The YadaMag Music Project: A great Upswing in Faith Based Music in Nigeria by Peter Akinnusi
Compilation albums are often a hit or miss affair, especially when you are not just putting together different artistes but actually different genres. You have to either get the flow and direction right or compensate by keeping things as short as possible.
The third volume of the YadaMag Music Project went out on a limb and opted for 33 songs, with almost as many artistes coming together to give a 2 – disc project that did a pretty decent job in representing the Christian music scene in Nigeria currently.
The organic feel on most of the songs was a welcome break from industry peddled gimmick tracks the radio would have you listen to these days. The earthy ambience gave a platform to some already established acts while introducing lesser known names such as CMJ and Fidel Ochefu.
With of course a heavy Lagos presence on the project it was good to hear much more northern influenced sounds from the ilk of ChrystRydaz, Steve Willis and Fizzikal. The legendary Rapsodee’s classic hip hop anthem “Fundamental” was not left out and it was not even the highlight of the album. To have Nosa’s “Always on My Mind” and Edword’s “Ifeloju” on a project that is absolutely free seems too surreal for the ears and the heart.
Snatcha, Sokleva, C.I.A, eMJOY, and Nolly brought worthy contributions but the Protek/ Okey Sokay collab on the reworked “Ayaya” is perhaps the prime example of why this compilation should be a companion. Not wanting to be left out the singers DavidB, the soulful Tosinger and Oche offered up great vocals to give us a well rounded project.
Was this without its flaws? Sadly no, we still seem to have a long way to go when it comes to sonic excellence in the Christian music circles. Granted most of these artistes are not on major labels but it would be nice to hear good mixes much more consistently. Certain songs sounded more muffled than a masked surgeon and that took a bit away from the overall listening experience. It was also weird to hear the attempt at the Olu Maintain remix on “Lovin’”, some things are best left untouched.
This project however shows that there is a great upswing in faith based music in Nigeria, which is a good thing considering where we are not just as a sub culture but as nation. Like the album credits indicate, these are splendid songs to play in your cars, at your parties and even on radio. As you look forward to volume four feast on the wholesome goodness the YadaMag Music Project Volume Three has to offer.
Download it here