LET’S TALK ABOUT THE MEDIA FOLKS INFLUENCING THE OPINIONS IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY TODAY- A look at Sesan Adeniji, Kemi Smallz and the others
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE MEDIA FOLKS INFLUENCING THE OPINIONS IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY TODAY – A look at Sesan Adeniji, Kemi Smallz and others.
‘Those few media folks who are constantly helping to push positive traffic towards the direction of the artistic works of various artistes (unknown and established), those who make positive assertions, draw objective concluding opinions on all music related matters, and those media folks who have not relegated their works to bits and pieces, empty rhetoric and just sensational reportage are the real MVPs in the success story of the music industry in Nigeria’ – Sesan Adeniji
How can one describe a world where there’s music without media outlets? For me, that’s more like a dead-end. The role the media plays in how music is disseminated, perceived and consumed is significant but most essential is the role the folks in the media continue to play in introducing new artistic works, delivering in-depth analysis which is constructively shaping perceptions about the music and the artistes as appealing brands.
Even in the advertising world, they understand the limits to what a direct advert can achieve, so they introduce presenters’ announcements, press releases and influencer’s repost (as it’s done on instagram) to help carry their client’s brand messages beyond the limit of mere advertorials. Those few media folks who are constantly helping to push positive traffic towards the direction of the artistic works of various artistes (unknown and established), those who make positive assertions, draw objective concluding opinions on all music related matters, and those media folks who have not relegated their works to bits and pieces, empty rhetoric and just sensational reportage are the real MVPs in the success story of the music industry in Nigeria.
The music business is a billion dollar industry all over the world. The Nigerian music industry is continually surviving by playing catch up despite not being properly structured. Beyond the content of the various music available today, some of the major reasons why we are maintaining the catch-up boils down to the roles played by the few gentlemen and woman in the Nigerian music press who over the years have instilled in their DNA the zeal to provide an opportunity to all talented performers by reporting, broadcasting and running commentaries; as well as providing a stage for new and also established artistes to share their materials with music faithfuls across every nook and cranny of this country. These few guys have endured so much to support the industry and sometimes risk their careers to provide a connecting bridge for artistes to share with their die-hard fans. In an industry crippled by payola and brown envelopes, these few have maintained their sanity. They are using their various media outlets to shape opinions in a music industry clouded by stereotype and bandwagon reportage.
Back in the days, along the corridors of print media existed some of the most passionate journalists in the music industry. They exhibited great professionalism in each of their articles on all music related subjects. It was never about the money for most for them, it was down to the talent and real issues no matter where the story takes them. They moved around the country researching, discovering and always doing a follow up story on all artiste-related issues ever reported. Sensationalism in journalism was just a tiny fragment of their being. They created a great legacy and left behind their footprints in the sands of time. They told stories of several unknown artistes and consistently reported every progress made without prejudice. Great journalists like Ladi Ayodeji, Femi Akintunde Johnson (FAJ), Jahman Anikulapo, Wale Olomu, Azuka Jebose (popular for describing Onyeka Onwenu as the Elegant Stallone), not to forget Jude Arijaje, Segun Banjo, Justine Akpovi, Steve Ayorinde, Peter Thomas to mention a few. The stories from these reporters were beneficial to the growth of the music industry. Some like Peter Thomas were also key components in the days when music awards were actually rewarding every talented person across the music spectrum. He was the go-to guy when you need to reach out to every entertainment columnist. His four-page weekly entertainment column was a groundbreaker.
On radio and television back in those days, the broadcasting industry was blessed with some OAPs who were not just passionate about their works but were also so knowledgeable about all the intricacies in the music industry. They helped inspire, galvanize and encourage a generation of artistes to reach for the skies. These broadcasters were not just playing artistes’ music; they were running educative and inspiring commentaries on them. If the music is hot and needed to reach millions of audiences, it had to be played on their shows! Apart from the fact that some of these broadcasters had a brawl with their organizations for playing more songs of Nigerian artistes on their prime time (then, radio was dominated by foreign music), they further assisted the music industry by creating activations for artistes to come perform and connect with fans.
I am talking about broadcasters like Kwame who was and still is a major key in influencing opinions in the music industry. In a year where radio was dominated by foreign music, Star101.5FM was birthed in 1999 with Kwame as the Head of Programmes. He designed and mandated three of their major belts (morning, afternoon and evening) to play one hour each of Nigerian music. That solo act created an outlet for artistes like Rasqui, Triple G, Trybesmen, Plantashun Boiz, Ruggedman and the rest to shine like diamonds. Alongside GML (Grand Master Lee), StarFM became a Mecca of sorts for all successful Nigerian artistes. On the other side of town, Prime Time with Kenny Ogungbe and Dayo Adeneye were raising music armies for Kennis music. Between these mentioned broadcasters, the Nigerian music industry exploded. They changed the narrative and influence every Nigerian music enthusiast. Prior to these, in about the year 1995, we had Obi Asika and Olisa Adebua with their innovative ClapperBoard Tv programme, which created a road map for artistes like Pretty and Junior to excel.
While all these were happening on radio and tabloids/soft sell magazines, the entrance of all-colour music magazines was another game changer in the Nigerian music industry. Apart from Ore Adekunle’s Phat Entertainment magazine, the two major magazines that gave voice to every artiste was Ayo Animashahun’s Hip-hop World magazine and Gokay Oludare’s Bubbles magazine spearheaded by Sesan Adeniji. Both magazines were like the Bible – The Holy Grail to the music industry. While Hip-hop World was driving their agenda hugely influenced by a hiphop ideology, I can tell you that the Bubbles magazine I was running was striking a balance by writing stories on all genres in the Nigerian music industry. With great entertainment writers like Efe Omorogbe, Bayo Omisore, Felix Smuv Abatam, Babajide Sole, Solomon Dare a.k.a Solo D, and Loknan Dombim a.ka Eldee Extra contributing incisive, entertaining and educative write-ups.
The television industry in those days also had greats that influenced the music industry and gave every deserving and talented artiste airtime to shine. I am talking about television broadcasters like Emmanuel Ogoli, Kally Ekpe, Docas, Mariam Arthur/ANAZODO and great television programmes like the Kessinsheen Hit show designed by Mustapha Amego popularly called Funky Malam. We also had Sunday Rendezvous. DBN Television had the likes of Ebere Young and Don Pedro Obaseki.
Today, those days feel like centuries ago. In terms of music presentation and commentaries, radio seems to have lost it to mindless gist and empty ramblings. Presenters designed to run music commentary hours have no idea of the intricacies of the music industry. They don’t have the in-depth knowledge required to be able to have constructive, educative and informative conversation about the industry. They’re reduced to just daily gist, playing known performers, and relegating new and talented artistes to how much they could pay to get airplay. Sometimes one could argue that they are blinded to true talent. In the press, entertainment reportage seems to have been narrowed to just one point, which is sensational journalism. Most of the outlets only seem concerned about controversial gists and most times their opinions are so shallow and unbalanced. All they care about is traffic and likes.
The idea of reporting and unveiling new artistes, objective analysis on every unfolding music related story, and following up on ongoing stories is a no-no. Professionals seem to have stepped away from the scene in order to find better ways to feed. Television is in danger. Most of the guys in charge of commanding what gets played on the various music channels are all about their pockets and not the talent. It’s either payola or brown envelopes slide in or your talent slides out. Both online/offline in the press, there is only one thorough, objective, expansive music magazine running today: that magazine is Mystreetz magazine. In order to appeal to everything and everyone, most magazines have lost it. But in the midst of what looks like chaos, some media folks along the corridors of print, radio and online media have maintained their sanity to continue to give every talented artiste the same medium to shine. These guys have opened doors for several unknown artistes to be heard and have maintained objective standards in churning out opinions and perspective to all music related activities. To me, these bunch just do it effortlessly because it’s a part of them. They are so passionate and knowledgeable about the music industry, with a good listening capacity. They also derive pleasure in discovering new sounds. I present to you the media folks using all the aforementioned qualities above to influence opinions in the music industry today.
From the moment I kicked off the research on this editorial, speaking to everyone that knows their onions in the music industry and also chatting with artistes, everyone seemed to be pointing me in his direction. It’s so strange that no one disputed the level of influence he has had on the music business in Nigeria and his profile below says it all.
Douglas Jekan of TheBeat99.9FM is a seasoned media practitioner, entrepreneur, and educator who without a doubt is one of the most influential radio personalities and prominent voices in the Nigerian music industry. With over 16 years of professional hands-on experience working in electronic and digital media for renowned radio stations, his career is a shining example of how one can rise to the top just by carefully inserting one’s unique personality and principles into the public consciousness.
Prior to his employment at TheBeat99.9FM in 2011, he worked for Silverbird Communications (Rhythm 94.7FM in Abuja from 2002-2010), where his Morning Drive Show was an all-time favourite amongst millions of listeners for several years. His ability to identify good music and great talents come from his genuine love for the arts and his desire to see Nigerian and African artistes compete favourably on the world stage. Today, his daily Nite-Time Show (Traffic-Request Show) which he uses as a medium to push traffic to good music from 9pm, Mondays-Thursdays, boasts of a weekly audience of about 2 to 5 million listeners. The show has brought out a lot of young up and coming talents such as Ycee, Odunsi, Santi to mention a few, who are now competing favourably on the Nigerian and African charts and also gaining international recognition. And in addition to having a highly rated music show on radio, he owns a digital marketing company called 1pee and a travel agency called Jekan Travels.
In any case, it is his spirit of excellence and exemplary leadership that ensures that everything he touches turns to gold. Douglas’ dedicated following comes from his ability to engage, as well as motivate his listeners personally and professionally to the extent that he now has a large community (online & offline) of fans called
the NytCrawlers (Good Music Lovers). In short, he has carved out a remarkable niche, which has helped elevate his reputation and image. His favorite phrase is “…keep #pttgm” (pushing traffic to good music) and that is why the PGM Club exists.
She ticks all the right boxes of what an OAP anchoring a music commentary belt should be. If any presenter of a music segment today wants to hide under the pretense of not knowing much about the industry, they should ring her to know how she has managed to be passionate, knowledgeable and continues to be a major influencer in the music industry without being pressured by payola and crippled by ignorance. Although young, she’s very vast in terms of know-how in the music industry.
Kemi Owatemi, popularly known as “Kemi Smallz” is an On Air Radio
Presenter, Voice Over Artiste, Budding Actress and TV Presenter. She started her career at the age of 14 as a Kiddies Presenter for Tales Africa, Kiddies Island and Generation Next on local Nigerian stations MITV and MBI. Brief stints as resource person/content developer for GoldmyneTV and a Presenter for an Independent Radio show called Nightlife Radio that aired at City105.1FM followed which
further cemented her status as a talented up and coming TV and Radio Personality. She participated in the 2013 edition of the MTV VJ search and emerged as one of the top 3 finalists from a pool of 3000 contestants. Kemi Smallz is a lover of good music and uses all the platforms available to her to push it. From 2013-2017, she was an OAP at City105.1FM where she did a fantastic job of introducing her listeners to new music from a lot of really good underground artistes. She did this on the Hip-hop Ride show which she co-hosted every weekday from 9pm-12am, and continued on The Weekend Lounge every Saturday from 4pm-6: 30pm where she had a segment called Smallz Hot 5 at 5. This was a 30-minute segment dedicated solely to her hottest five songs from Nigerian underground artistes.
She is currently an OAP with Cool 96.9FM where she co-hosts the Good Morning Nigeria show with Mannie every weekday from 5am-10am. She continues to push good music as she runs a segment called Smallz Basement every Monday from 9am where she plays a lot of good music from underground artistes and gives the listeners some information about them. She is the voice for Inside Radio for Park & Shop and Spa, Ebeanor and Dprince super market which is another platform where she gets to promote good and fresh music, keeping the shoppers company while they shop. She is also the official host of The Basement Gig, which is a platform to showcase the finest emerging artistes. The Basement Gig is a collaboration between her and the zone agency and it holds once every month. In addition to these, Kemi Smallz is constantly talking about and informing people about emerging artistes and their music on her social media platforms: Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter.
It will be hard to put this story together without mentioning him. His love for the music industry is unquestionable and it’s exhibited all over his early morning programme on Cool96.9FM. For a guy that presents during a radio belt indirectly designed for social commentaries, he’s formed his presentation segment on a foundation that is music driven. How many presenters bring in an unknown performer to constantly play live acoustics during live shows? I still can’t think of any. Every Monday on 96.9 CoolFM he hosts young talents who play live on the radio. The likes of Adekunle Gold, who was just getting onto the music scene is one of the products of his talent search who he had never met until he played the song ‘Sade’ and invited Adekunle.
With his programme, he has helped bring a lot of artistes to the limelight and asked incisive questions about artistes that have helped them get their messages out properly. It wasn’t just on radio that he continued to shape opinions in the music industry, Mannie together with Naijaplaylist productions created a platform for young talents to perform and be known every last Thursday of the month.
Emmanuel Essien, popularly called Mannie (born 26 March 1977) is a Nigerian radio presenter, voice over artist, singer, compere, and actor. He is the host of the Good Morning Nigeria show on Nigerian radio station, 96.9 CoolFM in Lagos. Essien was born in Jos Plateau
in Northern Nigeria to retired principal Obong Jo. The last of six
children, Mannie grew up in many parts of Nigeria, including Gombe and Bauchi state. He gained admission to study linguistics at the University of Calabar in 1999, graduating in 2003. Essien wrote songs as a young boy, and tried out in talent competitions like the Golden Tones with Benson and Hedges and the first Project Fame in 2004 representing Nigeria in South Africa. Broadcaster Olisa Adibua, at CoolFM later spoke to the manager about giving him a job as a producer. Essien went on to produce radio sweepers and station IDs for CoolFM, WazobiaFM, and Nigeria InfoFm.
His manager, engineer Amin Moussalli, advised him to go into radio presenting.
His influence on the music industry spanning over fifteen years is significant. He was not just influencing the opinion in the music industry in the news by granting every talented artiste the same opportunities to be heard, he was doing same on the table with brand and event managers by showing them the right perspectives to every artiste doing great in the industry. Listing the number of artistes he has helped put their stories out there, the puppet masters in the industry he has chronicled, the huge
published Hip-hop and commercial models credited to his article and the number of upcoming/unknown artistes that made it to limelight with the assistance of his stories is like reading through several books in the library – inexhaustible!
His passion for the music industry is absolute, with an endless craving for knowledge and a relentless desire to document the history of the Nigerian music industry. His objective and balanced opinions on most music related matters are down to the amount of research put in and knowing how to reach out to the right people as well as asking the right questions. From the time he came into the industry around the year 2002 and was handed the mission of leading Bubbles magazine as the editor alongside creative people around him, he became a major outlet for the industry to continue to boom. Arguably, he gave Plantashun Boiz their first music magazine cover. Then gave Ruggedman, Paul Play, Faze,
Darey, 2face, D’banj, Don Jazzy, Wande Coal, Ice Prince, Vector,
Olamide, Phyno, Illbliss, Eva, Yemi Alade, Falz, Seyi Shay and more their first music magazine covers while with Bubbles magazine which he led for over a decade as well as with Mystreetz magazine which he’s currently championing.
His influence in the music industry inspired him to write stories on other sub-sectors from the cover of a music magazine. In over fifty years of the music industry, he was the first to do a cover story on cinematography in Nigeria (the influence of the hardest working video directors), the first do a cover story on the history of the dance industry in Nigeria, and a cover on the influence of photography and photographers in the music industry. Coming in contact with all of his work will give you an idea of how far the music industry has come. Every edition of his Mystreetz magazine exhibits new talent, showcases
recent works of established artistes, shares objective, in-depth and educative opinions on several music related issues. The magazine also reports on other people behind the scenes contributing to the success of the music industry.
From whatever angle you are looking at it, it will be hard not to give him credit for the amount of artistes he has given a voice to and how his views are shaping opinions in the music industry. Anchoring one of the most listened to music commentary belts on one of the trendiest radio stations in this country makes him arguably one of the best candidates to be influencing public views on this side of the divide. He has various segments in his weeklong programme that gives artistes the platform to constantly come talk about their works. If there’s one thing I can’t dispute with you, it is the fact that it might be hard to get on his ‘Midday Oasis Show’ co-hosted with Temi airing between 10am – 3pm every weekday but when you do, he runs it whole-heartedly asking the right questions, with the best commentaries, making the perfect assertions and ending with the surest facts that will educate the audience and add value to the artiste. Do2dtun knows his onions!
Born in Lagos on 8th of April 1984, Oladotun Ojuolape Kayode is the first child of a nuclear family of three children. He attended Lagos State University where he bagged a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication (with specialty in Advertising and Public Relations). Dotun grew up loving music and he listened to radio programmes a lot. His father would always give him a transistor radio at every of his birthday anniversaries and so he listened to a lot of ace media
personalities including; Steve Kadiri, Tope Brown, Olisa Adibua, Dan Foster among others. Broadcasting began for DO2dTUN when his wit and spontaneity impressed his lecturer, Mr. Nzeribe who felt that Dotun
would be good for radio and offered him three options of choice broadcasting stations including Raypower, RhythmFM and CoolFM. He chose CoolFM of the three. After over three years of internship, Dotun earned a chance to host a night show on radio themed Sleep Talk, where he engaged late night radio listeners. The show turned out to be his breakthrough into the broadcasting industry. The once upon a time “studio rat” as he was usually referred to has ever since then gone on to host quite a number of radio shows including; Chevrolet Football Fan Show, The Sunday Afternoon Show, Love Zone, Heineken’s Top 20, Midday Oasis Show, Friday Nite PartyMix among others. He also hosts Soundcity TV’s Greatest Countdown on Earth Radio Show.
Try as I may, I cannot count the number of times I have heard her on radio advising her audience to go check out the sound of a new artiste she just discovered. She says it with such conviction as she runs informative commentaries on the acts. It will be hard for me to run the count because it will quite literally equate to the amount of times she has been on air. This lady’s desire to continue to uncover new talents, deliver educative & related info on major artistes and her unfiltered straight to your
face views on prevailing music related issues is outstanding. One day with her on air equates to a quarter with her colleagues in terms of what will be learnt about the music industry. Despite the fact that her major show is not on weekdays and it comes up during the weekend, she’s always spot on.
Once asked in a Guardian interview to describe her self; ‘this question has always been tough to answer because I am so scattered. I am a radio personality (OAP with TheBeat99.9FM) who studied advertising and art but also writes scripts. I am not trying to be over the top but I am a person with a bunch of talents confused as to how and when to unleash them. I also usually pray when it is unleashed. I can call myself a successful person. – That I will not dispute. This lady who is the
mind behind the scripts of the Web series ‘Skinny Girl In Transit’ and ‘Rumour Has It’ is multi talented and can cut it as a record label exec with her knowledge of the music business.
Among some of the artistes she has helped sell their dreams to the Nigerian music audience include the talented Moelogo. The day I heard her playing his songs and she ran commentary on him, I was sold to the artiste as she influenced my opinion on him. I searched for his works and I could not resist reaching out to him to do a story as well. That is the power of a broadcaster with huge passion and know-how.
If the music and broadcasting industry is ever discussed outside the mention of his name, one could legitimately call that a major injustice. Actively in the industry today, only a few have the manner of influence he has on the music sector. For over twenty-five years, he’s been calling the shots, pulling the strings and indirectly influencing opinions on and in the music industry. His Morning Drive Show alongside co-host Maria Okan and Osi Suave is one that every artiste wants to get on to talk about their music and business. Olisa Adibua is one of the most respected and in-demand radio and television executive producers and presenters on the African continent. Olisa is not only one of the biggest personalities but has also been at the forefront of African electronic media and entertainment since 1988. Olisa Adibua commenced as an Independent Producer, Presenter and Director on NTA magazine programmes such as “Tops of the Pops” and “SuperSounds.” He was also an Independent Producer and Director on private pioneer TV station – Clapperboard Television, where he produced, directed and presented 4 different programmes every week for several years.
His many talents and accomplishments read: 1. Master of Ceremonies. 2. Corporate Motivational Speaker. 3. Television Presenter. 4. Radio Presenter. 5. Communications Coach. 6. Stage, Television & Film Actor. 7. Night Club Entrepreneur. 8. Video Director. 9. Founder, Storm Records. 10. Founder, Perceptions Media.
11. Founder, Broken Records. 12. Founder, Olisa.tv. 13. Founder,
Fadashion.com. 14. Executive Director, Mymusic.com.ng. 15. Creator, The Truth With Olisa. 16.Executive Producer (Music, Television, Events, Radio & Plays). Need I go on?
Onome Oyaide – BIG TYME
There are only handfuls in the radiobroadcasting world that sincerely understands the daily ins and outs of the Nigerian music industry like him. If I begin to count the number of artistes that have come through him to the big stage, I will run out of numbers. He’s in a league of his own and hardly will we ever have a radio broadcaster that is really ready to give all he has for all talented artistes to be heard. For me, he’s one of the media gurus that are the unsung heroes in the success story of the Nigerian music industry today.
Ask me what music commentaries should sound like in radio broadcasting, and then I will gladly introduce you to the world of Big Tyme. In a world where radio broadcasters want to do a bit of everything and end up doing nothing precisely, a world where most major on minor things, I could tell you that Big Tyme majors on all the major things influencing the opinions in the music industry. From interviewing every deserving talented artiste, to objectively sharing balance and educating opinions on all music related matters and participating in some of the key music activations designed to help performers engage with their fans, Big Tyme is a major key in the broadcasting and music industry.
Born Onome Oyaide, Biggie returned back home after a long sojourn in the U.K. to settle down and carry on with life. But given his deep music roots, broadcasting sought him out and he gave in and since then he has been a natural for the job, and it’s been one smooth ride to the top.
– Sesan Adeniji