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Nigeria is a hub of sounds. From the heavy drum synths Dancehall of Timaya, to the rhythmic Pon Pon employed successfully by the likes of Tekno and Davido, Wizkid’s Afrobeats, Burna Boy’s Pop and Ragga experiments coming together for what he calls Afro Fusion, the throwback Fuji of Adekunle Gold, Johnny Drille’s folk, Niniola’s Afro House genre as evidenced in Maradona, the Lagos Mainland inspired Shaku rave, these are exciting times to be an African artiste, especially a Nigerian one.

With international collaborations happening left, right, center, it is imminent to declare these as one of the best times to score that hit. While there’s no textbook formula, expertly tapping a genre and understanding its audience’s whims is one way. The perfect feature is another. A stroke of good fortune, too. The perfect video can also redirect a continent’s focus.

What these songs have in common, is one of these, sometimes more. We dare say these are the biggest and best of the year, halfway expecting that you understand a big song for a B List artiste won’t gather as much buzz as a terrible Wizkid song. We however, try our best to cut across the complex and varying levels of influence and popularity in the Nigerian music industry.

So, to the music. In no particular order.

STARBOY ft Wizkid, Spotless, Terri & Ceeza Milli – SOCO
A repetitive hook and a dance move, this unassuming single put out at the year’s earliest turned out to be a turn up anthem.




SANTI ft. SHANE EAGLE & AMARAAE – RAPID FIRE


After Odunsi’s rare. this year, we hope Santi drops a project in 2019.




KIZZ DANIEL ft. DAVIDO – ONE TICKET
The Major Bangz produced song came after a series of tweet flirting between Vado and OBO.
From an outrageous ‘loving you na scam!’’ intro in Davido’s husky voice to his relatable verse to Kizz Daniel’s hilarious rhyming, a song which boasted two hit makers with evident chemistry was always going to blow.




2BABA ft. PERUZZI – AMAKA
Probably the first hit of the year. Probably the lament of every guy who’s had a disappointment of the kind.

Amaka, although considered widely as a sonic child of Gaaga Shuffle, also bears a loose thematic semblance to Sip Easy. Proof that 2baba has been making house party themed songs since forever.




NAIRA MARLEY ft. OLAMIDE & LIL KESH – ISSA GOAL
The Shaku Shaku wave coincided with our men’s national team preparations for the World Cup in Russia and this song was made to soundtrack the happy moments.

A video which featured our world loved Nike designed jersey, sheer craze, dance and football, it was always going to be fun to know that music was a glue that could hold the unlikely trio of fashion, football and dance.




DAVIDO – ASSURANCE
The Speroach produced song was an instant internet breaker. Putting a face and name behind an actual love interest was an unpopular act amongst artistes of his age. But Davido made old fashioned love cool again and with a MEJI directed video, captured the intense emotional value of the song.




DUNCAN MIGHTY ft. WIZKID – FAKE LOVE
Humanity’s bane: stories.
With an assured voice that boomed with experience, Wene Mighty dominated the charts and with the success this Wizkid assisted single brought him, we have no doubt he’s moved on from the initial pain of being fake loved for his money.




VICTOR AD – WETIN YOU GAIN
Take away the Shaku songs and this is assuredly street song of the year.

Motivation will never go out of vogue and worship thrown in the mix worked for the artiste born Victor Adere.



SKEPTA ft. WIZKID – STAY FAR AWAY (Bad Energy)
With a bouncy beat which took whatever the Grime inflected flow of UK’s Skepta, Wizkid found home, with one of his most infectious hooks in recent times.

Three verses, several lines of braggadocio and generally, a favorite for people who want to live their best lives. 




MR EAZI – PROPERTY
Have whatever reservations about the Lazarus line but Eazi’s excellent beat choices and deliberate singing prove to be key in Property – a song only an artiste of his financial weight can pull off without being a phony.






CHINKO EKUN ft. ZLATAN IBILE & LIL KESH – ABLE GOD
Appreciative pop darling that tapped into a specific market and reaped its dividends – Chinko’s first hit, Lil Kesh’s most natural moment all year and plenty room on the set of the visuals for Zlatan to flaunt his excellent dancing skills.




DAVIDO – NWA BABY

Akon’s Locked Up provided some inspiration for Davido’s rendition: a Bonnie and Clyde esque love sequence, excellent songwriting at the fore, a video which tried to be politically brilliant in its ending seconds.




BURNA BOY – YE
National Anthem amongst other things. Burna Boy had the country on lock when he sang “Biggy man wey no dey agbada.” Word by word, he embodies the age’s on-my-lane philosophy.

It was produced by Phantom.




DJ ENIMONEY ft. SLIMCASE, TIWA SAVAGE & REMINISCE – CODEINE DIET
An ode to “highness”, the trio of artistes successfully channel the vibe inherent in the  beat, with both Shaku Shaku street vibe and dance as a credible backdrop to all the craze.




TIWA SAVAGE ft. DUNCAN MIGHTY – LOVA LOVA
Humor is found in Wene’s rhymes, Tiwa lets off an array of questions, and Ceeza Milli’s adlibs is a strange miracle. All work, timing included, (as Duncan Mighty was the most sought artiste at the time) to make Lova Lova a good enough follow up hit for Ma Lo.







TIMAYA ft. OLAMIDE – BAM BAM
“Dem say Timaya no dey reign again,” the Egberi starts off his verse before going on to remind us why we write off his hit making skills. Further icing is Olamide’s best feature of the year.




WIZKID – FEVER
It wasn’t immediately loved but when Wizkid broke the internet with ‘bestie’ Tiwa Savage in the MEJI directed visuals, people listened anew and went all lovesick.



ADEKUNLE GOLD - IRE

Probably the song of the year. Enough said




MAYORKUN ft. DAVIDO – BOBO
Bobo, featuring Davido was perhaps Mayorkun’s hit of the year, boasting the star power and lyrics many young people can relate to.




FALZ – THIS IS NIGERIA
A song which sparked a back and forth between several parts of the industry, Falz effort was sorely needed at a time when everybody had stopped making songs like these.





DJ SPINALL ft KIZZ DANIEL – BABA
The legendary adlibs feature. Kizz Daniel is comfortable on the beat as he makes an entirely justifiable brag: shebi you want banger to banger? Little did we know that an album titled No Bad Songz was on the way.




WANDE COAL – SO MI SO
The Black Diamond’s unique voice has always excelled alongside a wide array of production and his biggest song of the year only confirms his legendary status in Nigerian Pop.



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