Do you think “Seyi Vibez” would be popping so hard if Barry Jhay’s commercial success wasn’t tainted with scandals, And “Terri” if he wasn’t signed to Wizkid’s Starboy label?

Every once in a while an artist pops up on your radar and the first thing that catches your attention about their sound is that it reminds you of something else, or someone else.

I believe acts like this are the universe’s way of filling the void when an important piece of history is lost or about to be, in the mammoth crowd.

Seems like some piece of conspiracy nonsense? Yes, you may be right.

But does it not faze you that Joel Amadi’s music reminds you of 2Face?
Kizz Daniel reminds you of 9ice?
Seyi Vibez of Barry Jhay?

These are but a few, if you do a concise research into varying music industries from all over the world, you’ll understand how replete history can be.

There are some speculations that if DaGrin was alive, there would have been no void for Olamide to fill. Why? Because as at 2010 when Olamide became the hottest rapper from the streets, Nigerians were still mourning the demise of one of the greatest to ever do it and easily drew a parallel between Olamide and DaGrin given their similar street hop style.

The good job Olamide did, was to set himself apart from the dead OG. While everyone expected him to go in DaGrin’s style of heavy punchlines ladened with mind blowing wordplay, he rapped his lungs out, making sure that his own signature style of rap was everywhere in our faces and ultimately killed the DaGrin & Olamide comparison.

Take a moment to absorb these quick questions;

Do you think that some talents are too strong to leave space for give or take younger versions of themselves?

Will our humane reliance on the need for preservation affect our willingness as musicians, music lovers?

A couple of years ago, when Wizkid signed his first artist to his Starboy label, we were all so mesmerized by the young Terri who sounded so much like his boss Wizkid.

Some years down the line, we’re forced to ask ourselves what he’s done with that opportunity.

Is it that Nigerians are unwilling to settle for a less impressive version of Wiz? Or it’s just his inability to scale up that sound for a more receptive audience just like Wiz is doing right now.

Here’s what I’m saying in essence; Does Wizkid have to stop shining for Terri to get his own?

Unfortunately for Terri, according to rumors flying around in the industry, he signed a 10-year deal with Starboy and he’s currently frustrated with the lackluster performance of his projects or the label’s negligence of his budding career.

After signing a widely celebrated record deal with Starboy, Terri has suffered from poor promotions, structure and lack of serious career hype. But the most disheartening is the fact that almost every time Terri puts out a project, it gets dwarfed by some other project usually with his boss’s name on them; such as Low by Larry Gaaga & Wizkid which was released on the same day as On Me. Fever, which was released just a week after BIA was dropped.

Even his widely anticipated AfroSeries EP was dwarfed by a Drake project and only managed to score one forced hit which makes you wonder who’s really in charge of this guy’s career. It cannot be the same team working on Wizkid’s.

As an upcoming act, it makes sense to draw a parallel between you and someone that’s already on the scene only if you have a plan for breaking out of that box when you need a new strategy to hold down the core fans that you’ve gained from your ‘role model’.

If Joel Amadi had found a way to convert those 2face fans he gained by sounding like him into his core fans, then he’d probably be one of the biggest acts out of Africa right now and 2Baba would probably have a hard time cementing his place as an easy godfather.

Remember Durella from the Zanga? Mr. 2gbaski. He definitely thought he was D’banj’s nemesis, like many fans but that agenda is most definitely dead and buried.

If you take a critical look at music industries all over the world, you’ll see that drawing parallels isn’t anything new, but it pays to be careful as it almost always bounces back negatively on the said artist.

What do you do in cases like this? Or what would you advice Terri to do if he doesn’t want to end up like Durella, Joel Amadi & others?

Making your way into the industry through drawing a parallel between you and someone you deem an older version of yourself will only work for a couple of years. If you’d like to last longer than a couple of years then you have to build a strong personality that’s based on just you.

One thing about music lovers is that they will always appreciate Change, Growth & Experimentation. So no matter how you got onto their radar, as long as you keep them interested by showing that you’ve got a shitload of surprises coming, they’ll be hooked like ants on sugar.

Talking about the Wizkid & Terri situation, it’s also important to reiterate that Terri does sound like 2010-2015 Wizkid, and nothing like the current Soundman or Made In Lagos Wizkid – The BIG WIZ!.

See how Wiz has been able to express Change, Growth & Experimentation through his music projects. That’s what you need as an upcoming act to thrive in this new “Made In Lagos” generation.

When you get a record deal based on the idea that you sound like someone who’s shining now, always remember that people are at the top for a reason and nobody will relinquish their coveted spot at the top just for you to shine.

The bulk of the work is on you as an upcoming act is to refuse to box yourself just to impress the fans when in actual fact they’re waiting for a time when you’ll outgrow your childish need to be like your favourite artiste.

Written by AfrobeatsMerije.

Bisi-Taiwo Chukwumerije is a blood-bound Nigerian music & tech journalist in his early 20s. He goes by the pseudonym ‘AfrobeatsMerije’, and considers himself one of the greatest psyche in Afrobeats. Tweet your favourite songs, EPs, LPs, Albums, & music projects at him; @AfrobeatsMerije.

The post How Drawing Parallels From One Artiste Might Spur Growth Or Lead To Demise appeared first on tooXclusive.

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