If not all, but most Nigerian music artistes yearn for international collaborations or anything that projects their efforts to an international audience. When they do get it, it’s like an answer to a prayer for them and fans who have equally longed for that collaborative jam by their favourite local and almost-favourite international artiste. Even when the “jam” turns out to be a massive flop, we do not immediately admit it. Generally, international collaborations are good for any artiste’s musical career. We say good because that’s just what it is. Good! Only a few have used these collaborations as leverage to earn a place, though uncertain, on the international music scene.
Not too far away from the kind of collaborations referenced above is the new Shell #makethefuture campaign that features six international musicians. Jennifer Hudson, Tan WeiWei, Steve Aoki, Luan Santana, Pixie Lott and Nigeria’s own Yemi Alade. The video is basically to showcase energy ideas to emerge from Shell’s collaboration with young energy entrepreneurs. On first sight, the presence of a Nigerian artiste on such platform is great for the Nigerian music industry and to be very honest, Yemi Alade has put a lot of work in her craft recently and it’s taking her places. Her nominations in the Artiste of the Year category plus Best Female at the MTV MAMAs is proof that her hard work is getting noticed. We won’t deny that.
However, we have one or two grudges with the entire concept especially as it concerns Yemi Alade and Nigeria. Did anyone catch the few lines she sang in Yoruba? Watch from 0.40 seconds, that line in Yoruba did not quite fit into the rest of the song and we just wonder what informed Yemi Alade’s decision to insert her local language into this. Yemi Alade’s Yoruba language does not represent the entirety of Nigeria. It might be the cliche, but English is the lingua franca in Nigeria. Shell did not bring a Yoruba artiste on to their campaign, they brought a Nigerian.
This may be inconsequential but it’s also worth noting that Shell has been accused of duping the Nigerian government of crude oil money running into $406 million. Total, Agip and Chevron have also been sued in similar circumstances. If the reports are true then we probably should not promote this video in the country until the debt is cleared.
See video below: