These are the top 20 Nigerian most influential musicians in the music industry at the moment.
Some artists have been more consistent than others, while others have contributed a body of work to solidify their position, here are the top 20 Nigerian most influential musicians at the moment.
Some may have more honours and recognitions, but the measurements will be based on the entire music thick box in the Nigerian music industry, not simply basic numbers.
In the Nigerian music industry, there is also a grass to grace street credibility tax that offers singers with unusual compelling stories an advantage.
In the midst of it all, there was music – great music – that made mothers leave their sets, ladies fall in love, grown men cry, patched shattered hearts, accompanied spliff moments, soundtracked protests, and lit clubs on fire.
Top 20 most influential musicians in Nigeria at the moment
Innocent Ujah Idibia known by his stage name 2Baba, is a Nigerian singer, musician, pianist, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, humanitarian, and activist.
Prior to July 2014, he went by the stage name 2face Idibia.
He is one of the most decorated and successful Afro pop artists in Africa.
2Baba is the first winner of MTV Europe, Best African Act Award in 2015
Michael Collins Ajereh, known professionally as Don Jazzy, is a Nigerian record producer, audio engineer, record executive, singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.
He is the founder and the CEO of Mavin Records, Don Jazzy was co-owner of the defunct Mo’ Hits Records record label with Dbanj.
Olamide Gbenga Adedeji known professionally as Olamide (and also Olamide Baddo, BaddoSneh, or simply Baddo) is a Nigerian hip-hop recording artist.
He records in Yoruba and English, in 2011, he released his debut studio album Rapsodi while signed to Coded Tunes.
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.
Coal got his start singing in a church choir as a teenager and broke into the music business as a dancer before signing with the Nigeran label Mo’Hits in 2006.
Coal contributed to the 2007 compilation Curriculum Vitae as part of the Mo’Hits All-Stars.
Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun known professionally as Wizkid, Wizzy, Big Wiz, Machala, or Starboy, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter.
The recipient of several international music nominations and awards, He signed a multi-album deal with RCA Records in March 2017.
In 2019, he was featured on Beyoncé’s project The Lion King: The Gift on the collaboration “Brown Skin Girl”, which won him a Grammy Award for Best Music Video.
His fourth album, Made in Lagos, was released in October 2020, to wide commercial success and acclaim.
The album includes the single “Essence”, which became the first Nigerian song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.
David Adedeji Adeleke popularly known as Davido, is a Nigerian-American singer, songwriter, and record producer.
Davido rose to fame after releasing “Dami Duro”, the second single from his debut studio album Omo Baba Olowo (2012).
In 2012, Davido won the Next Rated award at The Headies. Between 2013 and 2015, he also released a number of hit singles and in January 2016 he signed a record deal with Sony Music.
Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo better known by his stage name D’banj, is a Nigerian musician, singer, songwriter, rapper, lawyer, entrepreneur, and television personality.
He has won several music awards, including the awards for Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007, Artist of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2009, and Best International Act: Africa at the 2011 BET Awards.
Also the best-selling African Artist at the 2014 World Music Awards, and Evolution award at the 2015 MTV Africa Music awards.
Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu known professionally as Burna Boy is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, rapper, and dancer. He is one of the biggest and most successful African artists.
He rose to prominence in 2012 after releasing “Like to Party”, the lead single from his debut studio album L.I.F.E (2013).
In 2017, Burna Boy signed with Bad Habit/Atlantic Records in the United States and Warner Music Group internationally.
His third studio album Outside marked his major-label debut, in 2021, he won the award for Best World Music Album at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards.
Tiwatope Savage (born 5 February 1980) is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and actress.
Born in Isale Eko, she relocated to London at the age of 11 for her secondary education. Five years later, she began her music career doing backup vocals for artists such as George Michael and Mary J. Blige.
After participating in the UK edition of The X Factor and graduating from Berklee College of Music, Savage signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2009.
9ice, born Alexander Abolore Adegbola Akande is a Nigerian musician, songwriter, and dancer.
He is known for his powerful use of the Yoruba language in his music as well as his proverbial lyrics and unique style of delivery.
Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike (born 9 October 1986), better known as Phyno Fino, is a Nigerian rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer.
He started his music career as a producer in 2003 and is renowned for rapping in the Igbo language.
His debut studio album No Guts No Glory was released in 2014.
Inetimi Timaya Odon better known by his stage name Timaya, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter.
He hails from Odi, Bayelsa state he is the founder of DM Records Limited.
His solo career began in 2005 with the release of “Dem Mama”, which also appeared on his debut album, True Story released the following year.
His second album Gift and Grace was released in 2008.
Douglas Jack Agu, better known as Runtown, is a Nigerian Afrobeats artist who began releasing music in 2007 and gained global fame in the mid-2010s.
After spending years under the radar, Runtown released his career-making single, 2014’s “Gallardo (feat. Davido),” which won Best Collaboration honors at that year’s Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
Ghetto University, his debut LP, arrived in 2015 and featured such A-list collaborators as DJ Khaled and Wizkid.
He earned his first global hit with the 2016 single “Mad Over You,” which reached the Top 40 of the Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks chart.
The Vodafone Ghana Music Awards named him African Artiste of the Year in 2017.
Yemi Eberechi Alade is a Nigerian Afropop singer, songwriter, actress, and activist.
She won the Peak Talent Show in 2009 after which she signed to Effyzzie Music Group, and had a hit with her single “Johnny” in 2014.
Since then Yemi has gained prominence in the music industry and is considered one of the biggest artists in Africa.
Following the releases of her albums King of Queens and Mama Africa with the huge commercial success recorded for both albums, this made her embark on world tours consecutively.
She won the MTV African Music Awards for Best female in 2015 and 2016 consecutively and was nominated for Artiste of the Year in 2015.
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Remilekun Khalid Safaru known by his stage names Reminisce and ALAGA IBILE is a Nigerian versatile musician, singer, rapper, songwriter, and actor from Ogun State.
He has mastered the art of performing in both English and his native language, Yoruba.
Chinedu Okoli, better known by his stage name Flavour N’abania or simply Flavour, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist.
He began his musical career as a drummer for a local church. Flavour is popularly known across Africa and the world for his hit song “Nwa Baby (Ashawo Remix)”.
He is currently signed to 2nite Entertainment.
Oluwatobiloba Daniel Anidugbe, better known by his stage name Kizz Daniel, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter.
He is best known for his singles “Woju” and “Yeba”, he went by the stage name Kiss Daniel prior to changing it in May 2018.
He founded the Fly Boy Inc record label in November 2017.
Adekunle Kosoko, known professionally as Adekunle Gold, is a Nigerian highlife singer, songwriter, and graphic designer.
He gained widespread attention after releasing the 2015 hit single “Sade”, a highlife cover of One Direction’s “Story of My Life”.
In 2015, he signed a record deal with YBNL Nation and released his debut studio album Gold, which debuted at number 7 on the Billboard World Albums chart.
Azeez Adeshina Fashola, known professionally as Naira Marley, is a British-Nigerian singer and songwriter.
He is known as the president of his controversial fan base, “Marlians” Although 2019’s controversial “Am I a Yahoo Boy” attracted the ire of the Nigerian government, the track landed him on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart for the first time.
An ode to self-pleasure inspired by his own brief incarceration, his 2019 hit single “Soapy” gave rise to another viral dance trend.
Walking the line between Afrobeats and hip-hop while dropping a slew of hit records, Naira Marley is one of Nigeria’s biggest stars.
Nigerian dancehall singer Patoranking, who started out as a street performer before rising to national stardom, is known for his music’s signature African fuji rhythms and strong social messages.
He broke through in 2014 when Nigerian singer Timaya appeared on his bouncy reggae anthem “Alubarika,” the story of the former carnival dancer’s rise from “nothing to something.”p[
He has regularly addressed urgent social issues on such tracks as 2014’s “Girlie O,” featuring award-winning singer Tiwa Savage, and 2016’s “No Kissing Baby,” with Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie.
Top 20 most influential musicians in Nigeria at the moment
- Don Jazzy
- Wande Coal
- Burna Boy
- Tiwa Savage
- Yemi Alade
- Kizz Daniel
- Adekunle Gold
- Naira Marley