The BBNaija phenomenon and establishing new music talents

Generating over 55 billion media impressions between July 19 and September 25, 2020, alone, BBNaija lies at the core of Nigerian pop culture and consciousness. It has become a well-oiled machine that promotes the potential of individuals from different walks of life, enabling them to take giant strides.

“The possibilities have been endless. I’ve done things that I didn’t imagine I would do in a million years. I’ve had access to people that if you had told me I would be with this person, I’d be like, “how?” It has been financially rewarding.”

Those were the words of the third runner-up of the Lockdown edition of the reality TV show, Nengi Hampson, from the first-of-its-kind BBNaija documentary: “BBNaija: The Fame, The Fans, The Frenzy”. She, and many other housemates, have progressed from being ‘mere’ reality TV characters to becoming movie stars worthy of note. In 2020, she was appointed the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Bayelsa State, capping a string of product endorsements with a political stint.

The beneficiaries of BBNaija go beyond the big screen, reaching into different aspects of society, including the ligaments of the currently trending export, Nigerian music.

Nigerian entertainment and media is the fastest growing industry with about 12.1% compound annual growth rate. BBNaija adds to that number. Since its return, three artists – Efe, Whitemoney and Laycon – have been the show’s winners. Layton’s ‘Who Is Laycon’ went from 20,000 online streams pre-BBNaija to over 7 million streams after the show. Ex-housemates such as Vee, Teddy-A, Debbie Rise, Trikytee, Uriel and K Brule also received improved numbers based on BBNaija’s clout.

MultiChoice Nigeria understood early the infallible pan-cultural place of music and has actively championed the cause of communicating with people in the language they best know about the topics they most want to hear about – music. Music and culture have given birth to iconic shows like the Nigerian Idol, Music Buzz, Pepsi Friday TurnUp and Owambe Saturday by creating platforms and opportunities where entertainment and talent are showcased and rewarded. These shows are entertaining and have become breeding grounds to spot fresh talent and contribute to the reversal of fortunes one participant at a time.

It is doubtful that any other platform offers individuals opportunities to showcase themselves as BBNaija does. Housemates enter the house with veritable toolkits of talents and skills, which they display to the teeming viewing audience of brands and consumers through the plethora of tasks they are assigned throughout the show. Tasks cut across drama, arts & crafts, culture appreciation activities, fashion shows, puzzles, and music, giving each housemate equal opportunity to showcase their budding and inherent talents, thereby invariably announcing themselves to the world.

For example, in the current BBNaija Level Up season, some housemates have begun this journey with some body of work published on public platforms and have formed a library before coming on the show. For instance, Groovy released his EP Groovy Hours in 2021, while Eloswag had released tracks like ‘Abena’ and was featured on songs like ‘Fuckitimrich’ and ‘Ecstasy’. In his discography, Bryann’s song, ‘Longe’, is off the EP I Like released in 2021.

With over 40 million watchers across Africa, the BBNaija stage provides these budding artistes access to more recognition and a significant uptick in the streaming numbers on their body of work. Bryan’s music video ‘Longe’ boasts over 300 comments mid-BBNaija already, thanks to Big Brother. As he did for Laycon in 2020, he played Bryann’s song at one of the Saturday night parties, exposing it to millions of viewers.

This has not gone unnoticed by the fans and viewers who continue to rave about their favourites:

“Bryann is the best music artiste to grace BBNaija House so far. I love him so much!” commented ChiChi Hope on the video.

Bunch of talent… Thank you, Biggy, for giving him a platform,” another user said.

Bryan’s musical range has also played a significant role in his game in Big Brother’s house enabling him to lead his team to a win in the Guinness task, where he spontaneously devised a song that spotlighted the brand. Similarly, he sang to win the Close-Up task, leaving a good impression on the housemates and fans outside. Even music bigwig Don Jazzy couldn’t resist this prowess: “Haha, Bryann na bully for this competition. Machinery”, he jokingly hailed on his Twitter page.

Apart from increasing followership and clout, instrumental to musical numbers, the platform encourages symbiotic relationships. After their time on the reality TV show, Vee and Laycon collaborated to release a song, ‘Enter My Head’, which has surpassed 700,000 views on YouTube.

Furthermore, BBNaija employs music as a therapeutic and entertaining tool, with the weekly parties providing newsworthy evenings for audiences. Beyond that, its live eviction shows spotlight both budding and flourishing artists while feeding the appetite of live and home audiences.

Musician or not – whether you walk away with the multi-million-naira prize, being on the Big Brother show makes everyone a winner. The audience gets their fix through the drama that spills into the four corners of their frames; hundreds of crew members behind the scene get employment; housemates become set for life, while their friends, family and circle grow into management teams.

MultiChoice Nigeria, through BBNaija continues to translate dreams into kinetic realities, ensuring that musical talents leap to life, spread their wings, and fly over vales and hills. And boy, do the hills come alive with the sound of music.


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