Over the last few years, the Nigerian music scene has grown exponentially, and while some artists have managed to secure certain positions within the industry as accomplished superstar artists, there are those who in our eyes are extremely talented and should have the superstar status, but are unfortunately not receiving as much props as they deserve. The list should be a lot longer, but here are our top 8 Underrated Nigerian artists- in no particular order:
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Ghost and Tec, stepped into the music scene in 2009, and dropped their first project The Clone Wars mix-tape in 2010 which got them a lot of respect. Their debut album ‘The Dreamer Project’ released in September 2011, featured collabos with M.I, 2Face and MayD, and got props from the official ‘rap-heads’ in Nigeria. This duo’s lyrical prowess is top notch, and the fact that they make African rap sound soo good should put them amongst the top 5 hip-hop acts in Africa, but unfortunately they aren’t as widely known as they should be.
She is no-doubt one of the best female vocalists in the country with a vocal range that is out of this world. Ever since she came onto the scene when she featured on P-Square’s ‘Do Me’ track, she has managed to prove that her voice is no hoax. She is recognized locally and internationally with a couple of awards to show for it and her album titled ” Words Aren’t Just Enough” (WAJE) is definitely one to anticipate this year. Hopefully, people will understand and recognize the vocal powerhouse that is Waje.
Blackmagic’s blend of afrobeat and classic hiphop in his first single titled “Tomorrow” which was released in 2010 did capture our attention and held on. His sound is different, its modern and eclectic yet classic – Blackmagic is one of the new-age African artists that everyone young and old can relate to. The Blackmagic movement has steadily been gathering strength underground…we are keeping our finger’s crossed and hope it doesn’t lose momentum.
Emmanuel Bezhiwa Idakula also known as Bez is an alternative soul artiste who adds a bit of jazz, RnB and soul to his music. Born Nov 11,1983, gifted with two musical skills, his magical fingers and an awesome voice, both of which have been able to make a name for him in the industry. He was the 2nd runner up at the 2009 Hennessy artistry competition Nigeria, his debut album titled ” Super Sun” was launched July 2011, it included fans favorites tracks such as Super Sun, Zuciya Daya, More You and That Stupid Song to mention a few. Asides his talent, hard work and creativity, Bez gives a fantastic account of himself through his imaginative lyrics. But irrespective of these abilities and sincerity to his art and obvious talent, he isn’t as patronized as he should be. As time goes by perhaps…
Chidinma, popularly known as Miss Kedike, first graced our TV screens as a contestant in the 2010 edition of MTN Project Fame season 3, which crowned her as the winner. Officially introduced herself to the music scene in 2010 with her smashing hit single ‘Jankoliko’, a track which turned out to be an anthem nationwide.‘Emi Ni Baller’ showed just how versatile Chidinma is – she’s quite like the industry’s chameleon and can do very well in almost any genre. One would think her affiliation with big league artistes like Sound Sultan and Wizkid is enough but, it appears that she still has an audience to convince.
Topa Onimowo, popularly known as Phenom; the Knight House General, is said to be the only rapper, as far as history in the Nigerian music industry goes, to sign the dotted lines of a record deal without having released a record. His recent single ‘Shukubambam’ is still a record that’s heavy on playlists across the country. Phenom has being rated as one of the personalities that will represent Nigerian rap in the future, so keep your shades on Phenom cos your future is looking extremely bright indeed.
The ‘Oga Boss’ of Nigerian rap – ‘Ibo Boy’ Ill Bliss is quite like the great white shark – keeps a low profile, not seen often but when he does come out of ‘hiding’ boy does he make an impact! Although he has been quite busy working on his protégés like Chidinma the release of ‘Oga Boss’ shows that he is still very much in the game. Ill Bliss effortlessly spits some superb lyrics throughout ‘Anam Achi Kwanu’, and is the definition of laidback-cool (the best way to describe him).
Ikechukwu started with Storm, then went on to be part of the now defunct Mohits Records label and now he’s doing his own thing with the World Famous Akademy. Though controversy has closely (and rather unfortunately) followed Ikechukwu, the fact that he is very talented is something that cannot be disputed. He is a demon of a rapper and he can sing – no not the auto-tune singing, he can really really sing. Hopefully the controversy can be a thing of the past and the focus will be back on his awesome talent.