Here are the top 10 Nigerian artists to watch in 2022

It's that time of the year again when we get nostalgic and create cliche content that aim to inform, but end up falling flat in the face of reason by December.

Magixx. (MAVIN)

In the same spirit and as inspired by NME, Pulse Nigeria publishes this list of the 10 essential new acts to watch out for in 2022. Please forgive us for getting inspired by NME. It's so early in the year and inspiration had to come from somewhere. Thank you again, as you read.

It's that time of the year again when we get nostalgic and create cliche content that aim to inform, but end up falling flat in the face of reason by December. In these articles, music writers say they have a crystal ball and cogent knowledge of what will happen. So, we create lists of what to expect and what not to expect.

Sometimes, we are lucky and our predictions come off. But most times, our predictions join Dr. Dre's Detox in the land of things that never happened. So, in the spirit of indulgence, please allow this music writer to continue this tradition of cliche content and publish a list of the 10 essential upcoming Nigerian artists to watch out for in 2020.

AV

Sounds like: Wizkid, Rayvanny

For fans of: Wizkid, Kuami Eugene, Ruger

USP: He has such a strong personality, and he’s not afraid to talk tough. His debut single is literally titled, ‘Big Thug Boys.’

Why you’re going to love them: Think of him as Rema, but with earned street stripes and boyish good looks. He has sultry vocals that elevated Afro-pop records.

Key track: Big Thug Boys

Fave

Sounds like: Azana

For fans of: Ayra Starr, Joeboy

USP: She’s still a good girl, her music is filled with sunshine and rainbows about love and romance. Let’s hope she doesn’t crossover to the dark side soon.

Why you’re going to love them: She’s gorgeous and growing. Her contralto vocals tear through records with charming simplicity. Her youth has already earned her an audience. Now she has to use it.

Key track: Baby Riddim

Magixx

For fans of: AV, Lojay

USP: He’s unassuming. His brand is so dense, that you don’t know what to expect, while you expect everything.

Why you’re going to love them: Aside from his dreamy, youthful good looks, he is marked with the ‘X’ of a Gen Z act, raised by Fuji, Apala and R&B, but nurtured by Trap, Dancehall/Bashment and Afro-pop. His vocal dexterity exhibits the various influences of his formative years.

Key track: Love Don’t Cost A Dime

Portable

For fans of: Omo X 1000, this one hard o

USP: He packs humour, personality and resonant mainstream music in one breathe. Already, he has a hit record with that formulae, he’s also converting unwitting fans with his antics. He was made by the streets for mainstream, but his appeal stretches beyond his primary demography

Why you’re going to love them: His music. He has the flow scheme of a rapper and the bravado of a Trap artist. He says the wildest things in his music and he makes them make sense. He’s like a street boy and a hypeman sometimes.

Key track: Zazoo Zeh

T.I Blaze

For fans of: Barry Jhay, Bella Shmurda

USP: Think of him as Ata Wewe with Seyi Tinubu dreams

Why you’re going to love them: His voice adequately conveys his message. His music is filled with relatable lyrics, about the struggle or the dreams of an artist.

Key track: Sometimes

Dai Verse

For fans of: 2Baba,

USP: He sounds like a 2000s artist in a Gen Z soul. He feels like the second coming of the weirdest sounding, yet most attractive artist you know.

Why you’re going to love them: His music is suited to this post-internet era, which makes his soundtrack challenge culture. His lyrics are as catchy as his vocals are sticky.

Key track: Cocaine

Guchi

For fans of: Simi

USP: She sounds like the product of an affair between Pop Hunna and Di’Ja.

Why you’re going to love them: Like Dai Verse, her music is tilted towards the post-internet era. But her songwriting deserves an incredible amount of credit. Going forward, people will be forced to take notice.

Key track: Jennifer

sGAWD

For fans of:

USP: If Trina was from Lekki, Lagos

Why you’re going to love them: Her debut EP is mighty impressive, with a cut like ‘Pop Sh*t.’ She has bars and she’s not confident to discuss sex and money with pungent lyrics.

Key track: Pop Sh*t

Oladapo

For fans of: Post-Rap Olamide, Wande Coal

USP: If Wande Coal was born in 1999 with Brymo’s genes

Why you’re going to love them: His debut EP, Blind was an impressive listen, which further strengthens the case of Sony Music, West Africa.

Key track: Priceless

Goya Menor

For fans of: Ragga

USP: Benin Mystikal, with a hint of minimalist Rhymzo

Why you’re going to love them: His voice has a lot of range and dexterity. Whatever he says will make the girls wet, anways.

Key track: Priceless

Honourable Mentions

MAVIN/Jonzing Artist

Chances are that these labels will each launch an artist this year. Maybe two.

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