Despite the competitive and dynamic nature of Nigeria’s music scene, Brymo has stubbornly held on to his style of music and sense of artistic self, releasing songs that are distinctive – and often provocative.
But there is a reason for that: the singer and songwriter is making music that he loves and says people are buying it.
“Since my new album Oso dropped, half of the gigs I have done in the last three months are mostly gigs that I did in collaboration or for free,” he said in an interview with Music In Africa.
“I have lived off record sales for $9.99 for the past three months. Every penny I have spent on my Organised Chaos that is coming and my London show is coming from my royalties and you people keep saying albums don’t sell.”
Brymo maintained that the music industry is a front for corruption, asking that: “How come A-list Nigerian artists perform poorly live and still get paid millions?”
The singer answers his own question, saying: “It is because we have become tools for some kind of racketeering because I can easily push money from my company and hire a musician to perform and pay him a nice amount and do other things.
“It is about other things. If it’s about the performances, Nigerian artists should not be getting paid for performances because it’s mediocre performances.”
Due to a lack of structure and proliferation of piracy, Nigerian musicians often have to rely on the gigs model to make money off their creative work.
Brymo shared some thoughts on this, explaining that: “I am going to make freaking amazing music and I’m going to become the best performer in the country so that the gigs can fuel my work. And as long as I can gig I can make money enough for me to be able to start distribution and chase royalties from zero. Of course, I’d have to leave the radios alone for now.
Lamenting the low cost of physical CDs, the singer said: “At least 5 000 people every Friday night spend N5,000 every Friday night. Let’s leave those ones [at clubs] like Quilox and those big boys. People spend that much to get drunk and once that night is over, 5K is gone. They don’t take the bottle home.
“But music that someone wrote and went to the studio to record, mixed and master and made a Clarence Peters video for 2 million plus a payola media that would charge us for promotion—and after doing all of that you buy the album for 200 naira and play it for three months before it cracks.
“The next day, this Nigerian artist walks by and Nigerians will say, ‘After the plenty money he made from that hit he doesn’t have money any more’. The artist will then pretend that he made a lot of money and he blew it. But he didn’t make a lot of money—your album sold for 200 naira.”
Brymo, who has nearly a decade-long career and several albums under his belt, said he has never shot a music video outside Nigeria.
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