The music industry in Nigeria was very impressive in 2018, though fiercely competitive with great songs that excited the audience. In fact, to excel in the industry you have to be exceptionally good and your first few songs or albums should command international audience base. From popular music, alternative music and Afrobeats, 2018 will go down as one of the most eventful years in the Nigerian music industry. Artists such as Wizkid, Tekno and Davido kept the entertainment arena lively with hit songs that thrilled the airwaves.
Well, 2018 saw a lot of great artists but there were outstanding personalities whose songs distinguished them throughout the year in Nigeria and beyond. Here is a list of top 10 hottest artists in Nigeria in 2018 compiled by Tina Magazine, an online outfit with depth understanding of the entertainment industry in Nigeria. This analysis was based on the artists’ music popularity, succesful shows, streams and downloads, local success stories in 2018. These artistes are expected to storm the music industry and dominaten in 2019, so watch out for them. They were huge in 2018 and are likely to dominaten in 2019.
Tekno is unarguably one of the top artistes in Nigeria that thrilled the airwaves in 2018. Based on fan base, he is arguably the number 3 artist as at end of 2018, just behind Wizkid and Davido following their fan base. He would have been on top of this list if had another hit like Jogodo in 2018. The pop star is one of the most steamed artists in Nigeria and Africa this year. He dropped several songs but we can conclude only the single ‘Jogodo’ was a massive hit.
9. Duncan Mighty
Duncan Mighty enjoyed a resurgence this 2018 Duncan Mighty enjoyed a resurgence this 2018
If you described the second half of the year in the Nigerian music scene as the Duncan Mighty half, then you would not be wrong. From not being in the reckoning during the first half of the year to ending it as the most featured act is one of the memorable moments that the ‘Duncan Mighty’ wave delivered in 2018.
The veteran artist who has been relatively quiet in the last couple of years resurfaced on Wizkid’s ‘Fake Love’ sometime in May and the ripple effect of his contribution in making the record an anthem was one that led to over 20 collaborations and copycat trends.
This pop star wowed into 2018 and kept wowing us. He jumped on several hit collabos and also dropped an album with hit lead singles Like Bobo, Porsche and etc.. He would have been on the top 4 list if he added another hit like Bobo to the singles he released this year.
7. Mr Eazi
Is there a more tactful, artistically disciplined, and technically accomplished Nigerian artist on the global stage this year than Mr Eazi?
‘Deliberate’ was the word most used to define Mr Eazi this year and part of his magnificence is purely based on statistics and careful planning. Mr Eazi built a strong team around himself and followed the data in making his moves. Every step of his was calculated, he identified his audience and catered to them passionately. This helped Eazi to forge a base in the UK and saw him performing on major stages globally. He rounded up the year with the impressive release of his sophomore project ‘’Lagos To London’’ which is gathering some explosive streaming numbers and also set up a platform ‘’Empawa’’ to help artists get their music out, He also topped the Ghanaian music scene too.
6. Tiwa Savage
Mummy ‘Jam Jam’ as she was largely referred to this year enjoyed a fairly spectacular 2018.
While the rumours surrounding her relationship with Wizkid was one that kept the blogs busy, she was also stylistically restless with her music as her contributions through songs like ‘Tiwa’s Vibe’, ‘Lova Lova’, ‘Diet’ and ‘Get It Now’ remix with Omarion were unmatched.
5. Kizz Daniel
Kizz Daniel performing at Born In Africa Festival 2018 Kizz Daniel performing at Born In Africa Festival 2018
His license to collaborate with other artists became the additional spring required to embark on a more commanding industry run.
Kizz Daniel laced his vocals on hit singles like No do, 4dayz, DJ Spinall’s ‘Baba’, DJ Neptune’s ‘Wait’, Major Lazer’s ‘Loyal’, scored a major hit in ‘One Ticket’ and closed the year with the release of his much anticipated sophomore album, ‘’No Bad Songz’’.
What a year 2018 has been for Wizkid. The Starboy has been ripping up stages worldwide, dropping banging records, sealing lucrative deals, walking on runways and consistently becoming a trending topic all year long.
In May this year, Wizkid sold out the 20,000 O2 Arena in one of his most iconic feats, while also performing at the Reading Festival, UK. His hits this year include, ‘Soco’, ‘Fake Love’, ‘Fever’ and ‘Bad Energy’ with Skepta.
3. Burna Boy
From a tumultuous 2017 where he was at the end of a long string of negative publicity, Burna fought his way back to positive reckoning and it all began with the release of his ‘’Outside’’ album in January. The album had early stand out records like ‘Heaven’s Gate’ but it wasn’t until a few months later that ‘Ye’ turned out to become the one song that would define Burna’s year.
When videos started surfacing of Burna Boy performing ‘Ye’ during his ‘Life On The Outside’ tour of the United States, the online community went hype with the way the fans reacted to the song. And little by little, ‘Ye’ continued to grow into a hashtag and then a movement. Afterwards, it has been killer features and more hits in ‘Gbona’ and ‘On The Low’ from an artist who has somehow become focused, re-energized and altogether fascinating. 2018 has without doubt been the best year in the career of the Don Gorgon.
Just like the first day of the year, Olamide is here again and if the first half of the year is split into two, then Olamide was a force in its opening quarter.
His single, ‘Science Student’ became the go-to record to start a party. It was the song with which Genevieve Nnaji displayed her ‘shaku shaku’ skills and one that birthed an endless catalogue of viral videos as fans jumped on the wave.
The rapper/pop star rode on this momentum for a while and just when it was about fizzling out, he returned with ‘Motigbana’ and another dance craze was birthed.
Other singles like ‘Kana’, ‘Criteria’, ‘Bugle’, ‘Poverty Die’ and the ‘’YBNL Family Mafia’’ album all add up to Olamide again becoming one of the most influential names this year.
The question asked by many was, how will Davido top the sort of year he had in 2017? and he gave a loud and befitting response, if not in exactly delivering the type of hit songs that were nationwide anthems, his power moves globally and relentless effort through singles and collaborations were enough to make him the big deal yet again. He will probably rock the Nigerian music 2019 scene yet again
Davido sold out concerts in cities Nigerians never knew existed like Suriname and Mayotte, rocked the stage at the Wireless Festival and Jay-Z’s ‘Made in America’ concert, had a successful tour of the United States.
He also appeared on the Breakfast Club, gave us hits like Flora ‘My Flawa, ‘Mind’ ‘Assurance’, ‘Nwa Baby’, ‘Aza’ and ‘Wonder Woman’, ‘Ada’. Davido turned his label into a force through their collaborative hits like ‘Mind’ and ‘Aje’ and also won the award for ‘Best African Act’ at the 2018 BET, becoming the first artist in the category to be presented with his plaque on stage.