Music is an integral part of our daily lives. Africa is known all over the word to be home to melody and creativity in music. Here in Africa, music is a culture.
Nigeria as a country leads in many things on the continent of Africa and music is not an exception. Nigeria has been producing great musicians all the way back since the early 90s and the country is not slowing down at all.
Nigeria gets more recognition for it’s music than any other county in Africa. The country has produced some giants both in the past and in present times. This article will focus on some of greatest and the best the country has yet.
First On Our list Fela Kuti
Fela Anikulapo Kuti born 15 October 1938.
Fela Kuti, or Fela as he’s mostly called was nothing less of a genius. Through his music he became a voice that commanded the attention of the entire country.
The king of Afro beats himself was a skilled multi-instrumentalist, compose and musician. He’s also the pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre. Coupled with his success as a musician Fela Kuti is a name synonymous to human rights activism in Nigeria.
He employed the power of his music to speak for the voiceless and speak up to the unapproachable in society.
At the height of his popularity, he was referred to as one of Africa’s most “challenging and charismatic music performers”.
In his life time left an indelible mark on the face of Nigerian music. Today New Afrika Shrine which was built as a replacement of Fela’s Kalakuta Republic is still a top attraction to music tourist from across the world. The shine honoured a visit from the French President Emmanuel Macron a little while back.
Check our this list to get a taste of the best of Fela’s music
Water No Get Enemy
Sorrow Tears and Blood
No Agreement, Part 2
Shuffering and Shmiling, Part 2
Coffin for Head of State, Part 2
I T T, Part 2
Army Arrangement, Part 2
Second on our list is King Sunny Ade.
King Sunny Ade
Chief Sunday Adeniyi Adegeye [MFR] was born 22 September, 1946 to the family of Adegeye.
He grew up on Ondo State Nigeria. On his mother’s side he’s a prince, of the Adesida royal family.
King Sunny Adé as his stage name goes, is a Nigerian jùjú singer, songwriter and avid multi-instrumentalist.
He started out in music in Lagos State in 1967 with his band then called — The Green Spots. Today he’s one of the all time greats when it comes to music in Nigeria.
King Sunny Ade is regarded as one of the first African pop musicians to gain international success. He’s in rank with other great names life Fela Kuti, Osita Osadebe, Dan Maria Jos and Sir Victor Uwaifo
In March 2017, he was appointed ambassador for the Change Begins With Me campaign by the Nigerian minister of Information Lai Mohammed.
With his lively music and fluid dance moves, boundless stage energy and almighty charismatic personality King Sunny Ade has created a place for himself in the hearts of many Nigerians and fans of highlife music lovers all across the globe.
Immerse yourself in some Juju bliss this list
Ma Jaiye Oni
Dance, Dance, Dance
Suku Suku Bam Bam
Third On Our List Wizkid
Wizkid, is one of the hottest star in Nigerian music today, he’s a singer and a songwriter. His real name is Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun born 16, July 1990.
His music journey started very early in life. He was just 11 years old when he released his first album, a collaborative work with is church friends. They called themselves The Glorious Five.
In 2009 he signed a record deal with Empire Mates Entertainment (EME) and that was the beginning of the reign of the name Wizkid in Nigerian music. Wizkid became a national star after releasing a string of hit songs from his debut studio album, Superstar in 2011. He’s hit singles from that album includes “Holla at Your Boy”, “Tease Me/Bad Guys”, “Don’t Dull”, “Love My Baby”, “Pakurumo” and “Oluwa Lo Ni”.
He’s next album, titled Ayo was released in September 2014 and it was another huge success for him. It was supported by six singles: ” Bombay”, “On Top Your Matter”, “One Question”, “Joy”, “Jaiye Jaiye” and “Show You the Money”. Wizkid left E.M.E after his contract expired.
He got international recognition with his collaboration with Drake on the global hit “One Dance”. “One Dance” was a mighty success, reaching number one in 15 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. It was also included in the
2018 Guinness World Records making Wizkid the first Afrobeats, hip hop artist to appear in the Guinness World record. Wizkid also the first Nigerian musician to have over one million followers on Twitter
Since “One Dance” he has released multiple hit songs and albums. His third studio album Sounds from the Other Side was released on 14 July 2017. SFTOS was supported by five singles: “Daddy Yo”, “Sweet Love”, “Come Closer”, “African Bad Gyal” and “Naughty Ride”.
He has enjoyed more collaborative work with international artists including Akon, Wale, Skepta and Beyonce. He’s lustrous career has been blessed with a long list of awards and nominations
It is certain that we’ll yet still see our starboy do many more great things.
Fouth On Our List Davido
Davido is the next on our list of the giants in music in Nigeria today.
His real name is David Adedeji Adeleke, born November 21, 1992 to the prominent Adeleke family from Ede, Osun State, Nigeria. He’s an American-born Nigerian singer, songwriter and record producer. Davido was born in Atlanta, US, and raised in Lagos, Nigeria.
He started out his music career after dropping out of Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama where he was studying Business Administration to make beats and record vocal references. His music debut was as a member of the music group KB International.
Davido rose to national recognition after releasing “Dami Duro”, the second single from his debut studio album Omo Baba Olowo in 2012. Other hit singles from the OBO album include “Back When”, “Ekuro”, “Overseas”, “All of You”, “Gbon Gbon”, and “Feel Alright”.
He won the Next Rated award at The Headies in 2012. He’s next releases were the hit singles “Gobe”, “One of a Kind”, “Skelewu”, “Aye”, “Tchelete (Goodlife)”, “Naughty”, “Owo Ni Koko”, “The Money” and “The Sound” all of which were released between 2013 and 2015.
David founded his own record label Davido Music Worldwide (DMW) in 2016 and has since signed rising acts like Dremo, Mayorkun, Yonda and Peruzzi. In July 2016, he signed a record deal with Sony’s RCA Records. In October 2016, he released the 5-track EP Son of Mercy, which was supported by the singles “Gbagbe Oshi”, “How Long” and “Coolest Kid in Africa”.
After re-negotiating his contract with Sony in April 2017 due to creative control issues he released five singles including “If” and “Fall”. They were both hit successes. “If” generated worldwide social media activity while “Fall” became the longest-charting Nigerian pop song in Billboard history.
Davido has a social media following of 16.8 million followers on Instagram and 7 million followers on Twitter. He as remained the most followed Nigerian artist for the last three years on Instagram and he’s not slowing slowing down.
He his second studio album A Good Time was released in November 2019. It was supported by the previously released singles “If”, “Fall”, “Assurance”, “Blow My Mind” and “Risky”.
He has collaborated with many international artist across the continent of Africa and beyond. He has worked with stars like Akon (Twice) – “Dami Duro Remix” and “Chilling” with Runtown, Popcaan (Thrice) – “Dun Rich“, “Story” and “Risky”, Chris Brown (Twice) “Blow My Mind” and “Lower Body”, Meek Mill – “Fans Mi”, Tinashe – “How Long”, Sean Kingston – “Peace of mind” with Tory Lanez, R.kelly – “If Remix”, Khalid – “Know Your Worth Remix” with Tems, Russ – “All I want”, and many others more.
He has won a good number of awards and have been nominated for even more. Check out this list
Davido is doing well, especially with the recent victory for his fiancee Chioma Avril over the Corona virus infection. We will continue to expect great things for the leader of the 30 billion gang.
The last on our list of the giants of music in Nigeria is the baddest singer himself Burna Boy.
Burna is a Nigerian born singer and songwriter. He’s real name is Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu. He was born 2 July 1991 in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He describe his music has Afro fusion, a genre that blends Afrobeat, dancehall riddims, reggae, American rap and R&B.
He rose to fame after he released “Like to Party”, the lead single from his debut studio album L.I.F.E in August, 2013.
The album’s music draws it’s vibe from the music of Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade and Bob Marley. It was well received with positive reviews from music critics, who applauded its production. It was nominated for Best Album of the Year at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. In August 2013, L.I.F.E peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.
In February 2015, he founded his record label Spaceship Entertainment and released his second album On a Spaceship on 25 November 2015.
International recognition came for him in 2017 when he signed a record deal with Bad Habit/Atlantic Records in the United States and Warner Music Group internationally. His third studio album Outside marked his major-label debut.
More success with increasing nation-wide influence and international recognition came his way in 2019, when he won Best International Act at the 2019 BET Awards, and was announced as an Apple Music Up Next artist.
He released his fourth studio album African Giant in July 2019; it won Album of the Year at the 2019 All Africa Music Awards and was nominated for Best World Music Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. Even though he didn’t win it, it was dedicated to him by Angélique Kidjo who won the award.
Burna Boy has an explosive personality on stage and off stage and this has worked for and against him in time past but one thing is certain; he’s done well and he’ll do even more in the future.