In the early 90s, Nigeria’s showbiz industry, music to be precise, began to experience economic boom and the emerging rivalry among stakeholders comprising music promoters, recording companies, artistes and producers with all vying for recognition, financial gains and vintage positions. Some of the happenstances are highlighted below:
The trend started with Sir Shina Peters’ chart buster, ‘Ace’, dropped on the stable of the defunct Sony Music Nigeria, formerly known as CBS, in December 1989.
Premised on the success of Ace, best seller ‘Shinamania’ produced by Laolu Akins was released in 1991, winning 3 awards at once with a Platinum Disc for selling more than 250,000 copies.
The management of EMI, now Ivory Music, did not hide its crave for sharing in the ‘industry’s economic boom’ of the moment and market share as it released Dayo Kujore’s Soko Xtra. It was a smash hit that sparked rivalry in the industry.
Premier Music, formerly known as Polygram also joined the trend when it unveiled Dele Taiwo and his debut entitled Magic Moment. The vinyl was also successful while Dele Taiwo became the revelation of that era.
Following the plausible record success of SSP, Dayo Kujore and Dele Taiwo’s albums respectively, Mike Okri’s Concert Fever and Rhumba Dance released on the stable of the defunct Sony Music, Daniel Wilson’s Ragamuffin Soldiers on Ivory Music and self-titled Isaac Black took the centre stage.
Similarly, Fuji music genre described by music pundits and enthusiasts as vibrant, viable and most sustainable among other genres, also took the industry by storm as it produced and presented many acts and albums like Abass Akande Obesere’s Introduction on Mavin Giwa’s label, Asakasa, OBTK, Mr. Teacher on Sony Music label, Adewale Ayuba’s Bubble and Mr. Johnson . For Me also on Sony Music and Fatai Ishola Sandoka of Premier Music, followed by Ibadan-based Alhaji Rashidi Ayinde’s Fuji Merenge in 1992 on Lati Alagbada and Sons’ label, Alhaji Wasiu Alabi Pasuma’s Orobo Kibo among others for Eru- Owa, now Sorolaj Music, Abeokuta-based Alhaji Shefiu Alao’s Busy Body and others on Ade-Okin Records and Sule Alao Malaika’s Mr Wonder on Omo-Aje now Babalaje Records, while K1’s Consolidation consolidated them all.
Wave makers in Reggae music genre and others comprised Majek Fashek’s Send Down The Rain released on Tabansi Records, I & I Experience and So Long Too Long on Sony Music, Ras Kimono’s What Gwan and Run Fi Cover on Premier Music, Abisade Ologunde’s (Lagbaja) Koolu Temper on Sony Music and Galala Music originator, Daddy Showkey’s Welcome on Felin Records and Baba Fryo’s Denge Pose.
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It is pertinent to note that most of the albums were successful including Queen Salawa Abeni’s Cheer Up in 1992 and Beware in 1995 from the stables of Lati Alagbada & Sons and the defunct Sony Music respectively which appeared to be the yardstick for the artistes to perform at the then popular nationwide Benson and Hedges Golden Tones Concert.
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