27th January, 2023
New young and talented artistes made their debuts in the Nigerian music industry in 2022, making the year an impressive one. For some, it was a take-off year, while others saw it as a year to consolidate their gains.
These new crops of talents are leveraging on the use of streaming services and social media.
Artistes like Ayola, Logos Olori, Yemzzy, Raebel, Shine TTW and others have found their feet in the industry, 2023 might just be a year of no limit for them and some other rising stars.
As we began a new year, here is a list of Nigerian artistes to look out for in 2023 in all genres in no particular order.
Ayola continues to explore the intersection of beloved genres as a dynamic Nigerian Indie-Pop star in his authentic Naija voice and effortlessly melodic style.
The Canada-based singer, whose real name is Abdullah Abubakre is also a prolific songwriter, African Folk, and Afro-Pop act with out-of-box imagination and storytelling proficiency which is impressively enjoyed in his music.
Born in Osun State and raised in Kwara State, Nigeria, Ayola grew up singing at home and listening to the nostalgic Afro-juju songs of King Sunny Ade on road trips with his father.
After getting a taste of the music business while studying in the UK and turning down a record deal to focus on his education, Ayola moved to Windsor in 2016 for his second Masters degree at the University of Windsor before moving to Montreal, Quebec. He began writing the songs on Scum in early 2019.
Ayola released his first major project, ‘Scum EP’, which he described as an Afrosoul sanctuary of emotional wisdom and a frank approach to modern relationship drama. It was released on all major streaming platforms on 20th November 2020. He followed it up with a debut album “Conversation Till Dawn” in late 2021 and had a good run throughout 2022. Ayola has surely earned his reputation as an independent musician to look out for in 2023.
Very few artistes on this list have the penmanship of Logos Olori, even fewer have the uncanny ability to create hit records with seemingly little to no effort. Logos Olori looks prime for a record-breaking 2023, never mind that his last single ‘Lale’, produced by the biggest producer of 2022 — Magicsticks, was put out in late July 2022.
With his constantly iced out and bedazzled neck/wrist, co-signs from Olamide, Davido, and a slew of others, and his unique take on the Afrobeats sound— Logos is by far our favourite newcomer.
After bursting into the music scene less than a few years ago with first single “Only One” in 2020, Yemzzy has cemented his place as one of the talent to watch out for in the year 2023.
In the last two years, the Afropop act has releases different projects to proof he’s the new kid in the bloc. His EP, ‘Son Of Moses’ was Yemzzy’s first major project since the beginning of his musical career. He also has a couple of singles and covers to his catalogue.
The EP came after Yemzzy dropped a single titled ‘Tire‘ dedicated to many Nigerian youths who were protesting the current state of Nigeria during the #EndSARS saga.
The song touches on issues like ‘Police Brutality’, harassing and killings of innocent and peaceful protesters who are demanding for a better Nigeria, corruption’ and other topics affecting Nigerians.
The song was a sequel to his previously released “Remember“, “Blessings” and “Only One” which are still enjoying massive airplay. His lastest single “Call on Me” proved that Yemzzy is a pure talent, good music background, consciousness and this reflects in his lyrics and sounds, as he is always out to create music that has a message.
Raebel is a Nigerian artiste who is currently creating her own space in the music industry with a fresh sound that is a reflection of alternative R&B, Neo-soul, reggae/dancehall, and a sprinkle of the traditional Nigerian flavor.
Raebel’s 2022 biggest song ‘Miniskirt’ was originally a freestyle she did became a smash hit single after she teamed up with Timbun who produced the song. The song is now a radio anthem and dance floor filler, one of the trending songs on social media.
The song fuses elements of dancehall and afrobeat into an infectious beat met with Raebel’s powerful and distinct vocal style. Her lyric, ‘I’m Not Like Your Other Girls’ message is beautifully captured by the instant sing-along hook, ensuring MINISKIRT will be ladies’ anthem in nightclubs this festive period.
She also teamed up with Africa’s finest video director TG Omori who now doubles as her Creative Director to give life to the visuals of the song. Raebel is ready to take her fans on a new journey this year, especially THE RAEBELLIONs; the name of her fan base across the world.
While Kayode is an undeniable talent and star in rising, who’s been making music officially for the past three years, he blew up the music charts with Live Forever, which dropped in 2021.
Like everyone else, he grew, up hooked on sounds from Wizkid, Mo’Hits and other acts but he was especially drawn to music from American rapper Lil Wayne, up till the time he had to take a break from making music and cites him as a major influence of his sound.
Live Forever, by Kayode was a top trending record on Tik Tok. Due to its nicely composed vocals, this joint has also been gaining lots of streams and views on the various music platforms.
With his full name being Oluwakayode Oyetoro also known as Kay Kay, is seriously working hard for himself, to ensure he achieves his desire for music.
With a growing discography, Oluwo Yusuf Gbolaga also known as YKB has steadily been building his profile in Nigeria. Armed with a passion in wordplay, polished vocal delivery and over the past few years YKB has been homing his artistry. Sitting between the worlds of Indie, R&B, Afrobeats and Pop, YKB has found his sound and space in the global soundscape.
Born in Ketu, Lagos Nigeria, YKB (Yusuf Kan Bai) grew up with a desire to express himself creatively. Experimenting with in photography, graphic design, and fashion, YKB would find a home in music. Growing up listening to the eclectic sounds of Celine Dion, Lil Wayne, Drake, and many others it was not long before he successfully took a go at music.
With the independent release of his project “Before I Blow”, YKB captured the attention of fans, peers, and media alike around the world and amassed over 2 million streams. YKB recently dropped “SAN SIRO” and it’s huge.
Nigerian singer Shine TTW (Chukwuma Chinaza Ferdinand) recently made a significant debut in the music industry with the song “No Religion“ and followed it up with Designer.
Judging by how relevant these songs have connected with pop culture, Shine TTW may be topping the charts with his upcoming songs this year.
Snazzy the Optimist is unique—his hypnotizing voice flirts with worldwide superstardom whilst still sounding like your little secret. Born in the eastern part of Nigeria and grew up in South Africa. His talent and creativity has steered him into songwriting, where he began writing and covering songs. He produced and recorded his first-ever single “Ekele” in 2018, under the moniker Lil Snazzy. Since then, he has released couple covers on his Soundcloud.
Snazzy the Optimist brand of emotive singing is warm, fuzzy, and instantly addictive. The Nigerian born rapping singer (because that’s probably the easiest way to describe what he does) made a splash with his 2021 hit single “Seluna”. A somber expression of love, one of the best singles of 2021, taking advantage of his moment. Since its release, he has received critical love but maintained a pretty low profile.
Snazzy the Optimist has kept his releases precious but powerful, gracefully confirming himself as one of the most compelling artists of the now, but most importantly he’s a highly talented musician with an ear for melody and a natural charisma.
Born in the eastern part of Nigeria. Excell Boy has one of those voices that you can instantly pick out from a million others. It’s overwhelmingly rich and full of the Soulful rap. When listening to Excell Boy’s music, it becomes clear that the Nigerian-raised artist doesn’t think like everybody else. In sound and in style, he operates on his own terms, and as a result, has found a sound that can’t be ignored. He is different, and different gets remembered.
Excell Boy’s 2020 single “Mummy Don’t Cry” where he preached about life experiences, remembrance, care, and growth. Is an endlessly catchy and equally eccentric song, the Nigerian talent continued on his streak with several new singles, growing in momentum as he soared with his unabashedly honest lyrics on “Home” where lush piano solos, with electrifying vibes and his voice, combine to paint a picture of home love. to the enriched relatable melodies of “Fast Car.”
With a fast-growing fanbase, a fast-expanding catalog of music, and a plan to keep evolving his sound, 2023 is going to be special for Excell Boy.
Shugavybz is one of the few voices that has what it takes to end 2023 as a global star. He possesses all of the necessary elements, including team, sound, and brand.
The young talent is also a greaty producer and his has production, mixing and mastering credit to some of your favorites hits including One Side by Iyanya, “Lituation” featuring Paulash Panache, Roger Lino and Leeroy Afrika.
Shugavybz is unquestionably a major force to be reckoned with in 2023.
St. Seii is one of the most promising Nigerian musicians with a superb range of artistry judging from his meteoric rise. Talent is somewhat intoxicating, having the ability to do a particular thing near perfect is overwhelming and boost incredibly self-confidence.
“Bittersweet”, an EP that won the heart of Afropop lovers around the world, and a thrilling performances thereafter in Burj park downtown Dubai alongside South African superstar Focalistic, Ghanian legendary Sarkodie, and others.
His sweet-voiced, Energetic, Charismatic and generally infusing pop, dancehall and sometimes pidgin english which seems modern and confrontational flavour of Afrofused
However, the biggest difference between the previous generation of musicians and the emerging new guard of Afrobeats is the gulf in writing, while previous generations tried their best, these new cats have pushed the lyrical content of our songs into local poetry max. St. Seii is definitely a top-quality musician to look out for in 2023.
Okereke Blessed Jordan, popularly known as Yarden is a Nigerian singer and songwriter born on 2nd August 2000. He was from Abia State but was raised in Lagos State. He comes from a music and entertainment enthusiastic family and possesses a unique sound that features a dark, groovy, and ominous vibe which is a new and different sound for the world to accept and relate to on an unlimited scale.
The 19-year-old Afrobeats act is currently signed to Etins Record Limited. From school and church performances, Yarden has always enjoyed the thrill of adding emotions to music. And has been doing music since 2018, and he started doing music professionally in 2019.
The reception to his latest song ‘Wetin‘ has been surreal and this is a confirmation that Yarden is one of the new kids on the block to watch out for.
Shitta Bolanle Razaq popularly known as Spy Shitta is an amazing and hardworking fast-rising Nigerian singer and songwriter, born on 10 November 1999 in Abesan estate, Alimosho local government, Lagos.
He released his first official single titled “Whine” on February 12, 2021 and the song has been getting a lot of buzz. It has so far been well-accepted by music listeners. Spy is confident in his music because of how relatable his songs are. He went on to drop his major project, ‘The EP’.
From the first single to the first EP, it’s quite an interesting view to experience these artists’ journeys i, Spy Shitta, is currently on an impressive path to achieving his lifelong dream of being a successful Afrobeat artist.
He has worked with some acts including Olamide, Buju, Victor AD, and many others. He is inspired by prominent artists like Wizkid, Burna Boy, and Tems. Spy is preparing himself for big things, and 2023 is good year to focus on him.
Born July 27 1999 in Lagos, Nigeria and raised between Lagos & Toronto, Canada, Bennett Obeya professionally known as PDSTRN is a rapper, singer, and songwriter on the rise in the industry.
With the first song he ever wrote TOXIC being on WeTalkSound’s critically acclaimed compilation album LOFN; an album that went #1 on the Apple Music Alternative Charts in Nigeria in 2020, and winning the Hennessy Artistry VS Class VIII.
PDSTRN has adopted a unique approach to his career via his writing and speaking on delicate topics, with his coarse baritone voice and unique singing style that merges his rapping and singing into a perfect sonic blend to assist with the rhythmic flavour of employed instrumentals.
Born Omolayo Iyanoluwa Olamide, and raised in Oworonshoki, in Lagos, Wadude began his musical journey professionally in the year 2021 with the release of his hit song Zanzibar.
As a Nigerian singer, and songwriter who not only charms with his songs but also with his personality and this super talented singer has chunned out different songs including Expensive Love Ft Bella Shmurda.
Wadude’s talent and potential for greatness were spotted by Mr. Eazi and the team at emPawa, prompting the two in August 2022 to sign a distribution deal that will see Wadude’s songs make their way into new markets, more playlists, and propel the budding artist’s musical career to new heights.
It is a known fact that the music industry gets a little shaken up by the emergence of creative talents who spark an interest that goes beyond the quality of their music and one of such an interesting characters to watch out for in 2023 is Wadude.
Raybekah is a young talented Nigerian musician who came into limelight following her dope series of Instagram freestyle videos which she does upload on her official page. One of which was a freestyle “Boo” with Kholi that went viral getting repost from top celebrities in the Nigerian Industry.
The talented singer whose real name is Rebecca Chinonso Arinola is originally from Abia State but grew up in Festac, a locale in Lagos State.
Raybekah is one of the promising and ambitious female singers from Nigeria. Some of her jaw-dropping records include; Uncensored, Cinderella, Cut Soap, Ex Boyfriend and many more. The gifted songstress is just getting started as she has a lots of goodies in stock for us all in 2023.
Leonard Eze Onwuka, popularly known as LB, developed a penchant for music at a young age. Just barely 10 years old, LB started singing along to different songs, writing music at every opportunity he got. It was an invigorating feeling watching different acts as they sang their songs on TV. He wanted to be in that position – to be the performer. At the age of 15, he decided to follow his heart’s desire, and began making music professionally. Leonard’s greatest gift is his uncanny ability to feel the rhythm of an instrumental and churn out melodies that complement the instrumental.
LB is aware of the impact music plays in the lives of consumers, and he ensures that his music appeals to them on a personal level. He grew up listening to the likes of D’Banj, Sean Kingston, Wande Coal, Tuface Idibia, following their individual careers and aspiring to achieve greatness.
His music has gone through so much refining, and the maturity is evident in his lyrics and composition. He dropped his first ever single titled My Number One in 2021. It was produced by wunderkind, Beats by Timmy. As he works tirelessly on his EP, LB is prepared to take music listeners to a different level with his sound. He is on his way to becoming one of the acts to watch out for in 2023.
Feranbanks started music professionally in 2018, just right out of secondary school he released his debut single and was nominated in three different categories for Ondo state musical awards where he won all three.
Feranbanks originally known as David Oluwaferanmi Feranbanks’ style can be described as a fusion of Afro and Fuji. Can also be called afro fusion.
The singer previously released a smash record which he titled “Saro”. The song gained massive attention from far and near with some notable numbers on streaming platforms to show as record.
Feranbanks is signed to WIRE RECORDS and is set to be one of the front faces of the record label. Since coming to the musical stage officially, Feranbanks have released songs like ‘Doubt’ in which he features Nigeria’s fast rising afro pop star, Jamopyper of ZANKU records. He is got alot coming in 2023 and you should watch out for him.
One of the Nigerian fast-rising singers, 6uff has continued to prove himself to be one of few voices that has what it take Afropop to new stage globally. Many of his previous songs inclusing the feature with Peruzzi, ahave been gaining fans attention and collecting lots of streams on the digital streaming stores.
After garnering some success in 2022, 6uff is poised for bigger things in the Afrobeats, and we can’t wait to see what he does next.
Tonade Oladapo Adetunji, better known by his stage name Oladapo, was born on the 19th of August 1999, and hails from Ogun state. His music career officially kicked off in 2018, where he started releasing freestyle videos on his Instagram page and building an audience composed mostly of students of The University of Lagos.
In 2019, his debut single Mango got shortlisted by Mr. Eazi’s music initiative Empawa Africa and that platform enabled him to further propel his music career.
His musical style which he describes as Afro-fusion is more of a mixture of highlife sounds with distinctive contemporary elements embellished gracefully with his local influences which comprises his mother tongue, Yoruba, and the Nigerian pidgin.
He aims for his music to be emotionally intimate, bridging the gap between himself, the music and its listeners, sharing a true connection.
Abubakar Abdulmutolib Ottan Professionally know as Tolibian is a Nigeria Comedian, Singer and Songwriter born in Ilorin Kwara State, Tolibian is an energetic performing artiste with quality sound in Afrobeat, Acapella, Apala, Hiphop and Amapianos.
Tolibian was first noticed online in 2019 and he’s been consistent with his craft since his first appearance till date, Tolibian is known for the uniqueness in his music like Malaysia, Shower your blessings, End SARS, A December to Remember, Lori Iro, and the recent single ABAYA PALAVA that’s is Making heavy wave online on various platforms like Audiomack with over 540k active plays within the period of 3 weeks of release.
In February 2021 Tolibian was signed under TCA Entertainment, A record label owned by one of the fast-rising Instagram influencer and content creator “ The Cute Abiola” where he spent eight months before he got signed to Daw Empire, under popular music executive and talent manager, Dami Adenuga, and this was a major breakthrough for this young talented artiste which brought a lot of attention towards his craft and brand.
Moving forward Tolibian is working on a lot of projects for his fans and this special musical content is titled “Hello” dropping soon.
Kwadwo J Bedihene who is publicly known as 1UCID was born in Accra but left for the United States at just 9. It doesn’t take much to become utterly entranced by 1UCID. His effortless mix of English and African lyrics, impressive flow, relatable and eye-opening lyrics, melodious and with his high pitch flourishes. An excellent singer-songwriter with an incredibly infectious voice.
1UCID 2022 single “Miss U” is one of his most awesomely erratic and abrasive yet, it is a masterpiece of restraint, filled with soulful, honest accounts of missing loved one. “Miss U” takes listeners/viewers on a wavering jaunt that commences with missing loved one and the memories shared, quickly ascending into a relatable narrative.
There’s something about a 1UCID song that identifies it as uniquely his. Maybe it’s his love-inspired lyrics, maybe it’s his incredibly infectious voice. But whatever the reason, the classic sound connects with a wide range of audiences, and his career is looking brighter every day.
Tagging his sound “Afroblues”, 1UCID has managed to utilize his artistry power. Holding a Bachelor of Science from The University of Akron, 1UCID is ready to change the status quo of the industry one song at a time. His follow-ups like “It’s Giving” helped round up his 2022. The talented artist’s success so far is well-deserved, but his potential going into 2023 is even more exciting.
Fast-rising Afropop singer Hercules dropped his debut single “Dreams” to announce his arrival in the entertainment scene last year. His message is that another star has emerged as the New Kid On The Block.
Born Matthew Harris-Hercules, the Cambridge-born singer, and songwriter who has been in the music scene for a while working behind the scene had shown a promising start for music lovers and we are here for what he is bringing this year.