The popular saying that “two heads are better than one” pretty much applies to every sphere of life, especially in creating intellectual property. This is a cardinal point in academia, where publications have to pass through a peer review process before they are certified for publication.
Today, a similar productive kind of synergy is fast rising among Nigerian musicians, and it is elevating the level of quality in the industry. The right features, right collaborations at the right time can prove the springboard for any artist.
According to Edwin Catmull’s best selling autobiography, “Creativity Inc,” where he discusses the formative years of the giant animation studio Pixar, the most fundamental takeaway to any success story from the book is the establishment of a “Braintrust” at Pixar.
Braintrust was a mini department at Pixar that consisted of several creatives, each member, not only tasked with coming up with ideas, but also giving their candid opinion on whether a story is good enough to be worked on. Braintrust ultimately led to Pixar’s groundbreaking success with Toy Story and subsequent movies.
A journey down memory lane, into the formative years of several Afrobeats’ current big names will reveal one or two collaborations that won them cross-fans and plaudits- 9ice and 2Face – “Street Credibility,” Olamide and Wizkid – “Omotosan,” Olamide and Phyno – “Ghost Mode,” Naeto C and Ikechukwu – “Kini Big Deal,” Mo Hits All Stars – “Booty Call,” Wizkid’s performance on EME All Stars album, Eldee The Don – “Lagos Party,” and a lot more like that.
More recently, Tems’ appearance on Wizkid’s “Essence” took her to an all new high including an appearance on Drake’s Certified Lover Boy. Olamide’s work on the sleeper hit “ZaZoo Zehh” gave Portable the platform that he’s enjoying today. Meanwhile, Davido helped make Olakira’s “Hop In My Maserati” a big hit that recently landed him an endorsement deal with the Italian car brand.
This may not not mirror exactly what Pixar created with Braintrust, but it’s been effective, because when a pool of talent is assembled and the right attitude and desire is brought on board, the sky becomes the limit for the superiority of their production.
Recently, Wizkid and Burna Boy hit the studio together, killing every rumour of a spat between the two giants. Whereas, a Davido and Wizkid collaboration may well be on the way after the two were spotted partying together.
All of these are welcome developments for the growth of the industry. The competition is great, but it doesn’t have to be all in isolation. After all, one star can hardly outshine a cluster of stars.