Let’s be honest.
The dilemma of the 21st century content creator is not just to create something outstanding that will command attention amidst the loud noise of gazzilion content out there…
Besides the joy of affecting other people’s lives, our main concern is to create both content that will be loved by the consumers and one that can help us reach our dreams of living a better life.
This is why we sweat out our selves here churning out content, day in, day out.
And this is why I felt pissed after reading an op-ed on nairaland by a certain journalist.
In summary, the opinion was about Nigerian music and the promotion of promiscuity in their songs.
Of course, it’s all too glaring. The latest trends in pop culture has been promoting hooliganism and promiscuous lifestyle. So that’s not what I’m writing about.
The thing that’s got me really pissed which I’m writing about is the journalist’s criticism of a certain singer who dropped “good” music (according to the journalist) for some wack (girls, bum bum, drugs and scam promoting) music as we have around today.
The journalist questioned the artist’s rationale for dropping his good sounds to the trending crime promoting lyrics.
In the journalist’s opinion, even when those kind of songs the artist sang were not paying his bills, he should have stayed there to continue singing it because that’s exactly what the society needs to listen to.
And when I got to that point I was like wow! Are you kidding me?
Is the artist’s interest merely to affect the pop culture or to get his art across to as many consumers as possible?
OK let’s clear this out.
Most singers, writers, artists are entrepreneurs.
I mean they are for the business just as they are out to make good art.
In fact, the money a musician make from his songs is what will keep him staying relevant in the industry and producing more songs.
So how can they get money to produce good art and stay in circulation if they don’t produce what the market will buy?
Of course there are musicians and artists who got stuck to their games of producing morally enhancing stuff that positively affects the society until people begin to appreciate their unique art.
But coming to think of it, majority of these guys had some good support system throughout those times they waited for their genres to be appreciated.
You can’t say that of a struggling artist who’s about to be dropped from his record label if he can’t produce art that can get enough income for the label.
How about the writer that the publisher will not publish his works unless he includes some adult content in certain parts of the novel?
No you can’t use their content to measure them.
While I’ve seen great artists come out of this place, I tell you some of these guys producing promiscuous songs are not doing that because that’s what they want to do…
Some do it because they want to survive and make a name. Simple!
Because that’s what the society wants.
While I do not in anyway support the promotion or publication of illicit content by our creatives, I want to direct our journalist and critics to focus their energy on creating a paradigm shift in our current cultural values.
With this, we’ll have a shift in the content we produce.
You can’t expect a producer to put in his resources and time on content the market is not going to buy… It doesn’t work.
I feel embarrassed by the fact that most of the stuff churned out these days as content especially in the music and video world are only promoting promiscuity but then, let’s tell ourselves the home truth…
We cannot sit on our comfortable arm chair to criticize content creators without talking about real issues and the root cause of these issues-Moral decadence.
I have always believed that instead of this, we should talk about creating and enforcing regulations that regulates our content starting from our record labels to the publishers. (Which is most likely impossible).
And beyond that, the conversation should shift to evolving systems that will help artists produce morally enhancing content instead of babble rousing at non issues.
I remember there was a time major themes in African poetry and music was all about the joys being black, freedom, negritude and the pride of being African. Today even people like Beyonce who are promoting these values in some of their recent works are still highly criticized
After a while these themes shifted. And people began to embrace other major themes as times changed.
We must not shy away from the fact that art is a mirror of the society.
These things produced as content in our creative works are part of what has already been there in the society.
And because art is about creating something people can relate with, our creatives key into it.
Artists are entrepreneurs too. Instead of condemning them for putting their money where their mouth is, we should talk about coming together to reevaluate our value system so we can create content that’s suitable for a sane society.
As conclusion, I want to encourage content creators and artists to always try to create a balance as we thread the thin line between making profit and keeping the society sane.