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AMVCA 2020: Celebrating the Unique Relationship between African Film & Music

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Most times, we are so engrossed in the characters and the film’s storyline that the soundtrack is relegated to the background. Other times the soundtrack is just the best thing for us about the film; a resonating tune in the mind could bring back a whole set of emotions that came across while we were viewing the scene(s) from whatever picture we were watching.

African film has indeed come a long way when it comes to its soundtrack composition. There was a time when what passed for a movie soundtrack was a mix of tunes and lyrics that gave tits and bits about the movie you were already going to watch. One would not be too off-base saying that it was not a major production touchpoint in the industry’s scheme of things. 

The narrative has taken an exhilarating turn right now. The value and stock of soundtracks have risen now to world-class standards. Interestingly enough, the talent and capacity have been available for a very long time, typified by the monstrous worldwide success African music is currently enjoying. Incorporating both industries was a quietly genius idea. The Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards has come to embrace and even celebrate this dynamic and the 7th edition of the awards was no different, in fact, in many ways, AMVCA7 took it up a couple of notches.

Over the years some brilliant soundtracks have come through the ranks and have made film experiences so much better and are even still talked about to this day. Soundtracks like the one from the AMVCA honoured movie, Falling by George Nathaniel, the original soundtrack to the movie No Good Turn, In the City by Brymo, and the one no one will forget in a hurry, Araromire, the soundtrack for the multiple AMVCA award-winning movie, The Figurine. These soundtracks have succeeded in living long in the mind and film memories have been much happier for them.

This year the soundtracks that were in the running for Best Original Soundtrack made the category an immensely competitive one, to say the least. 

  • Original Gangster by Sess, Reminisce and Adekunle GoldKing Of Boys
  • Tene by Larry Gaga and Flavour from Living In Bondage
  • Stay With Me by Ighwiyisi Jacobs and God Calling The Gift by Mercy AghedoThe Gift
  •  RunTimzil from the movie Run.

This list was made up of top contenders who put out top brass productions. The soundtracks hit all the right spots in regard to the emotions the movies wanted to convey and made the movie transitions seamless. 

Keeping with the pace and flamboyance of this category, the night of the awards offered music experiences that could titillate even the tepid music lover. The venue was a haven for movie mastery and surprisingly enough, music mastery as well. The legendary Cobhams Asuquo teamed up with one half of the event host party, IK Osakioduwa for a thoroughly enjoyable music session. This interlude paired the wit and spontaneity of the beloved IK and the musical artistry of Cobhams. They made the audience laugh, sing along and subsequently applaud. 

The event also put a special spotlight on the nominated artistes,  Ighwiyisi Jacobs, Mercy Aghedo, and Timzil. Their live performances were marked with raw emotions that silenced the audience everyone simply wanted to revel in the pleasure their blend of high notes and soothing sounds provided.

The award for the Best Original Soundtrack eventually went to Larry Gaga and Flavour for Tene from the movie, Living In Bondage. Cheers and celebrations were in the air when it was announced, topped off by the fact that it was one of the seven awards won by Living In Bondage. It was quite a night for everyone involved with the project. Speculations did circulate that one of the less known acts should have walked away with the award, given that the soundtracks were more soulful, but credit to Larry Gaga and Flavour for a job well done.

One of AMVCA7’s crowning moments was certainly when the legendary 2Baba came out to give everyone a final thrill. Attendees were out of their seats, dancing and having an all-round good time. One very noticeable pair was IK Osakioduwa and Amina Abdi Rabar, the hosts for the night, who kept the mood going even after the live show, partying and making merry, and epitomizing the overall feeling everyone had in not wanting the night to end.
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