and emotion kinda of song? Yes, you need formal education.
I am aware that some artistes, who were not privileged to get a formal education still come up with good songs, but how many of those same artistes actually wrote those songs all by themselves?
The likes of M.I, P.O.E, Waje, Vector, Timi Dakolo (who by the way went back to school and bagged a Master’s Degree in Music) are the few, who have attained that high standard of lyrical wit and skill, which till today put their music in high demand by their millions of fans.
Last week, I wrote an article on record labels and their necessity in today’s music industry which I personally feel is still highly necessary for most young and budding artistes trying to make a way for themselves in the competitive business.
Now, while English and Literature cleverly assists in dishing out lyrics solidly embedded in literary devices like personification, pun, euphemism and the other fun and necessary ones, Mathematics, is another field of course in formal education that can never ever be overlooked.
Maths, is a highly important discipline needed in solving most problems that might crop up in the music business. So, you eventually got an offer from a huge record label and you have been presented with a contract, this is where the powerful might of Mathematics comes into play.
Of course, pursuing a career in the music involves recording, negotiating deals, royalties which are deeply rooted in figures, equations, percentage splits. For someone who has no education in Mathematics, this would definitely confuse him/her which I dare say is what most of these labels wanted from the get go.
No one is asking you to get an M.Sc in Mathematics, rather, understanding the core concepts of this subject makes it easier to calculate your financial returns.
Also, Maths plays a huge role in rhythm and patterns of most of the highly enjoyable melodies churned out from top lyrical gods.
There is an air of ambiance that pops it’s head up when learned minds are in a gathering. An educated artiste knows just how to carry his or herself in a social gathering, prompting like minds and brains to come up with business ideas which in turn makes them even bigger and richer acts.
Asides this point, an educated artiste knows just how to respond to a question when being placed on the hot seat.
Recently, Tiwa Savage, who attended Berklee College of Music was interviewed at a radio station and asked her stance on the subject of adoption. She replied, ‘I do not want to say anything politically incorrect’. This is coming from a woman and mother who knows adoption goes beyond the plain cause for charity, as a lot other things are considered in the process of adoption. Nations have different policies about this process which if one day she does decide to adopt, might stand against her as the most successful female act in Africa at the moment.
What do you guys think, is education a necessity in today’s music industry? Let us know in the comment box.
Written by: Tope Delano