9ice exploded unto the scene with megahit “Gongo Aso” not only was that one of the biggest hits in Nigeria’ but it was so popular that white boys started singing covers, one of which became very popular on YouTube. Amongst all the Nigerian musicians he was the only one chosen to perform at the Mandela Charity concert in London 2008. His popularity may have waned since then but the lesson remains
Nice does not the nicest of voice(to pun or not to pun) his voice is a bit raspy in a Springsteen/Louis Armstrong kind of way and that is what makes him different(one of the things). He didn’t try to fake or force a clear singing voice and try to sound like Styl Plus or Tuface, and that unique voice worked for him, you may even find those with clear voices turning raspy just to get the essence of his sound when singing his songs. He doesn’t sound like anyone else in the Naija music scence and for that, he stands out.
EMBRACE YOUR ENVIRONS
9ice sings about his environs in a language and style comfortable to him and those that listen to him. A lot of the time you find singers trying to sound as western or American as possible. While that may woo some of the people, and worked many years ago, others will see it as inauthentic and think “why should I listen to this wannabe, when I can just listen to the authentic americans”.
There was a time when American styled Naija music reigned, but that time is in the rear view mirror, and growing smaller, the same can be said for movies overloaded with American-isms.
9ice is 100%. Naija. He recognizes those idiosyncracies about the nation and our culture and sings about them. His style and sound are very naija and this resonates with his listeners and those westerners that hear how different it is from what they hear at home all the time. He promotes the culture and language through his music and those in diaspora feel a little bit of home whenever listening to certain tracks.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION: If you like 9ice, what draws you to him? What can creatives learn from it? Pls leave a comment below.