Friday, 2 November 2012

Trace Reacts - Trace Urban And South Africa's Conspiracy Over Nigerian Music

On the 20 of October, Mr Stanley Nwabia‘s article raised lots of comments. The writer claimed to have spoken to some friends of his whose videos where turned down by TRACE and was also informed by a “Non-Nigerian Insider” who works at the TRACE Urban Nigerian Office, that “TRACE Urban has been put under pressure to promote their African host country’s music”, meaning South Africa.

In response to the above claims, TRACE would like to make several statements:

TRACE Urban receives videos from all urban artists. We request videos to be submitted in a preferred format which is soft copy. Videos are selected on a number of criteria, including the popularity of the artist and song, the quality of the production, but never the nationality of the artist. There are no quotas at TRACE Urban and no pressure to promote any country more than another one.

In response to the journalist’s claim that “the popular Africa 10 Show on TRACE Urban is bombarded mainly with South African music”, we respond that TRACE Urban’s AFRICA 10 is dominated by top Nigerian and South African but also Angolan, Mozambican, Ghanaian and Kenyan tracks. It is industry knowledge that in the English speaking part of Africa, the dominant music industries are Nigeria and South Africa. Many Nigerian tracks have made it to number 1 and remained there for several weeks, such as, for example, D’Banj “Olivier Twist”; Naeto C “5 and 6″; Flavour “Nwa Baby”; J Martins ft Cabo Snoop “Good tym”; Mo Cheddah “See Me”; Ice Prince ft Gyptian “Magician remix”; Davido “DamiDuro”;
P Square “Beautiful Onyinye” and the likes from East Africa Camp Mulla “Party Don’t Stop.

The article claims that “TRACE Urban has just introduced a new one hour show called BEST OF SA HIP HOP, showing on Saturdays and Sundays. One hour of non-stop South African music, nothing on Nigeria”.  This is not true. ‘The BEST OF SA HIP HOP’ was a one off FOCUS on the best Hip-Hop artists & songs South Africa has to offer. We have featured top Nigerian artists in the past on our most popular programmes, FOCUS and GUEST STAR, such as D Banj & P Square and TRACE Urban is busy preparing a ‘Best of Naija Hip Hop’ that will be aired soon.

South Africa is not TRACE’s host country. TRACE’s host country is the world of music and talents. TRACE has operation in 180 countries and TRACE Urban is ranked #1 music channel in over 60 countries. TRACE has only one headquarter in Paris, France. TRACE opened an office in Lagos 18 months ago with a Nigerian partner and has just opened an office last month in Johannesburg, South Africa.

There is no non-Nigerian staff who works at the TRACE office in Lagos. The writer was here referring to the TRACE Nigeria MD – Mr Sam Onyemelukwe – who is of mixed raced and who clearly states that he has never made such a statement to anyone.  TRACE has always promoted diversity and is proud to have staff from 40 different citizenships. Talent, expertise, passion, professionalism, dedication are the qualities TRACE is looking for. Race will never be a criteria to employ people at TRACE.

Finally, TRACE did not receive any request for an interview from the writer and would be glad to explain to him our accurate process of choosing videos that air on the channel. TRACE is dedicated to promoting Premium African content to the world, without favoring any nationality. Since its launch 9 years ago, TRACE has been the most effective and efficient tool to promote Nigerian music all over the world, first in the rest of Africa and then in the USA, in Europe etc. Some Nigerian artists have been exposed to tens of millions of TRACE viewers globally and this exposure has dramatically changed and accelerated their careers.

There is not one club or urban radio in France, in RDC, Senegal, Cameroon, South Africa, Germany, UK, the USA that is not playing one or more Nigerian tracks and TRACE has played a key role for this promotion and recognition. No other music channel in the world has given so much exposure to Nigerian artists outside Nigeria.

Read below the reactions of Nigerian artists to Mr Stanley Nwabia’s “article”. They speak for themselves.

"The article contradicts itself, even a blind man can watch TRACE and feel the impact it has made for the growth of Nigerian music across the continent” – FLAVOUR

I’ve achieved a lot this year and TRACE Urban have had a lot to do with that. They were a Media Partners at my Album launch concert earlier this year and have been very supportive in premiering and rotating my music videos. For all that I’m extremely grateful” – DAVIDO

Since TRACE Urban was made accessible to us via the Lagos office, it has made Nigeria the center of quality for other African countries. I strongly disagree with the credibility of that article” – IYANYA

Before now, TRACE was only another channel on Satellite TV but now its opened up the world to us and exposed us to the world. Need not say more cause it’s a visible change ” – TIWA SAVAGE

TRACE Urban has sold Nigerian music to the world via numerous channels not limiting us to only Africa and we say this because we are a part of this movement” – PSQUARE

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