2016 has so far proven to be a very good year for a handful of top Nigerian artistes.
As they have had several reasons to have a big grin on their face. Some new acts have also found their way to the big stage, the likes of Mr Eazi, Niniola, Geniuzz, Sugarboy, Temmie Ovwasa, Terry Apala, Wale Turner, Tjan to mention but a few.
A handful of established Nigerian acts have been doing the country and in fact the continent proud on the world stage, they include Wizkid, Yemi Alade, Tiwa Savage, Olamide, Tekno, Adekunle Gold, Simi, Falz and a few others.
Topping the list of Nigerian acts that seem to be finally getting it right when it comes to getting the music business right and getting their work to every corner of the world is unarguably Wizkid, who has been the loudest and most impactful act from the African talent so far this year. Talk about his singles with Drake and Tinie Tempah and a many more jams he has hopped on and slay. He has been able to create and maintain well an international fan base and doesn’t seem to stop increasing anytime soon.
Wizkid has so far in 2016 made major moves such as the Sony Deal he is reported to put pen to paper on real soon. The “Expensive Shit” crooner’s year got even better when he became the biggest winner at this year’s #MAMA awards held in South Africa, winning the Artist of the year award, Best Male and an award for his collaboration with Dj Maphotisa and Dj Buckz.
When it comes to the ladies, Effyzzie Music’s Yemi Alade has proven yet again this year that she is truly the king, with the release of her sophomore album “Mama Africa”, which today is one of the most heard album on the continent of Africa, and arguably one of the best released this year. She didn’t just stop with the release o the successful beautiful work of art, she has been able to improve her brand as a whole making her a force to reckon with on the continent and globally, to be honest, and her recent MTV Africa Music Awards, Best Female award win goes a long way in proving this. The ace songstress, who represented Nigeria and Africa as a whole well for Shell’s #MakeTheFuture campaign in Rio, Brazil couple of days back, has also been featured on Kat Deluna’s newly released album, not forgetting the magic she was able to work during the Coke Studio experience with American singing sensation, Trey Songz, helping her build her international image. These moves made by the one-time reality show winner has obviously helped increase her fan base globally making one of Africa’s biggest acts.
An exceptional talented singer, in the person of Adekunle Gold, has also been able to shut a few critics up with his very impressive album, “Gold”, which is so far one of the best L.Ps dropped this year. The singer an exemplary job on his first major project and although some claim he was not diverse enough on the album, I am of the opinion that he switched from his usual style and gave us a break from the norm.
One act that has been in the news for the most part of this year, is Mr. Eazi, a relatively unknown singer as at this time last year, that has now turned himself into a force to reckon with in the Nigerian music industry today. He has dropped several charts-topping singles and his fan base seems to be spreading across the nation like cancer. One thing I feel is responsible for Mr Eazi’s unanticipated success is the fact that he is feeding the market with a completely different kind of sound from the usual. He has created a style that is extremely unique, a style that no one had previously worked around.
All in all international recognition of these Nigerian artists have been on the rise all through the year, with few of them landing international record deals like Tiwa Savage’s ROC nation deal, SONY deals of Davido, Wizkid, Ayo Jay and SONY Africa deals of Tekno and Ycee. This means that even the world is seeing the massive change the Nigerian music industry is having.
By Braimoh Oluwatobi