Does Port Harcourt have what it Takes to Rival Lagos as a Music Hub?

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When you think of the American music industry, there’s no particular city that comes to your mind as the epicenter of music business in the country. New York, California,  and Atlanta are hotbeds of the genres of hip hop and R&B, while Nashville is the nest of most Country musicians. The case is quite different in Nigeria, as both the business of Nollywood and the music industry is strongly confined to Lagos. Regardless of their personal attachment to thier city of residence, most musicians, actors and actresses in other states would have to swallow the pill of reality and relocate to Lagos if they desire a quicker and broader nationwide exposure. Facts are: over 95 percent of the country’s credible record labels and film production companies are located in Lagos!

Music is a part of the fabric of life in Lagos. From the early 1920s to the 1930s, juju, apala, and fuji were the.dominant genre in the city. Today, the Afrobeats genre has undergone series of evolution as regards sounds (popular subgenres), and the successive inventions originated from the streets of Mainland Lagos. Do we take it that other cities of other states have nothing to offer to the form of popular music. Jos gave us Ice Prince, MI and Jesse Jaggs, Abuja birthed Style Plus, Six Foot Plus and Overdose, while Enugu was the grooming ground for Phyno and Flavour. But all these artists relocated to Lagos when their individual careers took off to make the best out of thier careers.

But today, there’s a strong notion by many music pundits that if there’s any city in the country that can rival Lagos, it would be Port Harcourt! The success of Burna Boy, Omah Lay, and Ajebo Hustlers are the very reason for that argument.

Burna Boy

Burna Boy

The African giant himself needs no introduction in Africa as whole! This Grammy award winning jack of all genres had his early beginnings in the city of Port Harcourt. Although he relocated to London for his education and then returned back to Nigeria afterwards, he has always represented his city of birth. His hit track, “PH City Vibration” off the Outside album, was a sensational tribute to the city that gave him his first platform.

Omah Lay 

Port Harcourt most recent superstar is 23 year old Stanley Omah Didia. He moved from Port Harcourt to Lagos further his career but the youngster still has a strong affinity to his home. He often drops lyrical references to widely known areas in Port Harcourt like Trans Amadi and Artillery Junction. His father was a guitarist for the Port Harcourt based high life legend, Celestine Ukwu.

Ajebo Hustlers

The artists, Knowledge and Piego met at a restaurant in Old GRA Port Harcourt, and there they decided to form the hottest music group in the country at the moment. Their hit song “Country Na Was” which had  a remix with Davido gave them the breakthrough they truely deserved. The monster hit “Pronto” which had Omah Lay on it, is currently one of the hottest songs so far this year!

Other artists like the iconic Duncan Mighty, Mr 2Kay,  and Dan Dizzy are worthy mentions in the vibrant but underrated music scene of Port Harcourt.

Do you think Port Harcourt can rival Lagos as regards music? Do believe that artists have to move to Lagos to be successful?

Drop your answers to these questions in the comment section

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