Forget that Wizkid and P-Square pack venues when they perform in and outside of Nigeria, professionalism now determines who wins what on the international music stage.
Unless Nigerian musicians want to continue to deceive themselves, popularity as a determinant of success in the music industry no longer cuts it as the South African group, LCNVL. that beat the Nigerians is nowhere near the duo when it comes to acceptance.
Popularity, however, didn’t sway the regional voters for the MTV EMA slot as Wizkid and P-Square were beaten to the final slot of the “Best African Act” by LCNVL a few days ago.
A member of the Grammy Award nomination committee in United States told R in a phone conversation few hours after the loss that sentiment does not work when it comes to selecting artistes for the MTV EMA. “This group, from management to PR level”, he said, “is very professional and thorough. In Nigeria, the world has seen the quality of artistes that are there, but there are many things that are not in place and it is working against our artistes”.
He said that just last year, members of one of the group that lost out in the MTV EMA stunned an American promoter who had relied on their popularity to list them on a three-month show in US when he asked for the contact of their sound engineer, only to be told that they used disk jockeys when they perform.
Believing that they were being novel, he allowed them on the show for them to shock the promoter when they got on stage and started miming to their songs. “Of course that was the only show the guy allowed them to perform at in Maryland, Washington Again, there is no adequate record of sales to back up the bogus claims that Nigerian artistes make on social media, and even in the print and electronic media.
“A lot needs to be done in the industry because we have talented musicians in Nigeria. Nigeria, in fact, is the only reason that the whole world has taken a liking to African music, but we are gradually losing that hold. Smaller countries will begin to outshine us because they do things like professionals, unlike us”, he said.
The South African duo were voted the “Best African Act” for the 2013 MTV EMA ahead of Wizkid and P Square early this week.
LCNVL will now move on to the next phase of voting to try to secure a spot to represent the region in the Worldwide Act category in Amsterdam.
LCNVL has been South Africa’s most successful pop act of the past five years, selling over 100,000 albums, winning the SAMAs for Best Selling Album and Best Newcomer, and touring the world, playing alongside the likes of Justin Bieber, Taio Cruz, Mike Poser and Jason Derulo.
“Such provable information worked in LCNVL’s favour, unlike our own guys who claim they had sold millions of CDs in just one, two years,” added the American R’s source.
Bruce Gillmer, Executive Vice President of Talent and Music Programming/Events, later said “the MTV EMA highlights the biggest and best international and regional superstars and we’re really looking forward to celebrating all of the incredible talent in Amsterdam.”