A stage name is a pseudonym used by performers and entertainers in the entertainment circle. We would be looking at Some Nigerian Artists and the inspiration behind their names.
Within the music industry, it’s very common to see Nigerian Artists adapting stage names and the reason for this varies.
Aside from a way of identifying and distinguishing themselves from others, a stage name helps to establish expectations about their music.
While some artists chose a simple name, others want a name that will make them stand out. Sometimes these names are derived from their real names, other times it takes some conscious soul searching, while most times it just comes from spontaneous acts or inspiration.
We made a list of the inspiration behind the stage names of some of your favourite Nigerian Artists.
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Years before adopting the name ‘2Baba‘, music icon use to go by the name 2face Idibia, which he explained was the best way to explain the dichotomy between his personal and business life.
In 2016, he officially changed his name from Tuface/2Face to 2Baba. When asked the reason for the change of name in an interview, he said;
“I love kids. In case you are not aware I am happily married man and a father of many children from various baby mamas something I often regret. Although I always wished it differently but, life must go on and the fact that they are my children makes me a proud baba. And despite all said and done marriage has made me more responsible and mature.”
Burna Boy is one of the Afrobeat biggest music elites and even the suffix, “boy” doesn’t make him less than a man. In an interview with Billboard in 2019, he revealed that the name “Burna” was inspired by his love of comic books.
The comic lover used to draw his own comics and fancied himself a superhero with his own superhero name, so he settled on Burna.
Just like many artists whose stage name was given to them, popular indigenous rapper, Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike known as Phyno was given his stage name by a friend.
His stage name, given to him by one of his high school friends, was derived from the word phenomenal.
Nigerian Street-Hop artist, Omoniyi Temidayo Raphael popularly known as Zlatan is one of the many Nigerian Artists who their stage name from their inspirations. For Zlatan, it was the popular international footballer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
According to the rapper, he always wanted to play football and never thought he would end up as a musician.
Born Adekunle Temitope, Small Doctor doesn’t have any degree in medicine like his stage name would suggest.
The singer in an interview with city people revealed that he got his stage name was inspired by his mother’s nickname for him.
His mother calls him Doctor cos she wanted him to be one and then his brother completed the whole drama by adding small to the doctor because he was addicted to watching that TV series ‘Doctor Who’
Bella Shmurda got his stage name from his stage name and the name of his favourite artist at the time.
In an interview, he received Bella is derived from his name, Abiola and Bobby Shmurda was his favourite artist because he had a carefree attitude.
Bella said he saw Bobby as a young artist with a swag, nonchalant attitude and therefore he put Shmurda with Bella, so it made him sound African and urban.
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Music Star, Rema got his stage name from the church. In an interview, he revealed that he heard the name in church but it was spelt ‘Rhema” (Means the spoken word or the next level of revelation of God’s word) but it was too long for the artist leading him to remove the letter ‘H’.