These are the Nigerian artistes that were discovered from the street or that encounter a ‘grass to grace’ success story.
Young and talented artists made their debut in the Nigerian music industry through thick or thin making the industry an impressive one, however, here are the Nigerian artistes that were discovered from the street.
For some, it was a take-off year, while other artistes were discovered from the street, it has not been so for most of them, a good number of artists grew up not so rich, or had to drop out of school.
Street in this context signifies the environment or heartbeat of every hustle to the limelight and here is how they were discovered from the street.
Nigerian artistes that were discovered from the street
Oluwatobi Wande Ojosipe, popularly known as Wande Coal, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter.
With his yearning for romantic ballads, Nigerian singer, songwriter, and producer Wande Coal pioneered the sound of Afrobeats while becoming an international star.
Wande Coal started singing in the teenage choir at his church. He got his first break in the Nigerian entertainment industry as a dancer.
He was discovered by Don Jazzy’s Mo’ Hits Records in 2006.
Wizkid went by the stage name Lil Prinz until 2006, He later met OJB Jezreel, a record producer who prevented him from recording for a year.
While visiting OJB’s Point Beat Studios frequently, he watched 2 Face Idibia record songs for his Grass 2 Grace album.
He was also present during the recording sessions for Sound Sultan’s debut album Jagbajantis.
Wizkid cited Naeto C as one of the people who mentored and coached him when he was 15 years old.
In 2010, Nigerian rap superstar, Olamide Adedeji also known as Olamide Badoo launched onto the scene with his monster hit single, ‘Eni Duro.’ At the time, he was discovered by ID Cabasa, Coded Tunes Records alongside Seriki and Kayefi.
Under the label, he released his first album, Rapsodi.
The terms of his exit were amicable, Olamide then branched out and founded his own record label, YBNL Nation (Y.B.N.L is an acronym for Yahoo Boy No Laptop, a tribute to how much money he makes) under which he released his subsequent albums.
The artist’s real name is Ikuforiji Olaitan Abdulrahman, but he is best known in the music industry by his stage name Oxlade.
He was singing in church at the age of 10 and was good enough to become the junior choir leader. However, things became different when Oxlade switched to secular music.
He received criticism from his maternal uncles who didn’t appreciate the fact that he stopped singing in church.
He continued in his choice of music up to secondary school and up to when he got his admission into Lagos State University (LASU).
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His dropping out of school didn’t go too well with his parent who stopped faring for him. Oxlade almost gave up on music until Blaqbonez heard his single “Sour” and planned collaboration with him.
Singer, Lyta was discovered by Olamide while he was on the streets. During his stint with the label, he released the September 19, 2018 buzz singles, ‘Self Made‘ and ‘Time,’ both featuring Olamide.
He arrived at YBNL a little before Picazo, Yomi Blaize and Fireboy DML
Soulful singer Zinoleesky emerged as a new voice in Nigeria’s street music scene in 2019 and was signed to a label within a year.
ZinoLeesky started his music dreams at his teenage age alongside his very close friends, Lil Frosh and Ibradosky who were also on the same musical journey as him, they released freestyles on social media platforms and also made a cover to many popular songs.
In December 2019, ZinoLeesky was signed into the newly established record label “Marlians Records” by “Soapy” crooner, Naira Marley alongside Mohbad, Fabian, and Cblack.
Adekunle went solo after disbanding from a music group he formed with a friend while in school.
He was dubbed the “King of Photoshop” after posting an edited photoshop image of him hugging Tiwa Savage on social media platforms.
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In 2015, Nigerian contemporary folk and afro-pop act, Adekunle Gold signed to YBNL.
While with the label, his singles, ‘Sade,’ ‘Orente‘ and ‘Pick Up’ became mega-hits and resulted in ‘Sade’ winning Best Alternative Song at The Headies 2016.
Inetimi Timaya Odon, better known by his stage name Timaya, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter.
Timaya later returned to Port Harcourt to study Banking and Finance at the tertiary level, however, he performed poorly in examinations and dropped out after the first semester.
He then moved back to Lagos to join Eedris Abdulkareem’s hip-hop group as a backup vocalist.
Throughout secondary school, he learned to play the drums and piano, he also learned to create his own rendition of every recording he heard.
He studied public administration at the Institute of Management and Technology in Enugu and started profiting from music during his second year there.
Phyno told Ifeoma Onoye that Mr. Raw is one of the few people he looks up to.
Phyno started rapping in 2010 and relocated to Lagos to further his music career
Keshinro Ololade, a Nigerian rapper, and songwriter, better known as Lil Kesh have narrated how he got signed by popular rapper and record label boss, Olamide.
In a recent chat with Pulse, the 25-year-old singer stated that he got a call from Olamide after he recorded Lyrically from a beat he downloaded online.
Lil Kesh who started as an artiste under Olamide’s record label YBNL, started his record label, Young And Getting It Right (YAGI) in 2016 after his contract with YBNL expired.
A high point of that journey was his surprise connection with Nigerian rap superstar, Olamide.
The rap legend was first introduced to Fireboy’s music by his friend and media entrepreneur, Seyi Tinubu.
Impressed, Olamide reached out while on a work trip abroad and established a connection.
He moved to Lagos and started performing with rapper Blackface Naija. He met BlackFace during his secondary education in Benue, Nigeria.
With Blackface (Ahmedu Augustine Obiabo) and with musician Faze (Chibuzor Orji), he went on to form the trio band Plantashun Boiz.
Co-owner Alleluyah Boyz Entertainment (ABE), Lawrence Irablor, home to street king Zlatan Ibile, recently came out to rain praises and accolades on his record label signee, Zlatan.
He made it known that he and his partners met Zlatan as a very promising artist that was finding his foot in the music industry, and they knew he was the kind of person they wanted to work with.
When acclaimed street-hop dancer Poco Lee posted the video on social media, Olamide reached out to an ecstatic Bella Shmurda for a remix and thus began Bella’s rise to mainstream acclaim.
“Olamide has been the street king for a while, and for me to do a song with him, it was a big push-up for me,” Bella said.