New Generation Nigerian Musicians: Unique Genres Of Music In Nigeria
In the past years, the Nigerian musicians we were all familiar with were streamlined to legend artists like 2baba, Dbanj, Wandecoal, BankyW, Naeto C, MI, Dr Sid and others who set the pace for modern generational artists.
We now have different modern Nigerian musicians that have redefined the music industry with different and creative sounds and style ranging from highlife to Afrobeats, to R&B and just recently, the unique Alté sounds.
Alté means alternative sounds that has redefined the Nigerian artist creativity in showcasing and promoting fashion styles and genre-bending music which strongly differ from the widespread or normal standards we are used to.
Alté fashion embraces a retro and vintage style, but is some how tagged as new school. Alté music on the other hand is not mainstream, it is a melodic, whimsy, almost-spiritual groove. The melody and harmony somehow layer over each other, making it a seamless experience in the ear.
Some of the kids embracing the Alté style are; Santi, Odunsi, Lady donli, Boj, Black magic, Fresh L, Tems. Nevertheless, some of these Alté artists came together to form the DRB Lasgidi group.
I’ll be sharing a brief biography of some of the artists.
Osayaba Andrew Ize-Iyamu was born in Nigeria and now based between Lagos and Dubai, where he went to university. He is a major player in his country’s alté scene, a music-centric movement that is at once alternative and yet incredibly popular. One of his most recent work is Rapid Fire.
Odunsi (the engine)
Bowofoluwa Olufisayo Odunsi is a Nigerian artist and producer. He emerged in 2016 with an eclectic sound that draws from a wide array of influences like Afro-pop, R&B, funk, disco, and ’80s-leaning indie synth pop.
His full-length debut, 2018’s Rare, was a breakout hit and helped to establish Odunsi as a leading light in the genre-bending Nigerian Alté movement.
Zainab Elizabeth Donli was born in Cleveland, Ohio. She is the youngest of six children. She spent her early years in Abuja and Kaduna, where her dad is from. After her secondary school education, she moved to the United Kingdom where she obtained a degree in law, from the University of Surrey.
In 2019, Donli released her debut album, ‘Enjoy Your Life’. Donli has worked with new-age music acts like Adekunle Gold, Nonso Amadi, Tomi Thomas, M.I Abaga, Mr Eazi, SDC, Davido, Ayuu, Odunsi the Engine, and Tay amongst others.
DRB are a collective of 3 individual artist who form a group to make incredible futuristic sounds fusing westernized music (hip hop/rnb/soul/reggae/pop) and indigenous music (Nigeria/Afro beat)
It was formed by BOJ, Teezee and Fresh L in 2007 but was previously known as ‘Rap Royals’.
Blackmagic was born and brought up in Lagos, Nigeria. The popular singer is is from the Delta State region of Nigeria. He attended his secondary education at King’s College, Lagos, he also study Computer Science at the University of Benin (Nigeria).
He started his music career at a very young age , he was interested in rapping and singing and would joke around with friends. His journey into music started in 2001 but he was BlackMagic was officially discovered in 2007.
He is closely linked with the alternative music as some of his songs include; repete (2013), pass you by (2013), Trouble (2017) amongst others.
Temilade Openiyi popularly known as Tems is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and producer with numerous hit singles.
Tems was raised by a single mother and had attended Dowen College in Lagos. Some of her popular songs include; Try Me, Come Inn, Mr Rebel, Twisted Tilde, Ghost Detain.
Brief Biography Of New Generation Nigerian Musicians
David Adedeji Adeleke well know by all and sundry as Davido was born on 21st November 1992 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Davido rose to fame after releasing ‘Dami Duro’, the second single from his debut studio album Omo Baba Olowo (2012), from which six additional singles; ‘Back When’, ‘Ekuro’, ‘Overseas’, ‘All of You’, ‘Gbon Gbon’, and ‘Feel Alright’ were taken.
He has won several awards including the recent worldwide award recognition for his hit single ‘If’.
Davido is part of the new generation Nigerian Musician that has contributed immensely to the industry.
Singer/songwriter Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun is one of Nigeria’s biggest R&B crossover acts, having worked with Drake, Skepta, and Chris Brown, among others. He first found regional success in 2011 with the massively popular single ‘Holla at Your Boy,’ which appeared on his debut album Superstar.
He went global in 2016 after his collaboration with Drake, ‘One Dance’, soared to number one in 15 countries, resulting in a multi-album deal with RCA, which issued his Caribbean-influenced major-label debut, Sounds from the Other Side, in 2017.
Damini Ogulu is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. He rose to prominence in 2012 after releasing ‘Like to Party’, the lead single from his debut studio album L.I.F.E (2013)
His unique fusion of dancehall, reggae, Afro-beat, and pop makes him stand out. He emerged in the early part of the 2010s as one of Nigeria’s fastest-rising stars. The LeriQ-produced 2012 single “Like to Party” proved to be his breakout track and paved the way for his full-length debut, L.I.F.E, a year later.
Over the next five years, Burna released two more albums and collaborated with a variety of artists, from J Hus and Skales to Fall Out Boy and Lilly Allen.
His international exposure widened with 2018’s Outside, which hit number three on the Billboard Reggae chart and won the Nigeria Entertainment Award for Album of the Year. In advance of his next LP, 2019’s African Giant, Burna made his first appearance at California’s Coachella festival.
Adedeji Olamide was born and raised in Bariga, in the city of Lagos on the 15th of March 1989. He is one the most promising music artists in Nigeria. He also goes by other stage names which include ‘Baddo’, YNBL, Young Erikina, and ‘Baddest Boy Ever Liveth’.
His indigenous rap has set him apart from other artists. So far he has released 8 studio albums including; Baddest Guy Ever Liveth (2013), Street OT (2014), 2 Kings (2015),’ Eyan Mayweather’ (2015), The Glory (2016) and one compilation, ‘The Best of Olamide.’
He is a father in the industry and has groomed very talented musicians in the industry like Adekunle Gold and Fireboy.
Simisola Kosoko is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and actress. She started her career as a gospel singer, releasing her debut studio album in 2008, titled ‘Ogaju’.
She was signed by X3M Music in 2014. Some of her hit songs include; Tiff, Jamb Question, Love Don’t Care, Smile For Me, Duduke. She has also featured in several hit records like Soldier with Falz, No Forget with Adekunle Gold, Orire with Legendary Beatz and a few others.
She is married to popular Nigerian musician, Adekunle Gold.
Tiwatope Savage was born 5 February 1980 in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria. She was 11 years old when her parent migrated to the United Kingdom then proceeded to the United States. This granted her the opportunity to grow up and experience a multicultural setting.
In 2012, she joined Don Jazzy‘s Mavin Records in 2012 after the label she co-owns teamed up with the executive producer. Her debut single, ‘Kele Kele Love,’ became a massive success upon its released in 2013, topping Nigeria’s music chart. Then followed her first long-awaited album, ‘Once Upon A Time.’
Azeez Fashola was born in Nigeria but, he moved to Peckham, South London, England at age 11. He studied at the Peckham Academy and graduated with a distinction for Business.
Naira Marley sings in English, Pidgin and Yoruba. His music is a blend of Afrobeats and hip-hop. He rose to stardom In December 2017, after he released the Olamide and Lil Kesh-assisted single ‘Issa Goal’, which became the theme song for the Super Eagles at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The official remix of ‘Issa Goal’ was released on 16 June 2018; it features vocals by Olamide, Lil Kesh, Falz, Simi and Slimcase.
Omoba Adekunle Kosoko into the royal family of Lagos State, Nigeria, in which he holds the title of prince. He is the nephew of globally acclaimed Nollywood actor Prince Jide Kosoko.
Adekunle Gold is a charting, award-winning Nigerian highlife singer, songwriter, and graphic designer. A household name in his home country, Gold calls his music “urban highlife” because of its conscious intersections with contemporary pop, electronica, folk, and R&B.
His debut solo single, ‘Sade,’ in 2014, a cover of One Direction’s ‘Story of My Life,’ set the radio stations of Lagos buzzing. Mixed by top Nigerian singer and songwriter Simi, he won an award for it at Nigeria’s Headies the very next year for Best Alternative Song. He signed to Olamide’s YBNL Nation label.
Fast Rising Artists
3. Fire boy
4. Joe boy
The Nigerian music industry has so many legends dead or alive like; Fela, King sunny Ade, Asa, Brymo and countless of other very talented and creative artists that have taken the industry to the next level.
Both past and current generation of Nigerian musicians have succeed in taking African sounds worldwide and making it a force to be reckoned with.
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