Best Nigerian Artistes in 2018
This list will be categorically based on these:
-Project released (Singles,EP, Album)
– Concerts and Tours
– Achievement (Awards, Endorsement)
-Critical acclaimed work
The year in review starts from Jan 1st, 2018 to Dec 25th , 2018.
1. Burna Boy: ‘Outside’ is one of the first major projects to come out in 2018. This inspiring work turned things around for the A-list artiste in 2018. Burna has not been musically impressive in the last year considering the constant scandal issues he has faced that has stunted his career growth. ‘Outside’ is arguably the best and top selling album in Nigeria of 2018. Burna has shown his resilience to top music charts in Nigeria despite the constant pop music presence. ‘Ye’, ‘Gbona’ and ‘On the low’ has consistently topped the itunes chart in Nigeria. He has also cemented the stronghold of Reggae/Dancehall genre by performing in sold out shows and concerts. He has bagged six nominations at the Soundcity MVP award and speculations already gathering round him to win African Artiste of the year. Evidently, Burna Boy is the reason why Reggae/Dancehall is considered one of the biggest genres in 2018. OluwaBurna performed at the Brixton Academy in London. Fans have challenged the credibility of most award shows in Nigeria over the years for their oversight consideration in awarding him in the past years. This year is an opportunity for him to win big.
2. Wizkid: Starboy has been gathering his powerful force before the start of 2018. His reliable and supportive fans have been his powerful stronghold in these past months. He showed some of his new signees and young associates to the world by releasing Soco as a label song and featuring them on it. Acts like CeezaMilli, Spotless and Terry were featured on this work. Wizkid worked more on collaborations in 2018 with songs like Bad Energy by Skepta, Nowo by DjSpinall, Bella by MHD. Also with foreign artistes like Metro Booming and Major Lazer. A Publication by Google officially avows Fever as the most searched song in Nigeria for 2018 and also making one of 2018’s Nigerian music video with the highest Youtube views within a week. This year has been one of the most challenging years for Wizkid in terms of his personal issue. He had the Baby-Mama feud over son but raised himself above this and bagged a Ciroc endorsement deal and has been nominated multiple times in the SoundcityMVP awards.
3. Davido: Davido’s music productivity might not be comparable to the feat he set in 2017 but it is not disapproving that this artiste has been impressive in 2018. He is a tour powerhouse with shutdown concerts in America and Africa. There is much to be said about some of his released works like Assurance, Nwa Baby that were followed by top notch videos. He has mainly been able to crack listeners’ mind and heart with his consistent joint work with label signees and adapting slightly to the streethop tunes that has dominated 2018. Davido’s commercialisation has made him draw interactive conversation from his fans by dropping singles that are based on his circumstance like when the single, ‘Assurance’ was released based on the relationship between himself and his soulmate, Chioma. He has also worked efficiently as a label owner by supporting his label artistes release their major projects which were impressive.
4. Tiwa Savage: Tiwa’s recognition on this list is not based solely on the recognition of a female artiste only but to also recognise her impressive run that she has created for herself to raise her worth in the industry dominated by the male counterpart. She set Nigerian record books by being the first female artiste to win the Best international Act (Africa) at the VMA Ema later this year. She earned Afrima, NEA and filled Indigo 02 Arena afterwards. Coldplay front man, Chris Martin worked with Tiwa Savage during the course of the year. Other associates include Stargate and Wizkid. Most 2018 success allured to Tiwa is heavily based on the successful tours she headlined.
5. Mr Eazi: The ‘leg over’ crooner came out with his intense strength to release great music late this year. Since his works falls under the year in review, it will be necessary to recognise the effort he has made in the year. He continued his successive run of fanbase build up in the UK. ‘London Town’ with Giggs proved something big for him and more buzz for the released Mixtape, ‘Life is Eazi vol.2: Lagos to London’. He gathered more hype to his mixtape by having interview sessions in Radio stations like Beats 1 with Julie Adenuga and a defining documentary for the released Mixtape to celebrate the growth of African popular music.
6. Olamide: Olamide’s ‘Science student’ is one of the biggest street hop songs of the year and it proved creative from the natural street vibe to the video choreography by Kaffy until controversies were raised about the lyrical use and intent deduced. It was thereafter banned by the NBC . Though some follow up singles after ‘Science student’ were not as impressive as the previous work but singles like ‘Motigbana’, ‘Poverty Die’ proved to show the longevity of Olamide’sreign as the King of the Street. Olamide used the year to rebuild his popular record label, YBNL. He signed acts like Picazzo, Yomi Blaze, FireBoy, Limerick, Lyta. YBNL Mafia Family album came as no surprise to everyone as Olamide has deemed it as a yearly custom to serve the fans with an album before the year runs out.
7. Kizz Daniel: Kizz Daniel started the year with record label controversies which were followed by lawsuits that crippled his music productivity for a period. This did not put a halt to his career as he was featured on club bangers like Neptune’s ‘Wait’ and Spinall’s ‘Baba’. He announced his album release scheduled for September. The album was delayed and later on released in December. The album ‘No Bad Songz’ got positive reviews from media outlets and this album have further proven his stance to spearhead pop music in the coming years. Major Lazer featured him alongside Kranium in Loyal. Before the album release, he announced his change of name from ‘Kiss Daniel’ to ‘Kizz Daniel’ in May and later on changed his look but his music has not changed but only evolved into a better and grown pop music infusing more developed sounds.
8. Mayorkun: Mayorkun gave a convincing run from the ‘Bobo’ , ‘CheChe’ to Posh and capping it off with his debut album, ‘The Mayor of Lagos’. The album debuted on World album chart and it is currently one of the best albums to be released in 2018. Mayorkun has engraved a unique form of melody to polish his craft.
9. Teni: Teni is considered as one of Nigerian’s fast rising musician by Pulseng in 2017 and she has been able to prove this assertion by consistent and flair on her craft. She is arguably one of the best female artistes in Nigeria in 2018 and has consistently been nominated for the major award platforms held in Africa. She is controversially one of the best new act to evolve to the mainstream and has commercialised herself into creating her own fanbase with singles like ‘Askamaya’ and ‘Case’ which in turn gathered a total of 3million plus views.
10. M.I: He reignited the spirit of Hip hop with other artistes in his record label. He released two hip hop projects in a year; Rendezvous in February and Yung Denzel in August. August witnessed a sound movement which was titled ‘Lambaugust’. The core reason for this movement was to place down works to serve as a living sacrifice for the revival of true Hip hop spirit in the Nigerian music Industry. A-Q-Loose Kaynon’s ‘Crown’, M.I’s ‘Yung Denzel’ and Blaqbonez’s ‘Bad Boy Blaq’ were released and some of these works were critically acclaimed. M.I did the executive production of every album that was released under Chocolate City Music Group. What makes M.I special for a mention is the way he has grown from being an accomplished MC into record producer.
By Ogunleye Oluwakorede
Ogunleye Oluwakorede writes majorly on entertainment, history and socio-economic matters. He has previously released works like album reviews and content information. He is also a music critic and analyst particularly on Nigerian music entertainment.
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