Brymo Is Perfect for Nigeria: Deal With It
Brymo is one of Nigeria’s foremost mercurial musical talents. The man is a vocal colossus of original sounds and and perfectly blended deliveries of mixed lingo. His flows form a symbiosis with his vocals for a representation of perfect creamy paint job on a car fresh out Pimp My Ride. He’s truly succeeded in pushing good music in a terrain where vanity and dance rule the airwaves.
Ever since he spun off a toxic spell at Chocolate City, he’s reached epoch after milestone in his musical journey. And for that, we’re grateful. My appreciation for Brymo’s artistry hasn’t always been so positive though.
In fact, when my homie @Sourxe was touting Brymo in my final years in University as probably Nigeria’s next musical milestone, I shut him down with cynical taciturnity. My reason was, even though the potential was evident on his Oleku delivery, it offered no insights on his knowledge of crafting beauty. Little did I know label influence was driving him on another flawed beauty that was Ara. You knew something special lurked beneath the shadows of his commercial repertoire, the problem was pinpointing the exact thing. Sourxe pushed me toward listening to Brymo’s first 2 albums and I duly obliged on a fine Wednesday evening; I WAS BLOWN AWAY.
Even on his more commercial first album — Dance songs like 1986, was a great listen. Overall, I gave it a strong pass mark. Not until his second album Merchant’s, Dealers and Slaves did he really mark himself out as a true music maker of significant quality, marking himself out of an entire generation. I was blown away after I was done listening. I buzzed @Sourxe on twitter to rave and gladly accepted his I Told You So — arsehole.
Since then, Brymo has gone from strength to strength, continuing to risk his creative reach and Nigeria’s appetite for good music. So far, I’d give him an A1 because when good music — asides dance, radio friendly music finally breaks through in Nigeria, in a future not very far off, Brymo will be one of the names mentioned as culture pushers.
Through it all though, one constant mind boggling perception has been rumbling with my insides. People feel Brymo isn’t meant for Nigeria; that his music is too good for Nigeria which precipitates my query; Can Brymo’s music really thrive outside African borders? While the answer isn’t straightforward, my borderline answer is while his current discography might create some buzz and generate some following, I’m not sure they can truly thrive outside African borders and my reasons are simple; his Voice, Song patterns, Beat patterns, themes and his Style are essentially and largely African, and they’re excellently so.
Brymo’s voice is arguably cut from the Nigerian folk sound, carrying telling similarities to Juju, Fuji exponents. He’s adapted most notably from Tabula Rasa, but those influences are still fundamental and apparent. Yes, Raggae singers have succeeded in those terrains of subject, but are fuji and Juju really as prominent as Raggae, Dancehall? I think not.
His style addresses Africa peculiar themes with the articulation of an African, sometimes voiced in Yoruba. Despacito might be the current Hot 100 number one, but Raggaeton has been familiar with English speaking western terrains for years, which brings me to Mikky Me’s production style which usually has fundamentals of African percussion style and Afro beat. While there are songs representing a significant paradigm shift in the aforementioned style on Tabula Rasa and Klitoris, they still seem to me like Futuristic African alternative sounds, than sounds tailored for western airwaves. His style is Nigerian — African — because he sounds different from the mainstream doesn’t mean his music isn’t for Nigeria. He is…
Does he have the talent to succeed in those terrains though? Yes. “Talent” is a loose term these days because music as an art from has become flexible by definition of quality and success. Even in Nigeria, Brymo is a successful artiste even though he’s not breaking radio. If he puts up a show, I’m confident the tickets will sell out in days.
Nevertheless, music is slowly but surely also becoming a unified global music university where genres are becoming pliable and are easily crossing borders. Soon, genres will not be limited to a particular demographic for prominence. Even now, if your genre is good enough, people will listen even if they can’t understand what you’re saying — I’m sure many of us are like this. However, the chances of Brymo’s music succeeding outside the African continent very little, sadly. That doesn’t however mean he can’t create buzz. But is buzz success? No. But it’s something.
Admittedly, while his music is rebellious to what currently obtains in Nigerian especially, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s tailor made for western success. Brymo is simply making Futuristic African alternative sounds; sounds that will soon be contemporary alternative across the African continent.
If Brymo will ever succeed beyond African borders, he’ll need to significantly switch styles, themes, adjust beat patterns and delivery patterns. True creative talent is sufficient for adaptable navigation when necessary. Even though he offers no real indications that he can mark himself out beyond African borders right now, I think he can adapt if necessary.
Regardless of whether his music will thrive in borders beyond Nigeria though, Brymo is a credit to Nigeria from his generation driven by fickle music, solely directed at radio plays and show cred which has ended up stunting growth and development. There are a few who sustain Radio driven career, but they never really reach that epoch of golden perfection in creativity.
Does Brymo really even need to want to suit other terrains? I don’t think so. He’ll get his recognition sooner rather than later. We need more people like him. Patronize him, increase his buzz across social media and purchase his work to support. Don’t say “He’s not meant for Nigeria” or some shit like that.
Brymo is meant for Nigeria, you just don’t know it yet. You’ll soon know. We need more revolutionist, vanguards like Brymo to lead us into that new epoch.
Here’s to you Brymo for great music and the tweet below…
Brymo should work on the following even now, while he’s representing us, and it suits him;
1. Mikky Me is a splendid producer; great appetite, and the tweet above shows how much I rate him, but he can diversify the feel of those Afro beat sounds. They’re essentially the same to me.
2. Brymo’s themes: I get his appetite for capturing the typical proletariat, inner city Nigerian setting, but his songs sound the same when he dabbles in them. It’s usually worse whenever it’s on those Mikky Me Afro beat sounds. Right now, they’re still good to people and that’s fine, but people won’t be so welcoming to them for long. If I’ve discovered them, others will.
3. Don’t change for anyone to dance. We want good music. We have enough dance music sir.
By PennedMusingsNG for Urban Central. You can follow him on Twitter @Weird_Liberal
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