Top 10 hottest Nigerian artistes this year

Pulse Music presents the top 10 hottest acts of 2015, based on the music, endorsement and deals, and power moves.

2015 is almost done, and Nigerian musicians are gearing up for the festive season. But what determines the booking potential of an artiste is the relevance of that act.

This year has seen a number of artistes become hot, with Seyi Shay, and Falz crossing into the elite circle of desirable musicians due to hard work, the quality and acceptance of the music, endorsements and deals, and also power moves to consolidate their position in the market.

Based on these criteria, Pulse Music presents the top 10 hottest acts of 2015.

1. Olamide

Olamide’s consistent hard work has been the underlying reason for his success. With 5 solo albums in 5 years and a joint-album with Phyno, the YBNL boss has kept his brand relevant as ever. The singles from the album have given him some of the biggest songs with ‘Bobo’, ‘Melo melo’, and ‘Lagos Boys’ dominating.

Also, Olamide has had a good run in label management, helping his protégés Lil Kesh and Adekunle Gold hit the ground running. This year has also seen him carry out major work for the brands Guinness and Etisalat. Olamide also signed up a new deal with sports gambling brand Surebet 24/7.

Concerts for Olamide has been sold out with a highly lucrative tour of the UK and other venues. To wrap up the year, he is planning the second edition of his conceptual concert ‘Olamide Live In Concert’.

2. Don Jazzy

Pop culture will forever remember the brilliance as Don Jazzy as the blueprint for talent, enterprise and hard work. This year has not been different.

For Don Jazzy, 2015 has been one of tremendous personal and label growth. With the exception of his first lady Tiwa Savage who took time out to become a mother, every other talent signed to him have received guidance and the finances to improve.

For Don Jazzy, this year has had him grow fully into an artiste on his own right, with show-stopping hooks at every turn. That has not been limited to his signed artistes with his craft extending beyond his camp. At the time of this report, his good vocal work on Timaya’s ‘I concur’, is receiving rave reviews.

Mavin Records have had hits after hits this year, with Di’ja celebrating with ‘Awww’ and ‘Falling for you’. Korede Bello’s ‘Godwin’ is yet to see him take a break, Reekado Banks is flying high with ‘Corner’, ‘Katapot’, and ‘Sugarbaby’. D’Prince just got his groove on with ‘Oga Titus’, and ‘Bestie’, Dr SID’s ‘Kabiyesi’ is gearing up for explosion.

Endorsements for Don Jazzy has come in fast and thick, with the classy liquor brand, Johnnie Walker pitching their tents with him. His deals with Loya Milk, and MTN still stand.

To crown it all, in partnership with Access Bank, Mavin Records will be hosting their first ever concert tagged the ‘Access Mavin Concert’ on December 23. 2015.

3. Wizkid

What a year it has been for the Starboy CEO. Still buzzing off the release of his sophomore album ‘Ayo’ (Joy) in late 2015, the singer has kept up the pace in 2013.

Hit single ‘Expensive shit’, and the more recent ‘Baba Nla (final)’ has ensured that his musical brilliance is intact. Also, his good work internationally has been a revelation. Wizkid worked with Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo, recorded a hook with Coldplay’s Chris Martin for pop star Rihanna. A performance with Chris Brown was in the works also in South Africa at the ‘X Tour’, so was another recording with UK star Tinie Tempah, and Norwegian pop icons Nico & Vinz.

But the bread and butter of the entire affair came with the blessing of arguably the hottest rapper in the world, Drake, who rolled off a verse to remix ‘Ojuelegba’ with Skepta. That move added extra spice to his year.

A failure to release his third studio album this year put a dampener on his shine, but that hasn’t derailed his numerous performances and concerts which has been steady and sold-out.

Wizkid made a strong financial move with his porting from MTN to GLO in a deal that was reportedly worth N120 Million. Also he renewed his Pepsi deal which according to reports brought in a staggering $350,000.

4. Davido

2014 ended with Davido’s ‘Owo ni koko’ creating a storm in pop culture that ran through into 2015.

That storm gave him the perfect launching pad for his work this year. This year started with the single ‘The Sound’ ft Uhuru, followed by ‘Izzue’ with Dammy Krane that he failed to promote, and then came the Meek Mill collaboration on the smash single ‘Fans mi’, which has led up to the recent jam ‘The Money’ with Olamide. Also he put in admirable work on DJ Xclusive’s ‘Wole’.

Davido’s failing this year has been his refusal to drop his sophomore album. That album promises an international collaboration with Trey Songz.

On the endorsement front, not a lot of activity has happened for the man. Davido is still signed to MTN Pulse, and inked a deal with CloseUp.

5. Yemi Alade

Africa’s hottest female act comes in with a busy year for her. Yemi Alade’s star has risen meteorically, and this is off her hit single ‘Johnny’, and the singles off her debut album “King Of Queens” including ‘Tangerine’, ‘Kissing’ and ‘Taking over me’.

Endorsement for the artiste have come from CloseUp, who jointly signed her with Davido. She has been actively involved with Coke Studio Africa.

The awards for Yemi Alade have come in thick and fast, as she has been successful at the 2015 MAMA, AFRIMMA 2015, and AFRIMA 2015, with all awards pointing to her as the best female on the continent.

In 2016, the singer intends to release her sophomore album titled “Mama Africa”.

6. Phyno

The King of the East is in here with his profile maintained by hard work. 2015 had the singer releasing a joint studio album with Olamide his Western counterpart.

Also he dropped the visuals for ‘Oringo’, ‘Asai’, and ‘Nnunu’, before wrapping up in style with ‘Connect’, which has shaped up to become one of the hottest songs to round-off the year.

Phyno kept up his end of the Guiness brand endorsement deal, and added a major scoop with the telco Airtel.

7. Patoranking

The singer began the year promoting his single ‘Daniella Whine’. He later consolidated his position with the Wande Coal-assisted ‘My woman my everything’. His recent single ‘Make am’, an inspirational number is racking up acceptance.

The blight in Patoranking’s music this year came from his inability to release his debut studio album.

The singer fared respectably in the endorsement department after he bagged the deal with Skyy Vodka.

One deal which has placed Patoranking in a good place, is the ground-breaking agreement he signed with the world’s biggest music label, VP Records.

8. Burna Boy

Spaceship Entertainment act, Burna Boy is currently promoting his sophomore album “On A Spaceship”, which crowns a thriving year for the singer. His singles ‘Follow me, ‘Rockstar’, and ‘Soke’ have all been stellar additions to the singer’s catalogue, propelling him to relevance.

His sophomore album is still in its early stages, but it marks a good moment for the singer who has taken responsibility for his craft after quitting Aristokrat Records.

Burna Boy got a huge financial boost as one of the headlining acts for 2015 Hennessy Artistry, which also had Vector and Praiz. He also extended his GLO contract.

To round off a good year, Burna inked a distribution deal with Universal/Island Records for distribution of his music.

9. Seyi Shay

Seyi Shay’s year has been a revelation. Picking up from her 2014 smash hit song ‘Murda’, the singer struck again as her club single ‘Crazy’ with Wizkid received new life after the video.

Picking up from that, she released ‘Jangilova’, which ushered in the deal-clincher ‘Right now’. That has led to the release of her debut album “Seyi or Shay”, and also aided in her new Pepsi brand endorsement deal.

10. Falz

With comedy forming a strong part of his artistry, Falz has been able to utilise his teeming fan base eagerly consuming his music.

The rapper has had a number of good songs, with ‘Karashika’ forming an integral part of his sophomore album “ Stories That Touch” which is receiving credit as a solid conceptual work.

Endorsements have also come for the man, with online brands Cheki, and WebMall, signing him up to lucrative deals.

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