African Music is Better than Ever!
Nollywood, known for it beauty and splendor, is not incomplete when it comes to its engaging music that soothes you from the start, as it creeps into your being, the African movie film scores will melt your heart.
African’s music in this respect is no different from their brother’s music from across the seas. Their true God given talent, and creative musical genes, have led them to produce some of the world’s finest music. Remember singing Kumbiyah? Or, The Lion Sleeps Tonight? (Original 1939 African, translated and re-recorded by the Tokens ’61)
Well, the Africans like Americans, take great pride in producing magnificent quality music for their films. There are several well-known music producers of film scores for Nollywood, but the one person recognized by his peers as being the most exceptional, because of his angelic use of a full orchestra, could be no other than Austin Erowele (E-ro-way-lay).
An African Academy Movie Award winner, he is one of the leading musical directors in the world. His soundtrack for Movie of the Year, The Prince’s Bride is a fantastic example of his geniuses. Every Nollywood filmmaker and director would be fortunate to have him, knowing their works would be improved greatly by his contribution, because his music scores enhance every mood, every scene, and every emotion. Mesmerizing would be an understatement. Compelling to say the least.
But just because you’ve never heard of Mr. Erowele, it doesn’t matter; it just goes to show you how he is not alone, but who happens to be amongst one of the many great musicians in the world, which will remain unknown to many of us. We simply don’t care about any other “World” musicians unless it’s Bocelli, Yanni or Amy Winehouse. (Not to say they are not worthy of buying or listening to, they are and I own their material too. But there are others who are just as worthy to be recognized for their talents as well.)
However, in general, no Nollywood film would be taking seriously if it didn’t contain a soundtrack of original, catchy tunes, whose variations on a theme captures you. It would come to you as a surprise, when you find yourself humming that little ditty when you least expect it.
Nevertheless, we can agree there is no doubt even today, African Americans still influence the style of music everywhere, including Africa, and in turn many other cultures develop their own version of “Black musical styles.”
Whether it is Reggae, R & B or Hip-hop, everyone seems to come up with his or her own off shoot version of one of the three, including Madison Avenue who managed to utilized Hip-hop for selling all types of products. Well, the Africans on the other hand, use their movies to sell their music. If one of their songs makes it into a Nollywood film, (which could have at least twenty tunes,) it is guaranteed to sell worldwide and their popularity magnified.
In comparison, it is unfortunate you rarely find African American music directors represented in any Hollywood film soundtracks or in any major film scores, unless it is an African American film. Although we have great music here, the Africans have great music here as well. You’d think it is all tribal music with drums and such, but the truth is, not necessarily. Their music is melodic, serene and certainly African influenced, but modern, uplifting and captivating.
My words could never come close to describe what a treasure Mr. Erowele is to Nollywood. The Africans know it, and so does Nollywood. But most importantly I want you to know it.
To listen to Austin Erowele’s beautiful works, just Google his name and download any MP3 song you find…they are all outstanding. Unfortunately, Nollywood does not sell soundtracks of their released films, so it has been difficult to find a CD of any of his scores, let alone a soundtrack with any of his recordings, but I am sure this will change in the near future.
But if you would like to experience his music first hand, I highly recommend you watch The Prince’s Bride, Royal Palace, The Maidens, The Last Virgin or The King is Mine. All are excellent films, considered to be the best of the best, but then again, they would be, if he wrote the musical score…
For more information about each of these films, go to www.guidetoafricanmovies.com