COVID-19, a Blessing for Music Industry, Says British-born Nigerian Artiste

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Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

Songwriter and music producer, KaniBeatz, has said COVID-19 pandemic brought more blessing to the Nigerian music industry.

The British-born Nigerian said he succeeded in creating an EP at the beginning of last year with the amazing Bella Alubo in spite of the challenges that characterised the year.

He noted the lockdown enabled him to complete his new recording studio in London and establish a new record label “LMG”.

KaniBeatz, an household name in the Nigerian music industry and the global music scene, has released thrilling sounds that fall between the popular afrobeat sound of his native Nigeria, and the catchy and ever-evolving afro-swing scene that has dominated British charts in recent years.

He started off last year with a bang with the release of his first body of work, an EP called “Chrystical” with the talented songstress Bella Alubo.

The lead single of the project titled “Gba Gbe” featured Abuja rapper PsychoYP and East African superstar Lava Lava and peaked at No.45 on Apple Music Top 100 and had continued to do the rounds across radio stations around the world.

Kanibeatz has also released snippets of upcoming collaborations with artists such as Oxlade, Prettyboy-Do, and Joeboy also in this 2022.

As 2022 promises to be his biggest year, his fans look forward to seeing more of him in the industry.

His early music was released under the name Kani, with the chilled out 2014 classic ‘Know You’ showing early promise as a producer and artist: the track now has over 140,000 views on YouTube.

His eagerly anticipated track ‘Ma Lo’, featuring Brandz and Mista Silva, the British-Ghanaian musician listed as one of eight Afrobeat artists to listen to in the Guardian, showed his intent to work with Afrobeat artists to create an exciting new take on the afroswing sound, with popular urban music and entertainment platform GRM Daily premiering the single. The track has since received regular airplay on R&B/hip-hop radio channel Pulse 88.

In 2019, KaniBeatz’s single, Mr Man, featuring Nigerian singers Teni and Joeboy, has since received steady airplay across major radio stations, including Soundcity fm.

The upcoming musician said he was influenced by the house and disco scene before he began to produce electronic music, coupled with the support of DJ friends, that persuaded him to release some of his songs which got picked up by BBC introducing.

‘‘My older brother used to make beats for me to sing on. He was and still is one of my biggest musical inspirations to date. Before he left to University in Canada, he taught me the basics of music production so that I could make beats for myself. Since then I have been making beats and developing my craft” he said.

He applauded the depth of local talent in the Nigerian entertainment industry, saying the fact that new artists are emerging and are blowing constantly, is a testament to the magnitude of talent in the country.

‘‘The industry is saturated with a lot of talents and your song can blow today and by tomorrow the fans have moved on to the next,’’ adding that the key is consistency and ensuring that the focus is on releasing quality music that can last long as opposed to quantity.

“Gba Gbe” peaked at No. 45 on Apple Music Top 100 Nigeria in 2021. Surprisingly I was in London when the song dropped and I didn’t even realise how big the song was until I came back to Lagos a month later and heard the song on the radio on the way from the airport.

‘‘We featured Abuja based rapper PsychoYP on the track and it wasn’t until I went to Abuja that I understood how much traction the song made. I would hear it up to 4 times a day on the radio over there. It feels great to see that people vibe with my sound and if anything it pushes me to keep going,’’ he said.

He said his priority is nothing but quality music, just as he promised that he would always drop snippets of new songs on his Instagram @kanibeatz for his followers.