In keeping with the first few lines of the song, “Ameno” has been given the moniker “Dorime” by the majority of the Nigerian population.
Dorime: Discover how Era’s “Ameno” came to be the soundtrack of raucous party nights in Nigeria: It is 2:30 in the morning on June 11th, 2021, and you are at a club in Ado-Government Ekiti’s Housing Estate. Even though the groom was going to get married the following morning, he was still in the mood to party even though he had already gotten drunk at the hotel where he was staying before checking in. When they ordered the infamous “casket,” they became the center of attention at the club, where they were accompanied by a few friends. The DJ started playing “Ameno” by E.R.A. all of a sudden as the gothically dressed and masked undertakers brought in the four-foot casket in a dramatic manner while walking slowly. As if everyone in the club was aware of what was going to happen, they all pulled out their smartphones to begin recording for their Instagram and Snapchat stories. In addition to the coffin and the soundtrack, there were also fireworks.
In a conversation with Pulse Nigeria that took place over the phone, the DJ for the evening stated, “The song is easily suited to this occasion.” It’s dramatic, and there’s a touch of gloom to it. It should come as no surprise that we will be utilizing it for the “casket procession.” I just recently started participating in it myself, but the trend began to gain traction on social media around the turn of the year 2021.
What exactly is the song “Ameno” by “Era”?
E.R.A, a French new-age project, issued the single ‘Ameno’ in June 1996. It was taken from their self-titled debut album, which was issued in the same year and was re-issued in 1998. Eric Levi, who was also responsible for putting the project together and coming up with the idea, penned the song. The song is an original take on chamber music, featuring elements of traditional orchestration and ethereal choir singing.
The band and songs like “Ameno” have a sound that is comparable to that of artists such as Enya, Gregoria, Enigma, Vangelis, Alphaville, and others. Their vocals have the feel of being suited to large orchestral stages, and they take inspiration from artists such as Lisa Gerrard, Faun, Sacred Spirit, and even Hans Zimmer’s music for their suitability to movie soundtracks.
According to Euronet, the music is “a weird mix of Gregorian chant (performed by the English Chamber Choir), rock, and disco.” This description was provided by the website. Lee Sklar, Chester Thompson, Philippe Manca, Neal Wilkinson, Patrice Tison, and Eric Levi are the musicians who contributed to the album and the song respectively. Several sources have asserted that the majority of E.R.A.’s songs are delivered in either English or Latin, despite the fact that many people have argued that ‘Ameno’ is nonsense and does not identify with any particular language. E.R.A. is also influenced by the doctrines of the French heretics known as The Cathars, which date back to the 13th century and serve as a conceptual dystopian metaphor for the band’s existence.
But the truth is that “Ameno” was sung in a made-up language called pseudo-latin, and the lyrics don’t really mean anything. In any case, “Ameno” can be translated as “pleasant” or “pleasantly.” According to Wikipedia, Guy Protheroe and Harriet Jay are the ones responsible for providing the vocals on “Ameno.” Philippe Manca was the lead guitarist, bassist, and drummer, while Eric Lévi was responsible for playing the keyboards and programming it. The English Chamber Choir is responsible for the rendition of the choir.”
With the help of their song ‘Ameno,’ which has since gone on to sell more than eight million copies (or their equivalent) around the world, E.R.A. at one point became the most successful export from France. The song has been remade in a number of different forms, including serving as the primary sample for Olamide’s version of the classic rap hit ‘Voice of the Streets.’
The song is well-known for its ability to evoke a variety of different feelings and states of mind, including awe, calm, drama, spirituality, metaphysics, emotion, and even anticipation. Choreography is another application that makes advantage of it. This is the reason why it is currently being played in clubs all throughout Nigeria.
Casket culture and the Nigerian nightlife scene
Sunday was anything but ordinary at Joker, so we hashtagged it #jokerbenincity.
Young Nigerian billionaires who had made their money through these nefarious ways would storm clubs at the turn of the 2010s to engage in their vanity, debauchery, and hedonism. Internet fraud had recently become the talk of the Nigerian underground.
They would go in groups, preferably in convoys, and be accompanied by girls while smoking shisha and placing orders for “bottles,” which is a codeword for rather pricey bottles of alcoholic beverages such as liquor, liqueur, spirits, and wines. This would be part of their mode of operation.
As you are aware, the price of “bottles” is significantly higher in clubs compared to their costs on the open market, and the vast majority of individuals are unable to purchase them. When the bottles begin to arrive and the money begins to be counted, clubs would play music to tickle the vanity of the “spenders.” This practice led to the development of the “casket culture,” which is a unique way of serving drinks that have been meticulously selected. Again, the purpose is to appeal to the vanity of the everyday clubgoers while while separating them from the high spenders.
It was customary for professionally attired undertakers to bring out these coffins, and the dimensions of the coffins varied according to the social standing of the clubs as well as their geographic locations. Some are closer to the conventional size, while others are more diminutive. Some people have hypothesized that the spirituality that is associated with “casket culture” was what drew in “yahoo boys,” making them interested in the “casket culture” subculture. Many of these young men are thought to have devilish tendencies. Even though all caskets come with creepily dressed ‘undertakers,’ those claims aren’t exactly accurate because some caskets just carry that tag and they don’t exactly look like caskets. Those caskets just stand for the drinks that are about to ‘die.’
Both the hypemen and the music play an important role in the process known as “casket culture.” In his single titled ‘Lamba Xtra,’ the artist Slimcase, who is also a hypeman, made a reference to the term ‘casket culture.’ Jerry Shaffer is Bad Boy Timz’s manager in addition to being the official hypeman for Hennessy. Beginning in the 2000s, he became a regular clubgoer, and around the year 2010, he and his older brother established a club in Abeokuta.
“The term ‘caskets’ refers to nothing more than a method of providing’special treatment’ to high spenders, such as offering perks on a group of tickets to an event or concert. “It differentiates the’spenders’ from the’spenders’ at clubs,” he comments to Pulse, laughing. “When the bottles and caskets would start rolling in over the course of the past decade, songs became necessary in order to mark the occasion.”
He continues, “At first, it was songs like the Champions League Anthem and then it was Undertaker’s classic WWE theme song, and now it’s ‘Ameno.'” The similarities between those three songs are so striking that you can’t help but notice them; after all, they are all what you might call “spiritual” songs. They are captivating because of their uniqueness and the drama that they bring to the situation. You should know that it’s just club culture.”
What led to the selection of “Ameno” as the new score?
Over the course of the last decade, the concept of “casket culture” has emerged as an integral component of the nightlife scene in Nigeria. However, over the course of the past three years, it has gradually lost its relevance in sophisticated Nigerian clubs, particularly on the “island” side of Lagos, which significantly contributes to the formation of the Nigerian club culture as a whole.
According to Schaffer, clubs are now finding innovative ways to celebrate and group their “spenders” into cadres of special treatment, or lack thereof, in preparation for the moment when “bottles” start rolling out. These new methods include entertaining and celebrating their “spenders.” According to Shaffer, Club Victoria was the first club to utilize the word “Ameno” when the pandemic was in full swing, and as a result, they hit the jackpot.
“As they were striving to create new means of service like everybody else, they would dress their waiters in all of these Egyptian garments,” he recalls. “They would dress their waiters in all of these Egyptian outfits.” “If my recollection serves me correctly, they were the first people to use the term “Ameno.”
Since that time, the song ‘Ameno’ has been renamed ‘Dorime’ by the Nigerian mainstream, which is in keeping with the first few words of the song. Every day of the week, there is a new anecdote about the song, and the one that stands out the most is a tweet that describes a group of males who became irate when a DJ did not play the song “Ameno” to tickle their vanity after they placed an order for “bottles.” Even though the Champions League theme song and Undertaker’s WWE Theme song were staples of the Nigerian club scene, “Ameno” was the only song that had the crossover importance and popularity that it does now. When its run comes to an end, you can be sure that another song that has ‘dramatic’ and ‘classical’ elements will take its place.
The period of ‘Ameno’ is coming to an end, and DJ Flaps predicts that after it does, we will likely witness a decentralization of dramatic compositions that incorporate aspects of classical or chamber music. According to him, nightclubs would compete to differentiate themselves from one another, and as a result, the music played in their “bottles” will sound different.
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