Controversial Nigerian artist, Ibrahim Olawale popularly known as Brymo has reacted to his loss at the All-Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, following a petition against his nomination by social media users.
The artist had made a derogatory comment against the Igbo ethnic group from Nigeria’s South-East region ahead of the just concluded presidential elections.
“F*ck The Ndi Igbo!! To Hell With It!” the singer said in a now-deleted tweet.
Subsequently, a petition was filed seeking to disqualify his nomination for AFRIMMA’s songwriter of the year award.
The petition which was signed by over 47,000 Nigerians said Brymo’s disqualification would send a strong message that people can’t get away with ‘blatant ethnic bigotry’. He has since apologized for the comments
Although the organizers did not disqualify Brymo, he lost the awards to Mali-based Iba One.
Commenting on the issue, Brymo in an interview with THE CABLE said he was looking forward to winning the award before the petition for his disqualification was initiated.
He maintained that losing the award had nothing to do with ‘the southeast fracas.’
He said, “I think, months before, I’d announced that I was no longer a musician and that I was instead a sonic artist. It meant I was no longer eligible for awards that musicians get.
“However, AFRIMA nominated my work ‘Esan’, so I forgot all that and looked forward to the event. But in truth, I’m no longer a singer so I didn’t want it.
“There’s a songwriting category but they shouldn’t nominate sonic artists. I was looking forward to it anyway, and then something happened. I got into trouble talking about Biafra leaving and staying.
“So, I stayed out of AFRIMA and didn’t attack the award afterward. Not winning had nothing to do with the southeast fracas. Everything only just came together.”
The former Chocolate City artiste also said he is no longer a singer but a sonic artiste.
“Sonic art makes visual representations out of sound recordings or music. Usually, a musician takes an album and puts it on, say Spotify, Apple Music, and the like. A sonic artist won’t do that. They would instead take the album and sell the copy off,” Brymo says, describing what the project’s outlook might be prior to its exhibition.
“Distribution in Nigeria doesn’t exactly exist and this doesn’t mean we don’t sell music in this clime. We do. There’s no market in which the music is riding as ours. Boomplay is Chinese-owned. Deezer is French. Spotify is more or less British, I think. And Apple Music is American.
“We think it’s business but it’s not. It’s about data and everyone is taking care of themselves. If you go to China, Apple Music is not even in the top-three streaming service there,” he added.