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Friday, November 21, 2014

REVIEW: Bad Girl Special by Mr. 2Kay

MUSIC VIDEO REVIEW: “BAD GIRL SPECIAL” BY MR. 2KAY FT. PATORANKING


Written by James Silas


Mr. 2kay and Patoranking Mr. 2kay and Patoranking


Grafton records released the video for Mr. 2Kay’s “Bad Girl Special” recently and the responses on various social media platforms have been very impressive. We took time to see why the video is getting that much attention and we got the answers.


Directed by Nosa Igbinedion and shot in the UK, the video runs for less than four minutes, yet it’s captivating and void of the regularities characterized by a lot of music videos on TV today. The story line is effortlessly clear and the artists attempt to take up acting roles was not futile. They made a good song and interpreted it with a good video. You can tell that both artists brought the same energy they took to the studio while recording the video.


The choice of costumes, both for the artists and models, was appropriate and the even though the video was most likely shot at one location, the ability of the director to explore the available space, is worthy of note.


In conclusion, “Bad Girl Special” would pass for another song that showcases the creative prowess of Mr. 2Kay; collaborating with reggae and dance-hall sensation, Patoranking on the song, takes it a notch further, but the height of it all, is the video. You would want to watch it over and over again.



REVIEW: Bad Girl Special by Mr. 2Kay

THEATER REVIEW

THE MISTRESS OF WHOLESOMENESS


Theater Review written by James Silas


Art Review The Mistress of Wholesomeness


Theater performance in Nigeria may not be as popular as film making, but people who have experienced it, can testify that, it is on a different level. It sort of draws viewers closer to the drama, such that, you see and feel the action without graphic manipulation. It also goes a long way to show how much of a good actor or character a person can be.


We cannot discard the fact that there’s still a lot of work to be done, yet, we must give kudos to the ones that make an effort to deliver with the little or no resources available.


Directed by Toyin Oshinaike, ‘The Mistress of Wholesome’ is a satirical play, about a psychotic mistress who boldly goes to the wife of her lover to make her (the wife) reconcile the illicit, but dying affair between them.


The play started with Moji Davies (the Mistress, played by Omoye Uzamere), who broke into Mr & Mrs Cole’s apartment in a bid to see Mrs Adesuwa Cole (Mr. Lakunle Cole’s wife, played by singer and actress, Evaezi Ogoro). When Adesuwa returned home, she was welcomed by the mystery guest, who introduced herself as her husband, Lakunle’s Mistress. Moji took Adesuwa through a funny and daring confession session, narrating her several escapades with Lakunle. She talked about the first time they met on a flight, and other personal experiences.


The story took a turn, when a troubled social worker by the name, Jacob, (played by a very hilarious Toju Ejoh), visited the Cole’s home to inspect and confirm their eligibility for child adoption. He meets Adesuwa and Moji who were having a hard time to contain their hatred for each other at that point. The social worker must not get a bad impression about the Cole family, else, they would be denied an opportunity to adopt a child. A desperate Adesuwa, must tame Moji from ruining her chance.


It was an interesting session indeed. Each character was unique and all the actors were as real as possible. The most amusing part was that Lakunle’s character was imaginary. He was locked in the trunk of Moji’s car all through the play. It is also interesting to see singer, Evaezi in a different element, away from music.


The three cast stage play was delivered with a great deal of comical appeal, yet it touched a good number of societal issues, such as extramarital affairs, communication in relationships, crime, Kidnapping, child abandonment, child adoption, family, ritual killing, and the importance of compromise in conflict resolution.


The ‘Mistress of Wholesome’ was performed at Terra Kulture, and was produced by Thespian Muse, Gbayi Child and Oxzyfen Concepts. The show will continue this and every other Sunday in the month of November.



THEATER REVIEW

Friday, November 14, 2014

JARMZONE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: TWELVE MINUTES WITH WITH FALZ THE BAHD GUY

@falzthebahdguy @falzthebahdguy


Folarin Falana, son of renowned human rights activist, Femi Falana, is an artist, popularly known as Falz – ‘the bad guy’. In this interview with James Silas, the interesting artist talks about his family, his music and his dual personality.


 


Tell us about growing up


I come from a predominantly lawyer background; my dad (Femi Falana), is a renowned human rights activist, so it was expected that I was also going to take the same route. My mom is also a lawyer and my older sister. It’s only my younger sister that didn’t go into law. I was brought up in different environments. I had my primary education in Lagos – St. Leo’s Catholic School, Ikeja, and then secondary school in Osun State – Olasore International School. I went to University of Redding in the UK and came back to Nigeria Law School, Abuja. Along the line, I fell in love with music and I went down that way.


What inspired your style of rap?


I think entertainment is the key, and I hold that high. So as much as I pay attention to substance and lyrical content, I think that, being able to draw my audience is also very important. So the style of delivery is that hook that I use to catch people and when I have their attention, I believe that they will now be able to catch the substance that is in the music.


At what point did you realize that you had gotten the needed attention of the people?


I think it’s at the point when I released my single, “High Class”; the video was also received very well and it was on a lot of charts on radio. It was a major breakthrough.


Where does the comedy in your music come from?


I think that’s me, as a person. I am a very carefree and lively individual. It’s a reflection of my inner person. With every artist and creative mind, your character would always reflect in your music as well. I think that is something that is now starting to tell and come out more in my music and people are able to connect with that person. I also believe that is what is giving me more fans now.


How are you able to manage Falz ‘the posh guy’ and Falz the ‘crude guy’?


I think it’s natural. I am a ‘posh guy’, but when I am making an effort to entertain, the ‘crude guy’ comes out. However, that distinction is always there, because with my music, I would also want to get serious. I mean, I also put out very conscious music so that people don’t miss it. That’s why my persona is an all-encompassing one.


I guess that also explains the political songs you have on your album.


Yes, I mean – you can’t be in an environment and not be influenced by it and a lot of things are happening in my immediate environment, which obviously triggers something in my mind. That is the inspiration for that. I also believe that as we entertain people, we should also be able to educate and create some sort of awareness. We, as musicians and role models, we are in that position and we should make use of that.


As one who read law, do you enjoy it as a profession?


I did enjoy it, while I was studying it. I didn’t feel like was forced or anything; it’s something that I have always enjoyed till I finished and started practicing. I am still enjoying it. Law is interesting.


How are your parents dealing with the fact that you are ‘Falz the bad guy’?


They just say “you’re not serious (laughs), is that what we sent you to school for..?”, but they also understand that it’s all fun and jokes, because even as ‘Falz the bad guy’, they can still hear the cool guy and they know that at least they paid for something.


So how did you get into music?


It started in secondary school (SS1). I was in a group of four guys, called the ‘School Boys’. From then on, I kept on writing and in University I started recording more professional songs. My first song was “Shakara” and people really liked it, so that sort of encouraged me to continue.


How would you say the music industry and business has been treating you, as an artist?


It’s been tough because it’s a very saturated music industry and it’s getting more difficult and political by the day. There are a lot of forces working against artists, but things are gradually clicking for me, and thankfully to God progress is being made and I am happy about that.


What new projects are you working on?


I think work ethics is very important in this industry; you have to keep working and releasing stuffs. We are doing a “Marry Me” promotion that will end with the official video of the song. I will still shoot videos for other songs off the album, to promote and create more awareness about the album. It is my first album and it is one that really tells people about my style and my musical persona.


Tell us about your musical influences?


I grew up listening to Fela Kuti and the likes of Tribesmen, Plantashun Boiz and The Remedies. These are people I listened to while I was in secondary school. They made me want to rap and that was how I nurtured that talent.



JARMZONE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: TWELVE MINUTES WITH WITH FALZ THE BAHD GUY

Friday, November 7, 2014

A BRIEF LOOK AT DIGITAL MUSIC DISTRIBUTION IN NIGERIA

Music Distribution


One of the biggest problems Nigeria’s music has faced over the years, is lack of music distribution networks. At a point in time, it seemed very cool that artists were getting millions from some of the biggest marketers at Alaba International market. The media also helped to hype the figures declared by artists at the time, and even though, music works were still pirated, not everybody had issues, especially artists who sold sales rights completely. It didn’t take long before words went round that music marketers had stopped paying upfront for albums or music works. Part of the reason, being that, the guys at Alaba suddenly became skeptical about the return power of most music works, and if some sort of dialogue would have returned that method, some artists instantly went ahead to start paying people in Alaba to put their songs on their local mix-tapes. While, we cannot rule out the importance of the traditional music distribution networks, let’s briefly look at digital distribution and marketing of music in Nigeria.


Before Nigerians tapped into it, the digital distribution and marketing of music grew out of the illegal file-sharing phenomenon of the 90s. As peer-to-peer (P2P) networks gained popularity, a digital music value chain materialized comprised of file sharing and jukebox software, internet connectivity, personal computers, portable MP3 players, and a community of users providing content. These factors were exchangeable and reachable at users’ finger tips, providing a loosely-coupled infrastructure for the distribution and consumption of unprotected music materials at a scale that quickly took the practice outside the realm of fair use.


Research shows that legal action by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and other entertainment bodies, led to innovation in two opposing directions. One is that unauthorized networks found more effective ways to evade authority. Secondly, the authorized online music market was born, distributing protected content using digital rights management (DRM) technology. Going further on this aspect, will only take us away from the subject matter.


The advent of internet and new media, has over the years, eased off the struggle for music promotion in Nigeria. An artist can actually release a new song online from the comfort of his home. At a point, some radio stations sourced for music materials online. There are days when you’ll be listening to radio and hear a skit of “Not Just Ok” on a song, as well as the mixes from Alaba.


Today, apart from the songs that are made available and downloadable on blogs and music websites, Nigerian artists are beginning to take advantage of Apple’s iTunes Music Store. This move may never take out the traditional distribution method, but it is certain to guarantee returns, especially from the fans in diaspora.


Released in 2003, the Apple’s iTunes Music Store still dominates the authorized digital marketplace in the U.S and the world. Apple’s ace in the digital distribution innovation, is their ability to provide a streamlined channel that ties content to their iTunes application on PCs and iPod, through its proprietary DRM technology. Hence, while the iPod was initially marketed as an open MP3 player that supported unauthorized digital music. It is now the exclusive portable device for iTunes content.


A similar model to Apple’s iTunes platform in Nigeria is Spinlet but, we are yet to confirm the effectiveness of the platform, in-terms of sales and prompt return to the artists. They have a good number of music content on the mobile application, and we can tell they are making an effort to penetrate the local market, but I guess they still need time.


We will agree that a huge percentage of music consumers in Nigeria do not buy music online. Matter of fact, people are still careful about using their debit cards online. Apart from that, the average cost of an album on iTunes is $9.99, which is equivalent to 1,600 Naira, while the same album is available on the streets for 100 Naira. The sad part is that some people will still go ahead to rip and upload these albums for free download online, but that’s a topic for another day.


Nigeria’s music still needs a structure and the government has a lot to do for the industry. Perhaps, as entertainers are heading towards politics, the several loopholes in the entertainment industry, specifically, the music industry and music distribution will be addressed in the near future.



A BRIEF LOOK AT DIGITAL MUSIC DISTRIBUTION IN NIGERIA

JARMZONE INTERVIEW: “I AM NOW FREE TO MAKE AND PERFORM MY MUSIC” - BRYMO

@BrymOlawale @BrymOlawale


Brymo’s exit from Chocolate City could pass as one of the most dramatic label/artist fallout of recent time, but that’s in the past now. He released his fourth album, ‘TABULA RASA’ last Thursday, October 30. In this interview with THE JARMZONE, he answered questions about the album, his childhood and Choc Boys.


 


For clarity sake, were you able to release your last album, ‘Merchant Dealers & Slaves’ to the fans on the street?


Yeah, we were able to release on the streets in October 2013, but, due to a court injunction, it was withdrawn from the market. However, when the injunction was lifted in March 2014, we were able to release it again, but if you can’t find it right now, it probably means the marketer has stopped printing.


 


Tell us about the evolution of your sound, from your very first album, ‘Brymstone’, to ‘Son of The Carpenter’, ‘MD&S’ till date?


My sound has pretty much changed. I’ve been able to evolve without totally killing the original artist, but incorporating some other things that will make my music much more admirable. From the MD&S album, I decided to start using more of live instruments during my production. From the guitar, to talking drums, trumpets, and other stuffs. In the future, we intend to take it further; we’ll bring in live drums and more, so that the music can feel even better.


 


From what the feedback you get, how are people responding to your music today?


The response has been amazing… permit me to say, I put out the best album in 2007, titled, ‘Brymstone’; I put out the best album in 2012 called ‘Son of the Carpenter’. I also put out the best album in 2013, called ‘MD&S’, which was also the best album to come out of the continent.


 


Based on your highly publicized drama with Chocolate City some months back, can you clarify, that you are now free to release your songs and perform as an independent artist henceforth.


Of course I am. If I’m not heard or seen somewhere, it’s not because someone is trying to hold me down. As much as I don’t know what anybody is doing in their privacy, but to my own knowledge, Brymo is free to make his music from ‘MD&S’ and now we have ‘Tabula Rasa’. On the performance side, it will take a while for the news to go round that I am free to perform, especially because of the drama.


 


Talking about your new album ‘Tabula Rasa’, don’t you think you released it too soon, especially because ‘MD&S’ has not really saturated the market?


We don’t need to wait for music to saturate before we put out more music. Most artists in the mainstream put out one single every two to three months, so in the process, people seem to be attracted to that. If you are an album making artist like myself, the only way you can catch up is putting out as much music as you can, without putting out as much music as they are doing. So an album a year, cannot be too much.


 


So when you look at the backend of your iTunes, how impressive has sales been?


It hasn’t been totally encouraging. Things could get better… we could do more… we can get over a hundred thousand in two weeks. I am hoping ‘Tabula Rasa’ does that for us. I am hoping more people will get to download it and we shall try as much as we can to make sure it’s available on the streets as well.


 


What inspired the title of your new album, ‘Tabula Rasa’?


‘Tabula Rasa’ is a Latin word, meaning a blank slate. It makes reference to the mind of a new born baby, which is blank. It is about turning a new page and expecting the gift of a child. We released a single, titled “Femi” some weeks ago.


Tabula Rasa


Tell us more about the album?


‘Tabula Rasa’ is an 11-track album, with ten songs by myself and one track, titled “Alone” by a spoken word artist – Sammy Sage Has.son. I also worked with my longtime friend and producer MikkyMe Joses, who also produced MD&S. The album has a lot of Afrobeat and I also experimented with other genres like Juju and Highlife. So when you listen to ‘Tabula Rasa’ album, it passes a message of love, tolerance and understanding. It’s an album you will play over and over again. No collaborations, except that I needed a touch from somewhere else and I decided that Sammy Sage was the best; so that I could create a body of work that is different from what I’ve done before, musically.


 


What comes to mind when you write and make your music?


It’s partly emotions, thought process, survival, the need to reach out to people and let them hear my take on things; partly is to get rich, to just make a difference… it’s a very confusing process, but more importantly, there’s the process of just gathering the energy, where you just enjoy yourself, listen to other musicians; there’s the process of gathering your own materials for your won project. There’s the choice of language, choice of vocabulary, and choice of words. We create the tunes for each track…it’s a very long process, but generally the music comes from within. If I cannot relate a story to myself, then I will not write it.


 


What plans or structure do you have in place to promote your new album?


I don’t have a structure, the government builds the structure for the industry to utilize. I am basically going to use the avenues we have on ground to promote the album. The thing is, I am not interested in counting numbers right now, when the time is right, when you have been around for a while, then you can start thinking how many copies that you’ve sold all together; which is where people like iTunes come in to be of help. With structures like that, they pay you whatever they claim you’ve sold and at the agreed time. If we have that level of honesty in Nigeria, then our industry can become second to maybe, the United States.


 


Tell us about your childhood


I was born and bred in Okokomaiko. I was there for the first 20 years of my life. I found music at home as a kid. My mom used to take melody from popular Juju or Fuji songs and put her own lyrics to sing for her husband whenever they have a fight. It was a funny experience. Growing up, I started with football, but I got injured a lot, and your career as a footballer is dependent on other ten players. So, I needed something that I could actually control a bit more and music was it. I learnt the rudiments from my mom. Later, I read, listened to other people and got myself educated and enlightened about music. I started since I was fifteen till date.


 


Lastly, considering the attention The Choc Boys were getting back then, do you sit sometimes to think that you miss it?


No, I don’t miss it, and I’ll rather not talk about it.


 



JARMZONE INTERVIEW: “I AM NOW FREE TO MAKE AND PERFORM MY MUSIC” - BRYMO
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