Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed an emergence of artists who have graced the music industry with their own unique sound. These artists have either adapted a sophisticated genre of music and made it their own or created their own distinct sound which has become more popularised and loved by the Nigerian audience. They have not only succeeded in penetrating the Nigerian market but have also made their way across the shores of Nigeria and beyond, hence giving credence to the saying, “Music is a Universal Language.”
Here is a list of some of our Nigerian artists who have come up with their own sounds and have aptly defined what it means to be unique:
Although Asa may not be considered a mainstream artist in Nigeria she definitely has a strong fan base in the country and beyond and has earned an iconic reputation among her peers in the industry. Her sound is arguably unfamiliar to the Nigerian audience, but it has succeeded in capturing them nonetheless, as it incorporates elements of Pop music, Indie pop, and Jazz, with at times rich Yoruba lyrics and soulful vocals. After a five-year hiatus, the singer recently made a comeback with the song “The Begining” which has been getting lots of airplay and streams among fans around the world.
Everyone was mesmerised when Mr. Eazi – the artist from Ghana – came on board with his hit single “Skin Tight”, featuring Efya, back in 2016. They were even more intrigued when they discovered their new favourite artist was indeed a Nigerian. In 2016, Mr. Eazi won the “Next Rated Award” which was a confirmation of the thrilling anthems he had been releasing all year round. He has been credited for being the pioneer of “Banku Music”, a genre of music characterised by laid-back vocals amidst slow and steady rhythms.
Burna boy is currently one of the hottest musicians in the industry thanks to his 2018 hit single “Ye” which gained recognition all over the world and won him awards including the “African Artist of the Year”. Prior to this, Burna Boy had always been recognised as a talented musician following in the footsteps of the Legendary Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Right from the start of his career, he adopted the Afrofusion sound and has successfully ingrained it as a sole element of his music. With some of his anthems already cutting across international boundaries, there is no doubt that the Afrofusion star is already on his way to becoming an icon.
In an industry where sex sells, Teni has redefined what it means to be truly talented, daring to be different by embracing her tomboyishness and bringing along her own sense of creativity and style. She can be considered a versatile artist as her music cuts across genres like “Dance/Electronic” and “Alternative/Indie” but one quality that distinguishes her is the bubbly persona that reflects through her music. It is one that perhaps resonates with a happy audience – the Nigerian audience. With Teni’s recent entrance into the limelight and how she took 2018 by storm, it was no surprise that she won the “Best New Artist” award. This goes to show how much of a talented artist she is and how apt she is to enjoy longevity in the industry.
Interestingly, Niniola happens to be Teni’s elder sister – a proof that talent runs in their family. Niniola gained massive popularity in the industry when she released the party anthem “Shaba”. Her talent has always shone bright for all to see as she was the 3rd Runner-up in the MTN Project Fame competition Season 6 where she composed the critically acclaimed song “Itura”. She went on to release her first official single “Ibadi” which is of many genres including “Afro-House” – a blend of “Afrobeat” and “House Music”. Due to her unique style of music, she has garnered massive recognition from not only Nigeria but also countries like South Africa.
Featured image source: BBC