Music Around the World

Mehalet KesateBirhan, Staff Writer

The name is pretty self-explanatory – ‘Naija.’  Naija is slang for ‘Nigerian’ so Naija music is basically Nigerian music, but with a very modern twist. If there is one thing to be said about Naija music, it’s that it gives people dance moves they never knew they had! Traditional Nigerian music, in most cases, is pretty catchy; Naija music takes that and adds new flavor by infusing it with genres like R&B and Hip-Hop. It is a genre of its own widely dominated by English-Nigerian artists who are quickly rising to fame. Perhaps one of the most famous Niaja groups is P-Square. The duo produce great tunes like Alingo and No One Like You. P-Square has also produced music in collaboration with Rick Ross (Beautiful Onyinye) and Akon (Chop My Money). Listening to their music one cannot help but notice subtle similarities to American Hip-Hop and/or R&B; their idol is after all Michael Jackson. These similarities have been costly to P-Square who has received a lot of backlash for lacking originality, but it isn’t so. These similarities only help bridge the very wide gap between Western and African music. By making their music relatable they are putting African music on the map, how can that be wrong?

Amongst the many notable musicians to come from Nigeria we have Iyanya who brought us Le Kwa UkWu and Kukure, the latter being a personal favorite Naija. Why is it my favorite when most of Niaja music pretty much has the same beat? Kukure incites a specific feeling. One of the best things about Naija music is that each song gives off it’s own vibe. Gobe by DaVido incites thoughts of cheerfulness and puppy-love where as Beat of Life(Samba) by Sarz simply makes you want to loose yourself in the music. It almost seems like Niaja music is designed to beat in sync with your heart, making you want to move the best way you know how. A helpful fact is that verses are usually sung in English and the verses do not need to be understood to be enjoyed. Naija music is very much present in Spotify, Itunes, Youtube and I’m sure any other source of music mainly used. Play it when you have errands to run, when you have chores to do and need the motivation. Play it at parties and watch as people go on the dance floor. Play it when you’re home by yourself and dance because no one is watching. Wherever it may be, Niaja music will add color to any task or event.