Inasmuch as the Nigerian film and music industries have achieved similar levels of recognition, if not acclaim, globally, the route to achieving that has been vastly different. While Nollywood inadvertently overwhelmed with its volume of production and some illegal dissemination even before a significant level of internet penetration across the country, much of Nigeria’s contemporary pop music has relied on the internet and its streaming platforms for distribution. As a result, Nollywood has a trickier relationship, with its most conspicuous internet-inclusion method being the explicit courting of social media stars in productions. By contrast, Nigerian pop has deployed the internet in less “intrusive” ways: shortening the length of songs, contributing and/or promoting slang popular online, as well as getting performers noticed. These artistic choices have had business implications—or the other way around—in ways that exemplify Nigerian pop music’s interactive relationship with internet-enabled technology. With a focus on entertainment content and its entrepreneurial dimensions, this presentation discusses Nigerian entertainment under the following subheadings: 1. Slang, Scandal, and the Social Media-Inspired Hit: The Davido Example; 2. Radio, DSPs, and the Business of Data: Mr Eazi, Omah Lay, and Olamide; 3. Naturalised Nigerian Genres; 4. Nollywood and the Social Media Blockbuster. Together, these snapshots of analysis showcase a collective insight into the key trends propelling some of the most important products of African cultural entrepreneurship.
About the Speaker
Oris Aigbokhaevbolo is a Nigerian writer and pop culture critic based in Lagos. A winner of the All Africa Music award for Entertainment Journalism, he has contributed to the New York Review of Books, The Africa Report, and the London Review of Books.