Zlatan Ibile’s Sound might fade away, but will he end up like Slimcase?

Since Zlatan's emergence with the Zanku sound in the latter part of 2018, he has become the new 'flava of the town', but can he take his music to the next level or will he predictably fade away with time?

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For so many reasons, most Music enthusiasts have fallen in love with the music of Zlatan Ibile.

It’s fresh, different and of course, it’s danceable. Just like the Wobey sound which was accentuated the Shaku Shaku dance, Zanku came with his own sound too, a complete kit. 

Yearly, there has been a wild increase in the breakout of artistes from the streets into the mainstream.

Having noticed collaborating with artistes on the mainstream especially conforming to their own sound won’t do the justice of breaking into the industry, these artistes have decided to weave their music around their own sound, then introducing the music to the industry to have a taste. 

It started with Small Doctor whose pangolo music startled the whole industry. It was a sound that worked for him and was very hard to replicate. He created Mosquito killer using this template and it earned him a nomination at the Headies Awards. 

Then when the big record came in ‘Penalty’, it was a virus that influenced the whole industry. In a flash, the whole industry was tuned to an influx of records from the streets.

‘Wo’ from one of their own, Olamide came next and it started a movement of exporting sounds from the streets into the industry. They’ve been knocking, now it was time for a takeover. 

Slimcase, Mr Real, Idowest were among the few that got the exposure they were seeking for. With that exposure, it could translate to the wads of cash they’ve been dreaming of.

The fame came, deals were signed, collaborations that happened in their minds were translated to real life moments and however, the sound faded. The industry moves on. 

Now, Zlatan is in the spotlight and there are worries if he won’t toe this path. The whole industry remembers what happened to the pangolo music of Small Doctor, the fading away of the sounds Slimcase thrived on and it’s the industry that doesn’t stay hooked on sounds for long.

Zlatan and Burna Boy doing the Zanku at Burna Live [Pulse]

Zlatan and Burna Boy doing the Zanku at Burna Live [Pulse]

We also remember how Davido resuscitated his career with the “pon pon sound” and how many records he could curate from the sound before we forgot about it. 

Zlatan Ibile’s Zanku sound is unique and it will take long before anyone could master the template. It means the sound is native to him alone and if anyone wants to replicate the sound as Davido did on “Bum Bum”, there would have to be a collaboration with Zlatan.

Or in other means, the sound could be stripped off, reworked and synced with another similar sound portrayed in ‘Killin Dem’ but albeit, the sound is not complete without involving the creator.

That is a great advantage for Zlatan. But before the whole industry gets tired of the sound, he has to make a great multitude of songs with that sound before the industry gets tired of it. This means every song created with the sound has to be one with a great flux of quality. 

One thing that makes a sound fade away is when there are low-quality versions of the sound. Or when every nook and cranny tries to create the same sound the same way, no difference or addition, a major factor that contributed to the demise of the Shaku Shaku sound. Everyone was doing the same thing, no rework of that sound. 

Zlatan can remain relevant even after the demise of the Zanku sound. It depends on him to be versatile, that capacity to be good even on other sounds and beats and not only on pitch/fields relative to him. 

But will he still be relevant after the demise of the Zanku sound? 

The article was written by Otolorin Olabode, a writer, critic and music journalist. He can be followed on Instagram: @viewsfromthebod