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Disco Jockeys Could Promote Nation Building

Musicians play a big role in in­fluencing change in society by the messages they pass across through their music either positively or negatively, but the disc jockeys wield a much bigger influence on society.

No matter how good the music, no mat­ter how relevant the message, whether your song gets played or not falls on the Dee Jays who decide which song graces his wheel of steel either at parties, clubs, formal or non-formal events.

However, quite a number of DJ’s at vari­ous listening parties organised by musi­cians have always argued that they could only play high tempo songs on the basis that Nigerians do not appreciate or dance to slow music. Armed with this revela­tion, every musician at the studio wants to produce a fast song that would capture the attention and hearts of the society, relegat­ing the importance of passing out positive messages.

The country is going through a difficult phase, we do not need these meaningless songs without moral values, what we need are quality songs with high moral content to propagate the ideals of good governance, peace, love and unity among the people.

With the age long silent war between disc jockeys and musicians, especially in Abuja, only recently, an anti-corruption group under the auspices, New Nigeria Agenda made a call on the DJ Association of FCT, in an attempt to harmonize rela­tionship between both groups.

According to the coordinator cum musi­cian, Phil Roberts, artistes and DJs barely flow together due to one reason or the other, which has given rise to the belief that the dearth of Abuja artistes on the national music map was as a result of the lack of support they get from their counterparts, the DJs.

He had stressed that there was so much work to do within the Abuja entertainment scene in terms of promotion, production of quality, moral content but the first and most important step was bridging the gap between musicians and the DJs in ensur­ing the music of artistes, especially the up­coming ones, go viral.

“If the artistes are in consonance with the DJ, they won’t have to be traveling to Lagos. Relationship building is very im­portant and any artiste who has not met with the DJ association is not ready to do music.”

Placing the onus on the DJs to cleanse the society and redefine the orientation of artistes, Roberts charged them to overlook financial benefits but only promote good music.

“If the DJ’s association can decide to only support the right kind of artistes not because they have been paid, you will be shocked at the outcome. People will begin to do songs that will promote Nigeria, peo­ple will begin to shoot videos without nudi­ty because right now, they are only writing songs that the DJs can play.

“We have youths that have done songs that talked about saying no to corruption, why tribalism is bad but the DJs don’t play these songs. They will tell you that these are not the kind of songs Nigerians dance to, Nigerians dance to high tempo songs so if you don’t do a song that suits what the DJs are playing they will not play it. They need to start playing the kind of music that will pass out the right messages, encourage Nigerians to eschew and say no to corrup­tion.”

In his opinion, the national publicity secretary, New Nigeria Agenda, Tony Ayo­dele, noted the need for artistes and the DJs to work synonymously in propagating the Nigerian cultural music.

Citing examples of the impact legendary singers like Onyeka Onwenu and Sunny Okosun had on society years back with their songs, he maintained that the group would support any artiste with passion to produce songs targeting unity, good gover­nance and love for country regardless of its diversity.

The president Actors Guild of Nigeria Abuja Chapter, Agility Onwurah, also em­phasised the important role DJs play in placing society on the right track. “If you look at what has been happening, politi­cians come and mess up the country but it still takes us the actors, musicians and DJs to clean it up. The DJs are the ones that play the music and their message goes a long way in helping to reposition this country.”

Contrary to what most people think, DJs do recognise their importance in shaping society, unfortunately lack of sufficient funds and disregard of the profession by members of society are few of the reasons behind the attitude we see some of them portray.

Accepted, we could blame them, call them corrupt for playing songs without content once they are paid for, but who isn’t? Like everyone out there, they have a life to live, a family to cater for, needs to sort out.

Just like Phil Roberts noted, major ar­tistes who capitalize on established fame to capture all shows to themselves rather than support upcoming artistes for fear of get­ting thrown out of business, all fall under the wings of corruption.

There is no justification for any corrupt practice within or outside the entertain­ment industry but giving the necessary support to sectors starved of funds to car­ry out their activities would be a stepping stone to rejuvenating lost ethics in the in­dustry and society at large.

Defending his association and members, the president DJ Association FCT, Tade Ad­eyemi a.k.a DJ Kaool, had maintained that DJs regardless their poor remuneration in the entertainment sphere, were not bad people.

According to him, just like every other profession or vocation, the work of a DJ also entails both a positive and negative side to the job only that in this part of the world, people tend to rush to judgment.

“Every job has its good and bad aspect, in Nigeria we sometimes rush to judgment. We want to project the image of DJs that they are not bad people. We want to make sure that DJs are well paid and respected in the society.”

Once, the association had a platform from whence artistes within and outside Abuja were supported massively, but for the last two years, they have struggled with the crippling effect of insufficient funds, side­lining their various promotional activities.

All hope however is not lost, as all hands are on deck in ensuring that soon, a radio programme aimed at promoting Abuja ar­tistes and protecting the interest of DJs, would hit the airwaves with a big bang. Who knows, they might also reconsider the songs they play to further promote good governance, peace, love, unity and above all, encourage good content.

 

 

Source: National Mirror Nigeria

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