Local radio remains one powerful institution that can either make or break an artist but in 2017, I fully expect the internet to gain more leverage and for the “SoundCloud artist” to become more of a contender and less of an outsider. The internet provides a great platform for those who have the talent to generate a buzz and potentially bypass the traditional FM stations. The interesting thing is that you no longer have to wait for local radio to make a song a hit – you can start a fire on the internet and if it’s hot enough, the Nigerian online community will gather around.
Just look around at 2016’s success stories, Maleek Berry’s “Kontrol’ is a legitimate party starter and that’s without mad radio spins at home, Odunsi got a mention on Spotify’s top 5 viral tracks in the US for “Situationship” without making an appearance on the PlayData charts and Kah-Lo got a Grammy nod before charting a single of her own in Nigeria. We are not there yet but it’s clear to see where things are headed.
One artist who is looking to find the convergence between SoundClound fame and local radio play is R&B singer Nonso Amadi. The singer has a brand new single titled “Radio”, which sounds like dedication to his day 1 supporters. I personally got to listen to his first EP Alone half a year after its release, so I hardly qualify as one of them. I listened late, I know, but Alone is one of the most interesting music projects I listened to this year all the same. With a voice so delicate that at times it sounds like he’s whispering and a style that borders on reggae music, it was obvious that Nonso was still trying to find his sound. He even tried going the rapper route once or twice but in the singles that followed, Nonso has come closer and closer to finding his own rhythm.
On “Radio”, the singer collaborates with the principal architect of Mr. Eazi’s sluggish sound, Juls, for a record that’s a few BPM’s slower than what you’d typically hear around prime time on Lagos radio but it’s no less impressive.
If you turn it louder, I’m always there
I’m in your radio, I’m always there
Actually, Nonso isn’t always there on the radio – the online support hasn’t translated into support on the ground just yet. Part of the reason is because the singer is currently studying in far away Canada and hasn’t had the chance to push the gospel himself. However, that hasn’t stopped the talented singer from chasing his music dreams, and it shouldn’t. There’s a wide appreciation for his talent and more people need to hear this.
Nonso’s second EP Late Nights will be out pretty soon, so get familiar. If you’re like me and you weren’t a Day 1 fan, then you’re most welcome to experience Day 2.