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NEJ and the Nigerian music revolution

By Julius Bokoru
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It is popular knowledge that even the least household item, maybe a cup or spoon in your kitchen must have those legendary lines "made in China". Your clothes are from Italy or France, your electronics are from Japan. You may be the type that wince and curse every so often when ever the super eagles were on one of their popular heartbreaking expeditions. It is easiar now to lose hope completely on anything of Nigerian making. That is why the "made in Aba's" keep jading out on a battle with the " made in China's" even if they are of parallel qualities. No system, no business, no innovation works here as we all know. However, there is a field that has and keeps measuring up to its counterparts abroad- Nigerian music.

Nigerian music developed in a swift pace. As close as 2005 imported music was the lubricant that kept our parties going but now the reverse is the case. No one has to be reminded of our Tuface, D'banj, wizkid, Banky-w and etc who in recent times have won back the Nigerian stage to Nigerian artists. Nigerian Music have indeed evolved, jumping many steps to be at a world standard today. This is were a personal experience comes in. Like many other up and coming musical group, NEJ wasn't much different. The same enthusiasm, the same spirit, the same ambitions and the same dreams to take over the world. The one difference was mammoth, they were gospel artists. I was at first reluctant to listen a clip but after a succesful persuasion from a friend I not only listened their full about-to-be-released album I also met them in person. The three-man group comprised of Emmanuel 'Elfizzy' Philip, Emmanuel 'Nero' Etang and Ubong 'J Hamaz' Daniel. They took me on a tour of their studio were I first listened their new album titled 'Outbreak' Their photo gallery was impressive, there, I realised they had already cultivated an appeasing number of fans as they are fairly known in and around Akwa Ibom state. When the music starts your enthusiasm is low but things change as it progresses. At the end you are seen dancing as strongly as David did, with a tinge of genuine repentance pricing your heart. At NEJ there is professionalism, there is art, there is message, there is the future of Nigerian art. In a system that nothing works-hell! That nothing is expected to work, our music industry keeps doing us proud, keeps defying all odds, keeps measuring up with civilisation itself. I was opportuned to watch one of their live perfomances at the 40th birthday of pastor Ntia Ntia, Senior pastor of the nationally renowned Full Life Christian Center, at the popular Noah's ark auditorium. Their music is not just music, its a bliss, a balm, a force of nature. Strings so piercing, voices so pure and unearthly little wonder a columnist of the Niger Delta herald tagged them "kings of Niger Delta gospel and stage explosion". NEJ is truly a wonder to behold

On the Nigerian music platform the "made in where ever's" are evidently fast losing their markets to the likes of our famous P square's, Omawumi's, Timaya's NEJ's to mention a few. A trust is coming back to things of Nigerian making and whether we like it or not that campaigne is being pioneered by the unprecedented sophistication of contemporary Nigerian music