Sometimes inspiration can come from having a deep conversation with a music journalist. Other times, it can come from having your nose swimming with fart. This is the story of the Nigerian music industry.
We brag about our interesting songs, and how this country can produce heat for days. But you know what we can’t brag about? The types of inspiration our musicians utilise to make these records. It isn’t only Hennessy and marijuana that offer these things. Sometimes, it comes from very interesting places.
Take for example the classic record ‘Booty call’, performed by the defunct Mo’Hits records. According to Don Jazzy, that call came from having a lady with a big butt drop the smelliest fart ever. We all believe that he might be joking, but what if he isn’t? What if a girl really did fart, leading them all to new levels of promotion? You never can truly tell.
For many other artists, there are different paths to achieving this. Some of your favorite records were gotten from random moments that gave them a spark of creativity. Once this happens, the resp becomes history.
We have curated 5 of those moments below, for your reading pleasure.
Korede Bello discovered ‘Romantic’ during Tiwa Savage’s wedding
You know that pretty dope record that has Tiwa Savage and Korede Bello discovering love all over the place with very flowery words? Yes. That really ‘Romantic’ record. Korede Bello didn’t find a new lover, or sing about an old love. He simply attended the lavish 2014 wedding of Tiwa Savage and Tee Billz in Dubai. While there, with the dancing and everything on around him, his brain hit a note, and he recorded it on his voice note. That note was developed a year later into the single ‘Romantic’.
Terry G had an inspiration when high, and mistakenly freestyled ‘Free Madness’
‘Free madness’ is a single-take freestyle. This means it is a recording done via the singer just spitting words on a mic over the beat in a studio. When this was done, nothing else was changed. Terry G recorded this when he was high, and somehow, it found its way into DJ mixes from Alaba. From there, it became the biggest hit released in 2008. There was nothing in that song, just a beat, and some freestyle from a guy who was very very very very high! Jesus!
But that is half the story. The full story is that the beat was never supposed to have a Terry G freestyle recorded on it. The singer was producing a record for a group called Soji Mopol. Halfway through the recording, the group members stepped outside for a smoke. While they lit up their blunts and enjoyed a well-deserved break, Terry G came upon the brilliant idea of freestyling on the beat. So he simply set up the mic, and let loose.
“Test the microphone eh, Terry G test the microphone eh…”
2face Idibia Got ‘Gaga Shuffle’ when he heard the piano by mistake
2face Idibia is currently working on a studio album, and Dapiano is one of the producers selected for that project. He is working on 4 songs with 2face Idibia and none of them was originally ‘Gaga shuffle’. 2face Idibia needed something else with him.
So on that day, they had a recording session in Piano’s studio in Lekki, Lagos. 2face Idibia didn’t want to drive the distance alone. He found company in his close friend and industry entrepreneur Larry Gaga. When they arrived at the studio, Dapiano was making a different beat. He was experimenting with the ‘Pon pon’ sound, and didn’t want to play it for 2face. He had someone else in mind, not this legend.
But something happened, as 2face and Larry Gaga conversed in the studio, he heard a percussion out loud from the speakers.
“He heard the beat, and said he liked it,” says Dapiano. “It was as easy as anything else. It was the first thing that came out of his mouth that was the song. The entire song was recorded within 30 minutes.”
What followed after that was pure magic. 2face Idibia had sensed a good melody, and he had to record it. The song scattered his head, and he couldn’t control it. He had to freestyle about what he was feeling. He had become ‘crazed’ by the beat. But nobody else could understand, so he began to drop the line.
“As I wan craze, I wan involve you for my fucking craze,” he was singing to everyone in the studio. He has become crazy in the beat, and everyone had to be involved. Larry Gaga liked the beat too, and began to do his special dance. ‘Gaga shuffle’ isn’t just a title. It was a signature dance by Larry Gaga who was in the studio and began to move his body.
2face, sensing an opportunity, dragged the dance into the record. “Everybody do the Gaga shuffle,” he continued, maximising the energy and creating a record. It took less than 30 minutes for everything to align, and the record was created. That’s how the record came to be.
9ice got living things when he was being ‘taxed’ by fans in Kogi State
While a lot of us would want to hand over 9ice to the NBC due to the lyrics of his song ‘Living things’ glorifying suspect characters, you would have to ask the singer himself. The record which was one of 2017’s standout projects wasn’t exactly inspired by people on EFCC’s most wanted list. Instead, it came from his people, his fans who came to seek blessings after a festival in Kogi State.
‘The inspiration behind the song came to be when I went to Kogi State for a festival,’ he said. ‘So when we were about to leave, a guy blocked the road and said ‘these are living things,’ we’re here baba.
‘So someone gave them money,’ he continued. ‘And the guy just kept on saying ‘we’re living things, we’re living things’.’
‘So on our way back to Lagos from Kogi, the word he was saying kept coming to me, and I worked on it and developed the song we all now listen to and enjoy.’
Adekunle Gold released ‘Pick up’ because he was oppressed at a concert
Adekunle Gold looks like that guy next door that God has blessed, because he’s always stretching his hands and pleading for help from above. That stance is captured perfectly in the record ‘Pick up’.
But why did he release that record? Because he was oppressed. Adekunle Gold was refused entry into a venue he was supposed to perform at. For some reason, another guy with more money drove by, and everyone simply opened the doors for him to gain access. That bitter feeling inspired Gold to release the record, which became an instant hit.
“I wrote the song six months before dropping it, I was at a gig with my manager and I was supposed to perform but the guard won’t let me in, so he was very stubborn and someone drove in and was allowed without any hesitation, so that motivated me to drop the song,” Adekunle Gold said.
The video of the song, shows a poor driver who was looking for God’s help at all cost, and after series of plea that God should pick up his call saying he wants to be rich like the Otedola’s and Dangote, eventually he got helped as God picked up his call.