The Nigerian music industry is an industry of few pace setters and multitude of followers of trends. Not many artistes dig deep to come up with new elements of advantage in an industry where music is the common product. Only a rare specie of artistes spice up their music with elements such as dance moves, catch phrases/slangs and uniqueness of sound; to deliver their music as a package full of entertainment.
This extra spice effect is what the shaku shaku dance gives to a lot of songs being released in the industry today. It almost feels like artistes are using the shaku shaku template to create their songs. It is the new trend and it has been so since the later part of 2017, around the time Real Self’s Legbegbe was starting to buzz on the streets. The song was the industry’s traceable first contact with the Shaku Shaku dance.
Around the same time, Olamide put out his infectious song, Wo!, along with a dance challenge. The sound, the lyrics and the feel of the song seems to be tailored to fit the ‘new dance.’ It was only natural for the submissions for the ‘Wo Challenge’ to have all sorts of Shaku Shakus. A number of these submissions featured in the official video and the standout dancers got a chance to publicize the new dance in the video and that’s the story of how Shaku Shaku became a dance trend in the industry.
From the streets of Lagos Mainland, more and more Shaku Shaku styles surfaced; featuring at clubs, at parties and at almost every dance-allowed event. Other artistes started to tap into the viral dance, tailoring their music towards the shaku shaku vibe. Oladips’ Lalakukulala, Lil Kesh’s Rora, Idowest’s Shepeteri ensured that the fans had enough material for the shaku shaku season.
Olamide further fueled the trend with the release of a new material titled Science Student. The timing of the song could not have been a mistake. The idea behind the release has to be to tap into the current mood of the industry and let loose the shaku shaku spirit. Reminisce confirmed my suspicion about Olamide’s direction with the new song, in an Instagram post. His post announcing the release of Olamide’s song carried the caption, “tempo ti change.” He went on to stress the influence of the new spice on his latest release, ‘Problem.’ He used the line, “won ni pon pon le n se tele sugbon tempo change, shaku shaku lo wa nigboro bayi…” That confirmed to me that we are in the shaku shaku era.
The trend reached a new height after Wizkid tweeted about hosting a shaku shaku challenge to select dancers for his new music video. I can bet the song would bear the shaku shaku vibe. The singer made clear the existing difference between the types of shaku shaku, in his tweet. He stressed that he isn’t looking to feature that “Island shaku (shaku).” If he doesn’t want the ‘Island shaku,’ then it must be the Agege-esque shaku shaku that the superstar is seeking. The type of shaku shaku that awon omo Shepeteri effortlessly give us.
The Shaku shaku wave looks to be heading for the European shore, with the announcement of Olamide’s Culture Tour, which is scheduled to hold in 9 European countries between February 2nd and March 10th, 2018. My guess is; the songs, the dances and the general mood of the tour would bear a lot of shaku shaku influence and depending on the success of the tour, people of the west could join us in making the shaku shaku dance a trend of global impact.
With no doubt, the dance is the current trend in the country and it is clear the direction that Nigerian artistes are starting the new year with. Soon, maybe, the international community too could take the shaku shaku dance as another adoption from Africa. Like the pon pon sound was dominant on the continent in 2017, shaku shaku is already looking like it would play a major role in the party life and pop culture of Nigerians in 2018.
Written by Oluwatobi Ibironke
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