Who are the Most Popular Nigerian Musical Artists?
In the past decade, the Nigerian music scene has grown drastically. Nigerian musicians, singers, and songwriters are becoming ever more present in global popular culture, making frequent collaborations with some of the biggest stars in the music industry today.
In this article, we are going to take a look at the five most popular Nigerian musicians, singers, and songwriters in the musical scene today.
Number one on our list, and certainly the most popular of all Nigerian musical artists, Wizkid is the most streamed Nigerian singer/songwriter on apps like Spotify, whose songs and albums have seen over 3 billion streams in total. Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun is the person behind the Wizkid name, who started his career in the 2010s and rose to prominence relatively quickly in his career.
His first album, Ayo saw quite a bit of success, however, his rise to fame came in 2016, when he collaborated with superstar Drake, on the hit single, ”One Dance”. The song was massively popular, breaking numerous records, and making Wizkid the first ever Afro Beats artist featured in the Guinness Book of World Records.
David Adedeji Adeleke is one of the most unique Nigerian music artists. Born to Nigerian parents in the USA, Davido absorbed the popular culture of both his native country, Nigeria, and the United States, which has led to a diverse mix of genres.
In 2022, especially, Davido has seen quite a bit of success, with his song (made in collaboration with Trinidad Cardona and AISHA) “Hayya Hayya (Better Together)” being featured in the official soundtrack for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, drawing in a massive amount of punters on betting sites like sportsbet.
Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu is the man behind the Burna Boy persona. His career started in 2012, when he released his hit single “Like to Party”, which skyrocketed his album L.I.F.E. to huge fame. Since his first album, Burna Boy has released quite a few hits, with his fourth and fifth studio albums, African Giant and Twice as Tall being nominated for Best World Music Albums in 2019 and 2020. He has done collaborations with John Legend, Wizkid, Sam Smith, and Beyoncé.
Tiwa Savage was born in Nigeria, however, soon moved to London for her secondary education. Her music career began when she was relatively young, when she would do backup vocals for artists such as Mary J Blige and George Michael. Savage then went on the British X-Factor, where she performed admirably, and soon moved back to Nigeria, inspiring by the burgeoning music industry.
In 2013, Tiwa released her first album, Once Upon a Time. The album was met with predominantly positive reviews, and was nominated for the Best Album of the Year at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards. Since Once Upon a Time, Tiw has released 4 other albums, all of which have been met with quite the success, and most of which have been nominated for one or two awards.
Innocent Ujah Idibia is the singer, songwriter, musicians, and producer behind the 2Baba name. During his early career, Innocent went by the stage name 2face Idibia, however, in 2014, he rebranded under the moniker 2Baba. Since 2004, he has produced 7 albums, all of which have performed rather well. He has won quite a number of musical awards, both in Nigeria, and around the world, the most prominent of which are the MTV Europe Music Award, five Headies Awards, and one World Music Award.
Apart from his musical career, 2Baba is known nationwide as a prominent political activist. He has organized unsuccessful protests against the Nigerian government, has made songs advocating for children’s rights in the country, and across the world, and has been extremely critical of certain Nigerian establishments, which he believes have acted irresponsibly. In his free time, he runs the 2Baba Foundation, a non-government organization he established, with the motto “Service to humanity”. The foundation is focused on helping children get clean food and water, and has collaborated with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.