With 21 categories up for grabs, the competition for the gongs is more stiff this year than ever. But all eyes will rest on the Next Rated category. This category is a voting category for the most promising upcoming act in the year under review.

The highly prized Next Rated category will see Reekado Banks, Kiss Daniel, Korede Bello, Cynthia Morgan and Lil’ Kesh slug it out.

Pulse music profiles the five acts who are in running to pick up the prize.

Reekado Banks

Reekado Banks, is a singer, rapper and songwriter who came into limelight in 2014 after being signed to Mavin Records . He went by the stage name Spicy prior to his record deal with the aforementioned label. He was declared the Rookie of the Year at The Headies 2014.

He has released and has been featured in several top hit songs of 2014/2015.

Reekado Banks premiered the single "Turn It Up" on 21 February 2014, on the same day he got signed to Mavin Records; the song features Tiwa Savage and was released as his first official single under Mavin Records. Reekado Banks was later featured alongside label mates Don Jazzy, Korede Bello, Tiwa Savage, Di'Ja, Dr SID and D'Prince on the critical acclaim song ‘Dorobucci’, which was released on 1 May 2014.

He has also worked with his label mates to release the collaborative singles ‘Adaobi’, ‘Arise’ and ‘Looku Looku’. On 13 February 2015, Reekado Banks released the Don Jazzy produced song ‘Katapot’. Which is currently ruling the airwaves.

Kiss Daniel

Kiss Danielwas born Oluwatobiloba Daniel Sikiru Anidugbe in Ogun state, Nigeria. He hails from Abeokuta North local government area.

He attended Abeokuta Grammar School in Abeokuta, Ogun state. He graduated from Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, in the year 2013, where he studied Water Resources Management and Agrometeorology (Water Engineering).

He started his music career professionally 2013 after his tertiary education, when he came across the famous G-Worldwide Entertainment CEO, Emperor Geezy who in turn had heard a lot about him and sign him to his record label.

Kiss Daniel released his first official single titled 'Shoye' produced by Beatburx on 1st of May, 2014 from the stables of G-Worldwide Entertainment and also dropped a video to it couple of weeks after, which was directed by MEX Film.

Having created a platform for himself and is record label, Kiss Daniel rose again but this time teaming up with the amazing producer DJ Coublon to drop a follow up single titled "Woju" which is a highlife tune. He followed that up with a remix to the song, and currently has a new single ‘Laye’ trending.

Kiss Daniel has won a number of awards such as Next rated artiste of the Year at Extreme Awards held in Benin Republic, Newcomer/Revelation of the year at Maya Awards in Ibadan and has got several awards nominations which include Artiste of the Year at Peers in town Awards to mention a few.

Cynthia Morgan

Cynthia Ikponmwenosa Morgan (born 23 September 1991), popularly known by her stage name Cynthia Morgan, is a Nigerian born songwriter and singer. Her music is a fusion of pop, hip hop, dancehall and rap. She came into limelight following the release of her singles "Don't Break My Heart" and "Lead Me On", both of which received significant airplay.

On 22 August 2013, Cynthia Morgan signed a multi-million recording contract with "Northside Entertainment Inc." owned by Jude 'Engees' Okoye, brother to Nigerian pop singers P-Square. Few months later, she released two chart-topping singles "Don't Break My Heart" and "Lead Me On" which got positive reviews from fans; the latter went on to be nominated for "Best Reggae/Dancehall Single" at The Headies 2014.

Cynthia has since wowed fans with a number of hit releases including ‘I’m Taken’, ‘Come and do’, ‘Simantiniya’.

Korede Bello

Korede Bello (born 29 February 1996) is a singer and songwriter currently signed to Mavin Records. He is best known for his hit single "Godwin", a semi-gospel and pop song which topped many music charts in Nigeria.

Korede was born in Lagos State, SouthWestern Nigeria. He went on to finish his basic and secondary school education there. He started performing at the age of 7 by the stage name African Prince and went on to write his first song after forming a music group with a friend while in primary school. He started music professionally by recording songs in the studio while in secondary school before he went on to release his first single "Forever’.

After the release of his first single which got relatively positive reviews, he was introduced to Don Jazzy by his manager Casmir Uwaegbute after which they recorded some songs together which got Don Jazzy impressed. On 28 February 2014, he got signed to Mavin Records under which he has recorded popular songs like "African Princess" and "Godwin".

He is currently working on his first studio album and cites Asa and 2face Idibia as people he draws inspiration from.

Lil Kesh

Lil Kesh is a young rapper from Lagos state. He is presently a student of Unilag studying Linguistics. He officially began his music career in 2012. In 2014, Lil Kesh recorded the song ‘Lyrically’ which gained grounds within the school campus.

And later on a friend of his, Viktoh, had to share the song with ace rapper olamide, and when Olamide, who went on to sign him to YBNL in April 2014.

With shoki dance gaining grou​nds in Lagos, ‎the YBNL act jumped on the street dance and released a song titled after the dance, ‘Shoki’. He later had a remix featuring Davido, and label head, Olamide. ‎The song became a nationwide anthem, propelling the youngster to performing at major shows across Africa.

Lil Kesh has kept up his momentum in 2015 with the banging singles ‘Gbese’ and ‘Efejoku’. Kesh was invited to perform at the MAMA Awards 2015 in South Africa which was another major progress in his music career.