One of the most important end-of-year lists would be the ranking of the hottest Nigerian artistes. These music acts are the ones who have had a dominant presence during the year. They have also been responsible for some of the biggest songs we enjoyed during the outgoing year.
Some of our Nigerian artistes made us immensely proud in 2019 as they pushed Afrobeats harder into newer territories beyond Africa. Many Nigerian acts impressed and many of them you already know, but in this post, we give our top ten rankings.
Below is our ranking of the hottest Nigerian artistes of 2019
1. Burna Boy
Damini Ogulu, Port Harcourt born and raised Afrofusion superstar known by his stage name Burna Boy transferred his fantastic form in 2018 into 2019. He started 2019 with a massive hit song ‘Killin Dem‘ which eventually became the biggest zanku song out there. He kept up the energy with the release of the ‘African Giant‘ album. He had a standalone track on Beyonce’s ‘The Lion King: The Gift‘ album. He has performed some of America’s biggest TV shows, had a world tour and a Grammy nomination all in 2019.
2. Naira Marley
The year 2019 started like just another year for Naira Marley, nothing exciting happened to Azeez Fashola in the first half except his arrest. Things started moving in his favour after his release from EFCC custody. A teeming group of fans known as Marlians emerged mirroring his ‘wayward’ kind of music. Subsequently, in a short space of time, Naira Marley had the hottest songs like ‘Am I A Yahoo Boy’, ‘Opotoyi’, ‘Soapy’, ‘Puta’, ‘Mafo’ etc. He ended a fantastic year with LOL EP and a sold-out Marlian Fest.
Born Divin Ikubor, Mavin Records/Jonzing World artiste Rema came in unannounced and probably stole the show in 2019. His blow-up story is about the fastest the Nigerian music industry has witnessed and it’s amazing Rema is barely a year in the game. He was crowned Headies 2019 ‘Next Rated’, won an award at AFRIMMA 2019, and bagged several other nominations. Rema dropped 3 EPs in about 9 months, had a string of intercontinental hits, featured and covered The Fader Now Issue 2020, been mentioned on the list of top media platforms globally. Rema is one of the hottest Nigerian music acts this year and he is just getting started.
4. Zlatan Ibile
Like Burna Boy, Zlatan entered 2019 with a hit song on his hands after featuring on Burna Boy’s ‘Killin Dem‘. He is arguably the most featured artiste in Nigeria this year, got arrested by EFCC came out and went on tour in America. He made a couple of hits, dropped his ‘Zanku‘ album, signed endorsement deals, to say the least.
David Adeleke is one of Nigeria’s most consistent music acts, though the competition was stiff this year, Davido managed to come out tops. At long last, the DMW boss dropped his sophomore album ‘A Good Time‘ a collection of some of his biggest hits. One highlight for him was reworking his underwhelming freestyle in America to a monster hit now known as ‘Risky’.
At number 6 is Joeboy, he may seem less glamourous than Rema but the emPawa Africa talented singer has been wavy this year. His numbers prove he has been phenomenal with monster hits like ‘Baby‘, ‘Beginning‘. For a guy who was barely known before 2019, Joeboy has become a household name and the ladies love him a lot. He took things a notch higher with the release of his debut EP ‘Love & Light‘ and also won an AFRIMA award as ‘Best Artiste in African Pop’.
The Starboy is a king in this business any day and anytime, even with less output his name still pulls the weight. Music from Wizkid didn’t come in early, however, he killed some of the collaborations he was involved in local and international. He was on Beyonce’s song ‘Brown Skin Girl‘, the song also won ‘The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award’ at 2019 Soul Train Awards. He scored bigger points in the last quarter with his hit song ‘Joro’ and a body of work ‘Soundman Vol. 1‘ EP.
8. Fireboy DML
I would like to think Fireboy did not imagine himself on this level on such short notice. His growth, fame and impact show you can be in two distinct spaces within a year. For Fireboy, the most enduring factor for his explosion in the industry is good music. Right from ‘Jealous’, to other tracks like ‘King’, ‘What If I Say’ and his entire ‘Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps‘ album he proves his mettle for making great songs. With this prime factor, he has risen to become one of the hottest Nigerian music artistes in 2019.
9. Kizz Daniel
Kizz Daniel had it in him to come higher on the list but he dozed off on the chance to make it into the top 4 rankings. He had a lot of momentum coming from 2018 working for him after he dropped his NBS in the 11th month. ‘One Ticket‘ with Davido was getting the numbers, ‘Madu‘ was on the rise and then came his ‘Fvck You‘ song which birthed the ‘Fvck You Challenge’. At the end of the year, he didn’t do badly after all and he is our number 9.
This year would be Olamide’s lowest in the rankings of hottest Nigerian artistes. He usually makes top three in the past years. For the first time in the past 7 years, Olamide did not drop any album whether collaborative or individual. Anyway, the YBNL is a hard worker hence he dropped tunes like ‘Woske‘, ‘Oil and Gas‘, ‘Pawon‘, ‘Choko Milo‘ amongst a long list of collaborations. He also holds songwriting credits for Tiwa Savage’s new songs.