TRACE Urban Responds To The Article ‘TRACE Urban, MTV Base’s And South Africa’s Conspiracy Against Nigerian Music’ Written By Mr Stanley Nwabia
On the 20th of October, an article written by Mr Stanley Nwabia was brought to our attention. We are making this statement to restore the truth following the numerous untrue and false statements written in Mr Stanley Nwabia’s article.
The writer claimed to have spoken to some friends of his whose videos where turned down by TRACE
and was also informed by a “Non-Nigerian Insider” who works at the TRACE Urban Nigerian Office, that “TRACE Urban has been put under pressure to promote their African host country’s music”,meaning South Africa.
In response to the above claims, TRACE would like to make several statements:
– TRACE Urban receives videos from all urban artists. We request videos to be submitted in a preferred
format which is soft copy. Videos are selected on a number of criteria, including the popularity of the
artist and song, the quality of the production, but never the nationality of the artist. There are no
quotas at TRACE Urban and no pressure to promote any country more than another one.
– In response to the journalist’s claim that “the popular Africa 10 Show on TRACE Urban is bombarded
mainly with South African music”, we respond that TRACE Urban’s AFRICA 10 is dominated by top
Nigerian and South African but also Angolan, Mozambican, Ghanaian and Kenyan tracks. It is industry
knowledge that in the English speaking part of Africa, the dominant music industries are Nigeria and
South Africa. Many Nigerian tracks have made it to number 1 and remained there for several weeks,
such as, for example, D’Banj “Olivier Twist”; Naeto C “5 and 6”; Flavour “Nwa Baby”; J Martins ft Cabo
Snoop “Good tym”; Mo Cheddah “See Me”; Ice Prince ft Gyptian “Magician remix”; Davido “DamiDuro”; P
Square “Beautiful Onyinye” and the likes from East Africa Camp Mulla “Party Don’t Stop.
– The article claims that “TRACE Urban has just introduced a new one hour show called BEST OF SA HIP
HOP, showing on Saturdays and Sundays. One hour of non-stop South African music, nothing on
Nigeria”. This is not true. ‘The BEST OF SA HIP HOP’ was a one off FOCUS on the best Hip-Hop artists &
songs South Africa has to offer. We have featured top Nigerian artists in the past on our most popular
programmes, FOCUS and GUEST STAR, such as D Banj& P Square and TRACE Urban is busy preparing a
‘Best of Naija Hip Hop’ that will be aired soon.
– South Africa is not TRACE’s host country. TRACE’s host country is the world of music and talents.
TRACE has operation in 180 countries and TRACE Urban is ranked #1 music channel in over 60
countries. TRACE has only one headquarter in Paris, France. TRACE opened an office in Lagos 18
months ago with a Nigerian partner and has just opened an office last month in Johannesburg, South
– There is no non-Nigerian staff who works at the TRACE office in Lagos. The writer was here referring
to the TRACE Nigeria M.D – Mr Sam Onyemelukwe – who is of mixed raced and who clearly states that
he has never made such a statement to anyone. TRACE has always promoted diversity and is proud to
have staff from 40 different citizenships. Talent, expertise, passion, professionalism, dedication are
the qualities TRACE is looking for. Race will never be a criteria to employ people at TRACE.
– Finally, TRACE did not receive any request for an interview from the writer and would be glad to
explain to him our accurate process of choosing videos that air on the channel. TRACE is dedicated to
promoting Premium African content to the world, without favoring any nationality. Since its launch 9
years ago, TRACE has been the most effective and efficient tool to promote Nigerian music all over the
world, first in the rest of Africa and then in the USA, in Europe etc. Some Nigerian artists have been
exposed to tens of millions of TRACE viewers globally and this exposure has dramatically changed and
accelerated their careers. There is not one club or urban radio in France, in RDC, Senegal, Cameroon,
South Africa, Germany, UK, the USA that is not playing one or more Nigerian tracks and TRACE has
played a key role for this promotion and recognition. No other music channel in the world has given so
much exposure to Nigerian artists outside Nigeria.
Read below the reactions of Nigerian artists to Mr Stanley Nwabia’s “article”. They speak for
“The article contradicts itself, even a blind man can watch TRACE and feel the impact it has made for
the growth of Nigerian music across the continent”- FLAVOUR
“I’ve achieved a lot this year and TRACE Urban have had a lot to do with that. They were a Media
Partners at my Album launch concert earlier this year and have been very supportive in premiering and
rotating my music videos. For all that I’m extremely grateful” – DAVIDO
“Since TRACE Urban was made accessible to us via the Lagos office, it has made Nigeria the center of
quality for other African countries. I strongly disagree with the credibility of that article” -IYANYA
“Before now, TRACE was only another channel on Satellite TV but now its opened up the world to us
and exposed us to the world. Need not say more cause it’s a visible change” – TIWA SAVAGE
“TRACE Urban has sold Nigerian music to the world via numerous channels not limiting us to only
Africa and we say this because we are a part of this movement” – PSQUARE