Nigerian artists are on the rise and with the likes of Def Jam opening offices in Africa (Def Jam Recordings Africa), the forecast shows big numbers on the rise for the Nigerian music industry (44 million US dollars by the end of next year). And it only makes sense. The American industry is rather set in stone by now and the big three (Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group) have monopolized the charts and everything in between. So get to know the future superstars before they hit it big. Oh wait, some already did!
5. Naira Marley
Kicking off the list with a marketing-savvy artist who’s adopted a very Americanized name for his stage moniker, Azeez Adeshina Fashola. The talent goes by Naira Marley and his professional ascension is comparable to the biographies of rockstars. For example, he released Am I A Yahoo Boy on May 3rd in 2019 and got arrested by EFCC the same damn day for internet fraud, whatever that implies 😀 He’s mostly known for melding Afrobeats with Hip Hop and has garnered a shocking 16 million views for Soap in little over a year. Mind you, the guy signed himself through his own record label. Business and music done right.
4. Kizz Daniel
Daniel Anidugbe, May 1st, 1994, is a Nigerian artist who continues to make waves musically following his debut in 2014. His most famous songs include Woju, which has seen so much success that it has spurred numerous covers and remixes from fellow artists. Other works from Kizz include Yeba and Laye. His music cuts across Afrobeats, Pop, and R&B but also collaborates with artists from different genres. As of April 2021, the artist boasts almost 600k YouTube subscribers. His most-watched video to date is One Ticket, which stands at 100k views short of 40 million views. Impressive!
3. Mercy Chinwo
Born on September 5th, 1990, this Port Harcourt native ruled the airwaves with her single Testimony. Mercy Nneda Chinwo ranks as one of the top known acts locally, nationally, and internationally. Her music is mainly Gospel and Worship, for which she has won three awards. You will also be fascinated to know that Mercy is the winner of the 2nd season of the Nigerian Idol in 2012. The title brought some much-needed attention, and it has been skywards ever since. Her most-watched video on YouTube is Excess Love which has amassed 64 million views as of April 2021.
David Adeleke, born November 21st, 1992, has been present on the Nigerian music scene since 2010. His music transcends many genres, including Afrobeats, Pop, Reggae, and R&B. His works include collaborations with the likes of Chris Brown, Poopcan, and Rae Sremmurd. His most recent album, A Better Time, has a very respectable guest list as well. The album broke records having been streamed over 213.2 million times in less than A MONTH! His most-watched video to date is Fall, with 200 million views as of April 2021.
1. Burna Boy
Finally, there is Burna Boy. He ranks at the top of this list because of his historical 2021 Grammy win. Born as Damini Ogulu on July 2nd, 1991, he is the only Nigerian artist to have ever won the Best World Music Album Award for Twice As Tall. You can categorize his music as Afro-fusion, Afrobeats, and Hip Hop. However, the guy is versatile enough to have some Reggae, Pop, and R&B hits to his name. He has been in the music business since 2011 and plies his trade with US labels Atlantic Records and Warner Music Group. Fun fact: he’s being successfully managed by his own mother, Bose Ogulu. His most famous video is On the Low, which boasts over 195 million views as of April 2021.
Written by Allan Mwachanga
Edited by Mariana Berdianu
Blue Rhymez Entertainment ©2021
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