2020 was a great year for new sounds in the music industry, it saw the rise of some great new acts that blessed our ears with diverse sounds and originality despite the global pandemic.
These artistes were able to rise above the various obstacles and put out amazing music that helped listeners to zone out for a while and almost forget about the madness happening around them.
OSG has picked 8 outstanding artists who found their voice and audience in 2020 and have shown that they are ready to own 2021.
Here are the eight Nigerian artist to look out for in 2021 in no particular order.
1. Bella Shmurda
Akinbiyi Abiola Ahmed aka Bella Shmurda made his debut in 2019 with his highly successful track “Vision 2020” which eventually got a remix with Olamide, the artiste has continued to rise in his ranks and grow his listenership exponentially.
His hits song “Cash App” became the streets anthem in no time, and 7 track EP titled “High Tension” was equally well received and further helped to fan the flames of his career along with notable features with A-listers like Davido.
2. Omah Lay
Stanley Omah Didiya popularly known as Omah Lay caught our attention with his song Bad Influence.
With his exceptional 5 track EP titled “Get Layd” the fast rising artist won the heart of his fans, he also got a feature on Olamide’s Infinity track of the “Carpe Diem” album, which gained momentum all over the world with the slow-mo challenge.
With his enchanting voice and well defined sound over a combination of afrobeats, afrofusion and soul, he has positioned himself as one to watch.
Last year Omah Lay had a worrying few days after he was detained in Uganda for allegedly breaking coronavirus regulations, but a huge social media campaign for his release was testimony to his growing popularity.
3. Ajebo Hustlers
Ajebo Hustlers is a music group made up of two artistes, George Dandeson aka Knowledge, and singer Isaiah Precious aka Piego.
Their musical style consists of a mix of afrobeat and highlife music genres, they their song “Barawo” in 2020 became one of the prominent anthems of the #EndSARS movement.
The popularity of their song earned them a feature with Davido. The artistes have been on the scene for a while but it looks like their time has finally come.
Temilade Openiyi known as Tems, is an alt-R&B singer, songwriter and record producer.
Since the release of her “Try me” track in August 2019, Tems won the heart of her fans with her alternative sound. She dropped an impressive debut EP “For Broken Ears” that includeds the hit single ‘Damages’ and was nominated for the Next Rated category at the Headies 2020 edition.
She has worked with artists like Wizkid, Ladipoe, Show Dem Camp amongst others. Her song with Wizkid’s “Essence” off the “Made in Lagos’ album was featured on former US president Barack Obama’s playlist of favourite music in 2020.
5. Bad Boy Timz
Olorunyomi Oloruntimilehin better known as Bad Boy Timz had his break into the music industry with his single “Micheal Jackson”
He later released multiple remixes of the song, one with Mayorkun and another with Teni and ultimately got a part on Olamide’s album ‘Carpe Diem’ where he was featured on the 10th track titled “Loading”.
Abdulsalam Suliyat Modasola better known as Liya, is the first and only signed to DMW record label.
Soon after signing the contract with DMW, she released her track ‘Melo’ which got her fans hooked and expectant.
Liya has just shown the world the tip of the iceberg and it’s clear that there is still a lot more to come from her.
7. FireBoy DML
2020 was a good year for Adedamola Adefolahan a.k.a Fireboy DML, a budding Nigerian independent artist that burst into the limelight in 2019.
Judging by what he has done this year, every music lover would hope 2021 will be better for Fireboy.
Joseph Akinwale Akinfenwa, a.k.a Joeboy, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. Discovered by Mr Eazi in 2017, Joe boy’s big break came in 2019 with his song “Baby,” off his debut EP, “Love and Light”.
A string of notable collabs include Major Lazer‘s “Sun Comes Up” and his work on “Nobody” with Mr Eazi and DJ Neptune.
The 23-year-old became one of afropop’s brightest new stars in just over a year, with his chart toppers and musical genius.
However, considering that Joeboy is expected to drop his debut album in 2021, that project is worth watching out for as he has already released two singles from it – ‘Lonely’ and ‘Celebration’.
We look forward to seeing what the new year holds for these artists.