It’s that time of the year again when we get nostalgic and create cliche content that aim to inform, but end up falling flat in the face of reason by December. In these articles, music writers say they have a crystal ball and cogent knowledge of what will happen. So, we create lists of what to expect and what not to expect.
Sometimes, we are lucky and our predictions come off. But most times, our predictions join Dr. Dre‘s Detox in the land of things that never happened. So, in the spirit of indulgence, please allow this music writer to continue this tradition of cliche content and publish a list of the 10 essential upcoming Nigerian artists to watch out for in 2020.
Sounds like: Wizkid, Rayvanny
For fans of: Wizkid, Kuami Eugene, Ruger
USP: He has such a strong personality, and he’s not afraid to talk tough. His debut single is literally titled, ‘Big Thug Boys.’
Why you’re going to love them: Think of him as Rema, but with earned street stripes and boyish good looks. He has sultry vocals that elevated Afro-pop records.
For fans of: Ayra Starr, Joeboy
USP: She’s still a good girl, her music is filled with sunshine and rainbows about love and romance. Let’s hope she doesn’t crossover to the dark side soon.
Why you’re going to love them: She’s gorgeous and growing. Her contralto vocals tear through records with charming simplicity. Her youth has already earned her an audience. Now she has to use it.
USP: He’s unassuming. His brand is so dense, that you don’t know what to expect, while you expect everything.
Why you’re going to love them: Aside from his dreamy, youthful good looks, he is marked with the ‘X’ of a Gen Z act, raised by Fuji, Apala and R&B, but nurtured by Trap, Dancehall/Bashment and Afro-pop. His vocal dexterity exhibits the various influences of his formative years.
Key track: Love Don’t Cost A Dime
For fans of: Omo X 1000, this one hard o
USP: He packs humour, personality and resonant mainstream music in one breathe. Already, he has a hit record with that formulae, he’s also converting unwitting fans with his antics. He was made by the streets for mainstream, but his appeal stretches beyond his primary demography
Why you’re going to love them: His music. He has the flow scheme of a rapper and the bravado of a Trap artist. He says the wildest things in his music and he makes them make sense. He’s like a street boy and a hypeman sometimes.
For fans of: Barry Jhay, Bella Shmurda
USP: Think of him as Ata Wewe with Seyi Tinubu dreams
Why you’re going to love them: His voice adequately conveys his message. His music is filled with relatable lyrics, about the struggle or the dreams of an artist.
USP: He sounds like a 2000s artist in a Gen Z soul. He feels like the second coming of the weirdest sounding, yet most attractive artist you know.
Why you’re going to love them: His music is suited to this post-internet era, which makes his soundtrack challenge culture. His lyrics are as catchy as his vocals are sticky.
USP: She sounds like the product of an affair between Pop Hunna and Di’Ja.
Why you’re going to love them: Like Dai Verse, her music is tilted towards the post-internet era. But her songwriting deserves an incredible amount of credit. Going forward, people will be forced to take notice.
USP: If Trina was from Lekki, Lagos
Why you’re going to love them: Her debut EP is mighty impressive, with a cut like ‘Pop Sh*t.’ She has bars and she’s not confident to discuss sex and money with pungent lyrics.
For fans of: Post-Rap Olamide, Wande Coal
USP: If Wande Coal was born in 1999 with Brymo’s genes
Why you’re going to love them: His debut EP, Blind was an impressive listen, which further strengthens the case of Sony Music, West Africa.
USP: Benin Mystikal, with a hint of minimalist Rhymzo
Why you’re going to love them: His voice has a lot of range and dexterity. Whatever he says will make the girls wet, anways.
Chances are that these labels will each launch an artist this year. Maybe two.