By Kola Muhammed
Even the most pious monks in the country who have not seen a single scene of popular reality TV show, Big Brother Naija, have an idea that there is a new entertainment star. Such was the frenzy that descended not only on social media but also on streets and homes all over Nigeria and beyond, the like of which had perhaps not been seen before.
Big Brother Naija Lockdown edition was in many ways different from the previous four editions. To stage such a show during a global pandemic onslaught was perhaps a bold move. However, given that the lockdown had left many with barely nothing but screens to stare at, it was only expected such a popular show would command even greater following.
Trends on social media were bent to the will of the show and its housemates. Over the course of 71 days, drama, intrigues, twists and theatrics were dished out to dedicated fans virtually on a daily basis.
In the end, one name towered above all. Olamilekan ‘Laycon’ Agbeleshe. The manner in which the housemate-cum-singer won was unprecedented. With 60% of the votes, he became the show’s winner with the highest percentage pull.
Actually, his win was a foregone conclusion and the announcement seemed more like procession than revelation.
The win undoubtedly marks the birth of a star, with brands already lining up for endorsement and ambassadorship.
Given that Laycon was already an artiste before stepping foot on Biggie’s floor, following this conquest, his music career is one he definitely will pay attention to once all the buzz come down.
However, the music industry is an entirely different space from Big Brother house. The competition in the industry is among thousands of gladiators and not a score of persons.
30 million naira cash and a household name comprise the best headstart an up-and-coming artiste could wish for but going forward, Laycon will need to understand that, unlike the house, sympathy is irrelevant in building a music career. He’ll need more.
His single, ‘Senseless,’ is already becoming an anthem among his fans who fondly call themselves iCons but it will take consistency in quality of songs to be able to sustain the attention.
Famed MTN Project Fame, despite its ambitions, has not dominated the music industry like it hoped to. Its alumni are many but the ones who have gone on to make mark are few. 2017 BBNaija winner, Efe Ejeba, also tried his hands at music. He had a couple of features with Olamide and Iceprince but not much has been heard from him since then.
These bear testament to the widely held belief that the music industry is neither mechanical nor predictable. Only a handful of music stars have come from such platforms.
With Laycon’s apparent intelligence as well as rap lines which won many a fan over, the choice of record label to join is another decision which could make or mar his music career. With his new found stardom, his current label, Fierce Nation, may have a war on their hands in order to keep him.
Davido and Mayorkun, following their appearance and subsequent performance at the Big Brother house on the final day, will likely be wooing him. But they won’t be alone.
Going by track record, Mavin, DMW and YBNL appear the most rated music nurseries. The likes of Ladipoe, Johnny Drille and Rema are some of the stars who have risen to relative stardom under Mavin’s umbrella. Fireboy is currently firing on all cylinders with YBNL while Mayorkun has installed himself the Mayor of Lagos with DMW.
Should he disengage with Fierce, it would then be expected that the Philosophy graduate teams up with one of these acclaimed labels in order to harness his potentials.
Although the odds are stacked against him especially with history and industry trends, the landslide with which Laycon left house rivals in his wake will give him the confidence to take on the music industry. But it is going to be a different struggle entirely.
In the meantime, congratulations to him and all iCons on the Big Brother show win.