The Nigerian music industry has been thriving at a remarkable pace in 2023, and contrary to tradition, the first quarter has been bustling with music releases. Many artists have since put forth their best efforts to drop buzzing singles and projects. In the first three months of the year, Davido, Lojay, and Pheelz made a comeback with their projects, while Tiwa Savage, Ayra Starr, and Asake stay charged up with their singles. Meanwhile, Joeboy and Wande Coal are preparing for the release of their eagerly-awaited albums. With a busy year ahead, we have curated a list of our favorite Nigerian songs so far to keep you updated.
Follow the selection all year long in our One Dance playlist.
BNXN feat Kizz Daniel, Seyi Vibez – “Gwagwalada”
Produced by Sarz, the star-studded track starts off with Kizz Daniel‘s dramatic ad libs and then evolves into a dance-ready number where BNXN’s signature vocals take the lead on the hook. Seyi Vibez also delivers a brief but sweet verse that sets the stage for a climactic close led by Kizz Daniel.
Odumodublvck – “Declan Rice”
Odumodublvck references English defensive midfielder Declan Rice in discussing his tenacity and determination for success. “I am Declan Rice,” he declares, “I am tackling the industry and I’m doing it very hard. From my box to their box. I am defending and I am scoring.” Since its release, the record has received endorsements from not only the footballer but also from Skepta, Wizkid, Fireboy DML, Rema, and more.
Joeboy – “Body & Soul”
Joeboy’s sentimental ballads continue to be his strong suit as he shares the heartwarming tale of young love that showcases unwavering loyalty and assurance. In his own words, “the song isn’t just about romantic love, but it encompasses all forms of love including self-love, love for family, and being there for the people you care about.“
Spyro feat Tiwa Savage – “Who Is Your guy?”
Spyro enlists Tiwa Savage on the hit record produced by Mr. Soul. “Who Is Your Guy” highlights the significance of checking up on and supporting our friends and loved ones. Savage infuses street elements in her delivery, broadening its appeal to an even wider audience. She also gives a shout-out to some of her associates, from her manager to industry cronies like Don Jazzy, Olamide, and others.
Rema – “Holiday”
Rema’s vocals glide across a lively blend of shakers and percussion as he sings about his come-up. The record harmonizes his confidence in his abilities with a humble acknowledgment of God’s influence on his life. The singer recounts moments from growing up in Benin City to releasing his debut EP in 2019. He further expresses gratitude for the global reception of his music, singing, “My music travels from India to Asia, and all the way to Berlin.“
Ayra Starr – “Sability”
In collaboration with London, Ayra Starr created a record that features a spirited sample from Congolese soukous legend Awilo Longomba’s “Coupé Bibamba”. The record is consistent with her self-proclaimed title “Sabi Girl,” which she defines as “a woman who understands her craft”. While “Bloody Samaritan” rebuffs her critics, and “Rush” reflects on her thoughts on fame, “Sability” pays homage to self-belief.
Tiwa Savage feat Ayra Starr, Young John – “Stamina”
On “Stamina”, Tiwa Savage conveys a message of consent and passionate longing. The MagicSticks-produced song features the unique talents of Ayra Starr and Young John. The trio masterminded a delightful blend of Afropop, Afrobeats, and amapiano that exudes an aura of hopeless romance that’ll have you swooning.
Davido feat Morravey – “In the Garden”
The brief but delightful experience of “In the Garden” introduces Davido’s new signee. Morravey. Morravey’s vocals instantly take center stage, showcasing her ability to hit those high harmonious notes without hesitation. Her vocals exude confidence as she effortlessly rides the beat, delivering an impressive debut performance. In the middle of the track, Davido quickly makes an appearance before stepping aside for Morravey to shine further.
Falz feat Vector – “Mr Yakubu”
Falz and Vector represent many Nigerians in calling out the chairman of INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) following irregularities that plagued the just-concluded election. By addressing “Mr. Yakubu”, they take a bold step in documenting a significant moment in the history of Nigerian elections.
Lojay – “MOTO”
Lojay recounts a toxic relationship where he would go above and beyond to make his partner happy. The song’s vulnerable and wounded tone reveals the sensitive side of Lojay’s artistry, and it’s worth noting that it’s his first production credit.