After an exhausting 2020, the Nigerian music scene emerges even stronger with a top-quality crew of up-and-comers ready to shake up the scene in 2021.
2020 caused a surprising flip of events within the music industry as live performances and concerts were cut off completely. However, the music industry embraced this transformation fully throttle, leaning into digitization to influence music consumption and even discovery.
The Nigerian music trade witnessed an associate array of skills emerge within the past year. From the continuing street presence in Nigeria’s popular culture to Bella Shmurda, Zinoleesky, Mohbad, and the rise of Dunnie, Tsuni, etc. Adding the unexpected emergence of ace Records’ Ayra Richard Starkey and Jonzing World’s Ruger, 2021 guarantees an excellent additional exciting year for the Nigerian music scene already revealing in the abundance of sounds.
Here are five Nigerian artists staking their claim for an area within the Nigerian music scene.
1. Bella Shmurda
Bella Shmurda was born in Okokomaiko, Ojo area of Lagos State and had his primary and secondary education in Lagos State, Nigeria. He’s currently studying History and International Relations in Lagos State University.
Bella Shmurda tiptoed to thought consciousness with the infectious agent “Vision 2020”. The singer delivers a sound that seals him as a big voice for the road by mirroring their realities through music. Following the discharge of Vision 2020 remix, that features Olamide, Shmurda has been on a roll from High Tension EP, “Dangbana Orisa” and last, “Cash App”, presently one in all the most well liked records within the country presently. Shmurda conjointly featured in albums of heavyweights like Olamide’s Carpe Diem and Davido’s a higher Time.
2. Ayra Starr
Ayra Starr is an 18-year-old afropop singer with a powerful voice and although she is Lagos based, she, like the Mavins starboy, Rema, is a native of Edo state.
The new Mavin signee is already living the year. Just 48 hours after she was announced, alongside an eponymous 5-track body of work, it peaked at #1 ahead of heavyweights such as Wizkid, Davido, Olamide, etc. The project’s lead single, “Away” is presently the #1 song in Nigeria, has been trending on Youtube, and has debuted as one of the 20 most played songs on Radio in Nigeria – all in a single weekend. She’s one of the few artists to achieve this kind of success in a very short period. If these feats are anything to go by, Starr is definitely one to keep a close watch on in 2021.
Oniyide Azeez (born November 21, 1995), better known as Zinoleesky was born and bred in Lagos State, Nigeria. He learned all he knew about music and met a lot of people that inspired and motivated him to push on and never give up on his hustle.
After a string of freestyles that saw the singer become a social media sensation, Marlian Music signed Zinoleesky in late 2019. The singer released his own song “Ma Pariwo”. He closed 2020 together with his debut project, Chrome Eccentric, whose theme involves providence, fame, God, love, sex etc. The name Zinoleesky is already bumping into conversations that concern street music and that we don’t conceive of something less in 2021.
Oladunni Lawal popularly known as Dunnie is a Nigerian born singer, song writer, producer and Musician.
Music producer and artiste, Dunnie navigates both worlds extremely well. When she is not busy producing hit records for Becca, Busiswa, she is busy creating musical masterpieces, one of which features Oxlade dubbed “Overdose”. Dunnie is presently laying finishing touches to her forthcoming debut album to be released later this year.
Olakira started out as an instrumentalist in a local church as a teenager, then later on in his journey he started music production. After working with some artists as a music producer, he started writing songs for other artists then at a point he thought about recording songs for himself because singing has always been a part of him, especially when he produces a beat and likes how it appeals to him, it definitely inspires him to drop some melodies and after a while he was motivated to explore more of his singing talent and here we are.
Prior to releasing his own music, Olakira co-wrote and co-produced mega-hits such as Dotman’s “Akube” and “My Woman.” Regarded as an emerging superstar by most of Africa’s cognoscenti, including The Native Magazine, MTV Base Africa, Cool FM, The Beat Lagos, Not Just OK, Bella Naija, Pulse NG, and Chop Daily, Olakira establishes his bona fides as an incredible songwriter and gifted vocalist on Wakanda Jollof.