2020 was an unforgettable period for Nigerian Artists with its ups and downs.
In 2020, music lovers were introduced to fresh new talents who got one dancing with their music while trying to adapt to a new normal.
The year was a blessing in disguise for most as they finally had the opportunity to get dominate airwaves with their songs.
We presents the list of these artists who became more popular for one reason or the others and how 2021 is looking for them.
Victoria Adeyele popularly known as Veeiye came into the spotlight in 2020 as a contestant on the fifth season of the Big Brother Naija Show held in that year. However, not many people realized she was an artist before joining the reality show.
A few months after the ending of the show, she released “Show”, a fusion of R’n’B and Afro-pop. The song got praises from both fans and celebrities alike. The singer has promised more music this 2021 and even a collaboration with Fellow reality star, Laycon.
Vee possesses so many potentials that this writer can help but root for her. 2020 barely saw new breakout Female stars, hoping that Veeiye would change that in this year.
Jamopyper joined Zanku Records in early 2020 alongside other artists that Zlatan had signed to the record.
The song, ‘Of Lala’ by Rahman Jago and Zlatan Ibile launched Jamo Pyper and has over two million views on YouTube since it had been posted in April 2020.
The Singer then teamed up with Mayorkun for the hit song, “If No Be You”. The video has garnered about 1.2 million views on YouTube. The song became a phenomenon that a dance challenge was birthed, #IfNoBeYou dance challenge.
2021 promises to be exciting for the youngster as fans eagerly anticipate an album from him.
Bad Boy Timz
Olorunyomi Timothy, popularly known as Bad Boy Timz, has gone from being an unknown singer to a Fast-rising artiste.
Timz started getting a viral buzz when he started posting freestyles and covers on social media. One of the videos caught the eye of British rapper, J-Hus. Shortly after his viral skits started going viral, Timz signed his first record deal. He signed with Anonymous Music in 2019.
While he had been releasing songs, Fame came after he released his hit song ‘MJ’ song which got people dancing in 2020.
Latching on the success of the song, the young man teamed up with Mayorkun to make a remix which was also a commercial success. He also enlisted sonorous singer, Teni, to make another version of the song.
Ilerioluwa Oladimeji known as Mohbad was signed by Naira Marley to Marlian Music in 2019. In 2020 he started the year with his debut single, “Koma Jensun” featuring Naira Marley. He dropped other songs like ‘Overhype’ and ‘Pomno’ which also did well.
However, it was in the second half of 2020 when he started major attention with the street banger, “KPK (Ko Por Ke)”, a collaboration with Rexxie.
The song is currently dominating airwaves in the new year. The song also led to the popularity of the slang ‘KPK’.
He also dropped an EP, ‘Light (Imole)’ in 2020.
Oyiyide Azeez known as Zinoleesky is a singer, songwriter and record producer. In 2019, Zinoleesky became a social media sensation, courtesy of a viral video that showed him and his pal, Lil Frosh, rapping.
However, towards the end of 2019, Lil Frosh got signed to AMW, a subsidiary of Davido’s label, DMW.
It was rumored that Zinoleesky rejected an opportunity to be signed to DMW. In December 2019, he signed to Naira Marley’s record label, Marlian Music, alongside four other artists.
In 2020, he released one of Nigeria’s hits of the year, Ma Pariwo’, a sex-themed Afro-pop single that shot him to stardom. The video of the song, which was released in July 2020, has already garnered 1.7 million viewers on YouTube. Mayorkun released a cover of the song.
The singer recently released his EP, Chrome, which is also making waves.
Way before the 2020 edition of the reality television show, Big Brother Naija, Olamilekan Moshood Agbeleshe known as Laycon was just another struggling artist trying to make a name and carve a niche for himself in the entertainment industry.
However, when he joined the reality show, he amassed fans even on day one of the show. After spending about three months in the Big Brother Naija Lockdown house, the 27-year-old gained over a million followers on Instagram alone.
So far, he boasts of 2.6 million followers on his now verified Instagram account and over 500,000 followers on Twitter.
While in the BBNaija house, he revealed that he decided to be a contestant on the show to promote his EP ― Who is Laycon? ― which was just released at that time.
His fans who refer to themselves as Icons got the EP from a few hundred streams to hundreds of thousands of streams within a short period.
As reported by top-charts.com, the EP held the number four position on Apple Music as of July 26, 2020, and by November 29, 2020, the project ranked 84 in Nigeria.
Upon leaving the house, he was featured in the remix of DJ Neptune’s hit song, ‘Nobody’, alongside Joeboy. He also released the video for his song, ‘Hip Hop’ which had been released before BBN.
The rapper now has a reality television show in the works and has announced that he will release his debut album in 2021.
Temilade Openiyi, aka Tems, took the music industry by storm, unlike most of her new school counterparts, her rise was a slow but strong build. “Try Me” was the song that got her popularity in Nigeria and beyond.
In 2020, she alongside Davido was featured on the remix of Khalid’s “Know Your Worth”. Then she later released “Damages” which was a commercial success. The Music video has over two million views.
She went on release her Extended Play album, ‘For Broken Ears’ to favorable reviews. She was also nominated in the ‘Next Rated’ category of the Headies.
American Singer, Chris Brown praised the alte singer for her singing prowess.
Oxlade came into spotlight thanks to his feature on Blaqbonez’s “Mamiwota” single. He gained more visibility and an increased fan base in 2020 with his hit song, ‘Away’.
The song made Rolling Stone magazine’s ‘50 Best Songs of 2020′ list. Drake also praised the song on Instagram.
He was also nominated in the coveted ‘Next Rated’ category of the Headies Awards.
Born Omah Stanley Didia, the 23-year-old came on the radar of Nigerians when his song, ‘You’, went viral in 2020.
The Singer’s fanbase grew like wildfire from the shores of Nigeria to the United Kingdom and Germany where it caught the attention of Borussia Dortmund star, Jadon Sancho, who then introduced the song to his English friends as he tweeted about it.
Omah Lay was first signed to a record label called KeyQaad in June 2019. He then left Port Harcourt for Lagos for the first time and got signed to the Dvpper Music record label.
He then dropped his debut EP, “Get Layd” which birthed songs like ‘Bad Influence’, ‘Damn’, amongst others.
The EP, ‘Get Layd’, held the number two position on the iTunes chart in Nigeria, while it held the number one position on the Apple Music chart in Canada. The project ranks number 13 on Apple Music in Nigeria while it holds the number 94 spot on iTunes in the country, top-charts.com reports.
He also dropped another EP in the second half of 2020 titled “What Have We Done” with ‘Godly’ as its lead single.
He bagged several nominations on the forthcoming 14th edition of the Headies Award and is a big contender for the ‘Next Rated’ category.
On his YouTube channel, he has over 180,000 subscribers with millions of views to his credit. Despite being arrested by the Uganda Police Force for breaching COVID-19 guidelines in 2020, the singer had a lovely year.
Bella Shmurda came into the limelight with his hit song, Vision 2020, which was a hit in his school and soon after, in Lagos. The song became a commercial success after he featured the ‘king of the streets’ ― Olamide ― in its remix, which was produced by the legendary ID Cabasa.
He then went to release an EP titled”High Tension” which was a commercial success. However, the fast-rising star didn’t rest on his laurels but went on to drop ‘Dangbana Orisa’ which also was a hit.
However, his street anthem, “Cash App” featuring Zlatan and Lincoln got more buzz which hasn’t died down. Bella was also able to clinch a spot on Olamide’s “Carpe Diem” album on the ‘Trumphiant’ single.