Dr Olupemi Oludare of the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos, on Tuesday, urged the Federal Government to ensure proper documentation of works of Nigerian indigenous musicians for the upcoming ones to learn from.
Oludare, a Music Lecturer, made the call while speaking with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos.
He said works of legendary musicians like: King Sunny Ade, Victor Uwaifo, Salawa Abeni, Essien Igbokwe, Ebenezar Obey, Osita Osadebe, Kolawole Ayinla, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Victor Olaiya, and more, should be properly documented.
He advocated for comprehensive research on each musician’s works as well as interview to know about their distinct musical ideology and philosophy, while the information should be documented and kept in the archives for others to access.
According to him, this will improve each of the genres the musicians represent, like: Apala, Afrobeat, Waka, Fuji, Sakara, Highlife, Juju music and more.
He said these were musical assets the nation was endowed with that must be guided jealously.
“We need to preserve the knowledge of Nigeria’s indigenous musicians who had laboured for the nation to achieve greatly in the global entertainment scene.
“Documentation is necessary to guide against gradual death of indigenous music and the genres like Apala, Waka, Fuji, Juju, Afrobeat music and more.
“Government must look into how we can research into our music, gather knowledge from indigenous musicians and preserve information gathered for the up-and-coming ones to learn from,” he said.
Oludare said that lack of proper documentation of the musicians’ works had affected the up-and-coming musicians who only imitated past musicians rather than studying their style, ideology and philosophy before making their music.
He said studying the past musicians would enable the up-and-coming ones to further develop the music while the entertainment industry also improved over time.
According to him, lack of proper documentation had also given rise to negative musical contents because the up-and-coming musicians were not well guided before embracing music as a career.
“We have the likes of King Sunny Ade, Ebenezar Obey, Fela Kuti and others, whom present day musicians only imitate instead of studying their works to make their unique contributions.
“At this stage of national development, we should have musical archival materials cutting across all genres of music in our libraries.
“Foreigners come into the nation to make research on our musicians and they take their findings away but we do not value what we have. We are allowing our music to waste away,” he said.
Oludare who is a lover of classical music, is currently working on how Nigerian indigenous music can be promoted through his research on traditional African music to ensure standardisation and for more international acceptance.