We can no longer deny the popularity of Nigeria’s literary, film and musical output–the love and admiration spans throughout the African continent, and the cross-cultural exportation of its industries have created a loyal following in many countries, including the US. This isn’t in a particular order and it’s certainly not a definitive ranking list–but, we’ve compiled a top five list of relevant Nigerian music artists you should know.
If you disagree with any, help us expand on the list in the comment section.
WizKid (Disturbing London)
In the winter of 2010, Nigeria’s prince of pop, Wizkid’s Afrobeat caught our attention with the Dj klem and Vebee produced track, “Holla at your boy.” The following year his debut album, Superstar was released, an album that included hits such as “Pakurumo”, “Tease Me/Bad”, and “Don’t Dull.” Towards the end of last year Wizkid surprisingly released another album called Ayo, where singles like “Jaiye Jaiye” featuring Femi Kuti and “Show you the money” were included.
Meanwhile, Wizkid has been collaborating with artists like Virginia’s very own R&b crooner Chris Brown and Ghanaian star rapper Sarkodie. He has also been providing us with footage from his recent concerts in Africa and United Kingdom via Instagram. Be sure to check out his concert dates in America to check him out!
Burna Boy (Universal Music Group South Africa)
Photo cred: Tumblr.com
Burna boy was quickly noticed a few years back for the mixing of Afro, Reggae, Hip-hop, and House fusion in his stylish flow. His rhyming illustrated a mix of both Ibo and Yoruba with hints of the South London dialect of Jamaican Patois. Not only is his rhyming skills unique but his delivery is very mesmerizing.
For example, in his latest track “Soke,” he delivers his smooth lyrics to an instrumental that includes polished keyboard chords, guitar lines, and sprouting horns. His reputation is beginning to go beyond just his recorded tracks; it is now extending to his music videos.
With the 50’s inspired video for “Tonight,” Burna Boy has presented himself to be quite an artist. Recently, in his “Rockstar” video Burna Boy throws a party similar to the one in the “Like to party” video, but in the “Rockstar” video he decides to have it in a mansion where all his friends were transported to and later where his old neighbors eventually joined.
Excitingly, Burna Boy has now signed a publishing deal with Universal Music Group South Africa. By all these indications Burna Boy has now proven that he is not your average artist.
Davido (HKN Records)
Photo cred: Inyarwanda.com
Atlanta born, but Lagos raised, recording artist Davido has successfully been making himself relevant in the music industry. Davido wasn’t fibbing about not getting held up in his heavy percussion and upbeat hit single “Dami Duro.” The 22-year old singer, songwriter, and producer has lately been working with Philly’s very own rapper, Meek Mill, as well as performing in various places such as SXSW, Dubai, and South Africa. The young artist has been slowly climbing his way to the top, in an attempt to catch up with Wizkid.
Korede Bello (Mavin Records)
Photo cred: Bentopxel.com
Mavin Records 19- year old guitarist, singer and songwriter, Korede Bello, has captured our attention in the past year with his hit singles “Cold Outside” and ‘God Win.” Currently he is working on new music alongside Don Jazzy. We expect to see more of his “sweet music” style in this next project.
He describes this “sweet music” as how the music makes your feel, not sound. He has already succeeded with his music making us… feel. He has successfully found a way not to be confined to the simple genre R&B and Afro Pop with his track “African Princess”; in this track he infuses a bit of Jazz and Afro-soul. So don’t be alarmed when he dibbles in another genre.
Reekado Banks (Mavin Records)
Photo cred: 360nobs.com
Nigerian rapper and singer Reekado Banks has signed to Mavin Records just last year after dropping his single “Turn it up” featuring Mavin Records singer Tiwa Savage. This year he has been making sure that his work goes unnoticed by collaborating with D.C. rapper Wale in the single “Allelu.”
The “Allelu” track is a guitar-laced, heavy percussive beat, made by Maleek Berry. The young artist is slowly but surely progressing and will soon will be untouchable.
Feature Photo: Notjustok.com