Why we need MAJOR change in the Nigerian Music Industry

I was going to write about the whole bruhaha that went down on twitter this morning. If you missed it you can check my timeline here or just keep reading. The issue of free download is one we have been fighting for a while. I know a lot of known acts that are not enjoying the fruits of their labor but they suffer silently, hopeful that they will get show when after 10 years one big stage sef dem never enter for pay, na so so free show.

I cant picture a CREDIBLE american website giving Rihanna’s song out for free without some sort of written permission. Naija’s we wanna grow but we don’t want to do what it takes, how is that possible?  I have had conversations with some of my music blog friends and they know where i stand. If i give it free, it was planned that way in a promotional attempt but i cant possibly give out free songs ALL THE TIME. This has become standard in our industry and it is wrong. It’s at a detriment of the artist. Making new artists feel like there are no other options is plain and simple wrong. Making it seem like you are doing them a favor when you are also profiting from the traffic is also wrong.

We must all work together where it favors all involved and that’s what spinlet has managed to start. I was expecting Notjustok to start this trend but i guess they were content with the web traffic when the bigger picture was screaming at them. Anyways let me not go on and on because before i could get to writing 4Lah of Dear Artist already did and i couldn’t have said it better myself even though i still want to add more but we would be here all day..

Below is a small excerpt from what she wrote and a full link to her site so you can read the full write up. I do hope this is the start of a new way of doing things. It would do our music industry a lot of good. and fyi: all the established artists keepin quiet on this issue out of fear of retribution let me just say you are not setting a good example for the upcoming acts, when things do change you will still profit from it. Let your conscience serve you.  Anyways ……


It’s interesting to see the various reactions that followed Nigerian Singer 9ice’s decision to put an end to free downloading his music. There were the confused “fans” whose feelings were hurt because they can’t imagine a life without “free download”, there were the bloggers who felt 9ice had “insulted” them when they were doing him a “favor” by “helping” him promote his music, and then, there were the “Naija music enthusiasts” who have no idea what the musician was doing, yet feel compelled to rant on social media and call him names thereby further exposing their ignorance.

Now let me make one thing clear. As an artiste, FREE MUSIC DOWNLOADS WILL NOT HELP YOU. Now before you choke on your tongue, take a deep breath and calm down for a minute. Sure as an upcoming artiste, with little or non-existent fan base, putting out one or two songs out for free download might help you gain some notice here and there, but any serious industry person knows that real music promotion goes way beyond making your song available on a million blogs. Real music promotion is what you do on the streets, with the DJs and the radio stations.

Now, after you have worked hard enough to gain some recognition for yourself, either online or in your local community and you can boast of more than two hundred loyal fans of your music, then it’s time to make some money from that music. ——————- YOU CAN READ THE REST HERE

5 thoughts on “Why we need MAJOR change in the Nigerian Music Industry

  1. Hi Toni. Thanks for explaining where you stand on this issue. However I’d to know if it’s okay to upload an artist’s song (not the album) without allowing downloads and directing users to the specified download link (if provided). I asked 9ice the same question on Twitter but never got a response. There’s a huge difference between “don’t upload w/o permission” and “don’t allow download.”


    1. I think the way things work is, yes we all need content but in a normal setting certain people get the rights to distribution. the lack of structure is a big issue thats causing so much confusion. Im sure he meant both. uploading a snippet wouldnt piss anyon off. or asking if its ok b4 giving it out for free wont piss anyone off an if they say no, then a work around could be arranged with the owner of the song like a snippet that leads to a download link.. hope im making sense, av had a long ass day arguing haha..

  2. Posting a single I receive from an artiste’s promoter in my E-Mail is legal.

    Posting a song off someone’s album is just wrong.

    Lastly, Music Streaming is an unprofitable business and piracy saves advertising costs.

    If 2face tweets “if you love my music, support me by buying my album on spinlet”, even if I’ve downloaded the album I’m still going to pay for it,


    Because 2face said so & I paid 1k5 for his album once. No regrets, it was worth it.

    1. ahan! you just hit the nail on the head.. if the artiste gives you the song to post then feel free.. but we see the practice of buying someones song on iTunes then posting it for free. ur second point. not everyone will buy once they already have it..

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