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Nigerian Afro Pop Music Videos as a Site for Visual

Storytelling: A study of Pray for Me by Darey Art Alade.

By

Anigbo, Ifeanyichukwu Augustine


(14100110021)

A project submitted to the School of Media and


Communication in partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the award of the degree of Bachelor of Science in Mass
Communication at the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos.

August 2018

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ABSTRACT

This research had an overall objective of exposing the capacity of music videos as a
medium for visual communication. The goal was to examine Nigerian Afro Pop music
videos as a site for visual storytelling using an in-depth analysis of the music video for
the song Pray for me by Darey Art Alade. The study aligned with Oliva, Bidarra and
Araujo’s (2017) argument that the digital environment supports the possibility for music
videos to contain complete narratives in what they termedexpanded narratives. The video
text was analyzed deeply using textual analysisby adopting a systematic framework
consisting of four textual analysis elements – identification, significance, connection, and
inferences – and also four major features of visual narratives.The findings revealed that
the music video for Pray for me by Darey Art Alade told a story, and this was achieved
by the use of visual techniques such as cinematography, color, and editing to create
dynamic images that matched the lyrical content of the song. Thereafter, the
researcherconcluded that the use of storytelling within Nigerian songs encourage the
possibility of exhibiting visual narratives in their accompanying music videos.
Keywords: Music videos, Visual narratives, Afro pop, Visual Communication, Images.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I thank my supervisor, Dr. Patrick Enaholo, who continuously motivated me to keep

making progress even when I felt anxious and overwhelmed by this project. I also

appreciate his patience and constructive criticism of my work.

I am also grateful for Professor James Tar Tsaaior who helped me with the initiation of

this project, and gave me a sense of direction. For Dr. Pius Onobhayedo, a mentor and

friend, who continuously urged me with words of encouragement and counsel.

Many thanks to Mr. Munachim Amah, a great fellow who inspired me in many ways, Dr.

Ikechukwu Obiaya, Mr. Anthony Okeaguale, and Mr. Michael Ihekwoaba, who offered

me bits of advice that helped me greatly in the furtherance of this research.

I am also grateful to my classmates and colleagues who have helped me in one way or the

other in the past four years. I thank especially Joseph, Patrick, Chris, Kolade, Dumbi,

Fisayo, Isoken, Chidera, Sam, Uchechi, Naomi, Imelda, Abdul, Yini, Francisca,

Sebastian, Henri, Osadee, Erii, Ezinne, Femi and Marie who became more than just

friends, but brothers and sisters.

I will also like to give credit to the PAU community including academic andnon-

academic staff memberswho have been a part of my narrative in one way or the other. I

thank especially Mr. Linus Ocheme, Mr. Kingsley Ukoaha, Dr. Sinmi Abosede, Mrs.

Chinonye Nwosu, Mrs. Tope Falade, Professor Chantal Epie, Dr. Norbert Edomah, Rev.

Fr. Gabriel Ysasi, Miss Chioma Nwokediuko, Miss Judith Onyema, Mr. Sylvester

Efomah, Mr. Emmanuel Onuoha, Mr. Oluwaseun Ijiehin, Mr. Kenneth Esere, Mrs.

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Angela Alilonu, Prof. Juan Elegido, Mrs. Njideka Afolami, Mr. Olubayo Adeniran, Mr.

Tony Osoneye, and the IT staff for their guidance, friendship and support during my stay.

Finally, and most importantly, I thank the almighty God for I am nothing without him.

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DEDICATION

I dedicate this work to my family for supporting me in pursuing a career in Media and

Communications, and for the love they have shown to me all through my journey in life.

v
STUDENT’S DECLARATION

I have read and understood the School of Media and Communication Policy on

plagiarism. I declare that this project is my own work and that all sources are fully

referenced. I also declare that I have not submitted this work for any other purpose.

_____________________________

Anigbo, Ifeanyichukwu Augustine

14100110021

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CERTIFICATION

I certify that this work was carried out by Anigbo, Ifeanyichukwu Augustine in the
School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, under my supervision.

_________________________________
Supervisor
Dr. Patrick Enaholo

(Lecturer)
School of Media and Communication
Pan-Atlantic University
Lagos, Nigeria.

vii
Table of contents

Content Page

Title Page.................................................................................................................. i

Abstract................................................................................................................... ii

Acknowledgements................................................................................................. iii

Dedication................................................................................................................ iv

Student’s Declaration............................................................................................... vi

Certification.............................................................................................................. vii

Table of Contents...................................................................................................... viii

List of Figures........................................................................................................... xi

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION....................................................................... 1

1.1 Background to the Study..................................................................................... 1

1.2 Statement of the Problem.................................................................................... 3

1.3 Research Objectives............................................................................................ 3

1.4 Research Questions............................................................................................. 3

1.5 Significance of the Study.................................................................................... 4

1.6 Scope of the Study.............................................................................................. 4

1.7 Limitations of the Study...................................................................................... 4

1.8 Operational Definition of Key Terms................................................................. 5

viii
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW........................................................... 6

2.0 Introduction......................................................................................................... 6

2.1 Conceptual Review............................................................................................. 6

2.1.1 Music Videos................................................................................................... 6

2.1.1.1 Codes and Conventions of Music Videos...................................................... 8

2.1.2 Visual Storytelling / Narrative.......................................................................... 10

2.1.2.1 Characteristic Features of a Visual Narrative................................................ 12

2.1.3 Afro Pop Music................................................................................................. 14

2.1.3.1 Pop Music Themes......................................................................................... 15

2.2 Theoretical Framework........................................................................................ 16

2.2.1 Narrative Theory............................................................................................... 16

2.3 Empirical Review................................................................................................ 18

2.4 Methodological Review...................................................................................... 22

2.5 Summary of Findings from Literature Review................................................... 23

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY............................................ 25

3.0 Introduction......................................................................................................... 25

3.1 Research Design.................................................................................................. 25

3.1.1 Method.............................................................................................................. 27

3.2 Rationale for Method Chosen.............................................................................. 28

3.3 Study Population................................................................................................. 28

3.4 Sample Technique and Sample Size.................................................................... 29

3.5 Research Instrument............................................................................................ 30

3.6 Method of Data Presentation.............................................................................. 30


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CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSIONS 31

4.0 Introduction......................................................................................................... 31

4.1 Data Analysis Procedure..................................................................................... 31

4.2 Discussions: Pray for me.................................................................................... 32

4.2.1 Story................................................................................................................. 32

4.2.2 Characters........................................................................................................ 34

4.2.3 Story Universe.................................................................................................. 36

4.2.4 Visual Composition.......................................................................................... 37

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 42

5.1Summary of Findings........................................................................................... 42

5.2 Conclusion........................................................................................................... 43

5.3 Recommendations............................................................................................... 44

REFERENCES…...................................................................................................... 45

APPENDICES........................................................................................................... 48

x
LIST OF FIGURES

Figure Page

Figure 1: Sven Carlsson’s Triangular Model for Music Videos................................ 17

Figure 2: Characters.................................................................................................. 35

Figure 3: Setting........................................................................................................ 36

Figure 4: Lighting...................................................................................................... 37

Figure 5: Shots from the exposition stage of the story.............................................. 38

Figure 6: Shots from the conflict stage of the story.................................................. 39

Figure 7: Shots from the resolution stage of the story............................................... 40

Figure 8: Color........................................................................................................... 41

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.0 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The Nigerian entertainment industry has experienced phenomenal growth over the years.

According to a report presented at the Nigerian Entertainment Conference (NEC) 2017,

there is an increasing demand for entertainment content produced locally including

music, creative arts, movies, publishing, and stage events leading to high visibility,

investors and global relevance of the industry. Also, it was recorded that the creative

sector makes a contribution of N1.35 trillion to Nigeria’s GDP –even though most of its

constituent businesses thrive on personal business models.

Figures revealing the industry’s contribution became available in 2014 upon inclusion of

the industry in the computation of Nigeria’s rebased GDP. This was the first time the

entertainment industry was accounted for, and afterwards it became evident that the

industry was playing a vital role in the economic growth of the nation. As reported during

the Nigerian Entertainment Conference (2017), the Nigerian media and entertainment

industry is tagged with an estimate of US$4 billion. This is coherent with the 2017 report

by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a multinational accounting firm, titled

“Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2017-2021 – An African perspective”, where it was

stated that US$2.8 billion will be added by the industry to the Nigerian market between

2016 and 2021(Taiwo, 2017).

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For the African continent, PwC noted that there now exists a disruption in business

models as a result of advancement in technology that has created a great penetration of

internet and smartphone usage. Hence, content is being consumed in newer ways, and

this has also affected how the content is produced. Music videos are one of such

entertainment content, and so video directors are not exempted in the continuous research

and improvement of their audio-visual projects to cater for the ever changing needs of the

digital era.

Nigerian music videos have helped in exporting our cultural norms as well as promoting

the idea of universality in art through the incorporation of visual elements from both local

and foreign cultures in its scenes. Our indigenous artistes have also made great strides by

collaborating with globally renowned acts, thus, remitting a sense of international

credibility.

More so, some of our music videos have served ascommunication tools for promoting not

just the music artist but also the ideas present in their songs. An example of this function

can be perceived in the music video for the song “Pray for me” by Darey Art Alade,

which the researcher analyzed in this study. The song tells a story of a man who goes

against the instructions of his father and so has to bear the consequences of his action.

This music video, which was released in May 2016, was directed by Emeka Ossai under

the auspices of his audiovisual outfit, MEX films. He employed a lot of creative visual

techniques like cinematography, editing and colour to achieve the look of the music video

in order to properly convey its messages.

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1.1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Nigerian Afro pop music videos have been given little scholarly attention in terms of how

they exist as a form of visual media and communication. This makes it unclear whether

Nigerian Afro Pop music videos go beyond their aesthetic value by having stories

embedded in them. Hence, this research seeks to make an investigation on the

possibilities that exist for Nigerian Afro pop music artists to incorporate a narrative

structure in their art form.

1.2 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The overarching goal of this research is to examine the use of Nigerian music Afro Pop

videos as a legitimate site for visual communication. With respect to this, the following

constitute the more specific objectives ofthe study.

i. To determine how the music video for Pray for me by Darey Art Alade tells a

visual story.

ii. To examine the thematic concerns inthe music video.

iii. To examine how visual elements are used in the music video.

1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Based on the research objectives, the research questions are:

i. How doesthe music video for Pray for me by Darey Art Alade tell a visual story?

ii. What themes did thismusic video explore?

iii. How were visual elements used in the music videos?

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1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study is significant as there is scant literature on the value of Nigerian music videos

as a medium for visual communication. If executed successfully, it will help to fill this

gap, and also provide a storytelling guide for Nigerian music video directors.

1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

There exists a myriad of Nigerian music videos. However, I will be focusing on one

Nigerian Afro Pop music video in this study:Pray for me by Darey Art Alade, its visual

elements and storytelling value. The reason this video has been chosen is because the

artiste is very popular and has garnered international recognition over the years. Thus,

Darey Art Alade gets his music and music videos listened to and viewed respectively, by

both local and international audiences.

1.6 LIMITATIONS OF STUDY

This study represents only contemporary Nigerian Afro Pop music videos seeing as the

videotext in focus was released three years ago. It therefore does not account for older

Nigerian music videos that were released as far back as the 20th century. The study also

makes an analysis of one video so this limits the extent to which the conclusion can be

used to make generalized inferences.

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1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS

Afro Pop: This is a sub music genre in Africa, which was made popular by African

music artistes. It is a short form for African popular music. It is largely influenced by

foreign hip-hop and African instrumentals and lyricism.

Music video: This refers to audio visuals created by video directors for the purpose of

accompanying as well as promoting songs by recording artists.

Visual Storytelling: This has to do with representing stories visually while reflecting the

classical elements of storytelling.

Narratives: This refers to the act of narrating a series of events or story that has

occurred, is occurring or yet to occur.

Site: This refers to a location or space where an action can take place.

Pray for me: This is the title of the Nigerian Afro pop song that the music video being

analysed in this study was created for.

Darey Art Alade: This is the name of the Afro pop music artist behind the song as well

as the music video analysed in this study.

Nigerian Afro Pop Music Videos: This refers to any music video that is created to

promote a Nigerian song that falls under the Afro pop music genre.

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CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.0 INTRODUCTION

An area of cultural communication that has not been given enough attention within the

Nigerian context is how Nigerian music videos have a storytelling and communicative

function beyond the aesthetics they offer. This is despite the power it wields in

influencing a lot of viewers who would not mind staying on for a 3 – 5 minutes video, in

comparison to sitting in for long hours as experienced with other forms of visual media –

film, TV programs. This chapter works with theories and previous literature surrounding

music videos as well as narratives. It helps to bring to light the literary value of Nigerian

music videos and diminishes that research gap.

2.1 CONCEPTUAL REVIEW

2.1.1 Music videos

According to Collins online dictionary (2018), a music video is a performance on film or

videotape of a musical recording accompanied by synchronized actions, such as a

dramatic interpretation of the lyrics or a series of sometimes surreal images. In simple

terms it can be said to be the overlay of images to music. Several scholars have also

attempted to define this term according to their perspectives.

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Shuker (2001) described music videos as “promotional devices used to encourage record

sales and chart action”. In other words, music videos are a form of advertisement used to

promote musical singles. This definition relates with the original rationale behind the

creation of music videos, which was invented to advertise music singles through airplay

on television, especially with the Music television or as it is popularly called, MTV.

According to Cawley (2015), before the launch of MTV in 1981, there had been a long

era of music videos, which were only aired occasionally on TV stations during weekly

pop programs. He adds that a notable piece by the Beatles, the most influential band in

the history of pop music, released in 1967 for their song ‘Strawberry fields forever’, was

born out of the idea of creating a ‘promotional film’ for their song, which was inspired by

two movies A hard Day’s Night and Help! It featured a creative mix of visual techniques

like slow motion, fades, reversed film effects, and some unusual camera angles.

Subsequently, they recorded more promotional films for their future singles especially

since they had quit touring in 1966 (Cawley, 2015).

Also, Cawley (2015) continues, pop music artist Michael Jackson was the first to have his

music video created as a short film. The 13 minute long video for his hit single Thriller,

which debuted on MTV on December 2nd, 1983, was listed in the Guinness book of

records as the “most successful music video”. Hence, by the 1980’s accompanying a song

release with a music video had become a standard.

More so, the arrival of MTV spurred the rise of more TV stations dedicated to airing

music videos. Some international stations like Channel O and TRACE, and local stations

like Soundcity TV, Planet TV and Afropop TV fall under this category.

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With digital technology like iTunes, music videos have now become products that can be

bought and downloaded to mobile devices. However, According to an article by Harris

(2018), the largest and most popular online resource by which music videos are being

discovered and consumed today is through the YouTube video streaming platform.

YouTube, an app which was founded in 2011, not only houses millions of audiovisual

content, with music videos being the greater percentage, but also has a playback service

allowing the viewer see a video over and over again. It also opened up its doors for

audiences to interact by including a comment section.

Furthermore, Dyer (1975) posits that music videos exists to establish the artists ‘star

persona’. This is a way of saying that they exist to allow viewers to create a perception

about the artist or band, as it relates to what they stand for, their fashion choices, and their

performance skills. This also stands with the sense that not everyone will have the

opportunity to go see his or her favourite music artist perform live. Hence, music videos

serve somewhat as a substitute.

2.1.1.1 Codes and conventions of music videos.

Goodwin (1992) put forward six codes and conventions of music videos. According to

him, every music video has to have the following features;

I. A match between the lyric and the visuals: He says that in every music video,

there has to be a relationship between the lyric of the song and the images in the

video. The visuals may either complement the lyrics by illustrating and

amplifying it, or contradict the lyrics.

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II. A match between the music – beat and rhythm - and the visuals: There also

has to be a relationship between the images shown with the music. Similar to the

first code, the visuals may either complement the music by illustrating and

amplifying it, or contradict it for a pre-planned effect.

III. Genre conventions and Iconography: This states that the iconography present in

a music video depends on the genre of the music. It can also be seen as

constituents of the visual stylistic elements within the music video including the

mise-en-scene and cinematography. For example, a rap video might have a

Bentley, private jets, bottles of crystal, and lots of low angle shots to represent the

power of the artist.

IV. Star representation: This supports Dyer’s idea that music videos are used to

establish a star’s persona. In order to achieve this, there has to be multiple camera

close-ups of the artist or band being promoted. This will in the long run, aid in

building a recognizable brand image that will have an influence on record sales.

V. Voyeurism: This is another key element of music videos. It says that music

videos satisfy the desire for people to watch other people express sexual intimacy.

This is projected by the objectification of women in music videos who are mostly,

if not always, scantily dressed.

VI. Intertextuality: This points to the existence of references to different media texts

like films, books, TV shows, within music videos. Thus, there is some form of

textual convergence in the videos, which adopt this style. This is more popular

within comic related music videos.

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2.1.2 Visual storytelling / Narrative

Visual Narrative is a term that refers to any visual that by its essence narrates a story, and

does so explicitly; where a visual is that which can be perceived with the human eye, a

story refers to a series of events connected by causality or their chronological order or

temporality, and a narrative can be seen as the act of telling a story or the representation

of a story (Pimenta & Poovaiah, 2010). It is a term synonymous to visual storytelling, and

examples of popular fields that are studied as visual narratives are live action films,

narrative paintings/sculptures, comics, animation, graphic novels, and story-book

illustrations.

A study of visual narrative by Block (2010), provides an essential relationship between

the visual structure and the typical constituents of a narrative, such as: exposition, conflict

and resolution. He proposed exposition to be the story’s beginning. Conflict is the vital

part of the narrative, which gives the story impulse. A conflict can be in two forms,

internal (that is within the character) or external (when it is connected to a situation). The

resolution is said to be the moment where the conflict is resolved and the audience is left

to reflect on the narrative’s conflict. In other words, it is the end of the story (Bruce

Block, 2010,cited in Bidarra et al, 2017).

Even more, in her publication “Narrative image: the how and why of visual storytelling”,

Molnar (2011) opines that “visual stories are a powerful direct method of conveying

information, ideas, and cultural wisdom”. She adds that images tell stories with the use of

semiotics, which are visual cues or signs if put together, form patterns that send a

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message to the viewer. According to renowned philosopher, Charles S. Peirce, signs can

be categorized into three; iconic signs, symbolic signs, and indexical signs. Iconic signs

look similar to what they represent. For example, a stick figure represents a human.

Conversely, a symbolic signdoes not look similar to what it stands for. Its meaning comes

from prior understanding. For example a flag that has a green, white, and green stands for

the country Nigeria. This has no direct relationship to what it translates, unless it is being

learnt. An indexical sign is that which gives a transferred meaning from what is being

displayed. It is deduced meaning and so is inferential in nature. For example, smoke can

be an indexical sign for fire. These three types of signs are combined together to

communicate visually, and this is how images tell stories (Molnar 2011).

In their paper, “On defining visual narratives”, Pimenta & Poovaiah (2010) categorized

visual narratives into three divisions based on their functionality. They are Static Visual

Narratives (SVN), Dynamic Visual Narratives (DVN), and Interactive Visual Narratives

(IVN). The Static Visual Narrative is usually fixed on the surface of the medium of

display, but also has dynamism in the sense that the viewer’s imagination perceives the

story in a mobile manner. Examples of SVN are cave paintings, comics, graphic novels,

picture books, infographics etc. The dynamic visual narratives are visuals that are

replaced continuously within the same space. In this case the visuals keep moving, but

the viewer retains the same location. Examples of DVN are drama, animation, live action

films, and puppet shows. In the interactive visual narratives, the visuals appear to be

fixed as in SVN, but can be changed continuouslyas in DVN, when triggered. Here, the

viewer tends to be in control, as he/she can be static or mobile while in consumption, and

can also be part of the story being told. Examples of IVN include interactive video games

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and storybooks. Without doubt, music videos can be said to fall under the DVN category

since it is a type of film.

2.1.2.1 Characteristic features of a visual narrative

Pimenta & Poovaiah (2010) outline five features that every visual narrative possesses.

They are as follows:

I. A story: This can be said to be the most important feature of a visual narrative. A

story consists of a series of events, usually with an exposition, conflict, and a

resolution. The way in which the events are arranged is called the story’s plot.

Also, with music videos the lyrics of the song also serves as part of the story

being told.

II. Characters: This is another important component of VN. A character refers to a

person or animal who performs an action that is relevant to the story. Without

actors, a story cannot be told as stories or events are built around the actions made

by characters.

III. A story universe: In visual narratives, the characters are usually placed in a

‘virtual story world’. In other words, they exist in a universe that tries to imitate

the real world or may be an imagined world but is different from the world of the

viewer. This can also be referred to as the story’s mise-en-scene. Mise-en-scene

refers to “what is going on in the [camera] frame outside editing and sound”. This

includes aspects such as props, setting, light, costume, make-up, and actors’

performance (Nwachukwu, 2017).

IV. Visual composition: Another feature of a VN is that it is visually composed in

such a way that it assists in communicating the intended meaning of the story to

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the viewer. This is achieved in film with the use of cinematography (shot types,

camera angles), color, and editing. The shot types include; Extreme Long Shot

(ELS), Long Shot (LS), Medium Shot (MS), Close Up shot (CU), and Extreme

Close Up shot (ECU).

The extreme long shot is an establishing shot usually used by a director to show a

vast area and establish the geography of a location. The Long Shot is used to show

the entire action in a scene to help the viewers know the characters involved. The

Medium Shot is a shot between an LS and CU and is also referred to as a ‘two

shot’ when it shows actors in a dialogue. It helps to create intimacy with the

viewers and the characters. A Close Up shot is used to help emphasize the

dramatic nature of a character’s act. It does a great job in revealing the character’s

attitude or thoughts. The Extreme Close Up shot as it implies is a very tight shot,

as it fills the screen / frame with the character’s face, helping to intensify the

emotions expressed. (Hanmakyugh, 2017).

The different camera angles or viewpoints types include: objective angle,

subjective angle, point-of-view, low angle and high angle. The objective angle

also known as the audience point of view is used most times in filmmaking. On

the other hand, the subjective angle is used when a character looks directly into

the camera frame. This is used to establish an eye-to-eye contact between the

viewer and the performer. A Point-Of-View (POV) angle is usually used in a ‘two

shot’ to show a scene from a particular actor’s view-point. Low angle is achieved

when the camera is placed below the actor. It is used to make the character appear

strong, victorious or with authority. Conversely, high angle is achieved when the

13
camera is placed above the character and is used to make he/she appear weak,

inferior, frightened or powerless. There is also another camera view concept

called depth of field which a director uses to focus the audience’s attention on a

particular object or actor, and it is of two types namely shallow focus and deep

focus. Shallow focus means that one thing will be given focus, while others will

be blurred out. Deep focus means that everything within the frame will be clear

enough for the viewer. (Hanmakyugh, 2017).

V. Medium: Visual narratives are usually expressed through a medium such as

paper, as in comics, stone, as in sculptures, electronic devices, as in film or more

relevantly music videos.

In general, anything visual that has the purpose of communicating an idea with a story

can be said to be a visual narrative.

2.1.3 Afro Pop music

Afro Pop music is a term used to refer to African popular music. The origin of the term

cannot necessarily be traced to a particular source, however, it was defined by Onwudinjo

(2017) as “a blanket genre of music that brings all types of African styles of music under

one big umbrella”.One can make a guess that it resulted as a desire to give a name to the

new style or genre of music that arose in the early 21st century. Afro Pop music can be

said to be music that fuses different elements of popular music, but with a heavy

influence of African rhythm or melody, hence where it gets its tag from.

A genre is defined as “a particular style or category of works of art” by the Oxford

English online dictionary. According to Altman (1999), film genres have the capacity to

14
offer audiences ‘a set of pleasures’. He further categorizes these pleasures into three sub

groups which are: emotional pleasures, visceral pleasures, and intellectual pleasures.

Emotional pleasures refer to films or in this case, music video texts that make the

audience, happy, sad or Nostalgic. Visceral pleasures are congruent with texts that makes

the audience express instinctive responses in the form of fear, excitement or laughter. The

third, intellectual puzzles, is a result of texts that challenges the mind of the audience.

Amongst these, the Afro Pop genre is more akin to offering emotional pleasures to its

audience due to its thematic concerns.

2.1.3.1 Pop music themes

Pop music in general tends to explore certain recurring themes. These include rebellion,

which has to do with some level of non-conformity to societal or family norms and

sometimes an abuse of sex, drugs, and alcohol;Romance, which is probably the most

exploited theme in this genre; Nostalgia,having to do with the re-awakening of retro

culture as well as reminiscing on good times gone by; Fashion/style, this is a part of

subcultures and very common among the youth; Artistry, how skilled the musicians are;

Celebrity, the flamboyant persona exhibited by artists and bands; Hedonism, the art of

living just for the sake of pleasure; and Tribalism, here referring to more than just ethnic

groups, but also amongst cliques and subcultures (Hebdige, 1979).

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2.2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

This study is built on one theory that helps with the study of music videos. The theory

provides a structure for the execution of this study and aids it understanding. This theory

is referred to as the Sven Carlsson’s narrative theory.

2.2.1 Sven Carlsson’s Narrative theory

Several scholars have put forward theories around the study of narratives. However, I

will be focusing on that of Sven Carlsson, which speaks about Narratives as it relates to

music videos.

Carlsson (1999) is popular for his theory, which argues that there is a triangular

relationship between the music, lyric and image, and occasionally sound - in the presence

of dialogue - in a music video. He also proposed that there are two clip types of music

videos, which are the performance clip and the conceptual clip. The conceptual clip can

either be a narrative clip or an experimental/abstract clip. A performance music video clip

is that which results from filming a live concert performance, or involves a dance

performance, or dwells heavily on how the artist performs renders the song which

involves lip-syncing.

The narrative music video clip is understood as the traditional visual narration style of

Hollywood filmmaking. This has to do with continuity narrative editing, and it usually is

composed of the music playing over a silent movie narrative with dialogues coming in

occasionally in some. Unlike the performance clip, this does not involve lip-syncing and

the stories, which it depicts, relates with the lyrics on most occasions.

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Figure 1: Sven Carlsson’s Triangular Model for Music Videos.

Music

Lyrics Image

Sound

Source: TRC Media studies

The experimental or abstract music video clip is what you find when a music video is

neither a performance clip nor a narrative clip. They are also called conceptual clips and

are geared towards being artistic. As expected from the term abstract, these type of clips

may not make sense, and lack surface or literal meanings. Although, they tend to invite

the audiences interpretations. Also, they may sometimes have sections of performance or

narrative, hence, can be dubbed as a hybrid music video in such cases.

Furthermore, Carlsson posits that there are three types of performers in music videos.

These are the commercial exhibitionist, the televised bard, and the electronic shaman.

The commercial exhibitionist as the term implies, refers to performers who have a focus

on selling an image or lifestyle to the audience. They exist to promote an ideal

personality with emphasis on celebrity lifestyle, material wealth and the artiste’s sex

appeal. Consequently, the audience aspires to be like this character and are easily

17
influenced by them when making purchasing decisions. This is commonly seen in pop,

rap, and R&B music.

The televised bard can be seen as a contemporary bard, where the term bard refers to one

who narrates a story or simply put, a storyteller. Unlike traditional storytelling, however,

they use the screen as their platform, instead of a stage, and have visual illustrations of

the story they are telling rather than relying on the imagination of listeners. This

performers usually employ the narrative clip or the hybrid performance/narrative clip for

their music videos.

Thirdly, the electronic shaman are usually invisible, as they are rarely seen in the video.

Rather, the voice and rhythm are the elements that work together to give meaning to the

visuals being shown. They tend to give a sense of displaying an alter-ego, and as such

have hidden and sometimes strange messages beneath the video. These performers, as

suggested, use the abstract video clip for their music videos.

Sven Carlsson’s narrative theory is of great relevance to a wholesome understanding of

the basic constituents of music videos. They also give a lot of insight on the different

approaches music artistes as well as music video directors take in a bid to maintain an

identity or identify as part of some culture. Also, his mode of categorizing music videos

helps the researcher in efficiently benchmarking Nigerian Afro Pop music videos for their

narrative or non-narrative structure. It indeed assists in providing a framework for which

the music video text in focus can be assessed for its visual communication value.

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2.3 EMPIRICAL REVIEW

The study of music videos, a largely produced, distributed and popular form of film, as a

channel for visual communication has been given more attention amongst foreign

researchers. However, a media scholar, Carol Vernallis, appears to be the most credited

researcher in this field, as her works were referenced severally and so this section is

based on a lot of her findings. More so, there was rarely any research work done locally

that served as a material for this review.

In her article titled, “The aesthetics of music video: an analysis of Madonna’s ‘Cherish’,

Vernallis (1998), found out that music videos tend to avoid a narrative direction. She

states,

Because a music video must - above all - sell the artist and a particular
song, the degree of self-restraint demanded of its director can be
considerable. A director must usually abandon hope of creating a
traditional narrative, even one which the song's lyrics relate. Moreover,
he or she will often find that the pressure exerted
by the song prevents the accurate representation of fixed objects: objects
in music video will tend to shimmer, change continually, and threaten to
fade away (Vernallis, 1998).

According to her, the brevity of pop music contributes to this issue. They are usually

sectioned into verse, chorus and bridge and so this makes it a challenge for the videos to

have a consistent narrative drive against the differentiated and repetitive sections. In the

‘Cherish’ video, the characters did not speak and since there was more emphasis on a

visual connection between the visual and the music, than the lyrics, its narrative structure

was barely clear.

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In a review of Vernallis’ book “Experiencing music videos: aesthetics and cultural

context by Savage (2006), she expressed Carol’s view that “most musicvideos tend to be

non-narrative” (4). Even though, there exist similarities between music videos and films,

Vernallis provides a distinction between them. She does so stating that while Hollywood

features a combination of sound, image and text, with each constituent serving to foster

clarity and achieve a narratives’ end, music videos seem to have a higher level of

uncertainty. More so, some music videos may still appear to have a clear beginning,

middle, and end, but its polyvalent nature still reduces the story’s clarity. She posits that

narratives in music videos are ‘disjunctive’, since no connection between, word, images

and music exists, and even though they attempt to tell a story, the story is not completed

(13).

In another study by Oliva, Bidarra & Araujo (2017) titled, “Video and storytelling in a

digital world: interactions and narratives in videoclips”, they expressed a supporting view

that, “Regarding videoclips (or music videos) … storytelling becomes more complex if

we analyze some important remarks such as: the music timing, the advertising and

marketing of the songs, and the artist’s image and performance”. They added that MTV

channel, as conditioned by advertising, restricted or was closed to the creative

possibilities of narrative music videos; this aligns with the consideration that the exact

time of a song was the criteria used in slotting them into a programme. Hence, music

video directors felt restricted from inputting dialogues as a way of building the videos

narrative, but there existed some exceptions like the iconic music video Thriller, by

Michael Jackson.

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However, Oliva et al (2017), assert that the digital era and its online environment give

contemporary clips some leeway to defying the aforementioned limitations to creating

music videos with complete narratives. They acknowledged that “contemporary music

videos extends the time of music and focuses its visual elements in well-defined

narratives”. Consequently, they established a concept called expanded narratives, to

support this new reality.

“In contemporary videoclips, characters’ performances are not


conditioned to the exact time of the music. There is a possibility
of dialogue insertion incorporated or not in the songs. Generally,
in the final stage of production, the narrative can have a
resolution without the music” (Oliva et al, 2017).

Furthermore, they analyzed two contemporary music videos Hello by English singer

Adele and “College boy” by French band, Indochine, to support their argument. From

their analysis of Hello, they found that the characters and their actions were presented in

such a way that the story was understood. Also, there was an amplification of the

narrative using different mechanisms that offered them the identification of a basic story

structure. They noted that the online music video platform, YouTube, permits the

tendency for music videos that are based on narrative structures which are similar to

classical film narratives.

More so, in one of her recent titles, “Unruly media: YouTube, Music video and the new

digital cinema”, Vernallis (2013), analyzed the music video “Telephone” by Lady Gaga

and Beyoncé. Here she stated that, “Telephone feels like a feature with all of itsboring

bits cut out. One senses a completefilm residing behind the clip”. According to her, the

video has a substantial introduction and it presented a rather long segment of narrative

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exposition. She adds that the song also aided in making a narrative more possible. The

song is more fragmented than regular pop, and so facilitated more interruptions in the

unfolding of the images. Hence, her new views support the idea that limitations to time of

song no longer exists, and so instead of deconstructive narratives, new media gives room

to expanded narratives.

This study fills a gap in literature in terms of how Nigerian music videos serve as

medium for storytelling or narratives. The study examines how narratives do exist in the

local Afro Pop music videos, and highlights how visual elements are used to build these

narratives.

2.4 METHODOLOGICAL LITERATURE REVIEW

The methodological literature review is intended to identify the methods which other

researchers that have carried similar research work used in arriving their conclusions.

This study is based on visual communication with a specific focus on storytelling through

music videos. Hence, methods utilized by scholars of audiovisual art (particularly

regarding music videos) and visual narratives were reviewed.

Many music video scholars have employed textual analysis in their study. For example,

Vernallis (1998) in her article “The aesthetics of music video: an analysis of Madonna’s

‘Cherish’, used textual analysis to extract meanings from Madonna’s music video,

Cherish. Through this means, she was able to conclude that music videos rather than take

a narrative direction, apply a match between the rhythm of the music and the visuals.

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Vernallis (2013) also used textual analysis in her deconstruction of the video text

“Telephone” by Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, in her book title, “Unruly media: YouTube,

Music video and the new digital cinema”. With this she was able to conclude that the

video was more like a feature film, and that the song and video worked together to

achieving a more coherent narrative.

Furthermore, Oliva et al (2017), in their study, “Video and storytelling in a digital world:

interactions and narratives in videoclips”, used textual analysis in their analysis of the

music video Hello, by Adele. They concluded from their analysis that narratives, thanks

to the digital world, are now gaining more strength due to the contemporary platforms

available. Hence, what they refer to as expanded narratives.

Some other researchers have taken a different route which is the review of music videos

and secondary materials. For instance, Savage (2006), wrote a review of Vernallis’ book

“Experiencing music videos: aesthetics and cultural context”. Through her review, she

was able to highlight the commercial constraints that tend to challenge the ability of

music videos to have complete narratives.

2.5 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS FROM LITERATURE REVIEW

One theory was highlighted to form the theoretical framework for this study. Because this

work explores the use of visual storytelling in Nigerian Afro Pop music videos, it became

of importance to situate it within a theory that surrounds audiovisuals. Hence, the

narrative theory as propounded by Carlsson, which deals with the idea and structure of

music videos. It also presented the researcher with the roles that different music artistes

23
play in a music video as well as the different types of music of videos clips and their

distinguishing features, making it possible it to classify a music video as narrative or non-

narrative.

The review of key concepts like visual storytelling, music videos and Afro Pop provide a

basis for understanding what would later be seen in the section of this research work that

deals with the analysis of data and discussions. It became clear from the publication by

Pimenta & Poovaiah (2010), that there are different forms of Visual Narratives, and that

music videos are of the Dynamic Visual Narrative type. Also, the review of empirical

literature helps to give a background to pre-existing research work that serves as lead to

this one. The review revealed the debate over the existence of complete narrative

structures in music videos with works from Vernallis (1998), and showed that new media

has provided an opportunity for wholesome narratives to thrive.

Lastly, the methodological review showed that the method mostly used by scholars of

music videos, is that of textual analysis, and some other times, a review of secondary

material. Most of these studies have also been presented in the form of essays, books, and

articles that were published as part of a journal. Hence, this research relied on the existing

methodology to analyze music video texts and reach relevant conclusions.

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CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.0 INTRODUCTION

This chapter exposes the methodology used in analysing the study’s research questions,

and also outlines the path to be adopted in realizing the research objectives. It includes

information regarding the research design and methods of data collection. It also reveals

the rationale behind the selection of the design and method utilized for the study. It

concludes with information about the research instruments employed for the data analysis

as well as the method of its presentation.

3.1 RESEARCH DESIGN

According to Bhattacherjee (2012), research design is an extensive plan for collecting

data and analysing it in an empirical research project. It forms the base that gives the

study balance and instructs how it is to be executed. The research design, no doubt, also

gives the study a clear sense of direction for empirical research. It serves as a framework

for systematic data collection and data analysis.

This research is of the descriptive type. It gives insight to how Nigerian Afro pop music

videos serve as a site for visual storytelling. Descriptive research is a type of research that

attempts to describe the occurrences of the society. It answers questions that deal with

‘what’ and ‘how’, and this research is concerned with how Nigerian Afro pop music

videos tell stories, and what thematic concerns these stories explore.

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Qualitative design was used to gather and analyze the data of this research. This research

method has been used often times in social science research to understand people’s

attitude towards their external realities. It aids in providing reasons behind people’s

feelings, their ideas and perception, which the quantitative design may not achieve

(Amah, 2017). It gives research participants an opportunity to reveal their innermost

feelings about a topic, and this helps a researcher to gain information that the quantitative

design would have denied him/her.

Hence, this research has utilized the qualitative method in interrogating its research

questions:

RQ1: How doesthe music video for Pray for me by Darey Art Alade tell a visual story?

RQ2: What themes did thismusic video explore?

RQ3: How were visual elements used in the music videos?

In order to investigate these questions, the qualitative research design has been utilized to

gain a comprehensive knowledge of the inherent variables, especially the visual elements

used in Nigerian Afro Pop music videos to tell stories. The study demands that the music

video texts to be analyzed are viewed severally in order to properly extract the relevant

information that lies within them, and also that the researcher is open-minded in doing so.

In order to achieve a systematic data gathering and analysis, the study has to be

approached by the researcher with a plan that includes themes and questions with which

he/she can retrieve relevant information (Amah, 2017).

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3.1.1 Method

Textual analysis has been used for the purpose of this research. This method, which is

qualitative in nature, was adopted to obtain qualitative data, which was analyzed by

employing some guidelines developed for the purpose of this research work.

This method has been described as a means by which researchers obtain relevant

information on how humans see their world (McKee, 2003). According to McKee (2003),

it is a process for gathering data for researchers who have as their goal the understanding

of the different ways by which different people of different cultures and subcultures

interpret themselves in relation to their existence in the world.

There are different ways by which this can be approached. However, this research

adopted the Interpretative Textual Analysis,which has been used broadly by researchers

in areas of media studies, mass communication, cultural studies, etc. to examine and

decipher social existentialities of various temporal settings. According to Amah (2017),

“it involves giving ‘most likely’ interpretations of texts”. It penetrates past surface

meanings to provide differing perspectives of reality at a particular time in view of three

elements; the author’s intent, text-based meaning, and response of readers (Howe, 2015).

In an attempt to appropriately interrogate the research objectives, developing a

framework is necessary. Trottier (2013) suggested that textual analysis should be

conducted adhering to the following stages: inferences, connections, predictions,

questions, identification of a literary device, and the significance of the whole passage.

This study adopts her framework, but applies only four out of the six components, which

suit the purpose of the research. These are inferences, connections, identification of a

literary device, and the significance of the whole passage.

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Furthermore, Trottier (2013) opined that textual analysis should be carried by following

the stages of her proposed framework sequentially. However, the study required only four

out of the six stages, and as such has a slightly unique framework. Hence, it becomes no

longer compulsory to adhere to the prescribed sequential order. Rather, the analysis was

done with a different sequence, which was suitable for the purpose of the study. This new

sequence begins with the identification of the elements, then proceeds to the significance,

establishing connections and lastly inferences.

3.2 RATIONALE FOR METHOD CHOSEN

The reason behind the use of textual analysis as the method of this research has to do

with its suitability for analyzing texts. Flood (2003), says textual analysis connotes the art

of making intelligent assumptions of the meanings that may lie within the text being

studied. According to Frey, Botan & Kreps (1999), its purpose tends towards the

description of the structure, content and functions of messages found within texts, where

texts refer to different forms of media like films, television programs, advertisements,

books, music etc. As regards this study, the texts to be analysed are Nigerian Afro Pop

music videos.

3.3 STUDY POPULATION

This study has been conducted on music videos, and so has a unique study population.

This population constitutes of the 225 Nigerian music videos that were released in the

year 2016 – the same year that the music video for Pray for me was released – by popular

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Nigerian music artists. Refer to the appendix section of this paper for a list of the

Nigerian music videos released in 2016.

3.4 SAMPLE TECHNIQUE AND SAMPLE SIZE

Due to the nature of this research, the sampling method was purposive. The sample was

determined with careful consideration of the research objectives. The research looks at

the way Nigerian music videos tell stories, and in accordance with this, a Nigerian Afro

Pop music video text was specifically selected for in-depth analysis. As mentioned in the

Chapter One, the video selected was Pray for me by Darey Art Alade, and it was chosen

because the music artist, Darey Art Alade is known for his explicit use of storytelling in

the lyrical composition of his songs. Hence, the researcher sought to find if the stories

present in his songs were being captured in their accompanying music videos, and also

how they were captured visually.

Also, the music video was chosen amongst a myriad of music videos released in 2016,

because of the popularity the song gained that year. The song bagged the title of‘Best

Recording of the Year 2016’ from the Headies award – the most revered music award

ceremonyin the Nigerian music industry– defeating other songs by veteran Nigerian

music artists including D’banj, Simi, Adekunle Gold, and Brymo, which were nominated

in the same category. Its music video was also nominated as the ‘Video of the Year’ at

the Soundcity MVP Awards 2016. These were the attributes that made the researcher to

choose the music video for Pray for me as a suitable text for analysis.

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3.5 RESEARCH INSTRUMENT

A research instrument is a device for making measurements, and an instrument for

attaining accountability used for the collection and analysis of data. The means of

obtaining data for this study was by watching the selected music video text severally,

keeping in mind the four components of the textual analysis framework mentioned

earlier.

More so, to analyze the videos for its storytelling value, the researcher looked out for the

major features of visual narratives as expressed in the conceptual review including: Story

(exposition, conflict and resolution), characters, a story universe (mise-en-scene: setting,

costumes, lighting, make-up, props and actor’s performance), and visual composition (in

the audiovisual context it refers to cinematography, color, and editing).

3.6 METHOD OF DATA PRESENTATION

The presentation of the obtained data from this study was done principally in a prose

form. This is because the study is qualitative in nature and its method, textual analysis,

demands the analysis of texts using words. Also, images from the music video text were

screen grabbed and inserted within the project as supporting data for the analysis. This

format allows for readers to truly appreciate the content and value of music videos as a

communication medium. Furthermore, appropriate citation was included as part of the

discussion in order to give enough grounds for analysis. Textual analysis uses a lot of

evidence from the text being analysed to serve as a basis for the interpretation (Curtin,

1995, cited in Amah, 2017).

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CHAPTER FOUR

DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION

4.0 INTRODUCTION

This chapter discusses the findings from the analysis of the music video text under study.

This analysis of data is very vital to the research work as it gives an opportunity for

interaction with the texts. As mentioned earlier, the principal method used for collecting

data was textual analysis, and this data was deconstructed by means of discussion. This

chapter puts forward the understanding and research discoveries of the researcher from

the analysis of the text.

4.1 DATA ANALYSIS PROCEDURE

The Nigerian Afro Pop music video studied is Pray for me by Darey Art Alade. The

researcher began by deciding the storytelling and visual elements to be studied. In order

to achieve a wholesome study of the visual storytelling value of the texts, the major

features of visual narratives where highlighted and they include: a story, a visual

composition, characters, and a story universe/world.

On deciding the elements to be studied, the next step was to watch the videos bearing the

elements in mind. Adopting Trottier’s framework for textual analysis as planned, each

element was first identified by the researcher in the discussion section of this chapter.

This was followed by an account of the significance of the element being discussed, then

connections were established, and finally inferences were made.

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4.2 DISCUSSIONS: Pray for me by Darey Art Alade.

4.2.1 Story

The story is about a young man named Darey, who decides to leave his hometown for the

city in search of a better life. The film begins with a dialogue between Darey and his

father. Darey tells his father about his intentions to leave their hometown for the city.

Although his father is not in support of this, Darey insists on leaving not minding his

father’s disapproval. The next morning, he packs up his bag and takes his leave, waving

goodbye to his mother and sister as he boards a local taxi. Soon after, he is now in a bus

en-route his destination. While in the bus, we see a flashback scene of him in his

hometown sharing happy moments with his mother.

However, it does not take long before the bus breaks down, and he and other passengers

have to find alternative means of continuing their separate journeys. Fortunately for him,

he is picked up by a truck and gets a chance to sit with some other passengers in the trunk

of this vehicle.

The next scene opens up in the city. Darey looks settled, and decides to write a letter to

his father. Although, back at his hometown, his mother has just died and his father and

his sister are paying homage at her grave. Afterwards, another day presumably, a

postman delivers a letter to his sister, which she hands over to her father. This letter is

from his son who has been away for 4years and 11 months as informed by the lyrics of

the song. His father looks anxious while reading it. In the letter, Darey informs him about

how life in the city is truly difficult just like he warned, and requests that he (his father)

should pray for him.

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The narrative ends with his father lifting up his hands in prayer for his son, and this

causes some earthly eruptions like a thunderstorm, and hatching of a bird’s egg.

The idea of opening the story with a dialogue between Darey and father, helped to give

the audience an overview of the situation at hand, thus, the narratives exposition. This is

also supported by the song lyric which Darey narrates,

“Woke up one Sunday morning, told my daddy I’m leaving home, going off to the city

tomorrow even though I don’t know where to go. Daddy said son don’t be a fool, cause

life in the city is unbelievable. You could get broken, you’re just a little boy, and you

may never find your way…”.

The exposition also includes the introduction of the major characters in the film and gives

an idea of the background of the protagonist.

The conflict of this story started when the bus, which Darey was using for his transit, had

some technical fault and broke down. This event was an external conflict. Although, he

also experiences an internal conflict. This was expressed in his letter to his father, about

how he now understands the reason behind his warnings not to leave home. It is

expressed in the song lyrics when Darey sings,

“it was true what you said to me, that life in the city is unbelievable, had to struggle just

to get by every day, and I could barely find my way… forgive me father but I had to take

a chance, and I’m already gone, so just pray for me, gbadura fun mi, pray I find my

way…”

Also, his father experiences some level of conflict as well. This is when his wife, Darey’s

mother, dies, making him a widower. He also felt conflicted when he received Darey’s

33
letter about how life is not going so well, and it was shown through his expression of

anxiety. The resolution can be said to exist where having read his son’s letter, and

learning of his request for his prayer, he goes outside and lifts his hands which serves as a

symbolic sign for prayer – praying for his son. This can translate to forgiveness and

reconciliation, even though they were distances apart.

4.2.2 Characters

The music video narrative consists of four active characters. They include the

protagonist, Darey, who plays the role of a defiant son, and is also the music artiste

behind the song, his father, his mother, and his sister. Other characters are shown within

the narrative, but are not considered to be major characters. These include the passengers

in the bus, which Darey boarded for his trip, the passengers in the truck that picked him

up, and the post man who delivered Darey’s letter.

34
Figure 2. Characters; a) Darey, the protagonist b) Darey’s father c) Darey’s Mother

d.) Darey’s sister (with their mother) e) the passengers in the bus f) the passengers in the truck

g) the postman

Darey plays the most significant role, as the story surrounds his actions and decisions,

which move the story forward. In the lyric of song, he makes mention of a father, and so

it was vital that this was represented in the Narrative. Olu Jacobs, a veteran Nollywood

actor, plays this role. He also makes mention of his mother in the song, when he sings

“hope mama is doing okay…”, as part of his letter to his father, and Joke Silva, another

veteran Nollywood actress is used to represent this character. Darey’s sister is not

mentioned in the song, but she appears in the video during family moments, sharing in

the emotions of the story.

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4.2.3 Story universe

The story was set in two locations. A rural environment which suggests a village setting,

Darey’s home, and a relatively urban area, which suggests the city, Darey’s subsequent

destination. In the start of the music video, when Darey and his father were having an

argument, they both spoke Yoruba at certain points, thus, indicating that this were natives

of the Yoruba people in Nigeria. Thus, providing a context for the viewer to better

understand the story. Also, the ankara costume worn by the characters, also coheres with

the attire commonly found to be worn by Nigerians, especially those in rural settings.

Also, Darey’s mother wears no makeup throughout her appearances, thus, flowing with

the sad emotions spread across the narrative.

Furthermore, there is the use of letters to send messages across distant places, in this case

from Darey to his father. This gives an idea of the temporal setting of the video. It

connotes that these events are from past times when there was no modern technology

available for communication.

Figure 3. Setting; a) an aerial view of the city. b) Darey’s sister receiving Darey’s letter from the

postman in front of their village home.

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More so, different intensities of light were used to set up scenes. Throughout the

exposition, when Darey was still in his hometown, the environment was well lit. In

contrast, on reaching the city, anytime Darey was shown, it was in a dark room of some

sort. Even more, the mattress in his room in the village was lifted on a wooden frame,

while the one in his room in the city was placed directly to the floor. This was a way of

building the narrative and revealing Darey’s change in livelihood. As he informed his

father, he had to endure struggles, and so the Director used these contrast to show

conflict.

Figure 4. Lighting; a) Darey on his way out of his well-lit room in his village. b) Darey writing a

letter in a poorly lit room in the city.

4.2.4 Visual composition

In composing the music video, the director employed different framing techniques to help

drive the narrative. Here are some key frames that helped in building the different stages

of the story.

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Figure 5. Shots from the exposition stage of the story.

In fig. 5a), the frame reveals a dialogue between Darey and his father, and accordingly,

the director uses a medium shot to show this. As mentioned before, the involvement of

two people in a medium shot is also is known as a two shot. The camera angle used for

this shot is the point-of-view angle, and in this particular frame, the dialogue is being seen

from Darey’s point of view.

In 5b.) The frame reveals Darey’s mother who is eavesdropping on their conversation. To

achieve this shot, the director uses a medium shot of Darey’s mother, giving enough room

in the frame for Darey and his father, but, the director uses shallow focus, to help the

viewer focus more on Darey’s mother, making the other two characters blur. This frame

is also taken with an objective view, thus, perceived from the audiences’ point of view.

Both shots are intelligently framed to allow the viewer understand the situation of the

story, and get introduced to the major characters as well.

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Figure 6. Shots from the conflict stage of the story.

In fig. 6a) the frame reveals Darey as he walks on the road after the bus he boarded just

broke down. The director uses an extreme long shot which is taken from a high angle for

this frame and does so for good reasons. First, the shot type used helps to establish the

geographical setting of the area where Darey finds himself. It is an area with no

habitation, and so he is, in a sense, without any help. The high angle view also makes

Darey look small, and this concurs with an intention of making him look powerless as

mentioned in the conceptual review.

In fig. 6b) the frame shows Darey very sad with tears rolling down his cheek. The

director uses a close up shot to achieve this. This helps the viewer appreciate the dramatic

detail and current attitude of the character. It also emphasizes the idea that Darey is

undergoing a conflict.

In fig. 6c) the frame shows Darey’s father reading the letter from his son. The director

once again uses a close up shot to show the expression on the character’s face. He is in a

state of sadness as he learns that his son is not doing well in the city. If a less close view

were used, the viewer would not have been able to appreciate the emotion with which the

father receives this message.

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These shots, as expressed, do justice in revealing the conflicts being faced by the story’s

characters. Also, all the three shots are done with an objective view, such that they are

seen from the audiences’ point of view.

Figure 7. Shots from the Resolution stage of the story.

In fig. 7a) the frame reveals Darey’s father lifting up his hands in prayer. The director

chooses to use a high angle view for thispurpose. This makes Darey’s father look small as

expected, not as a weak character, but in this sense to show his submission to his son’s

request.

In fig 7b) the frame shows Darey in his room in the city. A high angle shot was also used

here. In this sense, to express his frightened look. This is because a bright light had just

shone towards him, so it was not to depict conflict, but in fact to diminish the darkness he

existed in. The entry of the light came in some shots after his father prayed for him, thus,

emphasizing resolution.

Furthermore, the presence of color and its lack also played a role in telling us more about

the story. At two occasions, the film was changed to grayscale (or black and white). The

first occasion was when Darey was in the bus, and remembered good times with his

mother. The second time was when he was writing the letter to his father (and using the

40
voice of the narrator) asks about his mother, then a scene revealing his father and sister

standing sorrowfully, holding a flower at a place with a cross is shown. This also goes to

say that absence of color was used to depict flashbacks in the Narrative. It also tied two

events that had to do with his mother, her lively days, and her death day. Another

important thing to note is that the second scene used the combination of the cross (a

prop), a symbolic sign, and the characters countenance (performance), serving as an

indexical sign, to produce the meaning that his mother had died.

Figure 8. Color; a) Darey sharing a pleasant moment with his mother. b) Darey’s father and

sister supposedly mourning Darey’s mother.

Editing also helped to move the narrative forward. The arrangement of the different

scenes in the music video were made possible through editing, and so like flipping a page

in a story book, editing helped to provide the flow required for the video’s dynamism.

41
CHAPTER FIVE

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

The general objective of this study was to explore the use of visual storytelling in

Nigerian Afro-pop music videos using the music video for Pray for me by Darey Art

Alade as a case study. This objective was broken down into specific objectives which

gave birth to the following research questions:

i. How doesthe music video for Pray for me by Darey Art Alade tell a visual story?

ii. What themes did this music video explore?

iii. How were visual elements used in the music videos?

After a textual analysis of a Nigerian music video, Pray for me by Darey Art Alade, the

research found the following in respect to the research questions:

i. The music video for Pray for me by Darey Art Alade tells a story, which was a

complete narrative,using the elements of storytelling includingexposition, conflict

and resolution. The video text also worked with the lyric of the song to achieve

the story, and had the singer perform as the story’s narrator.

ii. The overriding theme being explored in the story of the music video was clearly

that of rebellion. Even though his father’s instruction was that he should not yet

go to the city, Darey insisted in achieving his desire to do so. This disobedience

exemplifies his non-conformity to his father’s wish, and can be likened to the

42
story of the prodigal son of the Holy Bible, who insisted on leaving home with his

share of his father’s property to the dismay of his father.

iii. The storytelling was enhanced with visual elements such as cinematography

(which involves different shot types and camera angles) color, and editing. Also,

semiotics or visual cues like symbolic and indexical signs were used to project

meanings in the narrative. The director in visually communicating the ideas and

messages of the story, intelligently matched these elements with the lyrical

content of the song.

5.2 CONCLUSION

The findings from this research help to reach valid conclusions. Analysis from this

research show that Nigerian Afro Pop music videos do have the capacity for visual

communication. This is aided with the exploitation of visual signs and filmic techniques

that help music artistes as well as music video directors create messages that have

meaning to the intended audiences.

It also proves that there is room for storytelling in Nigerian Afro Pop music videos. And

in fact, that these stories can be told completely with a beginning, middle, and end, in

what is known as expanded narratives. This allows the inclusion of dialogue which is not

restricted by the actual time of the song, as supported with digital or new media platforms

like YouTube.

Even more, the analysis further confirms the validity of Sven Carlsson’s Narrative theory,

by showing a relationship between the lyric and images displayed in the music video, and

exemplifying how music artistes can serve as a television bard, ‘a modern storyteller’,
43
who narrates the story being conveyed within a music video.Thus, it can be asserted that

Nigerian Afro Pop songs with a storytelling value, make it more possible for their

accompanying music videos to exhibit a visual narrative.

5.3RECOMMENDATIONS

This research has attempted to expose the possibilities that Nigerian Afro Pop music

videos have as a medium for visual communication. The music video text in focus was

found to perform a complete narrative function. However, for Afro pop music videos to

possess such quality, certain factors need to be considered.

First,the lyric of the Afro pop song needs to be crafted by telling context driven stories.

This will not only increase the communication value of the song, but it will also aid video

directors in achieving an engaging music video that not only promotes the artist’s song,

but also embodies a visual story.

Furthermore, music video film makers need to look beyond producing videos that project

nothing more than a display of aesthetic images and props. Rather, they should go further

to adopt classical film cinematography techniques – shot types, camera angles, depth of

field – in their visual composition of scenes, in order to make films that uphold standards

of the profession.

In addition, this study opens up conversations regarding the inclusion of visual narratives

in music Nigerian Afro Pop, and so further research in this area is recommended. Also,

studies should not be limited to the Afro Pop genre, but should explore other genres of

music that have been adopted by Nigerian music artists.

44
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47
APPENDICES

Appendix I

Table of music videos released in 2016 by popular Nigerian music artists.

S/NO Music Artiste Title of Music Video

1 Adekunle Gold Ready


Ariwo Ko
My Life
Friend Zone
2 Ajebutter Bad Gang
3 Aramide Love Me
Funmi Lowo
4 Banky W Made for You
All I want is You
Gidi Love
6 Bracket Agogo
Shoe Size
Fever
7 B-Red Blessings
8 Brymo Alajo Somolu
Something Good is Happening
9 Burna Boy Rizzla
Mandem Anthem
Realest
Jealousy
Duro Ni Be
Pree Mi
10 Chidinma Fallen in Love
For You
11 Cynthia Morgan Olowo
Bubble Bup
Baby Mama
12 Darey Art Alade Pray for me
Asiko Laiye
Orekelewa
13 Davido Coolest Kid in Africa
How Long
Gbagbe Oshi
14 D’banj Superstar
Emergency

48
15 Di’Ja Sowemo
Take Kiss
16 Dj Consequence In a Benz
18 Dj Enimoney P.T.A
19 Dj Exclusive Shawarma
All I see is me
Alhaji
Oyoyo
20 Dj Spinall Ohema
Money
Package
21 DMW Back 2 Back
22 Dotman Akube
Akube (TV version)
Yes Melo
23 D Prince Worldwide
24 Dremo Ojere
1 2 Bang
Fela
25 Dr. Sid The best
Flawless
26 Duncan Mighty Hataz_
27 Emma Nyra For my Matter
28 Falz Soldier
Soft Work
Bahd Baddo Baddest
29 Flavour Mmege Mmege
Mama
Champion
Dance
Gbo Gang Gbo
30 GreyC Chukwuma
Body On Me
31 Harrysong Baba for the Girls
Akagum
32 Humblesmith Osinachi
Change
Jukwese
Na U
33 Ice prince Season
Trillions
34 Iyanya Type of Woman
Heart beat
Okamfo
35 Jesse Jagz Nigerian Gangster

49
Jaga Love
36 Young John Bend Down Select
37 Kcee Tender
Tinana
Idinma
Bureau de Changer
38 Kiss Daniel Upon Me
Sin City
Jombo
Mama
39 Koker Kolewerk
40 Korede Bello Mungo park
One & Only
Romantic
41 Lil Kesh Ishe
Problem Child
Shele Gan Gan
Ibile
Cause Trouble
42 Patoranking No Kissing Baby
Another Level
Money
God Over Everything
43 Phyno FadaFada
Abulo
PinoPino
E Sure for Me
Ezege
44 P-Square Bank Alert
45 Reekado Banks Oluwa Ni
Standard
Problem
46 Reminisce Konsignment
Fantasi
Skilashi
Feego
Asalamalekun
Ibadi
If e no Be God
Angelina
47 Ruggedman Religion
8figures
48 Runtown Tuwo Shinkafa
Lagos to Kampala
Mad Over You
49 Simi Love Don’t Care

50
Outta My Head
50 Sina Rambo Earthquake
51 Solidstar Emergency
Wait
Wait (refix)
52 Sugarboy Hola Hola
Double
Legalize
53 Mavins Jantamanta
54 Maleek Berry Kontrol
55 Mayorkun Eleko
Love you Tire
56 Mr. Eazi Skintight
Bankulize
Hollup
Sample You
Leg Over
57 M.I Everything
Phase II
58 Niniola Shaba
Jigi Jigi
J’ete
Akara Oyibo
59 Nneka Nothing
60 9ice Economy
Abefe
Pariboto
Aunty
ATM
Sugar
61 Olamide The Intro
Owo Blow
Konkobility
Who you Epp
Abule Sowo
I Love Lagos
62 Omawumi Play na Play
63 Omo Akin Twerk For Me
Sisi Maria
Ijo Oloti
64 Orezi Double Your Hustle
Call the Police
Under the Blanket
65 Pepenazi One for the Road
I Ain’t Gat No Time
High Go

51
66 Praiz 69
If I fall
Hot Body
67 Selebobo Tonyor
68 Skales I want You
Temper
Nobody’s Business
Ajaga
Holiday
Fara We Mi
69 Skibii Ah Skibii
Aye Mi
70 Splash Come Over
Obim
71 Tekno Pana
Where
Diana
72 Timaya Money
I Like the Way
Bang Bang
73 Timi Dakolo The Vow
74 Tiwa Savage Get it Together
Bad
If I Start to Talk
Rewind
Standing Ovation
African Waist
75 2baba Oya Come Make We Go
Coded Tinz
Officially Blind
Officially Blind (remix)
Hate What You Do to Me
76 Wande Coal Super Woman
77 Waje Omini Knowest
78 Wizkid Daddy Yo
80 YBNL Lies People Tell
81 Ycee Omo Alhaji
Omo Alhaji (remix)
Panda (cover)
Ahahn
82 Yemi Alade Want You
Tumbum
Koffi Anan
Africa
Kom Kom
Ferrari

52
Na Gode (Swahili)
83 Yung6ix Respek on my Name
84 Zoro Ogene
Mabuza Mabuza
Achikolo
Bianca

Appendix II
Darey Art Alade’s YouTube channel homepage.

53

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