The year 2019 has been massive for Nigerian music, new doors were opened, new grounds were covered as the music from Nigeria continued its global dominance.
At the core of the music industry / business is music itself. As always, enormous amounts of it was released daily in the outgoing year. Some of those songs took flight immediately, some fell down flat and lastly others were abominably underrated.
This post isn’t about the bangers and hits you already know, it seeks to highlight some really good songs with huge potential that were slept on. Sadly, everyone seems to agree that ‘this is one great song’ but they have continued stay pathetically underrated. At least some can pass as sleeper hits but then had so much room for more growth.
Let’s look at some of those underrated songs of 2019:
Timaya – I Can’t Kill Myself
This tune is a hidden gem from Timaya’s last body of work ‘Chulo Vibes‘ EP. The song appeals to quite a wide number of Nigerians, beautiful instrumentation and an uncanny vibe about it, still it didn’t go beyond a sleeper hit. Everyone I know loves this tune and yeah Cardi B sure likes it too. Sadly this was grossly underrated and you wonder why??
Reekado Banks – Rora
Reeky is off Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records but that doesn’t mean he stopped being talented. He teamed up with Tuzi Beatz and Altims for his September music release ‘Rora‘. That song is by far one of the most beautiful songs cut from the Afrobeat fabric in 2019. Again everyone says ‘oh that’s my jam’ but it never really topped the charts on radio or television.
Rema – Iron Man
First off Nigerians don’t like Rema’s ‘Iron Man‘ as much as abroad people do. Some say he (Rema) was whistling like an Indian on the record but that tune has enjoyed massive love beyond the shores of Nigeria. Drake’s manager Oliver El-Khatib first endorsed Rema after listening to the record. Obama had it on his playlist but Nigerians pay no mind to the tune as you would have expected.
Tekno – Skeletun
Coming back stronger this year was a top priority on the list for Tekno after snapping out of his ailment. Several attempts were made musically until then came ‘Skeletun‘. It doesn’t sound convincing at first but it slowly grows on you like a bad habit. This would have been that comeback song but laissez-faire PR and promotion maybe culprits why the song isn’t as big.
Falz – Alakori
Right after delivering a sociopolitical conscious album ‘Moral Instruction‘ Falz dished out ‘Alakori‘ with Dice Ailes. The Choc City artiste out did himself on the chorus of ‘Alakori’, he was almost flawless. There are big moments on the song which checks all the essentials of a legit Afro hip-hop tune. There is no denying its goodness but that song would have been bigger.
Tems – Try Me
Tems is one of those folks we would be watching out for in 2020 without a doubt. After tunes like ‘Mr Rebel’, ‘Looku Looku’ she stroke a sleeper hit with ‘Try Me’. The energy and emotion on here is almost contagious on listening it makes you want to go rebellious on all conventions and stereotypes. Great workout song by the way! It really supposed to reach more folks than it currently has.
Crayon – So Fine
Charles Chibueze Chukwu, I pray you would not suffer lackluster under the shadows of Rema. That being said, ‘So Fine‘ by Crayon is such an underrated song. The melody is there, the vibe is there but it has been largely slept on, a lovable song that has not gotten much love.
King Perryy – Murder
It seems dancehall took a backseat this year in the ranking of sellable genres. Lots of decent dancehall tunes never made it to the charts talk more of topping the charts. So is the case of King Perryy’s ‘Murder‘ featuring Teni, a fantastic tune but unfortunately underrated. The bounce, the rhythm and delivery all gone under the radar because folks ain’t listening enough.
Fireboy DML – King
‘King‘ was released as a single before Fireboy’s ‘Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps‘ album, however, this tune is supposed to gain a bigger mass appeal than it currently has. There are not many songs out there that are beautifully written and vocalized like this one. Fireboy you try abeg, some people don’t truly deserve this level of good music.
Soft – Money
It is often very rare to have a song about gaining financial blessing and making tons of money you can’t finish fail. Songs about money always appeal to lots of people for many reasons. Sadly, this one did not quite hit the mark, it was also slept on for the longest time. Soft had to feature Wizkid on ‘Money’ remix to gain a little more traction to the tune, still didn’t make it much of a hit.
Teni – Sugar Mummy
If a song deserves a lot more airplay and all that attention it would be Teni’s ‘Sugar Mummy‘. We all loved the freestyle before it was made into a song, what happened? Maybe we didn’t expect Teni to dabble into the whole Zanku affair, sorry she did without asking. The appeal would have been different if it came from Zlatan or Naira Marley.
Sarz – Good Morning Riddim
The only lyrics ‘Good morning my neighbor./How are you doing?/Are you feeling OK?’ comes in a loop over the heavy percussion and rhythm. That is just enough to get you energized on the Sarz produced ‘Good Morning Riddim’. The rhythm and bounce is everything. The song is quite a DJ’s favourite but it hardly gets enough praise.
Ladipoe – Jaiye
‘Jaiye‘ by Ladipoe is such a happy song. The production, lyrics and entire feel breeds positivity. It is because it is alté? Ladipoe’s ‘Jaiye’ as produced by Johnny Drille is a gem that is pathetically underrated and unappreciated.
Adekunle Gold – Before You Wake Up
Look guys, Adekunle Kosoko, husband of Simisola really made a good song here and the majority are unlooking. It is almost true Simi inspired the lyrics of this tune and beyond that it is the most complete song I have heard in 2019. The Afro-urban singer came correct on this one. Sadly it didn’t do bigger numbers that it has already done on YouTube and other platforms.
Do you think there is any other song that has been grossly slept on? Tell us in the comment session.