One of the fascinating things about the Nigerian music industry is how artists are able to bloom in a very short space of time, same way one could be easily forgotten when consistency and hard-work is lost.
Over the past few years, the Nigerian music industry has unearthed what we at Jaguda like to call “Bubbling Under” acts, who have in little time, grown to become household names in the Nigerian music space.
Though many still feel like there’s been recycling of the same A-list artists and their somewhat generic sounds, a new wave of very promising singers and rappers have sprung up in recent times which beams a ray of hope for music lovers and the industry in its entirety.
We have come to appreciate other genres of music, especially the fast pace at which the alternative sound is catching up. The new school generation of Alte acts like Odunsi, Santi, Lady Donli, Tay Iwar among others, have remained consistent and unrelenting, which has resonated into widespread appreciation of their unconventional sound/style.
Zlatan: The new face of Nigeria’s pop culture
My focus, however, is on the new rave of the moment, Omoniyi Temidayo, popularly known as Zlatan Ibile.
The musical street sensation has grown to become a highly sort after act with very impressive, chart-topping bangers to his credit.
He finally caught the attention of music lovers and critics alike with his 2018 banger “Zanku (Leg Work)” which became an instant banger upon its release. The infectious tune was accompanied by the famous ‘Zanku’ dance which also spread like a virus.
It would interest you to know that Zanku is an acronym for ‘Zlatan Abeg No Kill Us.”
More so, his blonde haircut and fashion statement has also made him a face of the Nigerian street culture.
Known for his famous line ‘Kapaichumarimarichopaco’ (which serves as an identity), the promising rapper has ridden on the success of his predecessors like the iconic Da Grin (of blessed memories) Olamide, Small Doctor, Slimcase, among others, to finesse his way into our hearts.
One major tool that also helped Zlatan grow considerably well is the social media which has also helped unravel new street acts like Picazo Rhap, Yomi Blaze, Lil Frosh, among others.
A few days ago, a viral video of DMW act, Peruzzi and Zlatan made its way on Twitter and got everyone talking. I was so impressed by what I saw and that triggered this piece.
It has almost become impossible to turn a blind eye to whatever Zlatan does. Before I go into his songs and collaborations, let’s take you back to when he caught our attention – I like to call it the ‘pre-Zanku era.’
In 2014, Zlatan Ibile was the ‘Airtel One Mic’ winner in Ogun state. He got signed to Coded Records Entertainment and released his first official single accompanied by a video titled “Odun Yi” featuring Space Boi.
Fast forward to 2018/2019, the story is different for the young lad, a clear indication of hard work and persistence.
Some of the songs that have put him on the pedestal (both solo and collaborations include), Zlatan – Jogor ft. Lil Kesh X Naira Marley, Zlatan – Zanku (Legwork), Chinko Ekun – Able God ft. Lil Kesh & Zlatan, Zlatan X Davido – Osanle, DMW x Davido x Zlatan – Bum Bum, Burna Boy – Killin Dem Ft. Zlatan.
It is also impossible to mention Zlatan without acknowledging the guy behind most of his hit songs, his producer, Rexxie.
With many other collaborations not mentioned in this article, it is quite audible to the deaf and visible to the blind that Zlatan has unlocked a new level for himself and also given hope to emerging street acts like himself.
So what next?
At this pace, it is safe to say I see Zlatan scoring bigger hits, better collaborations (locally and internationally), winning awards and landing mouthwatering endorsements.
A little controversy and scandal along the line is something we should also expect as that comes with the package of being an A-list artiste.
Overall, the future sure looks bright for him.