As the years have proven, it is a fool’s task trying to predict the outcome of the Headies, Nigeria’s biggest music prize. Because most of the top categories are usually voted for by audiences, it is damn near impossible to decide which way to go as there is quite frankly, no accounting for taste.
To ensure a bit of objectivity, we have limited our guessing games this year to categories that are non-voting. So come 22, December, these are the names you are likely to hear.
BEST RECORDING OF THE YEAR
A non-voting category for the best single recording by an artiste or group in the year under review.
EMERGENCY – D’BANJ
PRAY FOR ME – DAREY FEAT. SOWETO CHOIR
LOVE DON’T CARE – SIMI
ORENTE – ADEKUNLE GOLD
SOMETHING GOOD IS HAPPENING – BRYMO
This is a tough category and all the nominees are deserving, well except for maybe Orente. Simi does fine vocal work on Love don’t care but the song feels oh! so slight. D’banj’s Emergency is a slick return to form that could fare very well and it would be great to finally recognize the wonderful talent of Brymo. After all said and done, Pray for me appears like the overwhelming favourite, too big to lose.
Who should win? Something Good is Happening – Brymo
Who will win? Pray for me – Darey ft. Soweto Choir
BEST RAP ALBUM
A non-voting Category for the Best Album By A Rap Artiste Or Group In Year Under Review.
EYAN MAYWEATHER – OLAMIDE
POWERFUL – ILL BLISS
STORIES THAT TOUCH – FALZ
LIL’ KESH – YAGI
The Headies love handing out trophies to Olamide and it will be interesting to see how they play this out in this case where his competition is with Lil Kesh, the youngster Olamide was trying to protect in last year’s ill-advised meltdown. Eyan Mayweather is a capable pop record but it isn’t quite the knockout rap heads are looking for, neither is Kesh’s YAGI. Ill Bliss may yet triumph with Powerful but the record wasn’t exactly crawling with hit singles. Which leaves Stories that touch as the safest, most enjoyable option. Purists please eat your hearts out.
Who should win? Stories that touch– Falz
Who will win? Stories that touch – Falz
BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE (MALE)
A non-voting category for the single male artiste with the most outstanding vocal performance on a single song or album.
BRYMO – SOMETHING GOOD IS HAPPENING
DAREY FEAT. SOWETO CHOIR – PRAY FOR ME
SHAYDEE – SMILE
WANDE COAL – SUPER WOMAN
RIC HASSANI – GENTLEMAN
How do you decide from amongst 5 of the finest voices working today? Damn near impossible but it is work that has to be done. Darey seems like the obvious choice here and he may well walk off with the trophy but spare some thought for Wande Coal’s divine vocal game on Superwoman and Shaydee’s subtle but effective work on Smile.
Who should win? Gentleman- Ric Hassani
Who will win? Something good is happening- Brymo
BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE (FEMALE)
A non-voting category for the single female artiste with most outstanding vocal performances on a single song or album.
SIMI – LOVE DON’T CARE
SEYI SHAY – RIGHT NOW
ARAMIDE FEAT. ADEKUNLE GOLD – LOVE ME
OMAWUMI FEAT. ANGELIE KIDJO – PLAY NA PLAY
Aramide would be a shoo in for a more deserving song (and her Suitcase album has a couple of them) but this one isn’t it. Play na Play is vocally arresting but for some reason, it was overlooked upon release. Simi’s Love don’t care would be a dependable and safe winner but Ms’ Shay’s Right now has been the biggest hits of all the songs here, and it is pretty good too. Would be unfair to award anyone else.
Who should win? Right now: Seyi Shay
Who will win? Right now- Seyi Shay
LYRICIST ON THE ROLL
A non-voting category for the Rap Artiste with the best lyrical depth and performance on a single song or album.
ILL BLISS – CHUKWU AGOZI GOGI
REMINISCE – ASALAMALEKU
YCEE – JAGABAN
BOOGEY – SHOW YOU SOMETHING
A-Q – AGU JI NDI MEN’
MODENINE – NO MATTER WHAT
Long established as Modenine’s birth right, this award is his to lose. He’s won it seven times clean and any chances of another hand grabbing the trophy is when Modenine isn’t nominated. Will his winning streak be broken? Boogey is being positioned as successor to Modo’s throne. It’ll be interesting to see if he has the balls to grab this head on. Reminisce tilts towards pop on Asamalekun and A-Q and Ill Bliss are motor mouths on their respective tracks but to take on Modenine? Highly unlikely. At this stage it is safe to assume that the voting committee will give it to Modenine just for showing up.
Who should win? Anybody but Modenine
Who will win? Modenine- No matter what
As we wait for the list of winners from the actual event which will take place on the 22nd of December 2016.