It’s a new year again for Nigerian entertainment. The collective air in Lagos, Port Harcourt and other creative hubs of the country is that of optimism, with many musicians fancying their chances of hitting the big time this year.
Pulse.ng has narrowed that lot down to 12 major artistes. These chosen performers have made the list due to their recent achievements within the last year, which holds more promise. Also have we looked at intended album releases, planned tours, and a host of other indicators. They are..
Bez Idakula remains Nigeria’s foremost alternative/rock singer. With super deep lyrics, and a vocal delivery that can only be compared to Chris Daughtry and James Morrison, the 30 year old singer stormed into the limelight with his ‘Super Sun’ album in 2011. The album quickly topped charts internationally, with tracks such as ‘Say’, More You’, Zuciya Daya’ and ‘Stop Pretending’ gaining massive acceptance. 2014 promises to be his year again, as he plans to drop a new album. Already his new track, ‘Baby’, is out and rocking.
From the stables of Empire Mates Entertainment comes this versatile singer who knows his hooks, punch lines and rhythm. Shaydee has been in our collective consciousness with contribution to a number of hits. He’s the brain behind Ice Prince’s mega-collaboration wiith French Montana on ‘I Swear’, and he’s also held his own in some hit songs. With the strides he’s made over the last 365 days, we reckon his album is on the way in 2014. He can’t go wrong, with Banky W playing ‘big daddy’ with him.
One of the members of the growing ‘Grip Boiz’ crew, Endia has a style which always sets him apart from the rest. Starting up with Ice Prince & M.I back in the day at Jos, him, J. Milla, and Yung L, took to college to get some education. Now he’s back for the game, music, and with recent releases getting recognition, we feel he’s got the power to burn through our hearts and into stardom.
#4. Yung L
Words can never do justice describing the marvel that Yung L is. Still from the Grip Boiz crew, Yung L is a blend of craft and patois, reminiscent of reggae legend, Bob Marley. Heavily featuring in a number of his singles, the boy from Jos has even sneaked his signature into our subconscious, with stellar performances on Ice Prince’s ‘Gimme Dat’, and Jimmy Jatt’s ‘Victory Song’. But what’’s more? He’s topped those with his song ‘SOS’, and that has blown minds away.
He’s the future, this one.
#5. Seyi Shay
The svelte diva of Afro Pop and R&B has had a relatively successful 2013. Changing her management from Flytime Entertainment, rebranding herself, and her music, and dropping new hit songs, Seyi Shay is well positioned to break the Omawumi-Waje-Tiwa Savage hegemony in female music. She’s even gotten herself endorsement deals as a sign that she’s the next great act to happen to us all. In 2013, she plans to reset her dial, and hit the top. We can’t wait!
#6. Yemi Alade
The damsel with the Walt Disney smile keeps charming her way to the top. Every step of her long walk to stardom, Yemi keeps discovering hitherto unknown depths of her brilliance. We all though her mmagic had reached its highest point when she dropped the ‘Bamboo’ video, but then during her nationwide media tour, Yemi hit new heights with ‘Johnny’, a fusion of Afrobeat & Afro Pop. In 2014, we’re hoping for a new album from her. We can’t wait!
#7. Ikechukwu ‘Killz’
There have been many false dawns for Ikechukwu ‘Killz’. The militant-looking rapper has been responsible for some of the biggest hits to emanate from the country. But with uncertain turn of events, he took a break from music, to fully focus on his other skills (acting and modeling) in the US. Now in 2013, he’s poised to finally return to his musical genius, to an industry that has made massive changes from the one he dominated. Having dropped ‘Bala Bala’ with Wizboyy, the igbo rapper plans to drop his comeback album in 2014.
It’s a dicey one for Killz, but our money is on him to blow us all away.
Shank stuns, frolics, and blows up. But for a while we’ve not heard him tingle our ears with the best of his talent. This year he’s having a bit of a renaissance, with his ‘Ghetto’ song, star-studded ‘Ghetto remix’, and an amazing video to wrap up a trifecta of releases.
In 2014, he plans to amp it up! With an album titled ‘GermanSure’! Another hot one, I prophesy!
The King of South-South rap is on a quest to dominate the West, unite both worlds, and be the best! 2013 for Yung6ix has been one of adventure and advancement. His record label, Kash Kamp, underwent a merger with Trick Billionaire Music, thereby becoming Kash Kamp Trick Billionaire Music (KKTBM). In 2014, an album is in the works, and knowing the perfectionist that he is, Nigeria would have one hell of a wordplay LP.
#10. Dammy Krane
The man from Hypertek records has covered a lot of media spaces, and that’s solely down to his electric talent. Having seen his songs, Gratitude, Lobatan and Xteristics bring in the fame, the 2face Idibia-protégé will come good next year. Watch this space.
The ‘Amosu’ crooner is a weird one to make this list. Why? Because he had a spectacular 2013. Dropping his album ‘Money Back Guarantee’, touring Europe, and delivering some lots of media sound bites, the CEO of DV-8 Media is on a roll. But with 2014 comes another chance to shine, and Waconzy has his machines oiled to take advantage.
Another EME gem, Niyola has all the goods to storm the industry. Time after time she’s proven to all that she’s the real deal. This year, her love ballad, ‘Toh Bad’ speaks volume of her depth. In 2014, she looks set to embark on a career defining project. Let’s keep the fingers crossed.