7 Biggest Nigerian Musical Exports

1. D'banj:

Dapo 'D'banj" Oyebanjo, the Kokomaster is a living tribute to Afro-Beat king Fela Anikulapo Kuti. D'banj is an artiste whose prominence in the Nigerian music industry cannot be underrated. Coming from a religious background, D'banj's roots in music started from performing in the church. Years later just after 2Face warmed himself into our hearts in 2004, D'banj and his infamous mouth organ came to our radios and T.V screens, this music maestro has been dishing out hits after hits since then. D'banj's unique style and humorous lyrics has made him a fans favorite over the years. Currently signed to Universal Music Group under his own record label DB records, D'banj came into international spotlight after the release of his afro-beat pop fusion "Oliver Twist". The Kokomaster has worked alongside the biggest international acts, performed at international music festivals, won numerous local and international awards and headlined the biggest event arenas around the world. The Entertainer is fond friends with fellow label mate Rita Ora and Big Sean.

2. P-Square:

Definitely the most consistent artistes in the Nigerian music scene. For the past 12 years, Paul and Peter Okoye a.k.a P-Square have constantly dolled out hits after hits and wowed Africans and the world with breath taking performances and beautiful music. Whether the song is rendered in Yoruba, Igbo or native pidgin-English, P-Square will captivate and keep you connected through the song. The duo have a brilliant discography, millions of albums sold, broken and re-broken chart records, earned  countless awards to their names, toured countless countries and worked alongside world class, international acts. P-Square is not a name you can avoid when you're talking about modern African music, because these brothers have done it all. They play instruments, dance and sing beautifully. Like every other great artiste the true art of their work is in their stage performance, a daring act that can make an instant believer out of anybody. Nobody else deserves this spot. Not with the statistics this duo have to their name.

3. 2face:

Probably one of the most famous African artistes alive (if you dare to question it). Innocent "2-face" Idibia needs to do very little for his near-legend status to become full legend. 2face revolutionized the face of African Music, with brilliant lyrics, unique vocals and an entirely new flavor. While we have to admit Fela also took Nigerian music to the world in his days, 2face since storming the Nigerian Music scene as a solo act in 2004 has taken African Hip Hop and R n'B to the world. Winning an MTV European Music Award (EMA), Music of Black Origin (MOBO) award, winning and performing at the World Music Awards and countless others of such. This new school king has been a force to be reckoned with since his days with boy group "Plantation Boys", he brought the world back to African music at a time when the dominance of foreign music was on the reign.

4. Asa:

Bukola "Asa" Elemide is one Africa's proudest daughters. The African goddess of soul music, though hasn't been in the Nigerian spotlight in the most recent times, is another brilliant international export produced and buttered in Lagos Nigeria. Growing up listening to King Sunny Ade, Bob Marley, Fela and the likes, her taste for soul music grew and in time she started making her own music. Asa as an artist managed to spin a "sold-out" alternative music album, "Àsá" in a Nigerian market notoriously known for appreciating only commercial music. The songstress has toured the world with endless collaborations home and abroad. Currently singed to French record label, Naive records in Paris, Asa's "Beautiful Imperfection" album of 2010, was ranked #3 on the World Music Charts Billboard USA.

5. King Sunny Ade:

Two time Grammy award nominee, King Sunny Ade is a King in his own right, take it or leave it. The Afro-juju maestro has headlined concert arena(s) around the world, from North to South America and of course all through Africa, even featured in major Hollywood movies as a musical act. With countless awards, original dance moves and a brilliant discography, KSA is still recognized as one of the pioneers of modern world music. The true art of King Sunny Ade is in his stage performances, an art he has mastered over the years from headlining world class stages. His royal highness is currently a visiting professor of music at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and was also indicted into the Afro-Pop Hall Of Fame at the Brooklyn African Festival in the United States.

6. The Kutis(s):

It is impossible to conclude this listicle without paying adequate respect to whom it is due. By repects I mean the Kuti brothers; Olufela Olufemi and Oluwaseun Anikulapo-Kuti. Both brothers successful as individual artists are sons of a man that need very little introduction, Fela Kuti. The duo have successfully carried on their father's name in the light that it deserves as a musical legend. Seun Kuti currently leads his late father's former band "The Egypt 80", Femi Kuti who is notably more successful has 3 Grammy nominations to his name and currently leads his own band on tours around the world.  Much like their father, their music also features strong elements of socio-political, religious and moral views. This duo have represented African music in Africa and beyond and have successfully aided the immortalization of afro-beat legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

7. Wizkid:

Ayodeji "Wizkid" Balogun, Nigerian music rebel is currently the biggest musical act in Nigeria. Wiz's fans should bear with me as much as I would like to put him up there with the greats, his prominence in the international scene is still limited for now, though he has toured the U.S and headlined some major concerts in the U.K. Nonetheless, we have to recognize the young lad has a BET and MOBO award as well as a few notable international collaborations to his name. Wizkid's music is a fusion of Afro-beat and conventional pop and he is currently receiving mad love in Africa, let's give or take a few years till the world recognizes the genius that is Wizkid.

Other Worthy Mentions:

Bez: Emmanuel "Bez" Idakula is another successful international act, his alternative soul music style is very similar to that of songstress Asa. His sophomore album "Super Sun" was placed at number 3 by Boston Globe, newspaper, U.S.A, as the top ten world music album of 2011.

Ice Prince: Nigeria's most successful commercial rapper,Panshak "Ice Prince" Zamani has had the past 3 years good for him, receiving a BET award for Best International Act as well has some international collaborations in the same fashion

M.I: Jude "M.I" Abaga has been dubbed the Nigerian hip-hop messiah by many. Being the link of many successful Nigerian acts to mainstream Nigerian Music. M.I though, who has been reported to have gone soft in the most recent times, was the artiste that single handedly made Nigerians fall in love with rap music. The J-Towner's lyricism has been compared to the greats; JayZ, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and the likes. M.I was nominated for a BET award in 2009 and won two MTV Africa Music Award for Best New-Act and Best Hip-Hop act respectively in the same year.

Don Jazzy: Producer extraordinaire, Michael "Don Jazzy" Collins, is one of Nigeria's most successful music producers. Coming from humble backgrounds alongside former label co-owner D'banj, Don Jazzy currently holds production credits to over 200 songs, including his collaborative production with JayZ, Kanye West and Beyonce on their track "Lift Off" from the "Watch the Throne" album.

Written by Sokunbi Adetoyese.

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