Veteran Nigerian singer Ay.com believes that the Nigerian music industry is very different from how it looked in the early 2000s. The musician, whose real is Ayoola Johnson, however, gives kudos to the new school of musicians applauding their trailblazing feats.
“The guys right now (I don’t want to sound like one old guy), what they do is really cool,” Ay.com said. “There are more opportunities for musicians in Nigeria now than before,” he continued.
The singer described how he had to physically carry two bags of his hit song “Pass Me Your Love” from one radio station to the other to promote it. “Now, it is easier because right now, you can just be in your comfort zone and make music and send it out there and Drake will just be listening to you or Jay Z will just be listening to you and reach out to you,” Johnson said.
Unlike the days of “Pass Me Your Love”, Ay.com says that tech has simplified things. “I don’t even have to leave my house and I will send my music to the US,” he said.
The singer who tagged himself OG before IG admits that while it may be easier to reach out with your music, you also need more creativity.
In addition, he described how there are now more opportunities to monetise the art through endorsements; “Then there were no endorsements, they didn’t really believe in Nigerian music then. You can have a great song but companies are not coming to invest. But right now, you just have a good song and you will have companies running here and there to invest and get you to talk about them.”
Ay.com also says that he has a lot of favourites among the new artistes in Nigeria while mentioning the likes of Davido, Wizkid and Burna Boy but also conceding that they could no longer even be classified as ‘new artists’. Peruzzi, Praiz, Omah Lay, Fireboy DML were also some of the artists that Ayoola Jonson name-dropped as his favourites.
Ay.com concluded his assessment of the music industry with a hint of things to come, “I will be working with a lot of them,” the singer said.