The music industry has had a pretty good year, a really good one. Everyone has put in their great work and we have had quite a number of hits. Already established artistes producing more album and good ones. Timi Dakolo’s Iyawo mi has become a family anthem especially for men to their wives. The track is so beautiful and well sung that its easy to memorise and pleasant to sing to your better half; its not something you hear everyday. Regardless of their feud, the duos of Wizkid and Davido have kept us entertained as well, what with his album finally out under the EME umbrella and having announced it would be his last under the label, it has already began gaining waves. New artistes such as Lil kesh and Runtown gaining ground, upcoming ones like Patoranking making his mark felt and old ones who made a comeback and it worked such as Skales.
Skales has had a good year. His song Shake body has nearly risen to the top of the charts. It has maintained a number three spot on MTV’s top ten-naija countdown. That has never happened for the shy rapper, even while he was under the EME umbrella. His music never even lasted for a long period but we are sure this one is going to be a club banger for a while.
Thankfully, his shift from rapping to commercial pop has worked for him. A pretty risky move from someone who was hoping to win the Grammy’s with his rap hits but sadly that hasn’t worked for him, hence changing his genre of music. His colleagues in the industry such as Praiz who tried such a stunt came back burnt. However, he hasn’t left the terrain entirely. His collaboration with Runtown and Patoranking on Emergency had him rap on the track and we dare say that, as at this point, now that people/fans can finally put a face to the vocal disposition, it might still happen for him. Its no wonder he was caught under the radar of the Headies crew and placed under such a category as ‘Next Rated’. He has indeed worked hard this year to be known.
Another act under the category is Orezi. Orezi has been in the industry for a while now. He has had quite a number of good tracks since he started his career in 2009 but the single that shot him to fame is Booty Bounce, where he featured Big Brother Africa winner Karen Igho in the video, but the one track people will remember Delta born artiste for is Rihanna.
Lyrically of course this artiste, like his colleagues in the industry, is no where near the prize, but somehow he has managed to swoon Nigerians with the near rubbish that we hear everyday and he has gotten them to like him, hence him being placed under the category of Next Rated.
Runtown for us was going to be our very own Kendrick Lamar, or so we thought. This artiste has been around for quite sometime. He made his debut under Timaya back in 2007 and also featured on J Martin’s last album. But the first body of work that brought him into our subconscious was Successful and has that been successful? Well it has. Since then it’s been nonstop for this Igbo boy. He went on to make more music and collaborations that became hits.
Tracks such as Emergency and Gallardo have remained on top of the charts. However, he had a recent altercation, which involved arguments over the original owner of the Aye song done by Davido. Apparently, the song was written by him (Runtown) and was sold to the OBO crooner. The acceptance by fans wasn’t too welcome and Runtown had to deal with explaining why he did it and then went ahead to say “It was no one’s business” either. Truth is, the song might not have turned out as it did if he had gone ahead and made it instead but with no prediction as to all the attention the song would get especially after having being premiered on valentine’s day, and maybe him missing his one straight shot to fame, somehow, he has managed to find another route to be recognised as Nigeria’s Next Rated and it has worked for him.
Alubarika by Patoranking didn’t do the trick. It only formally launched this skinny artiste into the industry. Brought about like his friend Runtown, by Timaya, his early start wasn’t so pleasant. He made news more for his controversies than his music. His parted ways with Timaya at an early stage in his career but was able to acquire a house in Lekki and fleet of cars. He also had a controversy concerning his derivation of wealth, and speculations were that he was a low-key ‘Yahoo’ boy.
But that didn’t quench his career flame. He went ahead to make his next single under his new label Girlie O but the song was only made popular and top of charts when he did the remix with Tiwa Savage. His collaboration with Skales and Runtown on the track Emergency garnered airplay from major radio stations, and has become a jingle. Thankfully it is a good track, so we don’t mind. However, this Igbo indigene made the reggae-dancehall popular in the country, and which has also gotten him several nominations including the best reggae song beside his Next Rated in the awards. He has done many more collaborations that have become hits such as Murdah with Seyi Shay.
Yemi Alade is an entire story on her own. What with the issue of her ethnicity, a lot of people think she’s Igbo but bearing a Yoruba stage name. She is actually half and half. Born to a Yoruba Dad and Igbo mom, Yemi whose Igbo name is Eberechi has been in the industry for a while. She has had a couple of singles to her name but none shot her to fame as much as Johnny did.
Produced by Selebobo, the single has made waves in every aspect, so much that she is finally recognised as a Next Rated act. Although, I’m not sure exactly where Yemi stands in the music industry, I feel she hasn’t found herself yet and what actually helps her is what the producers give her to work on. But she did own Johnny, and although she tried to pull the same move on her other tracks but didn’t get it right, I’m afraid that might be her biggest hit for a while.
My bet is on Skales. What is yours?