I saw a tweet about the groundbreaking PH music era that began in 06/07, and I decided to shed more light on what that moment was like, because I was a witness!
So I travelled from Lagos down to Owerri in 2007 for studies and all I knew then was Lagos music.
It wasn’t long after my arrival that the Niger Delta/PH guys came on the music scene like a tornado.
Timaya had just released his 2007 debut studio album ‘True Story’ that spun his breakout hit and gospel number, Ogologomma, as well as ‘True Story’ and ‘Bayelsa’.
Commercial buses and Symbian phones were blaring those songs for everyone’s listening pleasure.
Sky B was also a sensation at the time for his hit song ‘Am Calling (Ma Bebe)’.
The following year Timaya dropped his second album ‘Gift and Grace’ and couldn’t help bragging in ‘I Don Blow’ because he had actually blown!
Soon after, Frank D’Nero debuted with ‘Kalangolo’ and ‘Cure My Craze’ which further heightened everyone’s craze for PH artistes.
M-Kaze was also doing his thing.
As if it couldn’t get any better, Duncan Mighty released his 22-track studio album titled Koliwater in 2008.
The way that album ate… Ako Na Uche, Dance For Me, Ijeoma, Scatter My Dada…
Lagos music what? I was way over it.
Meanwhile, rapper M-Trill was doing his big ones with songs like ‘Number One’ and ‘Bounce’. Soty also gave us ‘Malaria’ (pun intended).
Not forgetting Waconzy, whose 2010 ‘I Celebrate’ was worth celebrating because that song got to every corner of the country.
The interesting thing is that most of these stars from the Niger Delta were going for the dancehall/reggae vibe and were not playing in that genre.
Those radio nights in the south east were for dancing and sweating it out as these guys were more dominant than even South East artistes on the radio.
Not forgetting Ibiso’s melodious gospel song ‘Anipakabara’, which had all the South Easterners singing in a language they didn’t understand.
I would say 2010/2011 marked the end of that era.
Maybe if it had lasted long enough it would’ve caused an industry shift and gained wider acceptance.
But then, there was and there is still this belief that Lagos is the promised land, so folks like Timaya and others moved for greener pastures.
However, I loved the way they shouted out their region with pride in their songs, just so you knew where they were coming from.
The PH stars revelled in their ethnicity and infused it in their songs.
That’s why PH folks don’t joke with Omah Lay, because he’s the only mainstream artiste from the city continuing in the footsteps of his predecessors with the home love thing.
Yes, there was a time when Port Harcourt-based artistes were on top of their game.
Once in a while I relish that blissful experience.