Since the announcement of the new Mavins signing, we’ve all been pretty stoked about it because du-uh! it’s the Mavins, and then again, we applaud their sight keenness having recognized the attendant benefits in snatching up these talents that had been siting right in our very before for some heckuva good time now.
Like expected, this ‘dangerous’ move got tongues all over the industry populace really wagging simply because Don Jazzy cut to the chase by skipping some certain budding music stars with talents that scream ‘ready to deliver’ for the we-never-woulda-guessed-it trio (or quartet now isit) of Poe, Blair and Clinton, otherwise known as the DNA Twins and Johnny Drille of course.
Deficient as structure is in our industry, and with the drama of artistes having to jump ship and dump their founding labels over the alluva sudden shocking discovery that they signed their lives into a deal offering nothing other than creative slavery, there still isn’t any fact, basis, reason or even a point to put forward that negates the valuable place of having a working and effectual management in system. But because making money has remained the primary focus for many executives and companies, for them, talent can only be defined as anybody who can move an unforgiving crowd without the fear of offing shirt and not giving a hoot how sounding like a wounded hyena upsets our medullas while hollering out loud their studio rants (even off-stage). However, that is not Don Jazzy, and that’s certainly not The Mavins.
As an industry, our unwillingness to take calculated risks and aspire for dramatic change has left us swiveling in the same spot that has failed to birth any other uber familiar and largely successful artiste whose craft doesn’t reside in the genre descents of afro-something and indigenous. The Mavins are making an exemplary spectacle again with these new signings. Again because they had succeeded with Tiwa Savage who returned from her sojourn abroad spotting a particularly defiant contemporary sound but was tailored into a seamless fit using a fusion of cultural embellishments in her music. This later saw her contesting roles with her male counterparts having such magnanimous industry presence and graciously sitting atop the food chain.
But of course, simple logic tells me their signing is not at all about (re)tailoring their sound, there are afterall too many Baddo/Starboy/OBO wannabes and understudies already. Besides, the music styles of Poe and Johnny Drille are too distinct to want to tamper with. IMO, the deal signing relays a strategic approach at packaging and exporting talents outrightly. These guys are not growing artistes who need creative direction, no! Rather they are superstars who have already established themselves (and successfully too) in crafts that although aren’t exactly first choice because of how our industry picked her dynamics. But why should that stop anybody’s progress anyways? Thank God someone (Don Jazzy) has recognized that the industry too nurses geniuses of a high creative order like them, and that it would be a grave anomaly if the world can afford to not hear them.
Speaking on the context of hearing them, I’ve always faulted the listening audience for the commercial nature of certain talents. Not that we can actually call them that, but well, they’re sha in our faces, violently raping our ears. Thus, this impresses the dire need to rechristen the mind of music fans and then our general orientation as an industry in the business of peddling music, which is where the Mavins have now come in, and perhaps, what equally gave rise to the dawning of these unusual but yet skillfully dynamic artistes upon us. This long overdue yet desperate intervention must aware music folk of the fact that commercial rap is not only entertaining as Keshi and Falz presents it, but also philosophical and teachable as Poe commands it to be. And that not only have we totally missed the descript for what alternative music in Nigeria is, we have gone right ahead to misplace frontliners like Adekunle Gold, Aramide, Simi and BOJ, practising afro fusion music and have them pegged for alternative. Johnny Drille is here to correct that error-in-context.
This signing is effective because the projected benefit tell well for the image and the overall developmental prospect for both the label and her artistes. If the Mavins can succeeded at growing the individual brands of their eccentric stars, then they would have excelled to some extent at becoming the model business standard for music management, branding and marketing especially here in Nigeria. This simple gesture of working exceptionally hard at proving that certain industry myths on impossibility are quite doable, creates a platform of hope to other similarly unique artistes. While it encourages talents to stay true to their creative designs rather than bend to the pressures in the demands of the industry, which are very stereotype in nature, it challenges other establishments with the fear of venturing out differently to see the wisdom in doing a little bit more than just the average normal to expanding our African music frontiers. Going by our latest quest to conquer and take newer territories in the global market, one solution to that muddle is now hitting us head-on.
To crown it, this move is one that clearly mirrors the direction of growth The Mavins are advancing towards. They have ascended from those good ol’ days of Dorobucci and the pathetic Janta Manta, which actually is repressibly hard to picture Poe or Johnny Drille on really, to this new dimensional wave that they wanna be riding. With Tiwa, now a Roc Nation artiste, brewing speculations that Iyanya is already cued in, and Korede Bello having Kelly Rowland on his song, even you can tell that they’re no longer about the jonzing sturvs!
Jim Donnett is the Editor-in-Charge at tooXclusive. Often, he decries the deplorable standard of music in our country, which sometimes lead to occasional vents like this. The last thing he wants to do is hate, it’s never that serious really. All he wants is to be heard, at whatever cost, and by whatever means possible.