To talk about the Igbo Highlife Music, we have to draw years back after the civil war from 1967-1970, the period which greatly influenced the music genre. It was a period when everybody believed the Igbos, an indigenous race, found in the Eastern Part of the country, Nigeria would cease to exist.
But then came the Igbo Highlife music, a musical genre which originated from Ghana, brought forth to lead the Small Devastated Race out of misery. Spearheaded by the Igbo music Legends like the Oriental Brothers, Osadabe, Oliver the Coque, and many of them. Through it, these musicians created a semblance of hope, and courage for the Igbo race to continue striving and seeking for the best, with their music laced around brotherhood, Need for Survival, and Love.
Fast Forward to 2022, (52 years later) the Igbos have become a wonderful race, one of the highest recognized black race in the world. But the future of the Popular Igbo HighLife Music which helped bring them out of misery after the gruesome war is on the line.
Can it continue?
Can the new generation follow the steps of the Legends and give the people something like that too?
There are no replacing legends, instead, people tend to learn from their steps, and find a way to join it with the Modern way of doing things, in other to meet the “New Age Demand”.
With the advent of the Internet, people’s tastes for instant gratification have risen and with this, they are not patient enough to view, listen or accept music that lasts for more than four minutes; a direct opposite of what was the case years ago.
And to meet the people’s demand, the new High Life entertainers have found a way to mix it with Hip-hop, turning it to “HipLife” (Reducing the length of the music, while making it have the same meaning as those from the Pioneers) – A step which have been mastered by Flavor, Umu Obiligbo, The Cavemen, Ike Mazili, Ayaka Ozubulu, Olisadoo Onyenwe Egwu and the host of others.
The Igbo highlife and Gospel Music which has been christened to Hip-life is slowly turning out to become one of the most accepted music not just in Nigeria and Africa, but the world.
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