Naira Marley: The New Kingmaker of Street Hop Music
In the Nigerian Music Industry, there are the Kings, those who reign and the Kingmakers, those who have surpassed the level of a King and are crowning those who they feel are eligible for the throne; Naira Marley falls in the latter category.
When it comes to Street Hop Music in Nigeria, Naira Marley is one of the few artists whose brilliant artistry and business mindset had transformed the scene.
Naira Marley might be a cruise master who appears to be playful, but the truth is that he is a driven and great-minded individual who is establishing a solid enterprise in the music industry.
Aside from his several hit songs that have dominated the street and topped charts, the rapper cum singer is also giving young talented acts like him the chance at making it in a competitive industry.
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Since breaking onto the scene, Naira Marley has established herself as a significant street artist who depicts the daily struggle of life on the streets in a simple, relatable, and often provocative style.
He’s been able to smoothly blend his western experience as a young man in Peckham with the realities of a savvy hustler on the Lagos streets.
Naira Marley’s music gained an audience across the poor, medium, and upper levels of society, bridging the gap between the streets and gated communities.
Naira Marley has since cemented his status as the king of the streets by founding the Marlian movement, which has a devoted following willing to spend their lives in the footsteps of the superstar.
The Kings and its Kingmakers
YBNL Boss, Olamide could be said to be the first artist who has given street hop artists a platform to refine their talent.
With his successful label, YBNL, Olamide has launched a number of artists into the music scene, giving them the opportunity to grow, showcase their talents and gain a sizable audience.
Outside of signing artists to his Label, Olamide has also co-signed on other artists’ songs, indirectly giving them an opportunity to use his star power to their advantage.
Naira Marley has been a beneficiary of Olamide’s influence and has been touted several times as his replacement as King of Streets.
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However, while we won’t be looking into if Naira Marley is worthy of replacing Olamide, we would be considering the impact Naira Marley has had on the streets and how he is paving a path for other artists.
Naira Marley demonstrated that he had an ear for talent and a passion for fostering street music by establishing the Marlian Record label, which now has some of the most promising performers the streets have to offer.
Marlian Records is now quickly establishing itself as Nigeria’s hottest record label in recent times, slowly rubbing shoulders with other successful labels in the Nigerian music scene.
During the “Marlian Fest”, which was held at the Eko Hotels and Suites on 30th December 2019, Naira Marley announced the launch of his record label “Marlian Records” and unveiled CBlvck, Zinoleesky, MohBad and Fabian Blu as signed acts.
On July of 2020, he unveiled another act, EMo Grae, and then signed Lyta, who was formerly under Olamide’s YBNL label in August.
Barely a week after signing the budding Lyta to his Marlian Records imprint, he signed his first female artist, Tori Keeche.
Marlian Record’s success, as well as Naira Marley’s title as the King of street music, has been validated by their performance on Nigeria’s most important music chart.
Marlian Record boasts a roster of creative musicians who are adept at creating catchy tracks that appeal to a wide range of audiences and are supported across numerous channels.
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Here are some of them;
Onyide Azeez, also known as Zinoleesky, is a pioneer member of the Marlian music record label. Naira Marley revealed Zinoleesky’s signing to the music record on the same day he unveiled the record label.
Zinoleesky has released a number of tracks as one of the fast-rising outstanding musicians and members of the Marlian music record label.
He is the label’s second most popular artist. He has more hit songs than everyone else in the label except Naira Marley.
Unlike his friend Lil Frosh, who was signed to the label earlier, he reportedly turned down Davido’s offer to be signed to the DMW record label.
Mohbad, as he is affectionately known by his admirers, is another rising force in the record label. The Nigerian artist and songwriter whose full name is Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba hail from Lagos State.
He, like Zinoleesky, was revealed as one of the Marlian music record company’s signees on the night the label was launched.
- RELATED: Zinoleesky has gradually been redefining the sound of street pop music
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He is quite talented and well-known on his Instagram profile for posting raps, beats, choruses, and freestyles.
In 2020, he gained mainstream prominence after the popularity of his hit song “KPK” with serial producer, Rexxie.
He followed up in 2021 with another hit tune, ‘Feel Good” which earned more fans.
Lyta is a gifted Nigerian rapper, singer, and composer who was previously signed to Olamide’s YBNL record label.
The young musician from Kwara state had a falling out with his former boss, which resulted in his departure from the label. He did a lot of covers and released some songs before he left, including Time (featuring Olamide).
After his exit from YBNL, the Monalisa corner joined the Marlian family. He is currently the 4th most popular artist on the label. Under Marlian Music, he has released a lot of songs which have helped in boosting his popularity.
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