In the vibrant and diverse landscape of Nigerian music, a new wave of artists has emerged, captivating audiences not only within the borders of their homeland but also on a global scale. Over the past decade, these seven Nigerian artistes have forged a path of success, leaving an indelible mark on the international music scene.
With their infectious beats, captivating melodies, and thought-provoking lyrics, they have transcended borders, capturing the hearts and ears of music lovers worldwide. From the energetic and soulful sounds of Burna Boy and Wizkid to the empowering vocals of Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade, this group of talented individuals has propelled Nigerian music to new heights. Join us as we delve into the remarkable journeys and global hits of these top Nigerian artistes who have defined the music landscape of this decade with their remarkable talent, creativity, and cross-cultural appeal.
Burna Boy, whose real name is Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, has established himself as one of Nigeria’s most prominent and critically acclaimed artists. His music blends elements of Afrobeat, dancehall, reggae, and pop, creating a unique and captivating sound. Burna Boy gained international recognition with his album “African Giant,” which was released in 2019 and received widespread acclaim.
Some of Burna Boy’s global hits include “Ye,” which became an anthem and garnered millions of streams worldwide. The song’s infectious melody and relatable lyrics resonated with audiences, contributing to its massive success. Other popular tracks include “On the Low,” “Anybody,” and “Gbona,” which showcased Burna Boy’s versatility and ability to create infectious, danceable tunes.
Burna Boy’s music is not only commercially successful but also carries powerful messages. He often addresses socio-political issues, African pride, and personal experiences in his lyrics. This authenticity and storytelling have resonated with audiences around the world, leading to his recognition as a global music icon.
Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, better known as Wizkid, is an influential Nigerian singer and songwriter who has made a significant impact on the global music scene. Wizkid gained international prominence with his collaboration on Drake’s chart-topping single “One Dance” in 2016. The song became a global hit, reaching number one on multiple music charts and introducing Wizkid’s talent to a wider audience.
Wizkid’s solo tracks have also achieved remarkable success globally. Songs like “Ojuelegba,” which tells the story of his journey to success, and “Come Closer” featuring Drake have garnered millions of streams and cemented his status as one of Nigeria’s biggest music exports. Additionally, tracks like “Fever,” “Soco,” and “Essence” have showcased Wizkid’s versatility and ability to create infectious Afrobeat and Afropop tunes.
Wizkid’s music embodies the vibrancy and energy of Afrobeats, and he has played a significant role in popularizing the genre globally. His charismatic stage presence and collaborations with renowned international artists have further solidified his position as one of Africa’s most influential musicians.
David Adedeji Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, is a Nigerian artist who has gained global recognition for his infectious Afrobeats sound. Davido’s music blends elements of Afrobeats, dancehall, and pop, creating a distinct and vibrant sound that resonates with audiences worldwide.
Davido’s breakthrough came with his hit single “If” in 2017, which became an instant success and garnered millions of views on YouTube. He followed up with other chart-topping tracks like “Fall” and “FIA,” further solidifying his place in the global music scene. These songs showcased his ability to create catchy melodies and relatable lyrics that connect with diverse audiences.
Davido’s success has extended beyond Nigeria, and he has collaborated with international artists such as Chris Brown, Meek Mill, and Young Thug. His music often embodies a carefree and celebratory spirit, making it popular for dancefloors and parties worldwide. Davido’s contributions have helped elevate Nigerian music to a global stage.
Tiwa Savage, often referred to as the “Queen of Afrobeats,” is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and actress who has gained international acclaim for her captivating vocals and dynamic performances. She began her career as a backup vocalist for prominent artists and later ventured into a successful solo career.
Tiwa Savage’s breakout hit, “Kele Kele Love,” introduced her as a force to be reckoned with in the Nigerian music industry. She has since released numerous successful tracks, including “All Over,” “Ma Lo” featuring Wizkid, and “49-99.” These songs combine infectious melodies with empowering lyrics, addressing themes of love, identity, and social issues.
Tiwa Savage’s talent has not gone unnoticed on the international stage. She has collaborated with global icons like Beyoncé on the song “Keys to the Kingdom” for “The Lion King: The Gift” album and Major Lazer on the track “Oh My Gosh (Remix).” Tiwa Savage’s powerful vocals, charismatic stage presence, and impactful music have solidified her status as one of Africa’s leading female artists.
Olamide Adedeji, known simply as Olamide or Baddo, is a Nigerian rapper and singer who has achieved remarkable success in the global music scene. Olamide’s music primarily falls within the genres of rap, Afrobeat, and street-hop, blending catchy beats with indigenous Nigerian elements.
Olamide gained widespread recognition with his breakout single “Eni Duro” in 2010, which established him as a force in Nigerian hip-hop. Since then, he has consistently released hit tracks, becoming one of Nigeria’s most prolific artists. Songs like “Wo,” “Science Student,” and “Bobo” have become viral sensations, generating millions of views on YouTube and dominating the airwaves.
Olamide’s music often reflects his experiences growing up in the streets of Lagos, addressing societal issues, and celebrating his Yoruba heritage. His ability to create infectious and relatable music has made him a favorite among Nigerian and international audiences alike.
Read Also: How To Get Your Music On Spotify
Yemi Alade, known as the “Mama Africa,” is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and actress. She gained global recognition with her breakout hit, “Johnny,” in 2013. The song became an anthem across Africa, showcasing Yemi Alade’s powerful vocals and her ability to blend Afrobeat, highlife, and pop sounds.
Yemi Alade has since released several successful tracks, including “Tumbum,” “Oh My Gosh,” and “Shekere” featuring Angélique Kidjo. Her music often carries strong feminist themes, empowerment messages, and celebrates African culture. Yemi Alade’s energetic performances and captivating stage presence have earned her a loyal fanbase around the world.
Yemi Alade’s impact extends beyond music, as she has served as a UN ambassador for the “End Polio” campaign and actively promotes African culture and women’s rights. Her contributions have solidified her position as one of Nigeria’s leading female artists with global recognition.
Oluwatosin Ajibade, professionally known as Mr Eazi, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur who has played a pivotal role in popularizing Banku music, a fusion of Ghanaian highlife and Nigerian Afrobeats. Mr Eazi’s music combines catchy melodies with relatable lyrics, creating a unique sound that has resonated with audiences worldwide.
Mr Eazi gained international attention with his breakthrough single “Leg Over,” which became a global hit. He has since released successful tracks like “Pour Me Water,” “Skin Tight,” and “Dabebi.” These songs showcase his ability to fuse different genres and create music that appeals to a diverse audience.
Mr Eazi’s music often addresses love, relationships, and the African experience. His collaborations with international artists like Major Lazer, J Balvin, and French Montana have further expanded his reach. Additionally, Mr Eazi has been at the forefront of promoting African music globally through his label, Empawa Africa, which supports emerging African artists.
Mr Eazi’s contributions to the global music scene have been recognized with numerous awards, including the BET Award for Best International Act in 2020. His unique sound and entrepreneurial endeavors have positioned him as one of Nigeria’s most influential artists of this decade.