By Bankole Wright
There are myriad of artists in the Nigerian space, and they function for diverse purposes and at different levels of influence. However, there are some artists who irrespective of time and space, their songs still linger in the hearts and minds of listeners; I marvel when songs of Fela Anikulapo still creates emotional response in the hearts of many; Asa’s melodious renditions coupled with strong depth of lyrical repository which leaves her listeners with an emotional outburst is a proof of erudition in music. Timi Dakolo will not cease to amaze me by the depth of poetic information which he embellishes his songs with; whenever Tu Baba’s songs are heard anywhere, I find myself glued to its content, hence moving at the rhythmic flow impressed in my heart. It is simply magical, enchanting and extremely alluring to the mind.
It has been observed that there is no magic done by these artists other than an examination of purpose of the craft and devotion to the art and most importantly, the intellectual act of creating stories; not just anyhow stories which begs the question of morality, intellectualism or even probability but the creation of musical narratives which listeners can relate with and discover themselves in the song.
In these contemporary times, Nigerian music industry is pervaded by a notion of “quick money” with less thought; an erroneous crave to make money through music hence, creating anyhow music, one lacking depth and prudence in ideas, one lacking patience and a strong desire to provide a laudable repertoire of service, one which will not just be heard at its release and lose its value to time but one to be continuously listened to simply because it reflects reality and captures human experience.
It is a disservice to go to the studio to cook up junks into the ears of listeners, who will pay to buy your CD’S and attends your concerts. In every business, it is important to know that your customers deserve extreme satisfaction, provided they pay you well. The business of music should also apply to this principle, your art must adequately satisfy your listeners because they pay to listen to your songs. However, I am not here to discuss the business of music, but the art.
It is, however, impressive to find that in the pervading craze and musical pervasion, we can find some one or two persons, sane enough to love the art of music and provide good service of content and rhythmic prudence into music.
I was at work when I heard Simi’s latest release which she titled “JOROMI”, simply because I have always respected her kind of music I downloaded it to listen to it INTENTIONALLY.
To start with, the melody is deeply intelligent. She exposes the main problem of the story which is that of an “unreciprocated love”,
She says, Joromi Joromi…. I want you to love me
The singer expresses her desire for his attention, his love, his care and affection which she is yet to receive. She says, kilode, kilode oh…why you no dey call me? Here she deeply portrays the usual reality of desire for attention, everyone desires to love and attention, it becomes beautiful when it is coming from someone you love but she does not receive love in return from the fellow called Joromi. A sad reality it is for her.
She gives him signals, green light and impressions of a lady ready for love yet he does not seem to acknowledge her advances towards him.
The character makes it plain, hitting the nail on the head in the chorus, saying, “me I want to be your lover”. She willingly decides to give her phone number to Joromi so he can call her; this is contrary to the popular mindset which believes a guy should beg for a lady’s number before she even decides to think about giving him. The tables are simply turning for Simi.The chorus is a reflection of intense sincerity burning out of passion whereby she does not hide her feelings even in a society where women are not made to air their emotional activities and deep-seated desires. Simi in this song reflects her refusal to be silenced by a society which may term her “loose“and“cheap”, she goes on to express her unflinching love for Joromi ignoring public sayings, derogatory statements and insults which may be hurled at her for expressing her feelings.
In the second verse, she transfers her anger and hurt to Joromi’s friend, asking him to help her talk to Joromi concerning her love for him, she accuses the friend who she claims lied to her that Joromi likes her simply because she cannot find any green light from Joromi despite her consistent advances towards him.
This is a verisimilitude of recent reality, where a lady loves you but she can’t say it to the guy then she confides in his friend who will be the spokesman and matchmaker, a juvenile reality though and when things don’t work out well, she blames the friend.
She concludes in her last verse which came after the instrumentalists rendering, she says;oh baby no be crime, make person love you… I love you.
This summarizes the whole story; Simi boldly asserts that there is no crime in loving you, though the world may call me cheap, lady of easy virtue and even go ahead to call her a prostitute, simply because she expresses her love for a man, whom the society thinks should always do the wooing, here the reverse is the case, the lady does the wooing.
Simi is indeed a storyteller who focuses and observes the reality around her, it is an evident fact that she is not one who goes into the studio to cook up junks for the media to chew, irrespective of its sour taste, but she is one who goes into the kitchen (studio) with a mindset of preparing a good and nutritious food (music) which will leave the eaters’ taste buds asking for more.
Simi is one of those singers of this contemporary time whose art reflects reality and verisimilitude, her tiny melodious voice sends cold chill into the hearts of many, you are yet to digest the melodious voice till you receive another plate of intelligent and well-thought lyrics, that which sends your mind thinking and simply conceptualizing a probable event.
Simi’s melodious story is a typical reflection of a Nigerian lady who loves (she proves as a lady, you have the right to love) but cannot express her love simply because she is bothered about what people will call her, Simi hereby leads by example by damning the consequences, saying express your love while there is still time.
God bless Simi for liberating minds in her song “Joromi”, and I do hope Joromi has reciprocated as well.
Love is a risk, only the wise take it.