Why people should stop associating all musicians with waywardness — Young Nigerian artistes

By Victor Akuma

Waywardness is a popular word used synonymously with musicians some few years ago. Do people still use that word to define these talents in contemporary times?

The word Waywardness has several times been used to define musicians and their craft, especially those cut up in such genres as Hip-hop and R&B.

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The society, over the years, has less regarded these set of people, especially parents who would rather have their sons and daughters learn a trade than going into music.

However, the perceived mediocrity associated with being an artiste has reduced to a great extent since the realization of how much the industry pays and the fame it promises.

Yet, even in this new line of thought, players in the industry have made it so glaring that there might be some traces of waywardness in them by the kind of songs they do and their lifestyles, which have little or no message to pass across to their audience except for the danceable beats.

This has sparked a rethought in the minds of many who have decided that really, these guys might be good for nothing, but again, does this rethought hold some water? Does it even matter if these artistes are wayward or not considering how heavy their bank accounts are and the fame they have earned?

Some upcoming artistes in the country who spoke with CRISPNG insist not all musicians are wayward as widely believed.

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One of them is Ekwuagana Fabian Ikechukwu, better known as Jifem, an indeginuos Hip-hop and highlife singer based in Aba,

Jifem doubles as a student and singer. Since he released his  debut Album “Double Edge” in 2019, he has dropped at least eight songs online among which is “Akpo” and “Uprising.”

Lending his voice to the issue, Jifem said not all singers are wayward.

“Well, I don’t really blame the people who have those mentalities of musicians being wayward and good for nothing because looking at the industry today most of the artistes we see on our screen everyday are ones who involve in some kind of lifestyle that people and the society terms immoral,” he said.

“But still, that’s not enough reason to say that music is for the wayward and good for nothing. There are still talented ones out there who are not being influenced by the immoral lifestyles of these artistes. You have artistes like Falz the Bahd guy who stands up all the time to address the issue of cyber crime and also serves as a mouthpiece of the people against the corrupt government we have in Nigeria.

“We also have artistes like Asa and Johnny drills who doesn’t showcase those acts of waywardness and they are still making it big in the industry.

“And again, I will have to tell you that Hip-hop especially is a ghetto genre of music, and you know what it means to be of the ghetto and most of these artistes they term wayward and good for nothing are those ones who do this particular kind of music and you don’t really expect them to preach what they don’t look like.

“Most time, it’s all for show biz, some of them are not even really wayward and stuffs, they pull those stunts to sell their works.”

Jifem continued, “Even though I might not be able to put my words in a comprehensive manner, all I am saying is that, music is not for the wayward and good for nothings, it is for the talented.”

When asked if he is among the talented ones in the ghetto considering the kind of songs he does, Jifem said street life inspires him and for him to be able to write and voice his songs creatively shows how talented he is.

“Even in the ghetto lies talent too. I am Jifem, I do indigenous hiphop and highlife songs, and I can tell you that most times what I learnt from the streets inspires me to pick up the pen and write and then use the microphone afterwards to speak up, and believe me, without talent, giving those words the perfect rhythm and flows it requires won’t be possible.

“Many can write their views, many can say their minds, but believe me it takes talent to make it creative, so I can proudly say that there’s talent in the ghetto too and I’m a manifestation of that.”

Also speaking, Nwele Euphemia, an upcoming artiste who does Christian Hip-hop, said it might be true that the music industry is characterised by people of different shades but not all musicians are wayward.

“It is not true. I don’t believe musicians are wayward. It is no doubt that the Nigerian music industry offers little or no opportunity to talented and passionate upcoming artistes. The industry revolves around certain groups of people, but then people have risen to make a difference and to still give hope to those whose purpose is sold out to music, Chike is an example and an inspiration.”

“A person’s lifestyle is his/her choice but no one should assume and generalize that musicians are always going to be wayward, no matter the genre of music (Christian or Hiphop).”

Euphemia added: “I’m an aspiring Christian rapper and yes it has not been easy but then I groom myself, train myself and I keep learning everyday, my voice and speed is not enough for me, I still need knowledge and God. People who are termed “wayward,” most of them only had the platform with no knowledge.”

“There are a lot of upcoming artists, a lot but what I believe would make you stand out is, your knowledge, passion and hard work. With talent hunts like Nigerian Project Fame, Nigerian Idol, X Factor, The voice and a lot more fading away, it becomes more difficult fighting to be heard. But when your music is about impacting lives like mine is and giving a music that everyone no matter the age or belief can listen too, then the sky is your limit.

“Not everyone in the music industry is wayward, not everyone also choose to be.”

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