Without a doubt this year has been a wonderful year for music in Nigeria as many glass ceilings were shattered some new industry records were set.
In this regard, Jaguda makes a rundown of the top 10 Hottest Nigerian Artistes of 2018. The list picks out the top 10 most influential and impactful artistes in the outgoing year.
It is both a recap and celebratory highlights of the listed artistes and how much they have affected the industry with their music, adventures and how much influence they’ve exerted on the culture as a whole.
The following are our top 10 hottest Nigerian artistes of 2018 in a descending order of influence.
- Burna Boy
If there is anyone who has performed exceptionally well to the amazement of fans and even his colleagues it has to be Damini Ogulu aka Burna Boy. A lot of us didn’t see it coming as Burna Boy worked his way to become the hottest Nigerian music star this year. This simple assertion is based on his well received album ‘Outside’ among other things. His ‘Outside’ album is the most revered LP from the Spaceship Entertainment act. The singer joined Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), had an extensive world album tour including selling out the O2 Academy Brixton. Just when we thought the Afrofusion was done he dropped fire singles ‘Gbona’, ‘On The Low’ back to back. On the international level, Burna has graced several collaborations with stars like Lily Allen, Fall Out Boy, Major Lazer, etc. He made YouTube ‘Artiste On The Rise’ for October. As a toast, the ‘Outside’ album was reviewed by the Grammys for nomination in the World Music Category.
Right behind Burna Boy is Starboy Wizkid. Ayodeji Balogun has had and incredible year. In fact, his little efforts yielded maximum results in the outgoing year and it all started with his smash hit ‘Soco’. Wizkid in 2018 was more focused on the international levels, as he was the most featured Nigerian artiste by global music stars, he worked with Normani, Calvin Harris, Metro Boomin, Swae Lee etc. The Starboy was billed to perform at the Coachella although he missed that, he also sold out the 20,000 capacity O2 Arena London, the first African artiste to do it. Not forgetting the Starboy X Nike jerseys, modeling for Dolce & Gabbana and Moschino. When things got a little boring he sparked a fire with Tiwa Savage on ‘Fever’ video.
The DMW honcho Davido work ethic has been phenomenal, as he is about the most featured Nigerian artiste in 2018. As a record label boss he has stirred his music imprint to outstanding levels of success. His major hit in the year is a love song ‘Assurance’ which currently is the second most viewed Nigerian music video this year with over 31 million views on YouTube since release. A couple international features, sold out tours and winning his second BET award plus an MTV EMA nomination. He rocked the stage at the annual WIRELESS Music Festival UK . On the other side of things, Davido bagged several endorsement deals with mobile manufacturers Infinix, Axe, Henessy, etc.
4. Tiwa Savage
African number one bad girl Tiwa Savage as she is fondly called continued her dominance as the number one pop diva on the continent. It was a year of many first for the mother-of-one as she sold out the Indigo O2 Arena London and the first female African artiste to do so. Another first for the Mavin Records first lady was winning the MTV EMA awards as ‘Best African Act’ as a female artiste. Another highlight for her was starring as a video vixen in Wizkid’s ‘Fever’ which sent the entire entertainment industry into meltdown. With hits like ‘Diet’, ‘Lova Lova’, ‘Tiwa’s Vibe’ to her name Tiwa Savage is our number four hottest Nigerian artiste in 2018.
Baddo manages to make top 5 hottest music acts in a year when competition was very stiff. Olamide opened the year with a controversial tune and banger ‘Science Student’ which made the list of the most searched songs on Google Nigeria. Besides that, the rapper turned singer went on to deliver hits like ‘Motigbana’, ‘Poverty Die’ as well as a YBNL album. As usual, his OLIC concert came around for the fifth time and it was a total shutdown and sold out.
6. Mr Eazi
Without the noise and razzmatazz that trail other top Nigerian acts, Oluwatosin Ajibade had a quiet but very successful year. He finally launched his record label Banku Music, signed a couple music distribution and licensing deal with international record companies. Mr Eazi served his second mixtape ‘Life Is Eazi; Lagos To London’ Volume 2. The rollout of the project was well planned and highly successful and he sold sounds of Nigerian origin to Europe and the rest of the world. He was also listed for the ‘Miseducation Tour’ with Lauryn Hill.
7. Duncan Mighty
The legendary Port Harcourt 1st son enjoyed a major comeback in his music career this year. But it all began with the release of his chart-topping single with Wizkid ‘Fake Love’ as produced by Killertunes. The single in no time gained momentum and wide airplay on TV and radio stations. Besides that, the Port Harcourt based star, had one of the most sought-after verses in 2018 as he graced a lot of collaborations. ‘Fake Love’ by Duncan Mighty has already bagged nominations for song of the year and best collaboration in the upcoming SoundCity MVP Music Festival.
From a fast-rising singer Simi has risen to become the top three female Nigerian music stars at the moment. The ‘Joromi’ crooner enjoyed a spill over of her successes last year and maintained steam. Simi took the bold step of having her first headline show outside the shores of Nigeria, in London. She sold out the O2 Islington Academy and her Nigerian headline show. She has bagged several endorsement deals in the outgoing year.
9. Kizz Daniel
Despite all odds Kizz Daniel has shown he is here to stay for good. He makes it to the list alongside some very senior colleagues. The former G-Worldwide singer, had legal battles with his ex record label but that didn’t stop him from being great. He released his sophomore album ‘No Bad Songz’ as planned. He is also the man behind hits like ‘Baba’, ‘Wait’ and the big one, ‘One Ticket’. On the good side, he bought himself a house and Bentley.
The number 10 spot goes to the multi-talented entertainer Falz. It’s been quite a year for Folarin Falana as he keeps joggling between being a rapper and an actor. Falz spotlight in the year came when he did ‘This Is Nigeria’ his own cover for Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’. The tune was an instant viral material which also received hatred from a section of religious leaders, the MURIC and a controversial ban by NBC. Nonetheless, the rapper used that medium to drive society conscious tune with splashes of humour to aid better reception. In this year Falz diversified his rap to accommodate Francophone countries by infusing French into his lyrics.