The Nigerian music industry is widely considered the best in Africa, and deservedly so. Much of the accolades and recognition brought to the industry wouldn't however have been possible without the careful inputs by some of Nigeria's male acts. Popular among the acts are Wizkid, Davido, and the BET best international act of the year, Burna boy.
While the former two made it to the limelight years earlier, Burna boy got into the pack as one of Nigeria's best musician a year or two ago. However, one common hallmark of the three musical arts is the lofty inclusion of the African rhythm and expressions in their music. And that has added to the continent's unique identification and recognition.
Aside the three popularly esteemed musicians, there are several others who although haven't garnered enough international recognition have been consistent in delivering good music to their ever faithful fans. One of such is YBNL's Fireboy. His first album, Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps (LTG) considered as one of the best debut album by critics brought him the reputation he's got himself presently in the industry. His second album released later in the year added to his steep climp in the yet nascent industry.
Fireboy isn't the only new coming generational talent
revving the Nigerian music industry at the moment. Mavin's new boy, Rema; Oxlade; Omah Lay; Joeboy; and a host of others have brought on different styles of music to the industry fore.
Aside the newcomers of the last two years, there are longstanding acts who have aswell excelled with consistent release of hit sounds. To mention a few, Patoranking has always been around, in addition to the Bob daddy crooner, Falz. Mr Eazi, Adekunle gold, and Korode bello are worthy mentions. However, they are yet to reach the peak which the three artiste under review have sauntered to.
#3 Wizkid first album of the year, “Made in Lagos” came late November
Wizkid rose to popularity in 2011 after his single “Holla at your boy” became youth's favourite replays. His recognition at the international stage however came much later in 2016 following the successes of his collaborative track with Canadian rapper and songwriter, Drake. The single, ‘one dance’ peaked at number one spot in several countries, while the Nigerian musician got few awards to his name for it.
Live performing internationally in various events and concerts is a regular feat of most musicians. However to attract a maximum crowd turnout in the iconic 02 arena in London is a task only influential musicians could churn. He not only accomplished the feat by performing alone at the arena. He called out fellow national, Burna boy to stage much to the admiration of the crowd. According to him, the day wasn't all “about Wizkid or Starboy”, it was about African music.”
Wizkid is known to be a controversial singer who doesn't fail to outpour his emotions despite the personality involved. At a time in 2017, Davido threw shade at Wizkid referencing his “Sounds From The Other Side” album as “pon pon sounds.” To this Wizkid, who had gone international earlier than the DMW artiste advised that one should not be envious of achievements of others when they couldn't match up. The beef continued until 2019 where they ended their subtle kicks.
Wizkid has numerous awards to his name, and they include: The headies; Ghana music award; MTV africa music award; MTV europe music award; MOBO award including a host of several others. He is reportedly worth about $20 million. He recently released his fourth studio album: Made in Lagos.
#2 Davido and his 30 billion gang
Another Nigerian artiste of international repute, David Adedeji Adeleke popularly referred to as Davido wouldn't have been left out in this exposé.
Although from a wealthy home (the Adeleke family), Davido chose music and had to endure an unsuccessful resistance from his father who saw no good in his music career. Some of his early tracks include ‘Dami duro’, ‘Omo baba olowo’, and ‘back when’ featuring Naeto C.
In 2013 and 2014, he buttressed his eminence in the industry with worthy releases like ‘Gobe’, ‘Skelewu’, and ‘coolest kid in Africa.’ In 2017 and 2018, his tracks ‘fall’, ‘If’, and ‘fia’ brought him international recognition. ‘Fall’ till date remains the longest Billboard charting Nigerian single. His preceding tracks: Flora my flawa, Assurance, Nwa Baby and Wonder Woman, were all welcomed across the continent.
Earlier last year, Davido followed Wizkid 's feat in selling out the iconic 20,000 capacity London O2 Arena. By virtue of this, members of his DMW crew: Mayorkun, Peruzzi, Idowest, Dremo, Yonda and Zlatan were opportuned to perform alongside other international acts.
Davido recently released a studio album titled ‘A better time’, the third of his. From this album he released ‘FEM’, a track considered as a diss to Burna boy. 'Fem' literally means 'shut up' in yoruba. The diss continued when Davido posted on his Instagram handle that his ‘a better time’ album would be released in July, same month Burna boy's album was scheduled to be released. To this, Burna boy went to his Instagram story to post: “July will be very funny, and I shall laugh accordingly.”
Again Davido posted a photo of himself and Wizkid, although on Twitter this time and wrote, “The two greatest of all time, no cap.” Burna boy replied to this on his Instagram story where he wrote: “You cannot play football, everybody knows you cannot play football, and you are an embarrassment to the team, but your daddy bought the football team…” The root of the enmity between the two is said to be due to Burna boy's failure to accord Peruzzi credit for a 2019 single with him. Had it been such was done, the DMW artiste would have gotten a Grammy-nominee right for African Giant which got nominated for the 2019 best music album.
Davido has several recognitions to his name, and it includes: Best Male Artiste of the Year, MTV Africa Music Awards, 2014; Artiste of the Year, The Headies, 2018;
Artiste of the Year, The Headies, 2014.
Davido is supposedly worth $16 million.
#1 Burna boy — The African Giant
Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu much known by his stage name, Burna boy, rose steeply to the zenith of Nigeria's music industry in 2019. Burna boy's known music career started upon the release of track ‘Like to Party’ filed under his debut album L.I.F.E. in 2012.
In the album which he featured 2face, M.I, Reminisce, Wizkid, Timaya, and Olamide, it attained number 7 spot on the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart that year. His third music album “outside” released in 2018 coupled with the fourth being “African giant” brought him the international recognition he's basking in presently. The fourth album won the album of the Year at the 2019 All Africa Music Awards and was nominated for Best World Music Album at at the year's Annual Grammy Awards. He was also awarded the African Artiste of the year at the 2020 VGMA's.
His newest album released in 2020, “Twice as tall” got nominated for the best world music album award for the year 2021. He has bagged several other recognitions including the BET award for international acts 2020.
Burna boy is reportedly worth about $17 million.
Those are undoubtedly the leading male singers currently in the Nigerian music industry by any imaginable measure. Do you have a dissenting outlook?