Adele Hello Cover: A Memo to Nigerian Musicians
A Memo to Nigerian Musicians about Doing Adele’s Hello Covers
Naija we hail thee! Our ‘follow-follow’ game is in 3D. We never miss out on anything, Halloween, ice-bucket challenge, thanksgiving, hello covers. We must join every ship cos yea we bad like that.
When Adele announced her big come back from a long hiatus with her sublime hit single ‘Hello’ off her recently released album 25, it got the entire universe up in their feelings. Folks started dialing up their exes to apologise for shits they didn’t even do (didn’t have the same effect on me though, I am too proud) and telecom companies were cashing out big time. To say the song and every other thing that came with it a la video, meme, incredibly funny Instagram skits, hello challenge and covers went viral is to really put it mildly, it went BAZOOKA!
I mean I put my sleep time on the line to peruse over 92 ‘hello’ covers on YouTube, call that “Adele and chill” (yea I could be that jobless sometimes). I just wanted to see how much talent we have dotted all around the globe and who could body Adele on her own song but oh well I guess Adele’s just simply the GOAT!
Now here comes the best part, as we nor dey carry last na, Naija artistes started hitting the studio to turn in their own covers. The first to be released was Omawumi’s version. Oh sorry I meant Omawonder cos it was freaking awesome with her reggae improv adding a lot of originality to it which went on to emphasize how much of a vocal virtuoso she is.
Following Omawumi’s were releases from artistes like Praize, SO-jay, Ruby Gyang, Niyola (she said she released her own cover due to popular demand from her fans, I’d like to meet those ‘demanding’ fans and ask them just one question ‘why?’) and oh my God Dayo Amusa. Whoever advised Dayo Amusa on the cover deserves a walk of shame Cersei Lannister style. I am not even going to dignify her version by calling it an ‘hello’ cover, more like ‘bye bye’. My word, it was horrendous, atrocious and every other bad word that ends with an ‘ous’. I couldn’t even listen till the end. I felt my soul slowly creep out of me.
This led me to raise the question “who was in the studio with her? Did she listen to herself? Was she pranking us? Is it by force? I’m totally clueless on this one. She’s a pretty good actress and she’s had couple of good efforts in singing. She is the voice behind some of her movie soundtracks but this………. this is like reminding Bruce Wayne of his dead parents.
See, enough with this hello ‘envelopes’ already! We are so filled up we are close to throwing up. Start recording your own songs again, songs that maybe someday will be worthy of covers too. It’s not an ‘American’ thing for songs to inspire lots of covers internationally. D’banj did it with ‘Oliver twist’, Tuface did it with ‘African queen’, Wizkid did it with ‘Ojuelegba’, you too can do it with that ‘fried plantain’ track. Okay seriously no one will cover a track with such a lame title but all am saying is give it a rest and focus on honing your craft even more by feeding your teeming fans with good music, your own music and stop trying to secure your name in the vocalist hall of fame with a cover because last time I checked, Adele didn’t announce an ‘hello’ cover competition.
It’s good to acknowledge how brilliant a song is with a cover but don’t do it just because you can or you have enough fuel to power that studio generator or because you want to prove a point or look cool. There are artistes that trust me, reserve the right to cover that song and if they do I won’t even be mad, namely Timi Dakolo, Darey Art Alade, Waje, Yinka Davies, Cobhams but they didn’t!
They were probably planning to initially until people like Dayo Amusa spoilt it for them and they went like “you know what…..nah” or maybe they just didn’t want to betray the trust reposed in them by their fans to continue to deliver good music.
So this is a public service announcement to all Nigerian artistes and vocalist association, please if you are not Vic O, I mean king Vic O(all hail), kindly cancel that ‘hello’ studio session, thanks for your understanding. Signed, management.
Written by Tomiwa Tegbe (@sbMSlynation)