As the year draws to an end and more artists continue to unload their arsenal, some events can be said to be defining what the year 2022 has been like for the Nigerian music industry. From Asake scoring a record-breaking nine #1 songs in his debut year, the most for any Nigerian artist, to Magixx’s ascent with “All Over”, Oxlade’s global acclaim from an unofficial release, and Wizkid and Tiwa Savage latching on to the South African phenomenon, amapiano. The Nigerian music scene has many irons in the fire and we’re here for it.
Ahead of the year-in-review season, here are some songs we really loved from last quarter.
Terminator – Asake
Man of the moment, Asake keeps pace with “Terminator” which becomes his seventh number one single this year. “Terminator” excels in its fast-paced infectious rhythm and Lamba-laced chorus capped with the singer’s charismatic persona. The distinct amapiano distortion and crowd vocals are reminiscent of Asake’s reign as a neo-Fuji progenitor. “Terminator” was released ahead of Asake’s album which debuted at 66 on Billboard 200 album chart.
Rush – Ayra Starr
Ayra Starr is not backing down as she delivers some of her most self-confident lyrics yet. “‘Rush is really a description of where I am at the moment—a place of reflection, zeal, and gratitude,” she explained. “E dey rush well well—all that I’ve dreamt of is happening and I’m in the middle of it all, living my dream and it can only get better!”
Bad To Me – Wizkid
In his first release as a lead artist since Made in Lagos, “Bad To Me” sees Wizkid deliver lustful lyrics over the percussive beats with vivid amapiano backing. Produced by his longtime collaborator P2J, “Bad To Me” ushers listeners into another era that will culminate in the release of Wizkid’s fifth album, More Love, Less Ego.
Jaiye Foreign – Tiwa Savage & Zinoleesky
Tiwa Savage and Zinoleesky toast to the good life over the Pheelz production which combines the dynamic rhythm and intensity of Afrobeats and amapiano. “Jaiye Foreign” colloquially means premium enjoyment of life and it sees both artists sonically revel in each other’s company. This is Savage’s first offering this year; a firsthand follow-up to the critically-acclaimed Water & Garri EP.
All Over – Magixx
Off Magixx’s sophomore project, “All Over” leans into the singer’s crooning techniques and effortless delivery. Magixx, in his lover boy element, douses his love interest with sweet affirmations that he’s ready to wait long enough till they come around. “All Over” is Magixx embracing his strength of pairing syrupy words with deft vocal inflections and heart-melting melodies.
In My Mind – BNXN
“In My Mind” made its debut on Colors before appearing on the singer’s new album, Bad Since ‘97, and taking on a life of its own. BNXN worked the Blaisebeatz production with his enigmatic vocals and obsessive lyricism – spotting the Superman and Lois reference as he journeys listeners to his utopia where love is reciprocal.
More – Dunnie
Dunnie calls for attention and affection over an upbeat rhythm charmed with delightful guitar licks that invade its base. There’s tenderness in Dunnie’s clamor that exudes her lighthearted mettle as she teams up with longtime collaborator, Deeyaso. “More” proves the singer’s going to chase her desires without backing down.
Why Do You Call – Yinka Bernie
Off Yinka Bernie’s latest project, “Why Do You Call” is a culmination of soulful yet trendy beat patterns. Buoyed by the underlying drum that is undeniably African, Yinka finds a balance within his sonic palette that allows him to create a unique blend of soul and Afrobeats.
Ku Lo Sa – Oxlade
“Ku Lo Sa” debuted on Colors and has since incited a viral moment and wave of appearances on global charts. The record is a blend of soft but arresting melodies, making it an instant fan favorite. Oxlade proves that he can reliably remain in rotation among people from different walks of life.
Kolo Kolo – Patoranking & Diamond Platnumz
Patoranking and Diamond Platnumz reconnect on the Yung Willis-produced “Kolo Kolo” which means ‘to go crazy’. The record launches with a seductive horn melody, leading up to both artists serenading their significant others in Nigerian pidgin and Swahili respectively.