The Year 2021 is one of the most fulfilling years for Afrobeats and The Nigerian Music industry in General . A lot of happenings occurred during the course of the year but here are the top eleven major topics that were recurrent and generated the most reactions and commentary in the Nigerian music industry among music listeners and critics in Nigeria and across Africa as a whole .
1. Burna Boy Grammy – Burna Boy won the Best Global Music Award Category with his Fifth studio album “ Twice as Tall” at the 63rd Grammy awards ceremony that took place in Los Angeles on the 14th of March, 2020.
He won the category with his critically acclaimed fifth album “ Twice as Tall” boasting of hit songs like “ Onyeka” , 23, Real Life , Bebo and Alarm . The album features Stormzy Naughty by Nature , Sauti Sol , Chris Martin and Youssouf N’Dour and production credits to Timbaland , Diddy , P2J, Leriq, Telz and others
. Burna Boy became the first contemporary Nigeria artiste to clinch the coveted award which is regarded as the highest honors in Contemporary music .
The award was very special to Burna Boy and Nigerians because the previous year , burna boy did not win the Grammy award for “Africa Giant”, his 2020 album which was nominated for Best World music album. He lost to Angelique kidjo” Celia”.
The Grammy award caused an uproar on twitter and trended for days on social media platforms . Burna Boy while giving his acceptance speech encouraged youths to go for their dreams and let nothing stop them .
2. Wizkid at the 02 – Wizkid sold out his 02 arena shows in seconds and had to make provisions for three different nights. The ticket sales were record breaking , selling out in seconds and landed Wizkid in the list of 7 musicians to ever to sell out 02 tickets within 15 minutes .
The show itself was glamorous and featured performances from Skepta, Chris brown, Maleek Berry , Lojay, Ckay, Bella Shmurda, Blaqbonez , Tems among others . Fans and critics rated the show highly and it reportedly earned wizkid over 2.5 million dollars .
3. Davido 250 million Naira donation – Starting out as a joke, David Adeleke popularly known as Davido asked a couple of friends and industry colleagues to donate monetary gifts to him in conformity with his “ we rise by lifting others mantra “. The money was to serve as contributions towards his 29th birthday celebration on Nov 21, 2021.
He pegged the minimum amount to be sent into his account at One million Naira per donation. Within minutes , money started flowing into his newly created Wema Bank Account. By 24 hours , he had gotten over 100 million naira from the donations, sending the internet into a crazy frenzy .
Patoranking , Fireboy, Ckay, Tiwa Savage, Peruzzi and many more Nigerian celebrities and well wishers all sent the 1 million requested . Davido was able to raise 200 million and personally added 50 million of his own money .
The funds have been earmarked for distribution into orphanages presently and the procedures are being finalized . The act also landed Davido a Wema Bank Alat Deal reportedly worth millions of naira
4. Psquare Reunion : Peter and Paul Okoye popularly known as Psquare decided to bury the hatchet and return together as the musical duo “ Psquare “ after 5 years of solo careers . The five years period they were separated witnessed the release of “The Prodigal “ album by Peter featuring singles like follow my lead ft Wande coal, I love you ft simi , Teni and Tamar Braxton and Paloma ft singah.
His brother , Paul Okoye also released his debut solo album titled “ Rudykillus “ featuring singles like “ Ayoyo” , Woman , Audio money and Reason with me .
The okoye brothers fell out in 2017 over allegations of mismanagement from their elder brother , Jude Okoye and other allegations.
The brothers finally reconciled in November 2021 and did a reunion concert with massive turn out on the 25th of December,2021.
5. Tiwa Savage: Tiwa Savage is the Nigerian female artiste of the year 2021. The accomplished singer dropped the “ Water and Garri” Ep in 2021 birthing the acclaimed hit single “ Somebody Son” with Brandy as well as singles with Amaarae and Nas . She was a trending topic day in day out and featured prominently on the news as a result of her brawl with fellow singer Seyi Shay, Alleged pregnancy for Davido’s Friend ObamaDMW and her leaked Sex tape which trended for days .
She also reconciled on several occasions with Her son ‘s father , Tunji balogun as well as the decline in her relationship with erstwhile bestie , Wizkid .
The artiste has however continued to drop exciting songs and hosted a well attended Lagos concert in December 2021.
6. Buju : Perphaps the Biggest New Comer in 2021 , Buju is one of the biggest and most controversial Nigerian artiste in 2021. From dishing out various hot takes in 2021 , to his fall out with Burna boy, previous tweets of him criticizing artistes and earning three number one singles this year , Buju was definitely a recurrent topic in 2021.
In terms of music output , he had a fantastic year as He jumped on songs with Wizkid , Timaya , 2face , Ladipoe, Zlatan, Savage , Caveman, Asa and a host of other artistes including international producer Jae5. His headline conncert had wiz and burna boy in attendance and his debut project “ sorry I am late “ is doing well commercially with singles like Okechukwu with cavemen and kilometer doing massive numbers already .
7. Ckay Tiktok Sensation – 2 years after, a single from Ckay’s Sophomore Ep, Ckay The First entitled “ Love Nwantiti “ took over the world with a storm. A remix had earlier been released with joeboy and Kuami Eugene from Ghana and was a modest success on the continent .It was however untill a certain Dj yo and axel did a remix of the song that it truly went viral worldwide .
The Elgrande Toto North African remix also went massively viral .
Love Nwantiti became a global tiktok sensation earning millions of views and the videos for the remix with Elgrande Toto and that of joeboy and Kuami Eugene have amassed over 250 mllion views on YouTube
The song is now the most streamed African song on Spotify and the most certified Afrobeats song in history . It is also the second Nigerian song to debut at billboard Top 100 debuting at no 39.
8. Essence wave : Wizkid Essence was one of the singles off the critically acclaimed album” Made in Lagos “ released in October 2020. The romantic and feel good track features sultry Nigerian Singer , Tems and boasts of production from legendary beats and P2J.
The song took off in 2021 and spread rapidly across Africa and into the United States . Essence has amassed over 20 million streams on Apple Music , over 30 million YouTube views , Made it to the Billboard Hot 100 chart peaking at no 9 and has been nominated for the Grammys .
Global pop star , Justin Bieber jumped on the official remix of the song and made a video for same . The song has been appraised by Critics as one of the biggest African songs ever and a breakthrough single for the Africa to the World campaign .
Essence was the subject of numerous covers all over the world and was a social media Favourite with co signs from stars like Kevin hart , Drake , Justin Bieber, Kim kardashian , Kylie Jenner , Saweetie, Rihanna and many more .
9 Bloody Samaritan Challenge – Perhaps the biggest Challenge in the Nigerian music industry in 2021 , the bloody Samaritan challenge took over every nook and cranny of the country . It revolutionized and revitalize the Gen Z community in Nigeria and remains Ayrastar biggest single generating million of streams and YouTube views across the globe.
It also consistutes one of the most googled songs in 2021. The young , the old , companies , businesses and many more all partook in the challenge .
10. HypeMen – Hypemen were one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Nigerian music industry this year . From Toby Shang “ Who the F are you , Goya Amenor “Amapiano hype ( You want to Bam Bam) ” , Poco Lee Zazu Zeh and Emmy Black “ Small Yansh dey shake , Wife material etc ., it is evident 2021 is a year Nigerian Hype-men will never forget.
The first major break for Hypeman this year started with viral success of the single “Shedi balala“ by Hypeman Bobby Banks. The song has generated over 300 thousand downloads on streaming platform, Audiomack and has spawned many covers and dj mixes.
Another Hypeman with the stage name Tobyshang took over social media platforms and Tiktok with the slang and hype “who da fxxx are you“? The short hype which emanated from the DJKaywise Jor Oh Show goes thus “who da fxxx are you, you don’t know Kaywise. Who da fuxx are you, you don’t know Toby Shang“(repeats). The short track was number one on Tiktok trending at a point. Hypeman tobyshang is also renowned for “Shey e dey shake“ and “Palliative“ hype video and became Naira Marley official Hypeman same period
. Pocolee is another renowned Hypeman that also trended with his hype slang for Wizkid in a lagos club. In the viral video, Poco Lee can be seen hailing Wizkid and singing “Comot Body Jor“. The “comot body jor” hype went viral afterwards and also trended on social media platforms, becoming a major track for utilization by dancers and tiktokers in 2021.
Perhaps the most popular new comer and Hypeman this year is the Delta based Hypeman, Emmy Black that has formulated the trending slangs, “5 bottles of Hennessy vSop”, “Normally e be wife material“, “small yansh dey shake“, and many more. Emmy Black’s hype tracks have amassed over a million downloads on audiomack and have made their ways to various celebrities and dancers profile on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook
11) Peru – After the massive success of his sophomore album “ Apollo “ released in 2020, Fireboy decided to take a break from releasing music . Thanks to his YBNL label boss , Olamide, his single with Former DMW producer Shizzi was released in 2021. The track titled “ Peru” with lyrics and delivery similar to the Wande coal of Mo hits days became an instant hit with several comparisons and claim that the song belonged to Wande coal .
Drawing inspiration from Peruzzi And of course Wande coal , Fireboy sings harmoniously about “ Jamming “ and “ enjoying life “ . Peru became one of the biggest hits of the year , .
The covers of the songs by Buju and Tolibian were also smash hits . The remix of the song featuring Ed Sheeran has amassed over 10 million views on YouTube within one week and over a million streams across all platforms within same time frame .
12. Shatta Wale : Ghanaian Artiste , Shatta Wale during his concert in Ghana which was held in December 2021 called out Nigerian artistes for not supporting Ghana Music and Ghanaian Artistes.
The Self acclaimed Dance Hall King criticized Nigerian artistes heavily calling them “ One style “ Artistes . He also went on a long twitter rant shooting shots at Nigerian artistes , the Nigerian music industry and Nigerians as a whole .
The Outburst generated heated reactions and think pieces with notable reactions from Stonebwoy, Burna Boy , Wizkid and Ycee .
The Death of Legend , Sound Sultan is a topic that will forever remain fresh in our hearts . The veteran singer died in 2021 after a brief illness . The singer is known for hit singles like “ Bodmas @ oko won Lo de , Natural something , Orobo, Calabar Girl , kokose , Ole among others .
Which Hot Topic in the Nigerian Music Industry do you think we missed?