One of these artists is a bonafide superstar whose entrance into the mainstream was unexpected and who will go on to achieve an unprecedented run of hit songs. There were also music producers turned artists whose music positioned them for dominance, and allowed them to rub shoulders with superstars on the charts.
Top 10 Artists of 2022 [Pulse Picks]
This year, Nigerian artists dared to dream following the international success of the preceding year. Afrobeats soared in its international appeal and enjoyed more patronage from listeners across the globe. Behind this rise in acclaim are artists whose music, achievements, and influence played a major role.
When we look back at the year in review (December 1st, 2021 to November 30th, 2022) we will find a crop of artists whose achievements and impacts stand tall.
In selecting the top artists of the year, the following are considered in the hierarchy in which they are highlighted:
- Musical impact
- Achievement in Nigeria
- Achievements overseas
Below are the top 10 artists of 2022 as selected by Pulse Music Desk:
Tems is currently at the forefront of the Afrobeats to the World movement, having enjoyed an incredible 2022.
Since she gained international success with her invaluable part in Wizkid’s ‘Essence’, Tems has continued blazing and proving that she’s a superstar in her own right.
Tems has won several awards, including becoming the first Nigerian female artist to win the BET award after she won the Best New Artist and the Best Collaboration.
She became the first Nigerian to debut on the Billboard Hot 100 for her part in Future’s ‘Wait For U’. She was featured by Beyonce and was tapped by Marvel for the ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ soundtrack.
Ruger started the year with his explosive single 'Dior' which captivated listeners until mid-year when he released his hit single 'Girlfriend' and the waist-twirling dance that goes with it, the Dancehall maestro has had listeners in a chokehold.
Ruger went on tour and sold out shows in Australia, Europe, and a host of African cities.
He closed the year with two hot singles, ‘Red Flag’ and ‘Asiwaju’ in preparation for the release of his debut album in 2023.
8. Ayra Starr
With a bold talent and shiny personality, Ayra Starr reached new heights in 2022. She delivered exquisitely for Mavin Records and labelmate Magixx in ‘Overloading’ and ‘Love Don’t Cost A Dime’.
She achieved two number-one singles with 'Blood Samaritan’ and ‘Rush’ which positioned her as a fast-rising female talent set to take the female end of the industry to the next level.
Rema has enjoyed a successful year with his hit single ‘Calm Down’ off his debut album ‘Raves & Roses’ which has attracted international acclaim. He embarked on a successful tour of Europe and America, selling out locations and picking up plaques in the process.
Pheelz delivered two hit songs in 2022 with ‘Finesse’ featuring BNXN and ‘Electricity’ featuring Davido, both of which enjoyed impressive success across the charts and the streets.
The producer and artist further established himself as one of the hottest acts of 2022 after performing at the BET Awards and scoring an international collaboration with French Montana.
The street-pop act enjoyed his most successful year yet as he scored popular singles including ‘Ogo Forever’, ‘Oro Aje’, ‘Aza Man’, ‘Make Money Before You Love’, and ‘Expensive OG’.
He released an EP and an LP, in which he delivered songs that resonated with his core audience. In the same year that he was in the news for his troubleshooting antics, Portable also performed in several countries, including the UK, France, Italy, and Egypt.
He also bagged a chieftaincy title in his hometown of Tigbo Awori Land, where he was crowned the Amuludun of Tigbo Awori Land.
4. Young Jonn
The hitmaker producer turned hitmaker artist, releasing two EPs jam-packed with sizzling hits.
Young Jonn tapped Davido for the remix of his hit single ‘Dada’ before delivering ‘Xtracool’ which is one of the biggest songs of 2022.
In an interesting year in Nigerian music, he asserted himself as one of the hottest artists in Afrobeats and a front-runner for the 2023 Headies Next Rated Prize.
3. Burna Boy
Burna Boy released his 6th album, ‘Love, Damini,’ which houses the smash hit ‘Last Last’. The Grammy winner sold out arenas across the world while picking up a MOBO, a BET, and an EMA.
He also earned two Grammy nominations for ‘Last Last’ and ‘Love, Damini’ as he continues to put Nigeria and Africa on the map.
2. Kizz Daniel
The man behind the smash hit ‘Buga’ has enjoyed an incredible 2022, where his stocks are at an all-time high. His mega-hit ‘Buga’ is the biggest song out of the continent this year. He’s also set to close the year on a high with another chart-topping single, ‘Cough’.
Kizz Daniel performed at sold-out shows in Europe, America, and Africa as he took his Afroclassic Tour across the globe. He also performed at the fans' festival of the 2022 World Cup, where he had thousands of fans from all over the world singing along to his music.
There was no doubt as to who was going to emerge as the artist of the year. It’s none other than the man of the hour, the revelation of the year, the hitmaker, the superstar, and the fashionista Asake.
Since he released ‘Omo Ope’ earlier in the year, Asake has been on a blistering run delivering a series of hit songs that’s unprecedented in Afrobeats. Asake wowed listeners with his talents and captivated fans with his style and personality.
He wrapped up an incredible year with a record-breaking debut album that has made him the hottest artist of 2022. He was nominated for the MOBO, and he sold out the Brixton 02 Arena in less than 5 minutes on three consecutive occasions he has performed there, yet fans still can’t get enough of him.
Asake has made the top of the chart his home, scoring several number-one songs on Turntable Top 100 with his producer Magicsticks.
2022 has been an incredible year for Nigerian music, and when this year is revisited in the future, Asake’s utter domination will be fondly remembered.
These artists enjoyed a great year as they put out good projects and hit singles that positioned them for a strong run.
- Omah Lay
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