Director: AbdulRasheed Bello (JJC Skills)
Producer: Funke Akindele Bello
Script writers: Akinola Akinlade, Leo Ugochukwu
Cast: Kayswitch, Mo Eazy, Olasunkanmi Omokanye, Soledayo Adegbite, Oyeleye Ebenezer, Leo Ugochukwu, Funke Akindele Bello, Lydia Forson
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Time: Episodes 1-5
If there’s a lovable series worthy of recommendation, then it has to be Industreet. It slays for close to an hour without commercial breaks. The episodes are feature-film long and each packs enough entertainment for a season. The series, which debutted exclusively on Funke Akindele’s SceneOne TV (sceneone.tv), kicked off with a rising star (Oyeleye Ebenezer as D-Dream) and his hype man (Ola Omokanye as Sonorous) being maltreated as they rehearsed before an event. To also perform at the event was AKG (Kayswitch), a bigger star Lagos already knew. The series explores life at various stages in the music industry. From the record companies to their artistes. D-Dream and his team (Nathan Bondo, Ruby Agwu, Tobi Makinde and Olasunkanmi Omokanye) are the new players while AKG (Kayswitch), Eazy (Mo Eazy), Osas (Soledayo Adegbite), and Sina the manager (Akah Nnani) are the older and (supposedly more) successful ones.
Sadly D-Dream lost his life in what appeared to be an AKG-caused accident. There was no crowd at the hospital he was taken to. With his growing popularity and how the news broke out on major blogs, I expected more fanfare in the waiting room. Jane had her sad throwbacks to when D-Dream was alive, and they’d have been good to watch, except for D-Dream’s performance that kept spoiling it. The slur in his voice, and how he kept harping on how he’d take care of everybody, wasn’t sitting well with me. The soundtrack when the news of his death reached his parents was touching. So was the part where Jane and Sonorous backed each other to cry properly over their loss.
Kayswitch plays a controversial AKG like a second skin. He’s a spectacle to watch, especially when he’s angry. His music is dope. Eazy had been his friend and producer till they split ways. AKG had stolen his verses and slept with his girlfriend. Eazy had been taking it easy over empty promises and “calm down” till the girlfriend part finally broke the camel’s back. The most hilarious scene, so far, came when Eazy and Osas went to beg Osas’s dad for an investment. The father (Emmanuel Okhakhu) was impressive in his outrage, but flogging them afterwards only took it overboard. But well, birds of the same feather get flogged together. Eazy eventually left AKG’s Firehouse Records for Tony Nwafor’s Cube Records and Artiste Management company. He dissed AKG and got dissed in return. The tracks were so good I wanted to listen to them till the end. I should add that every episode ends with a music video to look forward to.
Leo Ugochukwu (co-writer) plays Tony Nwafor to perfection. He’s appealing as a label executive who’s all out for results. He doesn’t take chances and he’s street smart. He’s also having an affair with Dianne, his staff and personal assistant (Linda Ejiofor). He’s married while she’s unmarried, but he’s barred her from getting married and leaving him so he can work out getting her into his home. Rotimi Salami played Dele, Dianne’s ex, and his performance barely entertained me. His effect in Not Just Married hasn’t resurfaced yet, not in Stormy Hearts or in Clueless. Funke Akindele Bello (Jenifa) plays Francesca, the head of a big media company and her approach is no-nonsense. Her scrambled English is missing here, being replaced with an eloquence that has me sold. Francesca is like the Queen in a chessboard and she isn’t faffing around. She’s the executive to the music executive. She plays the boss lady and King woman who doesn’t take “No” for an answer. Her character oozes power, authority, and glamour. Jumoke Aderounmu from Jenifa’s Diary plays Kelechi, Feva’s baby mama, and she’s taking no prisoners. She’s gets completely immersed in her roles.
It’s easy to note costumes (Ellan Red) and makeup weren’t sleeping on the job, from the all-in-black mourners at D-Dream’s funeral to the Idongesit sisters and their heavy accent. The camera angles (by Blessing Adejumo) were restless, hardly staying in one place, which I totally loved. The scene where Eazy and Mary (Pearl Agwu) kissed, though brief, was well shot (early in Episode 1). The oversight in that scene was the daylight outside the window when it was supposed to be midnight.
Cinematography and sound engineering are applaudable. The script is mostly unpredictable and it’s amazing how many things can go down in an episode. Props and locations, like during the award night, made massive sense. The sizeable crowd and DJ Spinal’s presence added to the glitz. Directed by AbdulRasheed Bello (aka JJC Skills), Industreet is a move to capture the hustle in the ghetto with a focus on the music industry. The TV series promises more exciting episodes with Lydia Forson, Tina Mba, Vivian Metchie, Aloliefo Judith, Doris Okorie, Jenifa Jude, Ugo da Saint, Glory Igbadun, Tillaman, Moyo Farawe, Iwajomo Sarah, Ayandotun Immanuel, Ifedayo Olarinde, Fricker Quadri, Babatope Joseph and a host of others.
Watch Episode 1 here.