As the African sound continues to gain international traction, more is going to be expected from the genre. One common trend that can be negative toward African artists is them releasing music too slow. There have been too many occasions that an artist has boasted “Album coming soon,” all for it to never arrive. Even when artists do release projects, they seldom ever drop on the proposed date. Considering how long some artists have been around, their scarce discography does not reflect their duration in the game. With that being said, do artists release projects too slow?
African artists have to be at the top of their game if they expect to compete in an international market. Artists such as Future, 2 Chainz, and Lil Wayne have released more projects in a year than several African acts have done in their entire career. If artists like Vybz Kartel, Gucci Mane, and Shyne Po can release full albums from prison, no professional artist living in the free world should have an excuse. Below is an analysis of some African artists and the rate in which they release music.
Artistry Is Not the Primary:
It is understandable for acts like Don Jazzy or Maleek Berry to not have extensive discographies because they are producers first and their artistry is secondary. However, sole artists do not have the same leeway for excuses.
Artists That Underproduce:
Wande Coal has been active in the music industry and only has two solo albums, “Mushin 2 Mohits” and “Wanted.” Similarly, The Mavins (Tiwa Savage, D’Prince, Dr Sid, Reekado Banks, Korede Bello, Di’ja, and recently, Iyanya) were conceived in 2012 and have only collective album, “Solar Plexus.” Each member has proved that they can successfully deliver hits, yet two of the seven (Korede Bello and Di’ja) do not have solo albums.
Releasing Many Singles for Relevance:
There is indeed a solution for the artists that have not dropped an album for one reason or another. Artists such as, Shatta Wale, release a slew of singles to stay relevant and keeps fans excited. Although an album is still expected, releasing singles frequently buys time and distracts fans from realizing an album has yet to be released.
Ready for International Pace:
Olamide is a one of a kind artist. His discography is outstanding not just in terms of an African artist, but in comparison to international acts as well. In his duration in the industry, he has released…Olamide literally out works everybody. Baddo is every bit of a talented artist and without a doubt works to an international standard.
Exception to the Rule:
And of course, like everything in this world, there are exceptions to the rule.
Davido, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, and Ayo Jay have cracked the code to achieving international stardom. They each a machine behind them (respectively, Sony/RCA, Sony/RCA, Roc Nation, and RCA) to ensure that they are marketed properly, produce enough material, and reach the masses. The aforementioned artists indeed must still work hard, but are much closer to the end goal of international superstardom than their African artist counterparts.