Naija Songs As Music Therapy: Do We Have It?

Roy Ayers once said, ‘the true beauty of music is that it connects people. It carries a message, and the musicians are the messengers.

According to research, music is a medium of healing.

A song has the innate ability to influence any mood. It can make you feel loved or fall in love, make you want to die or stay alive, make you want to take control of your life or just completely let loose.

What is Music Therapy? It’s the use of music to address certain emotional, social, and cognitive needs of individuals. It’s more like administering music as a tool to slip past the pain by gathering insight into the workings of someone else’s mind. However, I feel it my duty to tell you what this article isn’t. This article isn’t an endorsement of musicians as therapists, one has to be certified professionally to become one. This article simply highlights the importance of a meaningful song, one that heals and serves a purpose.

I have had cases where I was completely broken and music was my go-to succour. I have heard of cases where people remained alive simply because of the message a music artist passed across using his music.

The question yet remains, with the unrivalled success of the Nigerian music industry in the last decade, can any Nigerian song have a therapeutic effect on its listeners?

90% of Nigerian artistes make songs that will never outlive them. They make them to garner instant commercial appeal, doling out ‘meaningless’ lyrics to cater to an attention-deficit generation. Apart from the likes of Johnny Drille, Simi, Adekunle Gold, Ric Hassani and other undiscovered artistes exploring alternative sounds, the rest of the pack are simply recycling lyrics.


Something that sadly has come to be called art.

I have never found the need to listen to a Nigerian song when I’m sad and I bet the story must probably be the same for you. I look forward to a time when our artistes will use their songs to better the lives of their fans, especially in down times.

That’s probably a long shot though.

But till then, on a scale of 1–10, Nigerian songs in terms of therapy is more like a 2.

Even that, is probably a hype.

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