We live in an interesting moment in music history when Afrobeats has come to claim a place on the global stage. More interesting however is the fact that the globalization of Afrobeats has had significant effects on other indigenous genres of music, in Nigeria especially – in that it has hastened their evolution in profound manners. Sometimes these evolutions happen by way of a fusion of genres, as evidenced in M.I and Flavour’s ‘Number 1’ where Rap is fused with High Life music, and the public didn’t know what to expect until the single hit the airwaves and swept everyone along. Phyno is another artist who has contributed to the evolution of High Life music into the mainstream. And there is also Kolaboy, and many others. Then there is, Ugoccie, whose latest single, ‘Man on Fire’, counts as the latest contribution to the evolution of indigenous High Life music thereby claiming for itself a space in a genre dominated by men.
This might also qualify as one for the feminist movement
Ugoccie’s ‘Man on Fire’ comes as something fresh and refreshing – completely out of the box. Most striking is the realization that the song kicks off with the narration of a story – storytelling being a vital quality of a traditional entertainer. This attribute of the song makes listening to ‘Man on Fire’ a serious business, for the listener immediately understands that something is demanded of them; undivided attention and loyalty to the experience of listening. And by the time the song runs its course, the listener understands that somehow, they had partaken in the socially impactful experience of the storytelling, the music, and in every endearing element of the concoction that Ugoccie had contrived with this song. Perhaps this explains the viral trend on the Nigerian social media space, especially on TikTok, since this song’s release. The melody is delivered with the signature vocals of Ugoccie with its maternal and soothing quality.
‘Man on Fire’, counts as the latest contribution to the evolution of indigenous High Life
‘Man On Fire’ is a story about love, an appeal to womenfolk to take the initiative where it concerns matters of the heart. This might also qualify as one for the feminist movement – it will be up to listeners to decide. In its delivery, the song retains the fundamental elements of High Life music as established over time from the days of the patriarchs of the genre; ending with praises for notable individuals in the society. With Ugoccie’s ‘Man on Fire’, a portion of the song is dedicated to the celebration of notable Igbo women in Nigerian society – another one for women empowerment, if you look at it that way.
‘Man on Fire’, counts as the latest contribution to the evolution of indigenous High Life music
‘Man On Fire’ is a single from the EP ‘A Piece of Me’ released in November 2022 and is available on digital platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music.