Naira Marley Or Asake: Nigerians Choose Their Pick
Asake amassed over a million views on YouTube within 24 hours with his new song, “Terminator.” This gave Twitter NG something to talk about as they compare him with Naira Marley.
This comparison was necessitated by the fact that lovers of Nigerian music believe both artistes create the same kind of music, and that Naira Marley had a moment like this with back-to-back hits in 2019.
TNR interviewed young Nigerians between the ages of 19-29 who speak on who the G.O.A.T is between Asake and Naira Marley is. It is paramount to note that Naira Marley has been in the industry since 2019 whereas Asake found stardom in 2022.
Leonard Ikpeama, music instructor and guitarist, opines that both artistes cannot be compared musically because Asake is better than Naira Marley. “Asake has more musical elements and fundamentals than Naira Marley. Naira Marley was for the streets. Asake is for the majority,” he stated. In other words, Naira Marley’s music resonates with the streets. The whole razz and Marlian movement. People who grew up in the street loved that kind of music. However, Asake’s music is not just for the streets. It’s for everyone. For the majority. In addition, Ikpeama thinks that both do not do similar styles of music. “Asake is more of the amapiano vibes. Naira Marley was more of a street dance hall.”
Michael Onuora, who is a rising producer, songwriter and artiste thinks that both artistes “are majorly amapiano artistes who go heavy on their Yoruba languages.” Onuora gives the G.O.A.T crown to Asake because, “As a musical person, I’m attracted to Asake more. He’s crafted out his own niche and sound. NM is significantly noticed once you hear him, but Asake is just a breath of fresh air. Asake has literally recycled his sounds with different vibes and same signature vocal deliveries, yet he ain’t boring.”
Kimberly Okwuchi agrees with Onuora on this assertion but prefers to address Asake as “catchy but monotonous.”
“Who is Naira Marley? That noisemaker!” Vivian Onyinyechi, a rising artiste, laughed. “Asake makes ghetto music so chill, very interesting and there’s no way you would listen to his song and won’t have your head bouncing.”
Does this automatically suggest that Naira Marley is considerd boring by Onuora and Onyinyechi?
Kehinde Owoseni agrees that Asake and Naira Marley project the same style of music and their contents are obscene. However, “in terms of lyrics, Naira Marley has more well fine-tuned nonsense than Asake.”
“By next year no one would remember this name in the music industry,” Enoch Shimeson, music instructor and Saxophonist, said, referring to Asake. “Nigerian music has a way it works. Once you’re not able to drop hits back-to-back, just forget it,” he added. Shimeson emphasized on how Asake is busy dropping the hits he can use to stay relevant back-to-back like rain drops. “What happened to Lil Kesh and others who gave us such vibes,” he concluded as he refers to some artistes who had hit songs earlier and are not on our top charts anymore. Shimeson cannot make a pick between the two because he is watching how it pans out in the future.
Fabian Ikechukwu, who is a rising Igbo rapper, thinks the comparison is not right because Naira Marley is way ahead of Asake. “He didn’t only give Nigerians hit back-to-back, he created a cult movement, like he made a whole new culture out of the normal thing we used to see. You know about the Marlians movement. The no-belt movement. He legit made most of the Nigerian music legends accept to be called Marlians. He carried everyone along. Dropped hit songs even straight outta jail.” Ikechukwu is of the opinion that Asake is still young and may not survive the harsh environments. “Let’s just calm down and give the young man time to prove himself well before comparing him to people,” Ikechukwu implored Nigerians.
Chiagoziem Ikediashi sees Naira Marley as an older version of Asake, “but worse. One sound. One pattern. No craft. Just vibe.” Ikediashi believes that Naira Marley’s last album was not a hit because he was trying to change his sound and the market was not accepting it “because he has made his sound indigenous to that his normal pattern”. For Ikediashi, his pick would be Asake because he is under Olamide and can get a good influence to change his sound”.