I have heard and read people in the music industry speak & write against rivalry in the Nigerian music industry which I totally frown against. One thing that needs to be very well understood is the fact that in every trade or art that exist, the presence of rivalry is very healthy and so important in making such businesses or arts grow.
And why is it so important? Since trade is all about rendering services in exchange for money, every person that patronizes such trade deserves the best of services and as it should be known, when there is lack of competition for a particular business or in a case where there is monopoly of trade, the efficiency in the services to consumers might lack quality which in turn would frustrate patrons.
Bringing the Nigerian music industry into this space, competition or rivalry should not be frowned at but even very well encouraged. Without rivalry in this industry, there won’t be entertainment for fans, there would be the lack of motivation for quality delivery from music artistes and more importantly, there would be lack of growth (as against people opining that rivalry kills growth in the industry).
Using Davido & Wizkid for an illustrative purpose, these two artistes are currently the biggest music artistes in Africa and the greatest music exports that Africa have ever seen. Many would argue that their talents, creativity, marketing power and hard-work are what have gotten them to the unrivaled level they are now, yes! they have played a part truly, but you cannot underestimate the power of rivalry in making them the artistes they are right now.
Since they stormed the music industry a decade ago, they have been arch-rivals which has also caused their fans to be but it hasn’t caused any negativity for the two artistes but positivity. Davido and Wizkid whether you like it or not, respect each other’s hustle (as it is seen when they are on good terms) and at the same time have fear for each other’s trade which constantly keep them on their toes every now and then to always try to outshine each other.
I am sure when Wizkid drops a song and it does so well, Davido gets bothered and tries not to allow it do so much, releasing his to create competition, and that goes for Wizkid too. This exactly is great for the fans as it allows us listen to quality and not what is done out of the knowledge that no one would do anything close to what either of them does in terms of music brilliance.
Their rivalry now stands as a benchmark for the way they go about their music trade which has made them grow so much commercially and internationally. Their rivalry has also played a huge part in making them the biggest ambassadors of Nigerian music. Because of Davido and Wizkid a lot of westerners have been drawn to the music in this part of the world which only means nothing but growth for us.
Aside the quality of music the rivalry of these two gems give to fans and aside the growth it supplies to the music industry, it highly keeps fans entertained. Comparison, exchange of words, rare support of each other, fans’ disagreement are all what never encourage boredom in this game. If rivalries never exist, all these would cease to exist and there won’t be anything entertaining about Nigerian music.
However, what should invoke negation is violent rivalry. In cases when rivalry is now becoming something that leads to artistes being physically confrontational with each other, then alarm should be raised and steps taken to restore sanity.
According to American Novelist & Poet, Louisa May Alcott; “Rivalry adds so much to the charm of one’s conquest.” This means that knowing you have won in the midst of keen competition; you get to appreciate your efforts more. This indirectly translates to the fact you wouldn’t want to back down on any effort that brings you sweet victory, which is good for everyone who gets benefit in the area you’ve won (relate this to the music industry).
Conclusively, I am opining that, yes! love should be encouraged, but it doesn’t mean that the existence of rivalry should be frowned at. Love and rivalry can co-exist! People become rivals and yet still become friends and also people become enemies yet without being rivals. Rivalry is not a standard for enmity but more for quality control. Therefore, in an emphatic manner, I am clamouring that RIVALRY is good for our music industry and should be left to triumph.
Written by Taiwo Oluwafemi