2016 has been a really crazy year in the Nigerian Music industry. First it was the beef between Olamide and Don Jazzy and the battle between Reekado Banks and Lil Kesh. The good part is that some artistes rose to super stardom in Nigeria and here’s our official list of the TOP 10 ARTISTES IN NIGERIA 2016. Please Note that this list was based on Music impact, Hit songs, airplay and popularity.
10. Lil Kesh
Lil Kesh had a spectacular year in 2015 with hit songs like Efejoku, Shoki and Gbese Re, but hasn’t exactly been the talk of the town since he gained independence from YBNL to set up his own imprint, YAGI Records. He dropped his album this year and it was a good album which had awesome tracks like Cause Trouble, Problem Child , Ibile and Ishe.
Hopefully, things pick up for the young and talented lad in 2017.
9. Reekado Banks
Reekado had the perfect reply to the Headies Next Rated Award Saga with the Smash single titled Oluwa Ni. That was one of the hottest songs of 2016 and the song got major airplay in 2016. Reekado Banks has put out quite a few singles since then, including the opinion-splitting “Spotlight” debut album.
2 albums in a year and you cant deny that Eyan Mayweather has been on fire in 2016. Baddo has taken Indigenous Hip-Hop in Nigeria to such a high level, it’s now almost insulting to call him an Indigenous Rapper. A quick glance at Olamide‘s last 5 singles shows you how much he has evolved in recent years to become the complete artist that he is today; there’s hip-hop, Afrobeat, Fuji, Afro Pop, all done the Baddo way. And that’s why he’s the only artist who’s been able to fill up Eko Hotel, Lagos for 3 consecutive years with his #OLIC Concert.
One of the early hits of 2016 is Olamide‘s “Don’t Stop“, off the Eyan Mayweather album released in November 2015. Baddo‘s first release of 2016 proper was the patriotic tune “I Love Lagos“, a song which was seen, at the time, as the new Lagos anthem. However, his biggest song of 2016 came when he vibed with Shizzi in Atlanta, freestyled over one of his beats and playfully tagged it “Who U Epp?” In a matter of hours, It was like a virus. Baddo had taken over!!
7. Adekunle Gold
Adekunle Gold kickstarted the year 2016 on a high note by winning the “Best Alternative Song” Award at The Headies. This came around the same time Adekunle Gold‘s single “Pick Up” was blazing the charts. As a matter of fact, from the first week of January 2016 to deep in February (over 5 weeks), “Pick Up” was the most played song on the radio, according to the ever-reliable PlayData statistics.
In April, Adekunle Gold released a follow-up single “Ready“, which didn’t exactly hit those dizzy heights, but is still considered a hit.
The Gold album – his debut project – eventually dropped to critical acclaim and commercial success in July.
All in all, Adekunle Gold has had a very good year. With the YBNL Alternative/Indigenous act currently touring the US, a few more video releases off the “Gold” album will surely give him a blistering end to the year 2016.
Barrister, Rapper, Actor, Comedian… Falz The Bahd Guy seems to have it all, doesn’t he?. Most people dont know that Falz does not have a major hit song. He just kept promoting his brand all the way in 2016.
Falz ended 2015 with the release of his 3rd album “Stories That Touch”. The album turned out to be home to a few hits in 2016 with “Soft Work” and “Soldier (featuring Simi)” garnering loads of airplay.
Speaking of “Soldier“, the video turned out to be one of the best we’ve seen outta Naija in recent years; arguably the best video of 2016. The “Chemistry” between Falz and Simi is just… EP-ic! If you haven’t watched the mini-movie yet, where in the world have you been?!
In terms of accomplishments, Falz became the FIRST musician to win an AMVCA Award, beating off stiff competition in the “Best Actor In A Comedy” category. Falz also won the prestigious “Viewers Choice Best New International Act” Award at the BET Awards 2016. Other accolades include “Album of the Year” at the City People Entertainment Awards, “Best Afro Hip-Hop Video” at the NMVA, among other key nominations.
5. Mr Eazi
Whenever a song starts with “Zaga Dat” or “It’s your boy Eazi“, you already know it’s straight flames!
Mr Eazi‘s already-blossoming career took an even bigger jump as soon as Wizkid went public with news that he signed Mr Eazi to Starboy Worldwide. That was the spring Eazi needed to finally go viral in Nigeria.
Today, Mr Eazi is the most featured artist in Nigerian music, stacking up features on tracks/albums by DJ Spinall, DJ Neptune, Reminisce, iLLBLiSS, Solidstar, Mayorkun, Del’B, Phyno, Lynxxx and many more. The list keeps growing by the week!
In terms of accomplishments, Mr Eazi won the “Afrobeat Artiste of the Year” and “Best Music Video of the Year” Awards at the recently-held Ghana Music Awards UK. He also scored a “Best African Act” MOBO Award nomination, an exclusive interview with Ebro on Beats1, a sold-out concert in London, among others.
He recently won the Headies Next Rated Award.
4. Kiss Daniel
Kiss Daniel‘s career so far can be summarized in four words: “less hype, more music“. You don’t see him on the red carpet, you don’t see him making fans laugh on social media, he’s not popping bottles in the club every weekend, or showing off his latest expensive car, house or jewelry. He just sits back, makes great music, releases it, tops the charts, then heads back to the studio to make more hits. You could call him the Paul Scholes of Nigerian music; not hugging the headlines, just quietly but extremely effective. That’s what makes Kiss Daniel unique and special.
Kiss Daniel‘s Mama currently holds the record of being the Most Downloaded Song on MyNotjustok.com with 1.7 MILLION downloads, and counting! This, coupled with the fact that the song sat on the PlayData RadioTopTen Charts from April till date (#1 for several weeks), makes “Mama” a strong contender for Hottest Song of the Year.
2016 also saw the release of Kiss Daniel‘s debut album “New Era“, an LP rated by most critics among the Top 3 projects released in the Nigerian market this year . Hit songs on “New Era” include the previously-released “Woju“, “Laye” as well as more recent hits like “Mama“, “Good Time” and the currently charting single “Jombo“.
Anyone who can shut down a whole stadium deserves to be on this list. Phyno ended the year 2015 with the first-ever #Phynofest Concert in Onitsha, and by all accounts, it was a resounding success!
However, the biggest Phyno song till date, and one of the biggest songs of 2016, is “Fada Fada“. The Olamide-assisted and Masterkraft-produced single had over 1.6 MILLION DOWNLOADS and counting!
“Fada Fada” also held the record as the song with the longest streak at #1 on the PlayData Charts (9 consecutive weeks), barely losing that title last month.
Okay Guys This is a very big debate. In all fairness Wizzy had a spectacular 2016.
In terms of awards, it’s almost been a clean sweep for Wizkid this season, grabbing 4 Awards at this year’s MTV MAMA, including Artiste of the Year, winning Best African Act at MOBO ’16 and Best Worldwide Act at MTV EMA.
Wizkid has also solidified his status in Africa by touring mega cities across the continent. In Europe, he was a special guest on Chris Brown’s “One Hell Of A Night” Tour, and headlined the first-ever One Africa Music Fest Concert in New York.
The international scene is where Wizkid has truly excelled, scoring a global hit with the world’s biggest EDM band, Major Lazer, and getting featured on the biggest song on the planet, Drake’s “One Dance”, which sat on top of the Billboard Charts for over 10 weeks (a first for a Nigerian artist). At some point, Wizkid was ranked #11 on Global iTunes/Spotify Artist Ranking. Let’s not forget Wizkid also got a feature on R. Kelly’s latest album “Buffet“, and a mega collaboration with Chris Brown, Trey Songz and French Montana on the track “Shabba“.
Tekno is Pure fire!!! Like he’s Nigeria’s golden boy right now.
The 2015 single “Duro” is, as the saying goes, the straw that broke the camel’s back. After several years of experimenting as an up & coming artist, with a few semi-hits here and there, Tekno FINALLY found his sound.
At the tail-end of 2015, Tekno released a follow-up single “Wash“, a song that showed “Duro” was no fluke. Then came “Where“; another hit. But fans, critics and doubters still said “he needs one more track to become a bonafide star”. Tekno promptly delivered with “Pana“.
“Pana” is presently the biggest song in Nigeria, topping the PlayData charts for a record ELEVEN (11) weeks, and counting!
As is the norm with all the hottest acts, Tekno has been on tour home and abroad, primarily in Europe, the US (One Africa Music Fest, Houston), and parts of Africa; recently performing in front of 50,000 fans in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Hopefully, we’ll get a debut album from Tekno in 2017
Written and Compiled by Dapo Osuntuyi