Hate them or love them, you cannot but accept the fact that Nigeria’s MOHITS family looks to be on the fast lane to America. America here is not the usual quest by Nigerian artistes and actors to travel to the United States of America to boost their celebrity status while some even end up staying over and getting lost in the U.S. MOHITS’ American move is much more grande, ambitious and ground breaking. By all accounts, this is the most daring move by any Nigerian based act or group. We’ve had bootjacks and online features, we’ve heard words about paper existing and internet blogs stuck collabos. This is different. I am not about to tell you that D’banj and Don Jazzy are the latest artistes on Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music record label. I have seen that tweeted a million times literally! Everybody still alive anywhere in the world already knows this. This is about putting history in perspective.
MOHITS Records… take it or leave are casting their net on America’s 310,000,000 people. Note that this is a dollar endowed, music pirates deprived population. While Nigerians here paid as low as N100 for a MOHITS’ CD, they will be making more than ten times that amount per CD over at the U.S. They will earn real cash off royalties. They will be breaking into a totally new market, well placed in a demand position that was non-existent and has now been created by that singular act of signing with G.O.O.D Music. Don’t forget the road shows and concerts – this time at posh venues instead of the garage gathering arrangements most Nigerian acts get engaged in the name of global tours. They may have committed as much as $3 million of their own funds into the project but everywhere you look at the prospects of this move, it is always going to be a win for D’banj and Don Jazzy. They have shown their business acumen on the Nigerian entertainment scene and you’d trust them to also bring their American engagements to bear on the homefront. This is big, not just for the group but for the African music scene. When a barrier gets broken, many more previously unheralded possibilities become common realities.
It was not always a JayZ-in-the-house-Kanye-West-in-the-building kind of life, they have come through their own challenges as artistes and entrepreneurs and while we celebrate their successes, let us also remember that we do not know an iota of their previous failures and pains. 2004 it was when two London based Nigerian boys came together off the back of unsuccessful stints with other groups. Today, each of D’banj and Don Jazzy is bigger than the groups that we could say rejected them. Since 2005’s release of his debut album Tongolo which had Mobolowon my favourite track of the album, 2006’s No Long Thing and many hits after, D’banj is today arguably Nigeria’s biggest and most bankable act. Well, if this words sound speculative, $3 million doesn’t and has been banked from the Nigerian end of the deal alone. The journey to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D MUSIC may have started last November climaxing on the 8th of June this year, the journey of these young Africans started way before the first mouth organ was bought, it started before Don Jazzy played his first keyboard, it started when they both chose to live through whatever it was life threw at them and today they blaze a trail. The Grammys remain elusive for a truly Nigerian act, that will not remain so for long. I am not saying the collaborations will produce Grammys, I am just looking at the fact that this brings Nigerian music closer to the awards.
While they are not expected to feature on Kanye’s upcoming album, G.O.O.D Music artiste Kid Cudi is expected to appear on D’banj’s forthcoming album. That is not all the news about them though, Koko Lounge Victoria Island edition is almost cooked, while Koko Mansion Season 2 could produce the First Lady of MOHITS. I wrote last year about the Super Brand that is MOHITS (google it if you like), and it appears that brand has gained a new strength. If their venture to America gains the least form of traction, they will be off the radar before their detractors realize these ones are on a flight of no return. Anything is possible, but first start we must. Congratulations to MOHITS, Nigeria and indeed Africa. The bar has been raised and that can only mean better days for artistes and better sounds and videos for us the consumers. oooosssheeeeeeee
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