2016 Headies:The ouuhs, aaahs and naahs

by Umar Sa’ad  Hassan

Someone captured the 2016 Headies in these few words: “This may very well be its funeral.”

When Wizkid strolled in and attempted to hug Eva’s fiancé before hugging her instead and leaving the poor dude hanging, you couldn’t help but help the organizers bemoan the abject lack of A-list calibre guests. There couldn’t be a better illustration than Eva on the front row. The many empty seats were an eyesore and echoes in the hall got startling at times. But for what it’s worth, the organizers can console themselves with the fact that there just has to be a record of some sorts for the number of absent winners this edition spawned. Definitely haven’t seen this many in my over 30 living years.

Those watching Ayo’s Headies at home on Ayo’s HipTv have him to thank for making them understand their DSTV remotes better. It felt like a sound engineering course sometimes as audio and picture quality was so poor, you spent half the time adjusting and re-adjusting. That being said, lets skip to the awards itself.

Best Recording of the Year

  • Emergency-D’banj
  • Love Don’t Care-Simi
  • Pray For Me-Darey Feat Soweto Choir Group (Winner)
  • Orente-Adekunle Gold
  • Something Good Is Happening-Brymo

Dbanj’s Emergency had no business being on this list and when I first saw it, I thought he was going to clinch it because the arrangement that got him there might include him winning it. But it turns out that wasn’t the case.

There are a thousand other songs that deserved to be here in its place and if the Headies felt it ought to show him some love then it should have just handed him the Special Recognition award. I consider Darey’s Pray For Me a really great song but I think either of Adekunle Gold’s Orente or Simi’s Love Don’t Care should have gotten this. Adekunle was able to put together sheer magic over talking drums and guitar strings. Ironically, the song was produced by the same guy who produced the winning song-Oscar and mixed by Simi. Oscar deserves a best producer nomination for this song and he just might have won that category if he had this to complement Darey’s Pray For Me which he was nominated for.

Simi is a breath of fresh air and she is in tune with the basics; having a peculiar quality in a saturated industry won’t really count much unless it is being put to devastating use. She did just that on Love Don’t Care. The story telling in that voice was awesome.

Producer of the Year

  • Dj Coublon-Good Time And Raba Raba By Kiss Daniel And Dj Shabsy
  • Pheels-Pick Up And Lagos Boys By Olamide
  • Oscar Herman Ackah-Pray For Me By Darey Feat The Soweto Choir Group
  • Masterkraft-Fada Fada And Connect By Phyno
  • Young John- Mama By Kiss Daniel (Winner)
  • Legengury Beats-Baba Nla (Final) By Wizkid

I still don’t understand why Masterkraft didn’t win this. His songs with Phyno are the hugest of the pack and it’s hard to believe the voting public picked Mama ahead of them. Category specification says individual responsible for producing the most acclaimed song or album in the year under review. Mama can’t come nowhere near Connect and Fada Fada.

Best R&B/Pop Album

  • New Era-Kiss Daniel (Winner)
  • Wanted-Wande Coal
  • Sheyi Or Shay-Sheyi Shay
  • Nak3d-Darey
  • Klitoris-Brymo

The popular opinion is that Ayo and his goons set out to compensate Kiss Daniel for last year’s snub. But there is a price to pay for doing that- quality is compromised. Wande Coal made an album full of good songs with no outstanding one to stand out from the lot while Brymo seemed to have shed some of his invincibility on Klitoris. Darey didn’t quite meet up to his standards but Sheyi Shay made a quite amazing album. She had you in heart all through; whatever she tried, she wanted it to sound good to you. Sheyi Or Shay was light years ahead of others in quality.

Best Music Video

  • Mary (Sheyi Shay)-Meji Alabi
  • Emergency (D’banj)-Unlimited La
  • Soldier-(Falz Tha Bad Guy)-Clarence Peters (Winner)
  • Bad-(Tiwa Savage Feat Wizkid)-Sesan
  • Made For You-(Banky W)-Banky W

Quite frankly, I don’t think these were the best videos out in the year under review. These same guys (with maybe the exception of Banky W) made other videos much better than the ones they were nominated for. Unlimited LA  seemed to want to eat his cake and have it on Dbanj’s Emergency.-‘throwing back’ to the Fela era and still wanting to stay in present day.

Banky’s Made For You was a love story that had been told countless times with practically nothing to set it apart from the others. No extraordinary scenes or costumes, it was just plain and lacking a creative edge. He showed promise though and I sincerely hope he excels in video making too.

Soldier definitely wasn’t Clarence Peters’ best work on the list. But it won.

I feel Falz plans his videos and all he has to do is get a director to shoot them. Soldier was no different from Jamb Question, which was nominated last year but only that the latter was directed by Mex. The story telling was childish and there was nothing to commend the video for other than the quality of the song.

Meji Alabi did a good job on Sheyi Shay’s Mary though he could have done better. It was a dark video that tended to get too dark at times especially the scene where she was in a mask. The white fur coat was a really great touch and I wish I could say same for the black blouse she used. It erased the ‘bossette’ feel and if you walked in and saw her wearing that over a bowler hat in the last scene, she would pass for a mere ‘waka pass’.

When you make choices, it’s harder to defend videos than songs. Songs leave you many ‘outs’. You could cite sales or radio play in place of quality but not with videos because everyone sees what’s on display.

It’s really sad that Sesan had to watch a plaque he deserved, go for a second consecutive year and last year’s was even closer than this. That’s what hurts the most.

He made one of the best Nigerian videos I have seen in recent times in Tiwa Savage’s BAD feat Wizkid. It was just flawless. Bad was probably the only video worth being here and ordinarily, it would stroll hands in pocket all the way to this Headies. To be modest, Ayo and his crew need to start counting the votes well.

Best Rap Single

  • Eyan Mayweather-Olamide (Winner)
  • Asalamalekum-Reminisce
  • Jagaban-Ycee
  • Chukwu Agozi Gogi-Illbliss
  • Agu Ji Ndi Men-Aq
  • Show You Something-Boogey

The Headies can safely fall back on the ‘voting clause’ as far as this category is concerned. Baddo is the most loved rapper in Nigeria and a lot of people would vote him even if no song was attached to his name. But I laugh in Spanish if they expect us to believe our votes have been winning awards.

Eyan Mayweather will rank last if these songs were to be judged on merit. Jagaban deserved this Headie more than any of the songs. It swept across the nation in some style and birthed the start of an elaborate ascent to the zenith of naija rap.

Best Pop Single

  • Mama-Kiss Daniel
  • Final(Baba Nla)-Wizkid
  • Pick Up-Adekunle Gold
  • Osinachi-Humblesmith Feat Davido
  • Reggae Blues-Harrysong Feat Orezi,Iyanya,Olamide & Kcee (Winner)
  • Emergency-D’banj
  • Fada Fada-Phyno
  • Money-Timaya Feat Flavour

This had to be the tightest category of the night. Reggae Blues was a most worthy winner but I’m sure no one would have bated an eyelid if it went to Fada Fada or Osinachi.

Best Reggae/Dancehall Song

  • No Kissing-Patoranking Feat Sarkodie (Winner)
  • Body Hot-Praiz Feat Jesse Jagz And Stonebwoy
  • Jaga Love-Jesse Jagz
  • Olowo-Cynthia Morgan
  • Pam Pam-Ketch Up
  • I Like The Way-Timaya

Patoranking’s No Kissing was a really good song. Just that it just isn’t as good as Cynthia Morgan’s Olowo. Song is fire!!! It infects you when it comes on and is one to make you dance in any hall.” Ask about me for igboro”!!.

Whether or not Praiz’s Body Hot is reggae/dancehall is debatable but what is not in doubt is the fact that it was a really good song. One I would rather hand the Headie to.

Best R&B Single

  • Love Don’t Care-Simi
  • Made For You-Banky
  • Smile-Shaydee
  • Super Woman-Wande Coal
  • Pray For Me-Darey Feat The Soweto Choir Group (Winner)
  • Aduke-Tjan

Darey’s Pray For Me is a great piece of work, but sometimes I just can’t help thinking its getting more props than it deserves. This is a voting category and I sincerely doubt if Darey’s song was huge enough to be voted over these songs and even if anyone leans on the fact that a lot of people only listened to some of the songs when the nomination list was released, I don’t think anyone who did that would vote it ahead of Tjan’s Aduke. It was a fabulous song that had all the essential ingredients of R & B in it. After all the lectures on what or not songs of a particular genre should sound like, it all boils down to one thing-whether or not it sounds good to its listeners. Aduke was a classic.

Best Collabo

  • Reggae Blues- Harrysong Feat Iyanya, Orezi,Olamide,Kcee
  • Osinachi-Humblesmith Feat Davido
  • Wait-Solidstar Feat Tiwa Savage
  • No Kissing-Patoranking Feat Sarkodie
  • Money-Timaya Feat Flavour
  • Soldier-Falz Feat Simi (Winner)

I really think Reggae Blues deserved to get its second plaque of the night in this category. One thing this song alongside Humblesmith’s Osinachi had going for them was the fact they were hits that seemed to have penetrated everywhere across the nation. They were far more popular than Soldier which was more or less,a ‘Lagos’ hit. Either one of these two should have gotten the Headie ahead of Falz’s Soldier.

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