I’m amazed at the number of young brilliant and talented Nigerian artistes that are shattering ceilings in the music industry. This list is made up of the top young Nigerian artistes who have really stood out, especially in 2018. Young Artistes who have exquisitely used their artistic abilities and have worked hard to get to where they are and have continuously dropped awesome songs that have been streamed on popular major streaming paltforms.
1. Dusten Truce:
Chukwuemeka Dusten Anyasie, popularly known as Dusten Truce or D-Truce is a well-versed rap act who started making music at the age of 15 and became popular when he appeared as a contestant on popular rap battle competition: Nokia; Don’t Break The Beat which opened him up to the big stage as he got features on projects by other rap stars. When D-Truce raps, he comes with attitude and a personality that people see when they listen to his songs. In a lot of his songs he does this sensual thing where he stops singing and he starts speaking which a lot of people find alluring. Some of his projects include “Truce shall Set you Free”, “23 to Life’, #PopCultureSeries and Eden.
2. Odunsi the Engine:
Odunsi Bowo best known as Odunsi, The Engine, is a promising recording artiste, songwriter and producer, who was recently signed to an international music company, Universal Music. He is at the forefront of a new sound that blends genres into what he calls Afro-fusion. Odunsi’s unique style of music which has earned him respects from both his peers and some of the music industry top artistes. He has production credits from several songs. Odunsi the Engine has production credits on several songs from a younger generation of Nigerian artists. He released his first EP ‘Time of Our Lives’ (T.O.O.L) in August 2016. His music has been received so well around the world that his track “Situationship” made Spotify’s U.S. Viral 50 and was featured on Billboard. His work is now at the top of many ‘fresh out of Africa’ listings across various platforms including Apple Music, MTV base and Sound Cloud. His latest bangers this year include “Alte Cruise” and “Own That”.
Nicholas Ihua Madeniyi is a 19 year-old hip-hop and trap rapper, a gene which is not too common in Nigeria. The Abuja/Manchester based artiste began his career about half a decade ago. Since then, he’s released two Extended Playlists (EPs) and 10 singles since then. YP is new in the game but he is not sparing anything to reach desired heights. YP spent a whole year consuming music on major streaming platforms. YPSzn is PsychoYP’s debut EP which is a compilation of original songs by a range of music producers and artistes. He combines his Youthfulness with a mastery of the trap sound. His approach to creating songs draws you to his craft.
4. Nonso Amadi
Nonso Amadi is a Canadian-based Afro- R & B, Soul singer and producer from Nigeria. He embarked on his music career in 2012 while in Covenant University where he studied BSc. Chemical Engineering. In 2014, he discontinued studying in Nigeria and moved to Swansea University, U.K. and completed his degree. He is now a master’s degree holder from McMaster’s University, Canada. Nonso Amadi is a young singer who appeared on stage in 2015 with his Alone EP, and just a few months later he put out a follow up single known as “Tonight” which was basically the beginning of stardom for the singer. The song was hugely accepted by his fans and he gained a new fan base in Nigeria. His music style is Soul and R&B. Despite the fact that he has over a million streams on such resources as Soundcloud and Spotify, Nonso is considered a raw talent. Some of his latest songs are “Freaky”, “No crime” and “In the Night”.
5. Famous Bobson
Bobson Iyovwaye also known as Famous Bobson is one of the fresh faces looking to break out in the Nigerian afrobeats game in 2018. Nigerian born singing sensation “Famous Bobson” professionally started producing music in 2013. Ever since the release of his sweet melodic tune “Vibe With me” which featured Aristofrat Records act Ozone, Bobson has earned a special spot in the heart of young music lovers across Nigeria and beyond. After garnering a lot of buzz with “Only You” last year, the 21-year-old singer has been picking up speed lately with successful tours both in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. A few weeks ago he was killing it on stage in Birmingham as an opening act for Davido at his 30 Billion World Tour concert. His latest single “Iyawo” has all the elements of a traditional love song and its accompanying music video which was directed by David Anthony, truly captures the spirit of the song. With a new single and a big concert in Toronto coming up in May, this might just be the year when everyone gets to know who Famous Bobson is.
6. Teni The Entertainer
Teni also known as Teni entertainer or Teniola Apata is a Nigerian singer who came into limelight in 2017 after the release of her single; “Fargin”. She was previously signed to Magic Fingers records but then later signed to Dr. Dolor entertainment in 2017. She’s been growing ever since. Teniola Apata, Teni Entertainer is one of Nigeria’s fastest rising musicians breaking new grounds in the music industry. The sojourn in music began at age of two in the school band and since then, she has made several appearances, rocked many stages and wowed the crowd both locally and internationally performing for top dignitaries and at sold out concerts. Her stage craft has always got people talking. Her latest songs this year are “Wait” and “Askamaya”
7. Tay Iwar
Austin ‘Tay’ Iornongu Iwar (born June 9, 1997), better known as Tay Iwar, is a Nigerian recording artist, singer, songwriter, audio engineer and record producer. Raised in Lagos and Abuja, he began creating music at age fourteen. After Co-creating Bantu Collective in 2013, Tay released his debut compilation, ‘Passport’, in April 2014; a sleeper hit that helped Tay garner commercial standing. Tay Iwar is relatively new to the scene but, in a short time, he has carved a niche for himself. From known hits like Equestrian Love and Wuse II to the recently released 1997 which everyone is completely in love with. The singer has a great vocal range and lyrical depth. Tay is definitely the beginning of another one of many revolutions we have witnessed in Nigerian music.
8. Jinmi Abdul
Folarin Oluwafeyijinmi Abdulsalami popularly known as Jinmi Abduls is a recording and performing singer-songwriter. He is also an avid multi-instrumentalist, producer and sound engineer.
Jinmi Abduls can be rated as one of the fastest rising singers of our time. Jinmi Abduls is one of the most talented young artists we have .He’s a very intelligent young man and has good looks too so as expected he’s been able to attract a lot of people to his art.
He developed interests in music with the help of his sister, and won a prize on Moments with Mo at age ten. His first recorded song, ‘With You’, was released at eleven, and produced by his elder brother. He has since rebranded and is now creating new and distinct work. Some of his latest songs this year are “Blessed”, “Folarin” and “Eko”.
9. Ladi Donli
Lady Donli born Zainab Donli is a Neo-soul artist from Kaduna State in Nigeria. She is the youngest of six kids. Her exposure to the scene at an early age led to Donli’s professional and laid back persona, both things you can hear in her music.
Her big break came in 2016, when she released her project ‘Wallflower’. Though at the time she was recording “Wallflower”, Donli was juggling both school and family, she spent most of her time recording everything herself.
Her singles Ice Cream and Kashe Ni made it onto the radio airwaves and with her collaborations, she owned the summer of 2017. Her latest songs are “Ice cream” and “Games”
Adedayo Agbi is a singer, songwriter and performing artist based in Lagos, Nigeria. His musical style has traces on contemporary music and he is well known for his electric live performances.
He has always had an interest in music but he decided to pursue it professionally while he was in the university and had to find a way to balance both aspects of his life.
The artiste told Guardian Life via phone call that he “makes music for the youth, not just the Nigerian youth but for everyone in that age bracket” this is because his music talks a lot about the problems of young adults and truly anyone in this category that listens to his music often finds it very relatable.
Apart from having an amazing sound, the artiste also has an incredible sense of style which fans find to be quite alluring. He is a part of the music, fashion and art collective known as Urban Trybe so it’s no surprise that he is always on top of his game.
Orlando Oparugo popularly known as Ditweni. He’s a producer, singer and rapper and also a part-time photographer.
He started music in 2003 with a remix to a song by Sound Sultan. He has brought out various songs such as “I want you” and he is constantly posting dramatic music videos on his instagram page.
The aim of his songs and videos are usually to make people think and see things from different perspectives. He tries to pass along a message in every song. He realized that a lot of Nigerian artistes make the same music, and he decided to do something different, which is where the inspiration for the intagram videos came along.
12. Bella Alubo
Mabel Oine Alubo, whose stage name is Bella, is a Nigerian recording and performing artist. She was born on August 9th, 1993 in Jos, Plateau, Nigeria.
She is a new school musician, signed in December of 2016 to Tinny Entertainment. After her secondary school education, Bella met with some rappers and producers trying to follow her music dreams and by this time she had started listening to and having some influences by Western rappers such as Lil Wayne.
The rise of fellow J-town bred artistes – M.I, Jesse Jagz and Iceprince – inspired Bella to take her passion for music, a bit more seriously, so she put out her first ever piece of work in 2012, which was a cover to Kanye West’s Theraflu. Bella’s sound is best described as a fusion of hip-hop and afro-pop music genres. Some of her songs include “Empathy”, “Tonight” and “All night”
13. Fresh L
Ladi Lanre, who’s also known as Fresh L is a member of DRB, one of the main pioneers of the new afro-sound we recognise as Afrobeats.
Raised in Lagos and London, he schooled abroad for 9 years and is back to conquer the music scene. He co-founded the DRB group in 2007 and they “came on the scene” in 2012 with the song “Toyin.”
He has been doing music since he was 12 and he’s currently signed to Urban Vision, a Nigerian entertainment company founded by Tola Odunsi & Akin Akinkugbe Fresh L is a known lyricist who occasionally sings, fusing the two worlds of Rap and Afrobeats.
With over 200,000 plays on his initial release “Facetime” remix featuring NaetoC and Maleek Berry, his presence in the industry is evident through his talent and tenacity. Some of his latest songs include “Firewood’, “Tea” and “Park”
14. Wavy The Creator
Jennifer Ejoke who is best known as Wavy The Creator has such a unique sound that it’s impossible to forget it the minute you get a taste.
Beyond the music, she has carved a niche for herself in various creative areas which include photography, being Olamide’s personal photographer for shows like the One Africa Fest in Houston under the name Wavy Film, filmmaking, visual arts and fashion—owning her own clothing line called AZIF.
In all of these projects, her unique personality bleeds through in the form of retro hippie vibes and vibrant colours. Operating in a market that leans towards commercial (Street) music, she channels her energy towards focusing on sharing her music to an audience that goes “Jiggy” with her, accepting her sound and the vibe she passes across.