Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Once upon a time, a Nigerian music group by name Plantashun Boyz existed. The trio consisted of Innocent Idibia (2Face), Ahmedu Augustine, also known as Blackface and Chibuzor Orji (Faze). The group triggered a music movement that went on to prove inspirational to thousands of other young hopefuls. They inspired many. Plantashun Boyz enjoyed relative success until the group’s members started having thoughts of going their separate ways. 2Face was first to leave the group, in pursuit of what he felt was a dream that needed to be chased single handedly. His exit came as a huge shock to the other two, as they struggled with the daily thought of not having one of their strongest pillars intact. He insisted going solo was a good decision, and that they were better off pursuing individual projects than stay together as a three-piece unit.

In no time 2Face blew up, achieving local and international success with the hit song African Queen. The Plantashun Boyz tag was no more relevant, as he quickly worked his way up to be recognised as a stand-alone act. In what became a huge takeover and announcement of the arrival of contemporary Nigerian music, 2Face’s African Queen pretty much shaped how music from the continent was consumed by the outside world. Produced by Kennis Music, a successful local record label at the time, African Queen rose to the top of the charts and playlists. In most households, streets, pubs and public places across the continent, it became that not-to-be-missed song. This translated into regional concerts and tours for 2Face as he played in most African cities, despite only having one hit song at the time. He was in high demand.

Still popular, African Queen remains one of Africa’s most successfully-released songs in the last decade. Some of his other hit singles have included Enter the Place, Implication, Be There, If Love is a Crime, See Me So, E Be Like Say, My Love, and No Shaking among a long repertoire. Years have gone by, and 2Face’s popularity both locally and internationally, hasn’t faded. Globally, he is seen as one of Africa’s most successful musicians of all time. He is winner of multiple awards and nominations spreading across schemes such as MTV, BET, Channel O, MOBO, and the Headies, among others.

With five highly successful albums to his credit since 2004, 2Face has been able to sell his talent in what many would consider virgin territories. That level of success has boosted his credibility, winning for him a lot of respect worldwide, and a trusted voice on Nigerian music. In a December 2011 interview with the American network CNN, the 37 year-old, spoke of his frustrations at the structure of the Nigerian music industry.

“Piracy is still a very massive issue because there is no control in terms of producing the CDs and no barcodes. You don’t even know where it is coming from,” he said of the growing cancer that is depriving a lot of Africa’s musicians their actual earnings. “A policeman might be standing here, someone might be selling pirated copies over there and he wouldn't even look at it as though someone is committing a crime and he might even buy one”. “They love the music, they want to listen to it, they dance to it, they buy the pirated copies, but the respect for the actual intellectual property is not there”. Despite his qualms about the way his fans access his music, following a journey that started years ago on the streets of Nigeria, 2Face is an inspiration to young African musicians looking for that hit single.

Culled from MSN Celebrity News