After a hectic 2020, the Nigerian music scene emerges even stronger boasting a high quality crew of up-and-comers sure to shake up the scene in 2021. 2020 brought about an unexpected turn of events in the music industry as live performances and touring were severed completely. The music industry however embraced this change in full throttle, leaning into digitization to influence music consumption and even discovery. The music industry witnessed an array of talents emerge in the past year. Most of them still wax stronger and have refused to go down. City People Entertainment Reporter, PRECIOUS POMAA brings us a list of 20 artistes who have gotten the best part of 2021.
The singer has been developing behind the scenes for about a year and was officially unveiled by Jonzing World last week. Jonzing World, helmed by D’Prince in affiliation with Mavin Records introduced Rema in 2019, who fast became a global sensation. Jonzing World is ready to reiterate its magic but this time, in affiliation with Sony Music UK. Ruger’s debut single , “One Shirt” features both D’Prince & Rema and the singer is already taking position on playlists and their covers. His new single bounce has taken over social media, this is currently the biggest tune in Nigeria.
Rema is not just the Messiah of Don Jazzy’s record label, he is also Nigeria’s biggest youngster. Getting President Barrack Obama, Drake, Rihanna, and other prominent American artistes to vibe to his song only shows how hot he is. Rema is definitely one of the hottest Nigerian artistes in 2020. Rema has still refuse to step down his game as he keeps dropping hit songs back to back.
Omah Lay is inarguably one the hottest Nigerian artiste in 2021. He came out just when no one expected him. His singles “You” and “Bad Influenec” off his “Get Layd” debut EP got him a whole lot of fans within the country and beyond. Omah Lay is just another artist whose fame came like a flash of light.
YBNL’s Fireboy DML is an afrobeat artiste with so much to brag about after launching his musical career merely two years ago. His debut album ‘Laughter, Tears, and Goosebumps’ retains its spot on afrobeat album charts across all digital platforms. It bears the record as the most streamed afrobeat album on audiomack after Burna Boy’s ‘African Giant’ with over 60 million streams. Fireboy DML indeed has the fire of any typical afrobeat star.
BAD BOY TIMZ
Bad Boy Timz gained recognition following his social media freestyles that even caught the attention of British rapper, J Hus. This would later land him a record deal going on to release “MJ”, a number eponymous of the King of Pop. MJ became one of the early hits of 2020 with subsequent versions that feature Teni, Mayorkun etc. The year took a more interesting turn for the singer following his feature in “Loading” off Olamide’s recent project, Carpe Diem. With the track’s virality and a VR spin to its visuals – which has become afrobeats’ first, “Loading” has since become pronounced in Nigeria’s pop culture.
Ahmed Ololade Asake, or professionally known as Asake is a Nigerian afropop and afrobeats singer. Asake was brought up in Lagos State and studied Theatre and Performing Arts at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He first came into limelight when one of his freestyles, Lady, attained a level of virality and earned him a repost from some popular online personalities such as Broda Shaggi, Sidney Talker among others. Asake went on to drop another banger tagged Mr Money this jam turn social media into two. He has had a featuring with Zlatan on MR Money, this song is still the hottest on the gram.
Bella Shmurda tiptoed to mainstream consciousness with the viral “Vision 2020” after bubbling under from Lagos State University. The singer delivers a sound that seals him as a significant voice for the street by mirroring their realities through music. Following the release of Vision 2020 remix, which features Olamide, Shmurda has been on a roll with his subsequent projects including, High Tension EP, “Dangbana Orisa” and most recently, “Cash App”, currently one of the hottest records in the country presently. Shmurda also featured in albums of heavyweights such as Olamide’s Carpe Diem and Davido’s A Better Time. Shmurda is competing alongside Tems, Omah Lay, Oxlade for the highly coveted Headies nominee. He recently got himself a brand new Benz and is currently working on his new album high tension 2.
The new Mavin signee is already living the year. Just 48 hours after she was announced, alongside an eponymous 5-track body of work, it peaked at #1 ahead of heavyweights such as Wizkid, Davido, Olamide, etc. The project’s lead single, “Away” is the presently the #1 song in Nigeria, has been trending on Youtube, and has debuted as one of the 20 most played songs on Radio in Nigeria – all in a single weekend. She’s one of the few artists to achieve this kind of success in a very short period. If these feats are anything to go by, Starr is definitely one to keep close watch on in 2021.
The singer is signed to Zlatan’s ZANKU Music and having featured in a couple tracks from that camp, Jamopyper had his moment with “If No Be You” featuring Mayorkun, a song that already went viral on social media before its official release. With tutelage from the ZANKU crew, Jamopyper is sure to further this streak in 2021 with more street bops.
Monye Oluwa damilola Emeke popularly known as CEO Omologo is a song writer and record label owner Who hails from ogboli Quater Isse Illukwu Delta State which local government is Anochia. CEO was born in August 10 1997 in lagos state @ Regina Model church. Popularly C.e.o is a lover of good music. His friends inspired him to go into music . ( likes of mohbad , Cblack and Bella )
CEO have been doing music since 2016 with other artists like blaq jersey and fully went into releasing his first single in 2020. Omologo wishes to be in a greater place seeing himself and his song global without stress. He wishes to work with artiste like Wizkid, Davido, Naira Marley and other good artiste. He is currently working on his EP which consist of 6 songs which will blow your minds. After his hit song “go hard “ his fans have been asking for another banger. Omologo is set an ready to blow our minds titled Jaiye.
Also signed to Marlian music helmed by Naira Marley, the singer teamed up with in-house producer, Rexxie to deliver “KPK”, one of 2021’s starter hits. The chart-topping record has gone viral and introduced popular slangs like OPP (O Por Pa), KPK (Ko Por Ke), making the rounds in Nigeria’s pop culture. Mohbad closed out 2020 with an 8-track EP, Light with features from Davido, Lil Kesh, and Naira Marley.
Though the artist-producer has been around for a minute, the past year has been promising enough to envisage what 2021 holds for him. The remix of “Love Nwantiti” which features Joeboy, Kuami Eugene released in early 2020 received considerable reception. The singer then closed out the year with the announcement of joining Warner Music South Africa with hints of a sophomore album – his first major label debut – set to drop this year. He is also featured in “La La”, one of the most critically acclaimed records off Davido’s recent album.
Buju is signee on Burna Boy’s record label Spaceship record label. 2020 came and his dreams came through when his Idol African Giant, Burna jumped on his last song ‘Lenu’ produced by music producer, Steph and video directed by TG Omori a.k.a Boy Director which is smash hit. The song is ‘Spiritual’ which featured Zlatan. Born Daniel Benson, the native of Akwa Ibom describes Buju as an acronym for “Beauty Underneath Just Understood” is very deliberate about his style of music and his sound. His sound Afro-Fusion is inspired by his experiences, and what he hears and feels. Buju recently dropped a song that took 2021 out of space tagged outside. Buju is one amazing artiste waxing stronger.
Emeka Akumefule (born 29 January 1996), known professionally as Blaqbonez, is a Nigerian rapper signed to 100 Crowns, which is an imprint of Chocolate City.In 2019, he was profiled by The New York Times as one of the new guards of Nigerian music. He is widely known for his controversial self-proclaimed status as the “Best Rapper in Africa” (abbreviated as “BRIA”), which became the most talked about topic in the Nigerian hip hop space between July and September 2019. Blaqbonez is doing a great job for himself. He has dropped over 6 albums: Sex over Love, Bad Boy Blaq, Last Time Under, Bad Boy Blaq Re-Up, Mr. Boombastic. His recently dropped album Sex over love is waxing stronger gaining good audience.
Nigerian-American based artiste, Sadiq Onifade, widely known as WurlD, literally stole the airwaves in 2019 after teaming up with award-winning producer, Sarz On The Beats, for an enticing new 8-song EP, I Love Girls With Trobul. The project was on the first spot of Nigeria’s iTunes charts and with highly-addictive jams like “Trobul” and “Ego” WurlD has been in the industry for a while but his efforts in 2019 have had massive impacts on his career after he dropped his first EP, Love Is Contagious in March 2019. A popular track in the 9-song EPEP, “Contagious,” sees the blue-haired WurlD blending elements of Nigerian juju music with pop and R&B, making for a captivating and energetic fusion. He bagged the Headies’ Male Vocalist of 2019 award and that took him on a huge leap as it exposed him the more to the global industry. After the award, the artiste, who is signed on Universal Music Nigeria has been featured by several top artistes, the latest being Davido in ‘Sweet In The Middle’, a song of Davido’s ‘A Good Time’ album.
After a string of freestyles that saw the singer become a social media sensation, Marlian Music signed Zinoleesky in late 2019. The singer held his own with “Ma Pariwo”, an erotic afropop number that did its rounds in the mainstream. He closed 2020 with his debut project, Chrome Eccentric, whose theme involves providence, fame, God, love, sex etc. The name Zinoleesky is already bumping into conversations that concern street music and we don’t envisage anything less in 2021.
Oxlade is a young singer, who found his path to become a ‘star’ at Surulere – a Lagos suburb – by performing at Wizkid’s Starboy Fest, a sold-out show at the O2 Arena in London. Oxlade turned out to be well accepted by fans after several songs. Some of which include ‘Mamiwota’ by Blaqbonez, ‘Causing Trouble’ by DJ Tunez, his biggest hit so far entitled: ‘Wait’ among others. He is a promising independent artiste.
The Universal Music Nigeria signee was a duo with Rema a few years back. The singer has marked his presence with records like “Paloma”, “Vibe With Me”. Being a priority signee at the major label, we can imagine what 2021 holds for Alpha P, especially as there’s change in management that sees Chin Okeke now helming the label’s operation in Nigeria. Okeke is the co-founder and Executive Director of Eclipse Life, the organizers of Gidi Fest, West Africa’s biggest music festival.
Ayojayboi whose real name is Bello Jamiu Ademola, born 2000 started music at a very tender age of 10, He met His record label boss RKD, early 2019 which since then have been making good music. Ayojayboi is one artiste who has created a niche for himself in the industry. His hit song Taboo ft Zinoleesky and his EP Grinding all my life are enjoying massive airplay. Jay boy is set to drop another jam tagged Angelina on the 7th of July.
Kennedy Idiake who is popularly known as Canabia, started music at a tender age of 7 but started officially January 2020. Music has been has been a part of him since he was a child his love for melodies, sounds and singing inspires his lyrics. Cana has released over 4 songs. The song Shaka which ft Teni Makanaki is shoot him to limelight. This song has been gaining massive air play in an outside the country.