The music industry is becoming more structured in Nigeria and one of the pillars that will ensure it stands over time is how well the stories, lessons and inspiration behind the musicians and their music are recorded. In this edition of BrandSpark, we beam the light on two curators of music news in Nigeria.
By Damilola Oyewusi
The Nigerian music industry, like most other industries in the country suffers from a documentation deficit. The average individual and business is eager to get things done and hit milestones. But only a few people take notes and record the journey to the victories or failures. Most of what each generation learns about the past are snippets compared to the robust stories that make up the lives of our music heroes.
The rise of digital media and the increased appetite for information has definitely changed the narrative in many ways. However, it is also important that the focus is not only the gossip and soft sells from blogs and social media influencers.
This is what makes both of these brands impressive as they intentionally celebrate the best of and curate information about the Nigerian music industry; telling stories to influence the trajectory of the business, inspire a generation and give a blueprint as new dreamers begin their journey in the industry.
The NativeMag is your quintessential platform for music and entertainment news. The online magazine has its special focus on the music industry, offering their audience information on the latest music releases, trends and happenings around the industry. One of the key features of the Native is influencing the popular music culture by bridging the gap between the niche genres of underground music and the widely accepted mainstream sound. Their interesting angles to stories, interviews and opinions cut across different styles of music and art, giving a new flavour to the culture of entertainment. Content is delivered in a mix of videos, easy-to-read text, audio and inviting imagery. While they are largely focused on the Nigerian music industry and her musicians, the publication also travels across Africa and the diaspora, soaking in the African culture across the continent.
In addition to music, NativeMag also curates neo-African fashion, art and style, topping it all up with social awareness and staying in touch with salient issues that affect the Nigerian youths.
Outside of the platform, Native has hosted two editions of its flagship NativeLand, an event that brings musicians, curators, cloth brands and food vendors together for an entertaining evening.
Culture Custodian is not exclusively centred on music. The platform is a potpourri of everything that concerns the youth, from politics, to sports, fashion, music and more. However, content about the music industry on the site takes a different route from the pop rhetoric of trends and gossip. The interviews seem mostly drawn from foreign websites but the articles are original and insightful, with the right dose of sharp opinions.
With a piece like ‘The absence of protests in Nigerian pop culture’, the team is not only highlighting the culture of social consciousness in the country’s musical history. They are also raising a necessary question about the value system of the industry.
A key part of their strategy is giving little known brilliant underground acts the same attention to detail as established artistes. Bridging this gap is essential for the overall growth of the industry.
Their podcasts are largely pop culture talk shows while the Culture Custodian TV hosted on YouTube covers various angles of the music business using interviews, event coverage and showcasing numerous artistes.
Beyond the original and engaging content on both platforms, we have to commend the sites for their simplicity and use of white space.
In conclusion, both platforms hold great value for the everyday youth with interest in the music industry. It would be great to see them include in-depth analysis of different aspects of the business and branch out into interviews and stories on the talent managers, publishers, distributors, lyricists and more. With more projects like these, aspiring musicians and talents across the value chain have an index point on the map to music business success.
What do you think? Which brand captures the heart of the youth more?
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read other articles.