Breaking into the Nigerian music industry is not an easy thing to do, and even more difficult is building a successful career and maintaining relevance over time.
Several artists have successfully broken into the industry but have fallen off by the road side, some others don’t even make it through the first stage, while some lucky ones started with aplomb and have maintained it till date.
Here are 8 Nigerian artists who built successful careers from their debut hits.
Wizkid burst onto the Nigerian music scene in 2011 with his debut single “Holla at your boy” which became an instant hit. He soon gained massive popularity and his fan base grew. In that same year he went on to release his highly successful debut album “Superstar” which contained hits such as “Pakuromo”, tease me, among others. The super star album established Wizkid as indeed a superstar.
Wizkid has never looked back since then, releasing more smash hits like “Ojuelegba” which earned him international recognition, collaborations and a record deal with RCA. Wizkid has become arguably the biggest artist in Africa.
OBO as he is fondly called, debut in 2012 with his single “back when” which featured rapper Naeto C and was an instant hit. Davido did not rest on his laurels as he followed back when with “Dami duro” which was even more successful than the former. From that moment Davido’s career has not slowed down, he has become one of the biggest artists in Africa, with several local and international awards and recognition. Davido has become the ultimate hit maker as every song he touches becomes an instant hit.
3. Burna boy
Burna boy made his debut in 2013 with the release of like to party. The song had a different vibe and flow and instantly caught on with music lovers in Nigeria. Burna boy followed up with more hits like “yawa dey” and “run my race”. He went on to release his debut album titled LIFE that same year.
Since then, Burna boy’s career has continued to grow, releasing two more successful albums, “On a Spaceship” in 2015 and “Outside” in 2018. He has also gone on to sell out Te O2 Academy Brixton, a feat he achieved 2018.
Arguably Nigeria’s best reggae-dance hall artist after Timaya, Patoranking has had a really blistering career since the release “Alubarika” which featured Timaya in 2013. The following year he released “Girlie o” and followed it with a remix featuring Tiwa Savage.
In 2015 Patoranking released his debut Album which he titled “God Over Everything” (GOE). He has gone on to release back to back hits like No Kissing Baby, Daniella Whine, Money, among others.
Olamide Adedeji popularly known as Olamide Badoo released his debut single “eniduro” in 2010, an then his first studio album “Rapsodi” in 2011 while still signed to Koded Tunes. Olamide released his second album YBNL under his imprint label YBNL Nation.
Olamide has been a consistent hit maker and one of the best indigenous rappers in Nigeria. He has released seven studio albums including one collaborative album with fellow rapper Phyno. Olamide’s hits include Durosoke, Kana, Bobo, etc.
6. Kizz Daniel
Kizz Daniel took the Nigerian industry by storm with the release of his smash hit “Woju” in 2015. Woju was the all the rave that year and was soon to get a remix which featured heavy weights Davido and Tiwa Savage. Kizz Daniel has constantly released hits since his debut and has under his belt two very successful albums, New Era in 2016 and No Bad Songs in 2018.
7. Adekunle Gold
Adekunle Gold gained initial recognition with his cover of One Direction’s Story of My Life. The song rose to critical acclaim and received award nominations. Adekunle Gold went on to release his first official single “Orente” in 2015 under YBNL Nation.
He has built a successful career as one of the best alternative artists in Nigeria and has released several highly successful songs including two acclaimed albums.
8. Tiwa Savage
Former back up singer for musicians such as Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson to mention a few, Tiwa savage came into the Nigerian music industry despite several discouragement and doubts. She released her debut single “Kele Kele Love” which made its way to the top of several Nigerian music charts.
Tiwa savage’s career has not slowed down since then, she established 323 entertainment with her former manager ad husband Tee Billz and in 3012 she joined Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records. Savage has won multiple awards which include an MTV EMA, MTV African Music Awards, two Headies among others. She is also signed to Sony/ATV and Roc Nation.