Over the years there has been a constant progression in the quality of visuals emanating from Nigerian artists. From shooting music videos with phones and camcorders to HD definition cameras like the RED series with the visuals becoming more creative, innovative and compelling.
There has also been a transformation in the generation of video directors, from the likes of Uzodinma Okpechi who was a mainstay in the early 2000s and DJ Tee to the present set of younger cinematographers from Clarence Peters, Daps, Patrick Elis, Moe Musa and Meji Alabi.
So much has changed, but there are certain visuals that stay longer in the mind of its viewers and at several points of their release upped the ante and made video directors tear down their script book for modern models.
Here are seven of the iconic videos that have shaped the modern Nigerian pop era
P Square – ‘Senorita’
When the Okoye brothers, Peter and Paul, emerged unto the scene in 2003, there were a number of factors that helped them charm their way into the hearts of music lovers but the most vital one will perhaps be their debut music video, ‘Senorita’ shot by their brother Jude Okoye. The video which saw the boys with their group of dancers doing the type of energetic and well-choreographed dance moves that we were only accustomed to seeing in Michael Jackson type videos, plays out like a mini movie with their colorful outfits, a pretty vixen, and the accident scene. It was refreshing to watch and brought something totally different to the table.
Gino – ‘No Be God’
Directed by Wudi Awa, this video changed the perception of Hip-Hop visuals when it was released.
The visual which was set in the heart of Festac Town with the use of effects to add a sheen to some of its scenes was critically adjudged as one of the best music videos at the time and earned the director a spot on MTV’s selection on Africa’s rising cinematographers.
Tony Tetuila – ‘Omode Meta Sere’
There is nothing really exceptional about the video quality for this song, as it was a makeshift visuals recorded in the studio but the emotions of the song was one that ensured that it enjoyed constant rotations on the screens, and at the time of its release, this was almost as good as it gets.
It’s subsequent impact is one that draws nostalgic memories every time there is a conversation on the evolution of the Nigerian music scene.
A video of Tony Tetuila, the ex-Plantashun Boiz member with his gold-tinted hair and a group of friends including a very young 2baba making one of the first diss records is one that will forever be for the books.
D’banj – ‘Oliver Twist’
This video is notable for varied reasons. It is the video upon which the house of ‘Afrobeats’ was firmly built. It is the video that gave D’banj his full international break and it featured a memorable cameo appearance from Kanye West.
The visuals for Oliver Twist has defined not just the career of the artist but the industry and it will easily go down as one of the most recognizable works of all time.
Remedies – ‘Shakomo’
Just like ‘Omode Meta’, but perhaps holding a more iconic place, the visuals for ‘Shakomo’ released in 1999 which originally was shot in the AIT studios before the updated version kick-started the evolution that we now have on the Pop scene. The trio of Eedris Abdulkareem, Eddie Montana and Tony Tetuila were the pivots that ushered in the new era of pop talents and seeing three young Nigerian men doing something that we once thought was specially reserved for foreigners was inspiring to a lot of people. The song on its own set the ball rolling but the visual portion of also quickly helped it seal its place as a legacy video.
Yemi Alade – ‘Johnny’
The singer is in her perfect element in the visuals, vibrant and full of dancing, for this hit single that transformed her from a country star to one of the biggest names on the continent.Singing about a playboy, the visuals comically captures a young man who is the attention of a number of ladies who run through town in search of him capturing the lyrics of the song. Following its release in 2014, the video soon peaked becoming the most viewed Nigerian music video on YouTube and a few weeks back, the video became the second Nigerian video to hit 100M views.
Davido – ‘Fall’
Released in 2017 almost at the same time as the song. Davido needed a huge record to follow up the success of his monster single, ‘IF’ and he found it with ‘Fall.’ Not just is the video a captivating watch through its four minutes run, it has also gone down in history as the first ever Nigerian music to cross the 100M views mark on YouTube.