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Breaking Down the Music Scene: A In-Depth look into Genres and the Artists Who Shape Them

Music, a universal language that transcends boundaries, has the power to unite people from all walks of life. We must endeavour to understand and grasp the complex mix of music styles that exist within the world of music in order to appreciate the unique artistry and creativity that each artist brings to the table. Let's explore the rich realm of music genres. and discover the artists who define them.


Pop Music: The Widespread Sound












Image from Billboard


Pop music, short for "popular music," refers to a music genre that is widely favoured by a large audience.It evolved from a blend of various music styles, including jazz, swing, blues, and country. The genre gained popularity due to its catchy melodies, relatable lyrics, and simple musical arrangements, and is designed to appeal to a broad range of listeners, contributing to its popularity across various demographics. Pop music has become a staple in mainstream culture and has evolved significantly over time adapting to changing musical trends and cultural influences. It has absorbed elements from different genres, such as rock, soul, R&B, disco, hip hop, and electronic music. This evolution led to the emergence of various subgenres and hybrid styles within pop music reflecting the diversity of contemporary music. Some notable examples include pop rock, dance-pop, electropop, indie pop, R&B-pop, Latin pop, and trap-pop. These subgenres represent the fusion of pop music with other genres, creating unique sounds and styles that cater to different tastes and preferences. Pop music has had a symbiotic relationship with other genres like rock, soul, and R&B. It has incorporated elements from these genres, influencing and being influenced by their musical styles and cultural expressions. The boundaries between pop and other genres often blur, as artists from different genres collaborate and experiment, creating music that defies strict categorization.  The influence of pop music extends beyond the charts. It is seen to shape the trends in fashion, art, societal norms especially the youth culture are all aspects pop music has had a profound effect on. 


Pop songs have become anthems that resonate with listeners and spark cultural conversations. Likewise, pop music has influenced other art forms, such as dance, film, and advertising. In the United States for instance, pop music artists like Micheal Jackson, Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Beyonce to mention but a few are pop music artists that have delivered timeless pop music hits to the music industry that resonate with audiences worldwide. Their  huge effort has in turn brought them popularity, fame and wealth. 


Nigerian pop is a genre of music that is popular in Nigeria and across Africa. It is characterised by its upbeat tempo, catchy melodies, and danceable rhythms. Nigerian pop often features lyrics that are sung in a mix of English and local languages, and it draws inspiration from a variety of musical styles, including hip hop, R&B, and traditional African music. 

In 2004, the music industry in Nigeria experienced a great revolution. The contemporary Nigerian music enjoyed a shift as music artists such as Rugged man, M. I, 2face, Dbanj, Terry-G, Tiwa Savage to mention but a few have influenced pop music in Nigeria since 2004. Nigerian pop has become a global phenomenon, with artists such as Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, and Mr Eazi gaining international recognition.


Before the emergence of the Nigerian pop music artists mentioned above, artists like Tony Tetuila, Eedris Abdul Kareem, Eddy Montana, Lagbaja facilitated the rise of Hip-Hop and Pop music in the late 90’s and early 20’s gave birth to the popularity of Western pop culture in Nigeria,


The impact of technology has played a crucial role in the development of pop music as well.

Advancements in recording technology, from the phonograph to digital recording, have made it easier for artists to create and distribute their music. Additionally, the use of synthesisers, drum machines, and digital effects has also shaped the sound of pop music, allowing for new sonic possibilities and innovative production techniques.

Rock Music: The Heart and Soul of Rebellion












Image from Denue


Rock is often associated with "the band". Specifically, artists playing instruments together and appreciated as one unit. Rock can be a symbol of different things of rebellion, of authenticity. The intention behind this kind of music genre is that rock music may have some quality that can shake up people's perceptions. Or that it "tells the truth". Whenever people talk about a new transgressive phenomenon, rock is frequently used as a comparison point. (i.e. "That's what they said about rock n' roll!").  


Rooted in rebellion and defiance, rock music emerged as a powerful voice for the youth. Iconic or classic rock groups have made an enduring impact on the music scene, moulding the sound and cultural landscape of a whole generation. With electrifying guitar solos and potent vocals, these bands have crafted ageless music that still connects with fans of every generation. like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen, Pink Floyd, to mention but a few have left a lasting legacy on the rock music scene. Rock music has also been seen to have an influence on everything from the fashion industry to art movements and societal attitudes.


The Nigerian rock music industry evolution started from the ’70s. It was noticed for its mix of creativity that is taking over the country’s music industry. The rock music scene in Nigeria was the biggest in Africa during the ‘70s with bands such as the Lijadu Sisters, Ofo and the Black Company, Tirogo, The Hykkers, War-Head Constriction, its offshoot Grotto, The Funkees, Founders 15, and many others emerged shortly after the tragic civil war that ravaged Nigeria. They ruled the scene with their lyrics and instrumentation, which they channelled towards highlighting the evils of the war and ways to help make the country whole again.


In the 21st century, Nigerian music artists like Eben, Djinee, RoofTop MC's, Uchie the African Rockstar, Ufuoma P. Douglas and some other few have distinguished themselves to stay in and deliver rock tunes for rock and roll music lovers within and outside the country. 


Hip Hop/Rap: From the Streets to the Mainstage











Image from Medium


Hip hop's evolution from its humble beginnings in the Bronx to a global phenomenon showcases the power of storytelling through music. Notable artists like Tupac Shakur and Kendrick Lamar have used their platform to address social issues and inspire change.

Hip hop has not only shaped language and fashion but has also played a significant role in political discourse.

Hip hop / Rap genre's legendary beginnings remain an integral part of American history. Starting in the Boogie Down Bronx, hip-hop has become a global force. It's a strong influence on all music types and has left its mark on society and pop culture worldwide. In the last fifty years, hip-hop has grown into a diverse, multi-genre phenomenon.

Some of the most influential and impactful artists who have shaped rap music and hip-hop culture are Drake, Lil Wayne, Lauryn Hill,  Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G,  Nicki Minaj, Eminem, Jay-Z,  Snoop Dogg. 

It was kind of difficult for hip-hop rappers to be taken seriously in Nigeria in the late 70s when hip hop music was really making waves in the United States. This was due to the emergence and reign of high life and fuji music in the country as at then. It took some courage for Ibrahim Salim Omari, a member of the American rap group the Sugar Hill Gang, who came to Nigeria in exile in 1980 to release the first rap single in Nigeria titled I am an African. He also collaborated with Nigerian musicians like Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade. As at that time, his songs did not get the desired acceptance for it to do well, yet it laid a foundation for other upcoming rappers in Nigeria. Music artists such as Nasty C, M.I Abaga, Elder, Vector, Olamide, Ice prince, Jesse Jags to mention but a few, have since raised the bar for the hip hop/rap music genre in Nigeria, with a lot of upcoming artist also trying to claim their space in the rap music category. 


Electronic/Dance Music: The Beat that Moves the Masses











Image from Complex


The rise of electronic music has revolutionised the way we experience music, with DJs and producers becoming mainstream stars. Have you experienced a kind of music that is created and produced by using electronic and electromechanical instruments, various digital instruments, or so-called circuitry-based music technology? I'm sure you would have. It is what is referred to as electronic music. The covid-19 Pandemic may have brought a negative impact on the industry then while in circulation, but after the pandemic was over, the industry has enjoyed a boost in profit as a result of the return of live performances. Electronic music also known as dance music are majorly produced from sound resources, which are recorded and edited on tape and then transformed into a permanent form that’s played back and reproduced using loudspeakers, either alone or in combination with ordinary musical instruments.

Influential artists like Daft Punk, Calvin,Kraftwrerk, Afrika Bambaataa, The Belleville Three, Harris have redefined the dance music genre with their unique sounds.

Electronic music festivals like Tomorrowland and Ultra Music Festival have become global sensations, attracting millions of music lovers from around the world. Activity music festival is an electronic music festival that takes place in Nigeria during the Christmas festive period. 


Country: Stories of Life, Love, and Loss










Image from Rolling Stone


An American music style that incorporates elements of folk, bluegrass, blues, and rural dance music is known as Country music. This kind of music got its roots in rural America and reflects the rich tapestry of life experiences, from heartache to joy. Legendary artists such as Johnny Cash,Shania Twain, Alabama, Taylor Swift,Dolly Parton have captured the essence of country music through their iconic songs. Country music has played a pivotal role in shaping American culture and identity, preserving traditions and values for future generations.

Country music has a strong appeal across the African continent as well. This is said to be due to the similarity with many African instruments and the recurring lyrics and themes about love, heartbreak and "the land." At the heart of it, country music has an appeal to working class people all over the world who feel let down by the people that were supposed to help them.



The beauty of musical diversity lies in the ability of artists to express themselves authentically and connect with audiences on a profound level. Music has the power to unite people from different backgrounds and inspire positive change in society. We should learn to embrace the endless possibilities of musical exploration and celebrate the rich tapestry of genres that make up the vibrant world of music.

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