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Mavin signee Korede Bello recently got a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the United States, for the single "Do Like That" which was released on September 13, 2016. 

This is nothing but great news for the nation, the music industry and the Afrobeat movement. This proves that we can have other potential gold and platinum records that can emerge from Africa asides from "Essence" special shout out to Wizkid and Tems for making history again by being the first Nigerian record to go platinum in the United States.

Now as we all know "Do Like That" was not a massive hit in the Nigerian music industry when it came out. Though it received fair play and promotion in the industry, it did not really have a mainstream impact. The most it did then was digital numbers and social media buzz which was quite average. This also can be attributed to Korede's social media and YouTube presence which is astonishing.

But with this recent development maybe there is hope for digital records to break even. As I have stated in previous articles, the Nigerian music industry is largely a download market. To be more precise in my analysis and thanks to the growing evolution of the industry, it's now divided into six silos namely; mainstream market, radio/television (airplay), social media/internet, real life, cultural presence and music charts. For a record to be a massive hit in Nigeria, it has to penetrate all these silos.

Digital hits have now become a game-changer in the Nigerian music industry and the internet has become our reality, as an evangelist for records. It, therefore, means that records can get a life of their own and start spreading out through the internet. Korede's record "Do Like That" which is one of the earliest digital Nigerian hits did not have any prospects for a digital hit then.

So, what then is a Digital hit?

According to Pulse.ng music editor, Motolani Alake, a digital hit is basically what has become an internet phenomenon. Its social media, DSPs and its usage across the internet for different purposes.

So, his record in actuality ticked all the boxes it required to qualify as a digital hit and a lot of people are going to be surprised it suddenly got certified Gold. There are two definitions of a big record, there are records that get big immediately after release and there are records that develop a slow but steady rise to greatness which can last for a long duration.

A record such as "Do Like That" due to the internet be maintaining a consistent level that's why it has been able to be certified Gold. Most hit records are believed to get to their peak within the first two years of their release but they are some records that especially on the internet and Tik Tok become a phenomenon after years of release. A great example in Nigeria is Ckay's 'Love Nwantiti' going berserk after its 2019 release on Shazam's global charts, Official UK Top 40 and the Billboard Hot 100. 

These are things the internet amplified with shock value. Although they are those that have stayed there without any internet assist. It shows that sometimes when we want to judge success, time is the best recipe to judge success.
This is because a lot of perspectives that you will not see initially, time will make you see them. This is also the reason why it is difficult to have conversations on classic records, the greatness of artists and cultural impact. Legacy is built with time and tested by time. 

One main component of successful records is the cultural impact they would have on society, how they will maintain a level of lasting impact on the culture. Great examples are gospel records released many years ago which are still evergreen, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album which then swept the world with Michael Mania, it still does now and Wizkid's Ojuelegba which truly changed his story.

It is noteworthy to explicate that chart(s) don't necessarily influence the culture, as records these days can chart with the help of social media but there are those that break the norm and define the cultural impact due to charts prowess. Some examples are God's Plan and Old Town Road which topped the charts for several weeks with a ton of broken records on their belts. These kinds of achievements can help an artist transcend the cultural impact required.

It is advisable to not limit the success of records to charts hits but rather try to look at the overall impact, phenomenon of the records, the cultural impact and time. So, in essence, time is the true measure of success.


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