Show Creator: Abdulrasheed Bello (JJC Skillz)
Producer: Funke Akindele- Bello
Director: JJC Skillz
Cast: Leo Ugochukwu, Oyeleye Ebenzer, Oyebanjo Oladotun Kehinde, Funke Akindele-Bello, Lydia Forson, Linda Ejiofor, Akah Nnani, Tina Mba
When Funke Akindele-Bello and JJC Skills launched the trailer for “Industreet” there was a lot of comparisons to Fox hit show “Empire”. After all, “Empire” featured a lot of good music, and “Industreet” was promising the same.
The producers of “Industreet” followed the debut of the trailer with an online contest, which featured fans rhyming to the theme song and having a shot at winning $500; it was an effective publicity strategy. It also gave more reasons for comparisons of the show to “Empire”. Maybe the music featured in “Industreet” and the fact that its inspiration is the Nigerian Music industry was the reason for these comparisons. The series is finally here, and two episodes into the series, the only similarity we can point to is the depiction of a music industry, in different continents.
While “Empire” focuses on an influential music mogul and his family, “Industreet” is hardly about family. It focuses on the Nigerian music industry and the different types of characters that exist in the industry. It takes inspiration from past stories that have offered some excitement to bloggers. We watch a new act D’Dream desperate to sign a new contract after hearing of getting a new house and a car (reminds you of a certain scandal in the music industry?). The consuming excitement that comes with attaining fame is a strong feature on the series. The series further projects that in the entertainment industry 90% are there for the fame and money, the other 10% want to explore their passion, even if it does not come with major bucks. These 10% hardly attain the type of fame that the remaining do but they have a great satisfaction following their dreams.
Side chicks come to play. Cheating husbands make a splash. Religious fathers, and understanding mothers, drug abuse and the lateness syndrome are all strong features of “Industreet”. All these themes define the Nigerian music industry and they are strategically placed in “Industreet”. The “when you are big, you are big” taunt is a re-occurring quote in the series, any music fan should know how that quote has been used to degrade anyone with less than 30 billion in the account.
Funke Akindele continues on her promise to give young actors an opportunity to be seen. 90% of the actors that make up the cast of “Industreet” are new faces. There will be a number of cameos from big music stars as the series goes on (Niniola already made an appearance in the first episode) and the show boasts of established actors such as Funke Akindele, Daddy Freeze, Linda Ejiofor, Lydia Forson, but for this series, it is less about the stars and more about the upcoming acts.
Industreet is like nothing you have seen on TV before. From its first two episodes the series is strikingly sweet but there is definitely room for improvement, most of the supporting cast are new and in need of more training. The catchy song “Controlla’ also proves that the series is here with not just a good story but good music. Consider this an early preview of the series but “Industreet” exists as a double edged sword, it could turn into a full-fledged sensation or dry out.
AKG (K Switch aka Oyebanjo Oladotun Kehinde) is the most dazzling act of the series. He ushers us into “Industreet” by sniffing cocaine. We genuinely wanted to see how he will tackle the task of acting. He surprisingly does a good job for a debut. He handles the role of AKG with enjoyable consistency. Viewers will go through many emotions watching AKG, first of all, he can be hated for his arrogance but his embodiment of being the fictional hottest act in the Afro-pop industry makes him lovable. It is easy loving the bad characters that offer good drama in every content of art, and AKG is that act. K-Switch might not be able to tackle any other role that does not offer him the kind opportunity to depict someone in an industry he already understands, but with “Industreet” he settles in well as an actor.
We enjoy the first important minutes of the series as it focuses on the music industry and the difficulty of navigating fame, but the much needed sense of humor is infused with Osaze (Mo’Easy) who constantly visits his father to steal from the old man, when he is finally caught, there are enjoyable reasons to replay the scene. With the promise to offer humor, “Industreet” solidifies itself as a potential pop culture hit. Strategic execution is the reason “Industreet” simmers with potential.
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