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The Headies award takes a new direction in 2018. It has been gaining more attention despite the disappointment faced when the event could not hold in March.  The nominations were released on April 13, 2018. Before I continue with the list review, I will commend this year’s award committee on their impartiality and professional instinct on ascertaining the nominees. This year’s nomination looks more improved from that of 2017.

Note that, this write up is not prepared to reduce the credibility of the artistes but to address certain defaults of the list for better improvement in the coming years.
The year in review for the nomination is from July, 2016 to December, 2017. One of the most important things for an award event is to strictly take the year in review into serious scrutiny and to pick works made during that period. ‘Kiltoris’ by Brymo was released officially on the 9th of May, 2016. Moreover, a track off the album, ‘Something good is happening’ was nominated in 2016 for best recording best vocal (male) of the year and best alternative song. The issue may seem minor but can cause lot of controversy from fans and music critics. To make things worse, ‘Klitoris’ album was nominated for best Pop/RnB at the 2016 edition. Should we call this an error or an overlook?
Even the Headies award or most music outlets have not been able to critically decipher what ‘Alternative songs’ sound like. It seems any song put on airplay with the slow vibe is an alternative music. Some in Nigeria music entertainment consider it as music outside the regular pop sound. ‘Ponmile’ by Reminise does not have much of the alternative sound effect. ‘Ponmile’ has more of RnB elements. There has been much of the Alternative-RnB fusion that falls outside the Nigerian mainstream market and has been gaining wider recognition.

As a Nigerian music fan, there has been a concern about the criteria used to judge next rated artiste. This award category has been vague for the past decade. Limiting promising acts with a debut album is discouraging and it is not a good way of improving promising acts musically. Some of the artistes nominated in the last award show have not been able to successfully create masterpiece albums within a calendar year and some have not made much effort in creating body of works but just singles.  If this criterion is followed strictly, there are few other artistes from the mainstream who have shown versatility and transition into the mainstream.  Maleek Berry is arguably beyond being a next rated because he started making music as a solo artiste in 2013 with his two EPs within the space of 4-5 years. This is actually relatable to what Odunsi and Nonso Amadi have done. These individuals have been able to portray their craftsmanship into making good music as young talents.
Ajebutter22’s ‘What Happens in Lagos’ will probably be argued about on the inability of being nominated for the best rap album category. The album is a work of multiple genres and critics may place it as an ‘alternative sound’ but a major issue with this music genre is that it is not encompassing enough yet to stand as an album; it usually requires other genre to project out. This may be part of the reasons why it has not been considered as mainstream in Nigerian music industry. On the album, Ajebutter had so much content, wordplay, rhyme and a high sense of humour; but is it so eligible for a rap album? It is a NO. I won’t go into much details about this album but a rap work goes beyond the catchy lines you drop but how far your delivery as an Emcee.
Kiss Daniel is a great and a promising act that is actually showing so much confidence and hardwork. He has been able to earn three categories but some of these songs are evidently placed in the wrong categories. An example is the Reggae/Dancehall in which ‘sofa’ has been nominated. Kiss Daniel’s music style from inception into the music industry has not been Reggae/Dancehall and ‘Sofa’ is nothing close to it. Neither did it carry on the elements of the new nor old school reggae or dancehall. Apart from this, the category is a great one with talented individuals.
Categories created in Headies are to appreciate our great artistes but some totally go outside the natural meaning. Hip hop world revelation is an accolade from the initial name of the Headies award which was known as Hip hop World magazine. None of the artistes on this category make Hip hop genre, or something close. It is more convenient and wide, to give it a category name like ‘pop world revelation’. It is just a recommendation but my point is that this category name is far from the criteria itself. Still on this category, it is for a new artiste with a debut album adjudged to be outstanding. Mr Eazi’s ‘Lagos to Accra’ has been described by the artiste and music outlet as a mixtape and not an album. This is not a serious matter but artistes should try to distinguish their projects well like album, EP, mixtape, and soundtrack to limit the confusion among music fans.
Shout out to Headies for recognising the icons in the entertainment industry like Kaffy and Chris Ubosi. These are part of the ways to make ‘A’ list and new artistes understand the massive influence that can be added to the music industry beyond making good music.
The event is scheduled to hold on the 5th of May, 2018 at Eko Hotel&Suites.


These are the nominees

By Ogunleye Oluwakorede
About Me  
Ogunleye Oluwakorede writes majorly on entertainment, history and socio-economic matters. He has previously released works like album reviews and content information. He is also a music critic and analyst particularly on Nigerian music entertainment.
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