by Chinwe Okafor
Bracket as a musical duo have always seemed like they never got it right. They did initially don’t get us wrong, but took a long hiatus and then returned to gain heir ground. Unfortunately, such spaces get occupied by newbies who are also looking to make it in the industry, and since then the duo have been looking for a spot.
Speaking to Vanguard recently, Bracket, finally admitted that they don’t have a place in Lagos but are making waves in their home town in the east.
If you recollect, one of the duo suffered a cancer scare last year and this added to the deterring of their musical career for a bit. They addressed it by thanking God for survival, “We are thanking God for sparing the life of Vast who survived cancer last year. Last year, we thought of setting up a foundation, Bracket Cancer Foundation. The aim of the foundation is to assist cancer patients to have access to quality treatment. Many people have died as a result of cancer related disease mainly due to financial constraints.”
Yori Yori was the duo’s major hit as the song went on to remain atop charts for a while but since then, they went downhill. which isnt much of a surprise in nigeria as most end up as one hit wonders. However, they said it has more to do with the competition than their incompetence, “Sometimes, I’d laugh it off. This is because, there’s a big competition going on in the industry at the moment. People tend to pay more attention to the ‘new school’; (emerging artistes) who just had their breakthrough in the industry. That’s why most times, people don’t really know when other artistes drop their albums. I remember that we dropped a song last year titled “International Baby.” Though, it wasn’t a hit.
Also, while Vast was still on his hospital bed, we did a song with Clearence Peters called, “Temperature.” Later, we released “Mama Africa” followed by “Nana.” We have been busy, but I wouldn’t blame anyone who said, he has not been hearing from us again. Like I said, the “new school” are ruling the airwaves and people are paying more attention to them than the old school. But frankly speaking, outside Nigeria, we are celebrated in other African countries. We don’t have to make noise about it. Our work speaks for us. It’s not as if we are not doing enough. But the attention today is being shifted to the up and coming artistes. We have songs that can keep us performing on stage for more than 45 minutes.”
Add that for excuse, including this, “If don’t, we could as well have gone back home. But I think the Nigerian music industry is more of a fame thing than fortune. I would rather get that fortune than fame. I know certain things that the older artistes venture into, which the new generation artistes dare not attempt. All these things, have to do with media hype. And sometimes, when you over-publicize an artiste, it has its negative effect. I rather remain in the middle and still be relevant than to be pushed to the front and contribute nothing meaningful.”
It kept seeming like they were suffering from inferiority complex, “For instance, in Lagos, if our song like, “Nana” was released by Wizkid or Davido, it would have been a big hit. But it did not fly here, while in other cities like Port-harcourt, Owerri, “Nana” is played everywhere. Surprisingly, one time in Port-Harcourt, we were asked to close a show, that had one of the top artistes in attendance. In fact, we are celebrated everywhere, except in Lagos. Some artistes know how to go about it.”
One thing is for certain, they finally found their niche market, “I give it up to the emerging acts who are making waves in Lagos. We have tried to hold our own in the industry till date. Though, it has not been easy to sustain the tempo.”
But that hasn’t taken away the umbrella of gay accusation, especially since the notion is that the act is on the increase in the eastern part of town. In response they said, “When we read the story online, we thought it wasn’t a serious allegation until my cousin called from Enugu. I was laughing…There are certain things, we wouldn’t want to say on the pages of a newspaper. All we can say is that ‘ you wait until you see us marry.’ But to clear the air, we are not gay. People that are close to us will attest to it.”