For a very long time, I’ve been observing, music videos of African artists and feel distraught by the deviation from concepts by most of them. In this post, I will be focusing mainly on African Music videos relating to the use of concept.
Essentially, a concept is a plan. A plan is supposed to act as a guide around which a certain idea is centralized. But, what I find mind blogging is how African artists hardly stick to a concept. Most times, I am left confused because there is no correlation at all between the music video and the song lyrics -When this exists it is usually very weak. Shouldn’t there be a link between a song title, lyrics and the music video? Generally, for most songs the audio is first released which is basically a story followed by the music video which brings the lyrics to life. Think of it like a book which was translated into a movie, we expect the main characters we read about in the book to correlate with the character and plot in the movie.
I find it saddening to hear a song which tells a beautiful story, only for the music video to be shallow and not reflect the song lyrics. Then again trends can either strengthen your work or weaken it, we’ve all seen those “common” music videos, which look the same, yes they exhibit fun and a good time which is not a bad thing if it communicates the concept.
I’m not dismissing the fact that sometimes an abstract concept will be the approach taken by the artist. That’s the beauty of art after all. A song whose lyrics is rooted in something emotional and eloquent should not discard this plot and lose meaning through a music video which simply follows trends and does not capture the real story.
I used to dismiss people who pointed out that African artists try too hard to depict American artists. I don’t think it’s literally depicting them but more of following trends, the notion being that if your music video follows a trend its easier for it to break global barriers. Throughout the years’, nudity in specific music genres has always been predominant. But we need to understand and take into consideration the context of our respective countries and what would set us apart from the rest.
Instead of following overtly used trends, let’s try to communicate the concept through clear concise storytelling.
Who knows we might even break more barriers through our own differentiated concepts.