Now playing: Iyanya – Kukere

For several reasons, I chose to play this song while I wrote this post among which is the fact that “kukere” is capable of making a monk komole in his sleep… Even SirKa agrees to this.

Thanks to everyone who read yesterday’s entry and even bothered to leave a comment. I swear that post was long gaan, 2700 words πŸ™‚ And to those who didn’t comment, its not late yet, you can still leave your comment(s) at the end of today’s post. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Wana: Enough with the flashback, that is not why we are here… I’ve got breakfast to move.

*Moving on*

If you read Sunday’s post, you’d be expecting to know the 7 people I want to slap before I turn 70. But then I realized the number of people I slap won’t affect the knowledge base of mazi and his oracles, so I decided to write about music video directors in Nigeria πŸ™‚

“If you want to be celebrated, first, celebrate people”

So gather around people, and let classes begin.

Who can give us a working definition of what a music video is?

@Rinolee: A music video or song video is a short film integrating a song and imagery, produced for promotional or artistic purposes.

Thank you Amir… *moving on*

According to wikipedia, the origins of music videos date back much further, even though they came into prominence in the 1980s, when MTV based their format around the medium. Prior to the 1980s, these works were described by various terms including ” illustrated song”,
“filmed insert”, “promotional (promo) film”,
“promotional clip” or “film clip”.

When it comes to Nigeria, music videos have been there since the days of Junior and Pretty, Onyeka Onwenu, Majek Fashek and have even survived the days of Vic O. Today, Nigerian music videos have come a long way, from the street shot “diana” by daddy showkey to the cable broadcast quality of “dami duro” by Davido.

Many music videos do not interpret images from the song’s lyrics, making it less literal than expected. Other music videos may be
without a set concept, being merely a filmed version of the song’s live performance, what ever the scenario, Nigerian music videos have come a long way.

So next time, when you tune to Soundcity or MTV base and see a Naija video playing; below are a list of directors you should look out for, chances are, one of them made that video. So let’s take a look at videos and directors that have made good videos that have defined the industry as it is today.


This is not the list of all the music video directors in Nigeria, neither are these the best. They represent the crop of directors that have made major impact. This is a random not an ordered list.

1. DJ Tee aka DJ Tee Films

How many of us remember Olu Maintain’s hit single, yahooze? See all the flashy cars, bright colors, display of affluence? Those where the ideas of DJ turned music video director, DJ Tee. Also known for previous videos like “what’s the koko”, “why me”, “Pere”, “Close to you” for D’banj and so on. DJ Tee has gone on to cart home many awards for his abilities especially for the “why me” video which set the pace for videos shot on green screen in Nigeria. His recent videos include, “Eni Duro” by Olamide, “Kako bii Chicken” by Reminisce etc.

2. Patrick Elis aka Patrick Elis pictures

I may not know about him personally but his work speaks for him. Like a thief in the night, Patrick Elis stormed the music video scene and right now is hot in demand like Nigerian food in a Ghanian university hostel. The video I think brought him to limelight was Wizkid’s “holla at your boy”. That video was so tush that if not for the intro where we saw Banky W driving into the school premises, some people would have argued it wasn’t shot in Nigeria. He has gone on to direct and popularize many videos including the visuals for Iyanya’s dance medley, “Kukere, Jayru’s “Familiarity”, Churchill’s “Roll it” which featured Sound Sultan, Laylow’s hit rap anthem,”Meet me at the top” amongst others. So whenever you see him, just “tuale” for him.

3. Bobby Boulders

He is currently an in-house music video director for Nigerian heavyweight record label, Storm Records. The Storm 360 producer turned to directing music videos when his company saw that paying music video directors was getting too expensive for the production company to carry. So Bobby Boulders takes it upon himself, goes to New York film academy, and trains as a cinematographer. His first video, Naeto C’s “ringtone” was shot in the united states. He went on to shoot the video for most of Storm records artistes including “under g” by Saucekid, “making money”, “making money remix” by Sasha. His recent videos include Naeto C’s “ten over ten”, Pype’s “champion”, “champion remix”, Shank’s “Salute”, Yung6ix’s “Follow me go”, “OMG” etc.

4. Mex aka Mex Factor

He’s part of the PXC guys that are gradually staging a coup d’etat to Nigeria’s music industry, the others being Jerry, Gray J’onz (a producer and lyricist) and Hayo Niel.

Best know for his composition skills and use of 3D objects, most of Mex’s videos are shot on green screen, the most popular of which is the video for Ice Prince’s debut single, “Oleku”. Others include Djinee’s “over killing”, Gray J’onz’s “mi o ra yan” and recently,a chart topping video for Eva Alordiah’s “higher”.

One more thing, he is married. πŸ™‚

5. Sesan aka Sesan Ogunro

Yankee returnee, Sesan, just came in and before you know it, he started greeting our screens with his montage/intro, “Directed by Sesan”.

Also known for his role as Mo’Hits visual assassin, he shot most of the videos for the record label before its untimely demise/break up early this year.

The first Sesan directed music video I saw was D’Banj’s “Suddenly” which was shot by a pool or which saw the koko master hosting his friends to a pool party. At that time, I felt Sesan was just one guy who had access to the right funds and could shoot a music video anywhere he wanted, but years later, I’m beginning to think I wasn’t wrong then. πŸ™‚

He went on to direct the video for Wande Coal’s “who born the maga”, “Private trips” which to me is a pretty tight video; BurnaBoy’s “Abeg abeg”; Tiwa Savage’s “Love me”; D’Prince’s “Give it to me”, Dr Sid’s “bamijo” and most recently, the video to D’banj’s monster single “Oliver Twist”.

One more thing, if you want to shoot a video with him, hold plenty money or else? #okbye

6. Gbenga Salu

There’s actually not much I can say about this University of Lagos graduate who switched mechanical engineering to arts and from drawing cartoon for notice boards to making big money television commercials for corporate organizations and awards.

Gbenga Salu is another man to talk about when it comes to videos with special effects and sublime editing. From his humble beginnings shooting with a camcorder to 2008 when he started making videos, he has gone on direct the likes of D’Prince’s “omoba”; MoHit’s “ten ten”; Jaywon’s “tinko angel”; Wizboy “Screensaver”; Infinity’s “Press on”; Frank Edwards “You too dey bless me” amongst others.

One more thing, he won two awards the year he started after taking an overdose of Wana’s moin moin. Afterall, what’s worth doing is worth overdoing πŸ™‚

7. Clarence Peters aka Capital

The CEO of CapitalHill music which he founded with childhood friend, Tha Suspect, is the son of a Sir Shina Peters and actress Clarion Chukwura.
One day, after eating a premium pack of Wana’s moin moin, he decided to enter into the industry, at the age of 14 even though he had been running things since he was 8.

I remember reading an interview he did with and was asked if he had received any awards for his efforts. He said no, but fast-forward to 2012 and Clarence Peters has shot more videos than the previous directors put together. *that is how awesome Wana’s moin-moin is*

Call him the Chuck Norris of Nigerian music videos and you won’t be far from the truth. I once saw a top 20 countdown show that had 16 videos directed by Clarence. Now that’s gangster. If I say I want to start listing out the videos he has churned out, I will develop blisters. But then, every 2 hours, at least 2 videos shot by him must be shown on Soundcity, Nigezie, Music africa etc

From his first video, Darey’s “fuji”, he has grown to become the most valuable asset to artistes who want quality visual representation. Some of his videos include “Shuga soundtrack” by MTV which he shot in Kenya, Naeto C’s “5 and 6”, 2shotz’s “in case you never know”, Timaya’s “yankuluya”, 9ice’s “Street Credibility”, Durella’s “Shayo” “club rock”, Choc boys’ “Nobody Test Me”, “Only Me” by 2face, “Remember” by Bracket featuring 2face, “fine boy drama” by Papi, “Good or bad” by J Martins and any video you see “A Clarence Peters montage”. **I’m sure he doesn’t even know the number he has directed** And at just 28, he has directed up to a hundred videos, from big budget to low budget, green screen to real life and represents the future of the Nigerian youth.

8. Engees aka Jude Okoye

Not one of my favorite directors, the brother of superstar twins, P Square, Engees has successfully stamped himself as a video director to look out for even though he hasn’t directed any video apart from those of the twins.

His works include all of P Square’s videos 😐 except the video for “Chop my money” which he co-directed with Ben Marc. *mummurs in background*

@RudeboyPsquare: nna talk well o!

@Akon: hey Niro my man, take it easy at least let them know specifics.

*calms down* its because of Akon o, if not…

His works include the video for “Temptation”, “Danger”, “No one like you”, “gimme dat”, “roll it” and any other P Square video.

9. Akin Alabi

Another good director that is very unlucky to be in the same generation with Clarence Peters, he has shot tons of videos which include “Komole remix” which he featured Vector and Proverbs, Wizboy’s “infinity”, Konga’s “kaba kaba”, KSB’s “live your life”, Timaya’s “if to say” amongst others.

His signature is the silhouette of a man holding a camera and a back pack with the sun setting in the background which appears on every of his video. He’s also a music producer.

10. Gini

Who will forget the late Dagrin’s “Pon Pon Pon” video in a hurry? Nobody? Then nobody should forget the brain behind that classic video which serves as a memorial to Dagrin.

A topnotch director whose works include J Martin’s “Iva”, TY Bello’s “Land is Green, “Wine for me” by Kas, MoCheddah’s “Koma Roll”, 9ice’s “Loni ni” ft Dagrin and many more.

By the way, I heard he’s single too… Ladies πŸ™‚

11. James Oludare aka J.O

The only child of his mother, J.O schooled then a Diploma in Computer Operation & Application, a Diploma in Filmmaking & Television Production at International Film & Broadcast Academy(IFBA), and even entered for the PanAfrican Script Writing Competition, and almost won, which was his 1st ever written script, EVER before he delved into showbiz and since after that, he has been shooting music videos, writing movies/tv
series, acting etc.

I didn’t know who this young man was until when he directed the video for Ruggedman’s “Emi ni” which he featured Dagrin. Since then he has been a steady feature in the industry.

Remember the that video where MI was turning around in a white background and character where flying around? Yes, the video for Duncan Daniel’s “Like this” that was also directed by James Oludare. He’s also a big fan of studio shots.

He recently shot the video for Goldie’s “Say my name” which we all agree is a superb video. Other videos include Jahbless’ “beremole” ft Reminisce”, Lyrikal’s “filthy f$x1g rich etc

12. Aje Filmworks

If you’ve seen the video for Chuddy K’s “Gaga crazy”, Jeffery’s “Tona Tona”, Freestyle’s “Ariwoko”, Brymo’s “Ara, and you still don’t know the name AJE Filmworks, you’re on a long thing.

Aje films works is a relatively new name but the kind of energy the name has brought to music videos is nothing short of phenomenal.

I could go on and on calling names but then we cannot fail to acknowledge the likes of Wudi Awa who to me still has the best video of all time, talking about Gino’s “No be God” and the likes of Godfather Productions who shoot most of the Nigerian videos shot in South Africa from Ice Prince’s “juju” to Bracket’s “girl” to P Square’s “Do me”. And then if you’re reading this after 2013, Niro Bertram πŸ™‚ not forgetting all the underground directors who are struggling to make it to the top.

Big shouts to Kemi Adetiba (Tease Me by Wizkid, The future by Ty Bello, Banky W’s “Follow you go”, “Lagos party”) who has tried to venture into a male dominated industry. *hope she will notice my famzing and gimme a job* πŸ™‚

Also to eLDee who left directing music videos to face music, hopefully as he retires we’d see more videos from him. Check out his other videos, “gbosi gbangba”, “Ere ife” by Lami etc

So that’s it! Entry 3 of 7!! Thanks for stopping by, don’t forget to drop a comment and subscribe to this blog as you leave your comment.

Your comment is like church offering, you don’t pay to go to church, but you have to drop offering πŸ™‚

I tweet as @DJNIRO_ and don’t forget to check back tomorrow.

I’m out… Peace!