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The state of Nigeria’s (live) music industry 0

With the burst of Afrobeats on to the international scene, much of the world now looks to the Nigerian music industry as the leading charge to establish a permanent African presence on the global pop landscape.

In spite of these successes, several players in the local entertainment industry have identified bottlenecks in the Nigerian music scene, and are looking at ways to improve the business that surrounds it.

On a recent trip to Lagos for Gidi Culture Festival, I was fortunate to have two separate yet overlapping conversations about the state of the Nigerian music industry. Chin Okeke and Teme Banigo, co-founders of the festival, explained to me how they are trying to raise the bar in terms of music performance in Nigeria — by prioritizing live acts over pre-recorded and playback sets. For those who don’t know, it is rare in much of Africa to see a festival line-up of both established and up and coming artists performing with a full band. On the contrary, at Gidi Culture Festival, this was a common occurrence. To add to their successes promoting live music through the festival, Chin and Teme’s longer term goals also include opening up mid-sized venues to expand the live music offerings in Nigeria.

Later on my trip I spoke to Jenny Tan, co-founder of Lagos Music Conference, a 2-day event taking place in Lagos this weekend. Jenny’s thoughts illustrate that the conference is sure to stir up a lot of debates in regards to how music is handled both in and outside of Nigeria.

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by Benjamin LeBrave

Photo Credits: Getty Images

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