These are the top 10 Nigerian emerging artists who will ensure the survival of afrobeats in the future.
No doubt these are the top 10 Nigerian emerging artists who will keep afrobeats safe, the music industry however embraced this change in full throttle, leaning into digitization to influence music consumption and even discovery.
The Nigerian music industry witnessed an array of talents emerge in the past year.
From the continued street presence in Nigeria’s pop culture to acts like Bella Shmurda, Zinoleesky, Tems and the rise of Buju, Omah Lay, etc. Now, adding the unheralded emergence of Ckay with his global record ‘Love Nwantiti’
2021 promises to be an even more exciting year for the Nigerian music scene already reveling in an abundance of sounds.
Top 10 Nigerian emerging artists who will keep afrobeats safe
Temilade Openiyi, better known by her stage name Tems, is a Nigerian singer. In May 2021, Tems was ranked number 1 on the Billboard Next Big Sound chart and number 5 on the Billboard Emerging Artist chart.
In September 2021, Tems was signed to RCA records and announced as Apple Music Up Next artist of the month.
Adedamola Adefolahan, known professionally as Fireboy DML, is a Nigerian singer. He is signed to YBNL Nation, a record label founded by Nigerian rapper Olamide.
His debut studio album Laughter, Tears, and Goosebumps was released in 2019.
Fireboy DML is a Nigerian singer-songwriter whose music fuses Afropop, R&B, and soul.
Born Adedamola Adefolahan, he grew up singing in church, started making music while at university, and eventually was signed by Nigerian rapper Olamide’s independent label, YBNL Nation.
“Jealous,” his 2018 breakthrough single, won Listeners’ Choice honors at the 2020 Soundcity MVP Awards Festival, presented by a popular African music TV channel.
Oxlade is the stage name of Nigerian singer Ikuforiji Abdulrahman Olaitan, best known for such Afro-fusion hits as “AWAY,” “HOLD ON,” and “O2.”
Inspired by the music of Nigerian star Wande Coal, Oxlade cut his first demo at age 11 with the help of his uncle, a professional sound mixer.
His big break came in 2018 when he was featured on “Mamiwota,” a hit by Nigerian rapper Blaqbonez.
In 2018, his dreamy “Questionnaire” was his first solo track to catch fire in Nigeria, thanks to the endorsement of renowned singer and producer Davido, who hyped him on social media.
All six tracks from Oxlade’s acclaimed 2020 EP, OXYGENE, reached the Top 20 of Nigeria’s Apple Music Top 100 World Songs chart, with the infectious “AWAY” peaking at No. 2.
Divine Ikubor, known professionally as Rema, is a Nigerian singer and rapper. He rose to prominence with the release of the song “Iron Man”, which appeared on Barack Obama’s 2019 summer playlist.
In 2019, he signed a record deal with Jonzing World, a subsidiary of Mavin Record
To say someone is the voice of a generation is a great statement that shouldn’t be thrown around carelessly.
However, when it comes to Rema, he is both the sound and the voice of the youth of tomorrow as he trailblazes his own pathway into a better future
Joseph Akinwale Akinfenwa-Donus, known professionally as Joeboy, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter.
Mr. Eazi of record label “emPawa Africa” discovered him in 2017. His genre of music is that of Afro pop and R&B. He was born in Lagos State, Nigeria.
Making waves since his 2019 breakout single “Baby,” Nigerian Afro-pop star Joeboy cemented his reputation with the release of his 2021 debut album, the forward-thinking and precisely crafted Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic
Buju originally named Daniel Benson is a fast-rising 21-year-old Nigerian Afro-Fusion singer and who draws inspiration to create music ranging from his personal experiences, his environment, or the experiences of his friends.
His ability to tell stories effortlessly in his music whilst including vivid melodies and harmony is something that has made his music a ‘must-listen as it’s unexplainably enjoyable
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.
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
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 broke through in his native Nigeria with the 2019 single “Popo,” which addressed social inequity.
Released in 2020, the single “Caro” featured his mentor, Naira Marley, and the official video received more than three million views in its first year.
His 2020 “MaPariwo” single used Wale Thompson’s 2001 hit “Lalale Friday” as a musical backdrop.
Posing as one of Nigeria’s most fresh and exciting names is Omah Lay, the 24-year-old Afro-fusion artist who has turned the heads of many across the globe.
Reputable for his feel-good and up-beat sound, Omah Lay’s butter-like tone, candid lyricism, and infectious melodies have paved a way for an original contemporary spin on his West-African roots
Bursting onto the scene at the latter end of 2019, it wasn’t until what’s been referred to as a terror dome of a year , that Omah Lay started to create waves, more specifically with his ‘Get Layd’ EP.
Spread across 5 tracks and housing one of his most prominent songs to date, ‘Bad Influence’, Lay swiftly followed through with a second project entitled, ‘What Have We Done’, this time featuring a guest appearance from US hit-maker 6LACK.
Showcasing his versatility for all to see, it’s become a rare finding to source any songs with less than 1 million streams, and with only two years in the game that’s pretty impressive!