The facet of the Nigerian Music scene makes it almost impossible for you to thrive commercially as a musician or an artist with vocal power. Let me shed light on that, as an artist or a musician in the Nigerian entertainment scene, you hardly find people come out as vocalists and having commercial success.
Not like these kind of artists/musicians aren’t available per say, they just are rare. If you are not doing a dance hall song, what we know as club bangers, then am not sure you are ready for your market to sell. Gone are the days when the success of your single, or newly released song is dependent on one marketer in Alaba market for it to thrive and stand the test of time. It’s a new ballgame entirely and if you know and are ready to prove your mettle, you truthfully do not need any “Alaba marketer“.With the advent of social media, especially as
With the advent of social media, especially as it’s a trend amongst the international acts in western worlds to break the news of their album, singles and what have you via social media as in the case of Drake, all you need to do is just find the your niche and do what you have to do. Oh, I think I need to also shed light on what an Alaba marketer is. Here in Nigeria, there is a particular area in Lagos State called Alaba, where management of recording artists visit in other to spread the news of newly released singles/albums by their artist. The Alaba Marketers are charged with the responsibility of selling the CD’s and what have you in other to help the artist in question gain popularity and commercial success. Now you know!
Away from that, one cannot but appreciate some talents. They have stood the test of time and, of course, paraded themselves as the vocally-capable ones. They stuck with their own way of doing their music and are exceptional at it. Irrespective of what the Nigerian market is saying, these ones are not the stereotypes, they are the non-conformists. This is what I will love to refer them as.
Their exceptional ability at delivering their music to the pleasure of listening ears is one that never ceases to amaze me. The expertise, vocal dexterity and utmost professionalism has brought them thus far and still taking them farther. Compared to some of their counterparts, they never derailed. Let me explain, you can agree with me that certain acts whom we used to know as “vocally inclined” lost it along the line. They joined the downstream of artist making the club bangers. I for one, wouldn’t blame them tho, cos the Nigerian market calls for such on a very major scale. But the major reason I came up with this list is to highlight these ones who have persevered and are now making huge waves from what they know how to do best, SINGING!
I take the lead, and I need you to follow me, and tread gently as we check the list out.
He needs no introduction. He is the winner of the first season of Idols West Africa in 2007, beating out the runner-up, Omawumi Megbele with 63% of the votes. With his victory, he took home many prizes including a recording contract with Sony BMG. After the Idols show, we just never heard from Timi, of which I am sure he went so low just know learn much more about being an all round artiste. Timi came back a couple of years later and blew our mind! His RnB/ Soul style, vocal dexterity and technical know-how have been likened to RnB greats like Lionel Richie and Lemar. Before Idol, he won a local talent hunt contest G.E FACTO held in Port Harcourt.
Although Timi Dakolo released his first single comprising three songs in October 2009, in 2011, he released the song “There’s a Cry”. He never delivered less of this beautiful and vocally accurate song. With songs like Great Nation which was released in 2012, I Love You, This Little Light Of Mine, and his album Beautiful Noise which had Yes I do, and the highly successful IYAWO MI. Timi has proven his mettle as well as everyone out there that he is here to stay.
He headlines political events and different live concerts all over the country and across the Atlantic.
I would particularly make an analogy of Omawumi and her vocal prowess to that of Grammy Award Wining African woman, Angelique Kidjo. Omawumi is no doubt one female musician that delivers. She also was in the competition as Timi. She was the first runner-up. Her performance of Onyeka Onwenu’s Ekwe won the hearts of her fans while in the competition. Omawumi would go on to be a major music force to reckon with in Nigeria.
Although she stamped her musical feet in the sands of the Nigerian music scene, her sophomore album, The Lasso of Truth, was reported to be a commercial success in Nigeria. She won the Next Rated Award at The Headies 2009. With songs like, If You Ask Me, Bottom Belle, When Breeze Blows, and I Go Go, you would agree with me that she really is a majority in terms of vocal prowess and capability. She is a brand ambassador for Globacom, Konga.com, and Malta Guinness. She’s also part of the campaign called “Rise with the Energy of Africa”
Iruobe Aituaje (WAJE)
Her vocal range covers over 3 octaves. She was the voice in P Square’s hit track Do Me. Waje can sing! She was also the voice in Banky W’s “Thief my Kele,” as well as M.I’s “One Naira.” You shouldn’t be surprised as she has vocal greats such as Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin to improve her music. With her hit singles, Oko Mi and I wish, Waje’s singing is such a listening pleasure to the ear.
I have been to events where Waje performed the Nigerian National Anthem to the bewilderment of guests present. And that was not the first time she did it. She has repeated this enviable feat countless of times. Like her name WAJE implies, Words Aren’t Just Enough to describe this talent! Baby you got me!
Osinachi Kalu (Sinach)
According to her Wikipedia page, she has written over 2oo songs. Not many people know this beautiful lady as she is a Gospel artiste and has proven her mettle times without number. Ask the Christian folks ( I am a Christian folk) and they (I) will tell you that Sinach is just amazing! Very exceptional vocal delivery, she has won so many fans to herself due to this sharpened talent of hers.
With songs like From Glory To Glory, the Name Of Jesus, I Know Who I Am, you’d agree that she is one to be appreciated. Little wonder she flys all around the world with her pastor as her powerful vocals has made her play second to none hence the Pastor’s numero uno. She attends the Christ Embassy Church. Now you should know the pastor cos i just gave you a clue.
Yes, he made my list. His name is Praiz and he is Nigeria’s John Legend. Whether you like it or not, you’ll absolutely fall in love with his voice whenever you hear it. My mom will say, when you go past a banana tree, you’ll definitely look at it twice. Meaning, when something is certified excellent in any form, you can’t ignore but appreciate. We all remember that beautiful song, That Stupid Song, the one that had the collaboration of Nigerian alternative musician Bez, yeah! That song is just one of many Praiz’s fabulous songs as he has a reputation for churning out love ballads and softs song.
He was the second runner-up in the Nigerian reality TV show, MTN Project Fame West Africa, 2008. Praiz has proven countless times how much of a powerful vocalist he is compared to his counterparts in the Nigerian music scene. At the World Music Awards, he was nominated for World Best Male Artist, World Best Live Act, World Best Entertainer of the year, as well as Voice of the year.
Growing up listening to Barry White, you can that must have rubbed off on him. He cites Michael Jackson, Boys II Men, John Legend, Carl Thomas and Joe as his musical influences. The song Rich And Famous is one you’d love to put on repeat. Dude’s got a powerful vocal! What?!
If I could continue with this list, I would have gone ahead to include a couple, just a few more of musicians that I think should be in this list.
What do you think about the aforementioned names? Is there someone who is supposed to be here and you are not seeing that person? feel free to let me know this via the comment section.