Every year in music, there’s an introduction of fresh sounds. Musicians offer new albums, singles and collaborations; making various sonic experiments in a bid to alter the soundscape and overall, earn the credit for introducing the sound of the year. It’s almost like the chances of having a banner year as a musician is equivalent to your ability to introduce a new (dominating) sound.
However, while some seek to experiment, create and explore new musical dimensions for offering, some simply sit back, wait for the meal to be served and run with it. A typical example was the 2017 case with the Ghanaian rhythm as introduced by Mr Eazi and the infamous “pon pon” sound that was championed by Davido.
In the second quarter of 2016, Wizkid introduced the Ghana-based Mr Eazi (who had not really hit the spotlight at the time) to the world through his Star Boy imprint.
“Who is Mr Eazi?”, everyone questioned. Soon we got wind of his music and began to bask in the exception that it was. His music was different. It was a laid-back groove, heavy on the Ghanaian highlife rhythm with litters of Nigerian progressions.
As soon as consumers began to gravitate towards Eazi’s sound, other musicians like Tekno, Runtown and Davido tapped into his magic, birthed a variation of this offering which was later tagged the “pon pon” sound and owned it. Davido’s 2017 hits; IF, Fall and FIA are all a product of that sound.
Nigerian music of today is operated like a marketplace; whatever seems to be in high demand by the consumers is what musicians will create. The “pon pon” sound reigned supreme in the previous year and almost every Nigerian pop artiste had a bite from the table of that formula – so much that it became a bore.
In the words of a certain Instagram comedian; “Every Nigerian music is sounding the same to me. Mr Eazi come carry your pon pon go back to Ghana”.
The new year is already in full swing and the pop soundscape is yet to be defined. There is, however, a new sound that is positioning to dominate the airwaves this year called the “Wobe” sound.
This sound was borne on the streets in the South-West region of Nigeria and it is the seeming soundtrack for the now-viral Shaku Shaku dance. While the Wobe sound had already been a dominating sound on the streets, it has just made a mainstream penetration through the push of rapper Olamide.
Baddo made a first introduction of this sound through his “Lagos Na Wa” album which was released in December 2017 and has gone on to release his first single for the new year; titled “Science Student”, conducting an extensive exploration of the sound.
Leaning on the power of the Shaku Shaku dance wave, the uptempo and percussion-heavy Wobe sound is seeking to reign as the dominating sound of 2018.
Nigerian pop icon D’Banj has already tapped into the Wobe sound for his latest single titled “Issa Banger”. Wizkid also disclosed that he was in Lagos working on a new album and from a projectional standpoint, the album will draw heavy influence from the Wobe sound as the Star Boy is already conducting a public display of his love for the Shaku Shaku dance.
Shooting a video tomorrow and i dey find the best shaku shaku dancers! No be dat una island shaku abeg o.The real ting. Awon temi! Link up!
— Wizkid (@wizkidayo) January 8, 2018
Whether or not the Wobe sound becomes the official sound of 2018, one is pretty certain that it will hold sway and dominate in the first quarter of this new year.
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