Musically speaking there has been an avalanche of songs in the Nigerian Music industry. Some songs come out dead on arrival. Others fall flat heads down, some grow on you overtime. On the better side, some tracks are very bouncy from day 1 of release, then there are these sort of tracks that are barrier breakers, they are far reaching. Here is my two cents on globally acclaimed Nigerian songs up until my time of putting this down, in no particular order.
2baba – African Queen
Tubaba may you live long. I believe I don’t need to say much about this already legendary song. It is the ancestor of contemporary African R&B released in 2004. The music video was the first to be premiered on MTVBase, the song has garnered a decent amount of awards for Tubaba both locally and internationally.
Dbanj – Oliver Twist
This song is the last song that we know of, that Don Jazzy cooked up for his former music business partner before the infamous break up. This song was released in 2011 and the official music video was shot in 2012. Oliver Twist was a monster hit globally. It debuted on the UK singles chart at number nine and number two on the R&B chart. This song made appearances on charts across countries in Europe like Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, Romania, Slovakia and Germany. It has won at least 6 awards for D’banj and several nominations. It has grossed nearly 40 million views on YouTube. Well done D’banj!
Flavour – Nwa Baby Remix
I heard this song being played in a Caribbean carnival in Barbados. My reaction was oh, Flavour has come this far! Little children on the streets literally sing out loud the vulgar lyrics of this song. It is always a club favourite anytime it is spun by a DJ. To support it global acclaim it has a wiki page also. This song is Flavour’s barrier breaking song in the music industry.
P-Square – Personally
This is a music tribute from the singing duo Psquare in memory of the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson. That song drew a lot of international attention for all the right reasons. It earned a nomination in the Soul Train Awards for Best International Performance in 2013, and two other nominations in the World Music Awards 2014 in the categories, World’s Best Video and World’s Best Live Act. The 3:17 video footage has garnered over 64 million views on the video sharing platform YouTube. Jermaine Jackson showed appreciation for the video tribute in honour of his late brother Michael Jackson.
Yemi Alade – Johnny
Yemi Alade has not yet recovered from the many gains of her smash single Johnny. That song redefined her music career and sealed her fate as an A list Nigerian singer. The song was released in 2013 under her label Effyzzie produced by Selebobo. It has top many music charts across countries like Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, the UK and many others. I believe this song single handedly earned her a MAMA Award for Best Female category and two BET Best International Act: Africa nominations. Johnny has over 46 million YouTube view to date. There are confirmed reports of the costumes for Johnny music video being exhibited in the GRAMMY Museum in LA.
WizKid – Oguelegba
Wizkid international acceptance and huge buzz can be traced to this song. The track is housed on his sophomore album Ayo. Oguelegba is a contemporary afrobeat song. Afrobeat legend Fela must be very proud of Wizkid for reselling the genre to the world. The song has received impressive reviews across the world. There have been video footages of American celebrities’ vibing to the afrobeat song. From Alicia Keys to Swiss Beats, Kylie and Kendall Jenner. Need I remind you of the remix from Drake and Scepta. This must have earned him a spot on Drake’s Album and various international collabos in the making.
Davido – Aye
Davido’s 2014 number Aye has been quite far reaching. It is a love themed song made to celebrate love on Valentine’s Day. In 2014 it was ranked by Google has the most viewed music video in Nigeria. It was also enlisted in The FADER’S 116 best tracks of 2014. Fast forward to 2016 Davido graces the front page of The Fader’s magazine February issue.
There are notable mentions like Ice Prince Oleku, Iyanya Kukere. Oleku stands out as the number one African rap song with the most cover versions. Kukere is one of the biggest dance record in Africa. It was used by CEO Dancer in the British Got Talent TV show. Do you remember the famous Kukere Queen competition?
If you quite agree or disagree with the list indict with your comments.