Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the past 10 years, you would agree that Nigerian music is steadily coming of age, and our musicians are now known for putting in their best music-wise. For this reason and much more, I decided to list, in no particular order, 10 of the best male musicians in the industry today. This said, here they are!
Mr W’s true talent, in my opinion, lies in his amazing ability to blend in or fit into any genre of music, and lately his ‘rapping’ skills have further shown his dexterity. Call him Naija’s King of RnB and you won’t be wrong. One song particularly stands out for me: Till My Dying Day off his Mr Capable album. His recent efforts including Yes/No, Good Good Loving and High Notes also deserve applause.
I can’t explain the feeling I get when I listen to Brymo’s music. All I know is that a sense of satisfaction just overwhelms me whenever the ‘Son of a Kapenta’s’ voice hits my ears. This is a feeling most people recognise. Brymo has always shown promise throughout his career; from his debut song Shawdy to the title track of his Merchant, Dealers and Slaves album, Brymo’s vocal prowess is never in doubt. Please tell me you have not forgotten his efforts on that monster Ice Prince track Oleku.
The Black Diamond of Africa first came into prominence as a member of the now defunct Mo Hits crew, singing hooks for the likes of D’banj and others. Then he released his debut single Ololufe which became his breakout hit. Ever since then, Wande has not looked back. His songs Amorawa featuring Burna Boy and his guest appearance on Leriq’s song Wish List particularly stand out.
Just when people thought Praiz Adejo had lost the plot in his career by churning out commercial songs like Mercy and its remix, the Project Fame Alumni released his debut album Rich and Famous. The ingenious thing about the album was the fact that it was divided into two; on one side you had Rich, which featured his RnB songs while Famous had the pop songs. This move by Praiz and his record label X3M records gained them a lot of fans, myself included. I remember a colleague of mine, upon hearing Rich and Famous, said the song made her want to “have Praiz’s babies.” Yes folks, this is how much power Praiz’s songs have on ladies.
Judging by his raw singing talent alone, Shaydee should be in the Top Ten list of the highest earning musicians in Nigeria. It’s just a shame that with the way our industry is set up, talent alone won’t get you far. Currently signed to Banky W’s EME records, Shaydee showed what he could do on Praiz’s song I No Use You . and his own song High.
Some may dispute Mr Oreo’s inclusion on this list, but let’s not forget that before he became the no shirt wearing, waist wining musician he is today, Iyanya once gave us the love ballad Love Truly. That song still showcases one of the best examples of Iyanya’s vocal ability. His latest hits Mr Oreo and Applaudise are standout examples too.
Burna Boy achieved a feat most musicians pray for with the release of his first official single Like to Party. That song was so huge that most people forgot that it wasn’t a typical ‘Nigerian hit song;’ It had no club vibe to it, all it had was Burna Boy’s stand out voice doing justice to the chorus. Since then, everybody has woken up to the awesome and all round musical sensation that Burna Boy is.
Though one wouldn’t necessarily call Solomon Lange a mainstream musician, his inclusion in this list is not a mistake. This gospel act has a voice that is second to none. In fact, his song Nagode was one of the most downloaded ringtones in Nigeria in the year of its release. Since then he has continually blessed us with hits like Yabo and What Else Can I Say.
I honestly do not know what to write that hasn’t been written about Timi Dakolo’s voice. I just know that if citizens were to vote on which Nigerian musician had the best voice, Timi would win by quite a large margin. The funny thing is that Timi says he has no special voice maintaining routine. Choi! His song Iyawo Mi is my jam!
We all thought Darey Art Alade had nothing more to offer. I mean, none of his musical efforts in recent times have reached the heights his 2008 single Not The Girl. Then he proved us all wrong by releasing his latest album Naked and the hit single Pray for me, and the rest, as they say, is history.
I feel that Oritsefemi’s voice is unique because of the ‘ghetto flavour’ he brings to his music. His songs Mercies of the Lord and the monster hit Double Wahala are testament to this. Little wonder he has become the go-to hook singer for a lot of Nigerian artistes.
I still can’t fathom why Chocolate City’s Nosa has been quiet since the release of both his first album Open Doors and the super, mega, ultra hit single Always Pray For You. That song is phenomenal in every sense of the word. Other songs on his debut album were not pushovers either, and Always on My Mind is another superb track of his.
(PS: if you do not agree with this list, send your feelings to [email protected])