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Emmanuel Esomnofu thinks so..



"Love is the erotic desire for the unattainable"
– Doug Anderson "Dylan and Philosophy"

Imagine a list of the industry's good boys, excluding gospel acts of course. The names guaranteed on that list are few but one man will certainly top that list.

"Living the Dream" has been given a different twist from what we usually know through the trajectory of this man's career. A finalist in a foremost talent show, his supposed talent would've have gone unseen as his contemporaries and mates who didn't win the said show went on to become but there was something about his passion, about his voice, about his unique marketing skills, about how simple he was, the minimalist version of celebrities whose lives were the script of one big movie without the boring scenes. Our good boy is no other than the Mavin signee Johnny Drille




Leading to his signing on February 2017, he developed a cult following as an alternative music genius, that big basket where all sorts of music that isn't pop and mainstream are dumped. His songs always feature a longing for love, or an ode dedicated to the feeling itself, sometimes a person. He made covers of songs he loved particularly, sharing short stories about how he came to love the to-be-performed song and he always, always delivered. Always. And he has gone on to be the industry's darling. 

However, much of an artiste's genius lies in his ability to transcend the times and age and actual life. All of Johnny Drille's music feature almost the same words, and a harsher critic would say he's hiding under the broad theme of love. Still, almost three years after his being here, the music refuses to transcend the time, peruse social conflicts, dive into personal accounts and his fans, what have they got to say? 

His social media are interesting places. Amidst being accused of portraying himself as too soft, to him asking if he would sell out on the grand stage, the Edo born artiste once posted a picture of him on two different hairstyles. Specimen A (let's call it that) was him in his good boy Afro, trimly and handsome in the way the secondary school teacher whom girls crush on is. Specimen B is him in cornrows. And he asked which looks better on him and as if to tilt the public court's verdict towards Specimen B, he wrote "I look happier in the cornrows sha". 



The comments were outrageous in their humor, majority sticking to Specimen A and begging him to please, please, don't change his style. The Johnny Drille lover in me is all don't-switch-up-please but the critic is a fan boy of the sound could do more if thematic preoccupations expand, enough of the lovey - dovey stuff. There's a drunk boy who's thinking of jumping into the water right now to know if he'll drown or float. There's a little girl who really, really hates her uncle for touching her in places where fingers dare not linger. They're stories, everywhere. There's yours to tell, Johnny. 

The fans fail to understand the importance of all round musical growth and even though those of artistes like Praiz and Skales are criticized by "lovers of good music", it should be welcome for each artiste to look within and ask why? Why do I do this? For Skales, escaping poverty was a major factor and recently replying a fan who asked him to rap once more as he did in previous EME days, Skales simply said that rap never paid the bills. And he switched up. Johnny Drille should, but I'm sure his motivations are different. It's all in his voice. 

The question of whether he would fill a stadium proves Johnny Drille wants to be massive. The same question was asked of a journalist – rhetorically though – by Mavin honcho Don Jazzy. It was something that certainly garnered lot of thought before his signing. Massive means being un alternative, in the broadest sense possible. He must learn to turn a deaf ear to the pleas of the Specimen A people who've held up a permanent image of him and his artistry. 

He must stop being a good boy but stick to his motivations, the joy he found touching one soul out there with his music, only this time, he must seek to touch many, many more souls and the crowds will come and when the lights fade away, he will seat and feel fulfilled, as everyone who tests the power of daring to grow feel. 




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