Believe me or not 2016 has been a big year for the Nigerian entertainment industry especially the music, permit me to say the biggest year so far since the Fela and Sunny Ade era. Not just the musicians but also other music professionals have played a big role in taking Nigeria music to the next level in 2016.
Let’s discuss some of these acts and icons, and how they impacted the music industry/business in 2016.
- WIZKID – 2016 came too early for Ayodeji. Yet to drop a single but does that really count for the Surulere boy this year? NO! Wizkid career and music took a sharp turn when Skepta and Drake jumped on the 12th biggest song of 2015 in the world ‘Ojuelegba’. Wizkid promised new songs in 2016 but never dropped it until we were all shocked with his feature on ‘Drake – One Dance’ alongside Kayla, the song which has broken so many digital records. But that the Star Boy won’t stop there even when Solo said he no go blow, doing collabos with Swizz Beatz, Trey Songz, French Montana, Tinie Tempah, Dj Henri, Alicia Keys etc. with also joining Chris brown on his ‘One Hell of a Night’ tour. Reports came in last week that the ‘No lele’ crooner is about to sign a deal with Sony Music Entertainment similar to Davido. Baba nla!
- DAVIDO – David Adedeji Adeleke aka Omo Baba Olowo, kind of opened the door to International record deals in January, 2016 signing with Sony Music entertainment in NYC. The deal which was said to help him create, distribute and market his music at world class level. Five to six months later the acclaimed ‘SON OF MERCY’ bagged another international deal with RCA Records. Even if he’s yet to drop a track this year, Davido has been shutting down shows across continents and pocketing deals. Let’s not forget he was the cover for ‘The Fader Magazine’ issue 102 in February. We await the his E.P in September, which its said to be star-studded. Baddest!
- PAUL OKOYE – CEO Upfront & Personal Bookings, has made a very great impact to not just the Nigeria music but Africa at large. From getting endorsement deals for the likes of Davido, Wizkid, Flavour, Tiwa Savage and so on. This man set-up what we can call the biggest afro-beats show in the past 5 years, One Africa Music Festival at the Barclays Centre, New York. The event which was star-studded with A-list acts from around Africa which reportedly gulped about N1b is set to have the 2nd edition in Houston. Hail, Paul!
- KISS DANIEL – G-worldwide recording artist, Kiss Daniel dropped his much anticipated album ‘NEW ERA’ on March 13, 2016 featuring only his label mate, Sugarboy. The album which was digitally distributed by Notjustok Distribution LLC landed #8 on the Billboard World Album Charts, feat previously only achieved by 2face Idibia’s Ascension and Reminisce’s Baba Hafusa. The album also made it to #118 on the USA iTunes Charts and spent several weeks on the Nigerian iTunes chart. After his sold-out USA tour in July, the ‘Woju’ crooner has been tipped to achieve the heights of the likes of Davido, Wizkid.
- OSAGE ALONGE – in as much as some artist and fans don’t like this young man, believe me we need more people like him to improve the Nigeria music industry. The Pulse Editor-in-chief, who analyzes and criticizes artists and their crafts on his #FACTSONLY series has in one way or the other added some sort of spice to the industry this year. He had his own fair share of beef with few this year but Artists now try to put things right knowing there is someone out there to criticize if not done properly.
- OLAMIDE – Olamide Adedeji, the self-proclaimed voice of the streets has been very instrumental to Nigerian music in 2016, if not for dropping hits back to back but also for the work his label YBNL has put to develop and blow young artists such as Lil Kesh, AdekunleGOLD, Temmie, Chinko Ekun. Lil Kesh ‘YAGI’ was a success and adekunleGOLD ‘GOLD’ is still enjoying massive sales across all platforms.
- ADEKUNLE GOLD – Adekunle Kosoko aka King of Photoshop, rise to fame story is one everyone will like to have. All odds were against the ‘Orente’ songwriter for his style of music but he stood loyal to his craft and guess what? It made him. Started the year 2016 with winning an award at the Headies, his song ‘Pick Up’ was the most played song on radio for half of the year. His GOLD album which was full with so much originality debuted #10 on Billboard World Chart and its said to be making massive digital & physical sales, na lie? (ask dem boys for alaba)
- DON JAZZY – Michael Collins, CEO of two great record label, past and present. Don Jazzy is not making the same mistake twice! Supreme Mavin Dynasty is one of the few standard record labels we have in Nigeria, housing about six acts and other two producers. Don Jazzy has been able to achieve a great roaster for these acts with each of them dropping hits this year (except Di’Ja for obvious reasons). With Tiwa Savage bagging management deal with Jay Z owned Roc Nation, SMD has promised us an album this year, we wait!
- TIWA SAVAGE – Everything almost weren’t fell apart for Tiwatope this year after the marriage drama, but the Mavin first lady stood to her fit to keep doing what she does best. Maybe her ‘RED’ didn’t really made waves after it was dropped late last year, but the ‘KeleKele’ diva made effort to drop the Deluxe version in March. Four months after, she was signed to Roc Nation. And she has been twerking her to the top.
- AYO JAY – Underestimated, almost forgotten…. One Nation Records act, Ayo Jay also known as Boy Wonder with his hit track ‘Your Number’ got fans and pundits mouth-opened on May 13, 2016 signing a 7 figure record deal with American based Sony Music Label, RCA Records. This probably comes as no surprise as Ayo Jay’s single Your Number featuring Fetty Wap, a song that has over 12 million views on Youtube and remained #1 on Soundcloud Dancehall Charts for at least 5weeks. We taught it was joke until he became the first Nigerian artist to sit on USA Billboard Charts without feature with his track ‘Your Number’ debuted at #24 on Billboard Hot R&B Songs Charts.
- PATORANKING – Who taught Nigeria could produce another Reggae superstar in the 21st century? Not until now. Patoranking has gone from grass to grace. His 16-track reggae album, God Over Everything, released on August 1,2016 two years after he broke through with his single ‘Alubarika’, just ten days after the album dropped, made history! Becoming the first Nigerian act to have his debut album on the coveted Billboard Reggae Charts on #4. Wayasay….blessings!
- DEMOLA &OVIE NOTJUSOK – Demola Ogundele, CEO of Notjustok and Head-of-Content, Ovie. This two infamous media professionals have been very influencial to Nigeria music success in 2016 from contents promotions to distributing albums digitally, this media house has also created a platform for up and coming artists to share their crafts for free, we should not forget the #WhoYouEpp competition was achieved through this platform. Rumors also had it they were instrumental to Davido’s SONY deal.
We shouldn’t forget the likes of Tony OKoroji (COSON CEO), Kamal Ajiboye (CEO, Twenty20 Media), Ayeni Adekunle (Founder, Nigeria Entertainment Conference), Ayo Animashaun (CEO, smooth Promotions) and so on who have also impacted the Music Industry/Business positively this year.
Thanks for reading.
Writer: Daramola Koxyn (@don_koxyn)