20 New Nigerian Artists To Watch In 2019, A wise man once said; “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game.” The wise man was Young Thug!
The game changes, pon pon goes, shaku comes, zanku follows, Duncan, Trap, hip-hop take it’s turn, EDM, then dancehall is here. Know what’s happening? The game keeps changing.
And with the advent of the Internet, and Social Media, things change so fast. How attention quickly shifted from Slimcase to Duncan Mighty to Burna to Zlatan, was just so fast. And that’s inevitable. The game has to change. Say, homeostasis. Or we keep having the same ‘boring’ guys over and over.
Cut the crap, that’s why new guys have to storm the mainstream and give us stuff we like. And out of the thousands of artists we have, only just a few are getting the attention they deserve. It’s everywhere.
Everyone can’t blow, but unless we all blind and deaf, we’d still see and hear the one that are most promising.
Honestly, it took long to compile this list of guys that may justshoot up this 2019. Twenty MF badass-es that have got good vibes and are dropping fire. One of ’em is totally going home with the Rookie of The Year Award, at the end of the year. Let’s get at it quick!
It’s been quite over a year since Wizkid ‘discovered’ this kid and put him on the biggest hit of 2018, “Soco” alongside Ceeza Milli and Spotless.
Since then, he’s “signed on the dotted line” – a deal with StarBoy! – and has gone on to drop a couple singles proving his dopeness, his ability to keep that “shit” going.
He’s gained ground for himself as one of the guys to be on the lookout for this year. Like my guy said, you should fear a guy that can sound like Wizkid, Reekado Banks and Mayorkun, at will.
Notable Track(s) : Bia, Shuu, Soco (with Wizkid, Ceeza & Spotless)
He’s got a number of hits, down. We all know the young YBNL singer is the next big thing, after Mayorkun. He’s got not only the voice, but the vibe and energy, and above all, a huge platform.
If I was LYTA, I wouldn’t rest until I have that Next Rated plaque on my desk. Doesn’t seem like niggi’s resting.
Notable Track(s): Time (with Olamide), Self Made
Talking of underground, Oxlade has been under for a while now, doing his thing, making good music, building a fanbase to “strong gidi gan.” He’s got an army of cult-like followers who are repping him anywhere.
Instagram filter aside, guy’s got good music. You don’t even know what’s coming. If you’re not a fan before, you could start being one now. PS: You could still get a follow back.
Notable Track(s): Shugar, Sing (with Fireboy), Mami Wota (with Blaqbonez), Ojoro.
He’s the next big thing to happen to hip-hop in Nigeria. Everyone knows that. Since “Last Time Under” the industry has been paying attention, and then after You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Life, we all like “oh, what you got, boy?” and he was like “ok, let me show you what I got.”
What did we get? Crazy singles, collabos with M.I, A-Q, Loose Kaynon, and a confam album. What else do we need to ‘validate’ this guy?
Notable Track(s): Play, Mami Wota (with Oxlade), Melanin Melody
When he first came, fans wanted him to prove himself and not just say he’s Dagrin’s relative and we should listen to him ’cause of that. He did that!
It wasn’t Dagrin’s influence, young nigga built his brand, and yeah, he’s got what it takes. He’s hyper-consistent, too. And this year, nobody knows what we in for.
Notable Track(s): Lazy Nigerian Youth, Won A Gba, Beware, Wild Mind.
Indigenous. Dope. Lyrical. That’s what Mode Real is. And he’s been keeping it real, for a while, dropping impressive stuff.
He even caught Reminisce’s attention with his Ajigijaga cover, which inspired the Murk Reminisce challenge.
Listen to him, and you’ll know he’s fucking next rated !
Notable Track(s): Bad, Eruku (with Limerick, Wizblaze, Rhymez), So Far, Never Back Down featuring Alaye Proof.
Fireboy’s success story is just amazing. Of all that Olamide signed last year, Fireboy’s signing seemed the one that was less planned. The announcement wasn’t noisy.
I didn’t know anything like that happened until the mixtape came, and we were like “who’s this boy with fire” (pun intended!) The YBNL Mixtape was Fireboy’s. And he judiciously took his shine.
Notable Track(s): Sing (with Oxlade), Jealous, Fire Down (with Picazo), Le Le Yi (with Lil Kesh), I’ll Be Fine.
Mbada changed his life, but even before then, boy’s been hustling, doing his music, rapping his heart out, dropping stuffs.
Then Zoro’s “Mbada” contest came, he was one of the four finalist and was put on the Remix. He even murdered all other guys on the remix.
The Anambra native, is known for his speed, and is even called the Igbo Eminem. A few buttons right, and he’d be on your TV screens.
Notable Track(s): Asi, Eminem Ndi Igbo, Mbada (Remix).
These days, nobody even knows what Tobi is anymore. A singer with a failed attempt at rap, or a rapper with a failed attempt at singing?
Whichever way, point remains, he’s versatile (and talented). Been pushing since ’15, probably long before that. And he’s managed to build a fanbase for himself. You could tell he’s got big things coming his way.
Notable Track(s): Grind, Gbes, Kolo, Wayo
We’ve not really felt all the heat since he’s been signed to YBNL, but best case scenario, this year we’re gonna feel ‘the’ heat. Worst case scenario? We’re gonna feel ‘some’ heat.
Picazo blew up last year when his freestyles on Instagram became very popular, and caught the attention of Olamide. He was signed up, and all we can say is 2019 has just began.
Notable Track(s): Juju, Guns and Roses (with Limerick, YomiBlaze & Davolee), Fire Down (with FireBoy), Macaroni.
You guessed right! Yomi is dope. He’s gonna murder anybody that dares him. Known as, ika, which is Yoruba word for wicked, the boy is a hardcore rapper you should watch out for.
Signed alongside Picazo, you probably know he’s friends with Picazo.
Notable Track(s): Ika, Juju, Guns & Roses (with Picazo, Limerick, Davolee)
First day I saw this guy’s song, I downloaded it mistakenly thinking it was Nasty C. I thought Nasty C featured Killertunes, wow. Then I downloaded, boom, it was C Natty. But I didn’t waste my data.
Now an artiste under Killertunes’ imprint, Tribe II, C Natty is a talented singer (a Wizkid clone you’d say) and he’s doing so fine. More music is what he needs to just blow up more.
Notable Track(s): Love Me, Special Girl (with T Classic & Killertunes), Rolacosta, Stamina (with DJ Spinall, Ceeza Milli)
Last year, Ypee was on over 100 songs. Yeah, that’s exaggerated, but I actually lost count of how many tracks he did.
Grinding, putting in hard work, as an artist and producer. If hardwork pays, Ypee should be one of the guys that will disturb the wave this year.
Unfortunately, hardwork pays!
Been signed to Funke Akindele and JJC Skillz’s SOP Records, he’s been dropping music and has been making waves.
The recognition is partly due to Funke’s, but apart from that, he’s super talented and while that’s not enough to blow here. He’s got all he needs! Are you seeing what I’m seeing?
Notable Track(s): Ju Dice, Sewere, Necessary, Secure The Money Bag featuring Falz.
Who’s not crushing on Bliss, and why? And, how are you not?
A female rapper, who burst-her-rhymes in Ignores. She raps better than many of the guys you’ll ever hear rap. She’s consistently proving herself as one of those who deserve more attention, in this over-saturated industry.
She was very active last year, and she’s even more active this year. Kinda depends on how much you use Instagram. But very soon, you won’t even need to have sub.
Notable Track(s): Lioness, Marry Me, Turn By Turn, Open Roof (with Smarshilo)
The Ikorodu boy has been in the game for so long and is actually long overdue for mainstream attention. But, hey, I think it’s time. 2019 might just be his year. It’s not hard to find independent guys fucking shit up big time, these days.
Notable Track(s): Lagbaja, Eyan Bash Ali, Hello 2 Celebrities.
The only Trapper on the list (screw that, the only Trapper in the whole metropolis.) Nobody actually takes Trap music so serious around here. At least, not as serious as Toby Xeptember (Xept for short!)
The Bayelsa boy doesn’t only do Trap music, he’s a follower of the culture. He loves lean, drop mixtapes like its water, dresses like Trapstars.
He believes Trap is gonna tiaras a big niche genre, and make it to the mainstream in years to come. If that contraction happens, Xept is a big thing!
Notable Track(s): The 1718 Lifestyle
DynamiQ is unique (see what I did there?) and the way he drips his bars, you’d think he’s A-Q. Dope head, too lyrical to be indigenous (no offense to the ofe nsalas), he almost sounds like a Jos or Kaduna breed. But boy’s Igbo. And he’s got juice. Already done enough to deserve our attention.
Notable Track(s): Let It Go, Wavey, Killer
Breezy is a lover of rap. An indigenous hip-hop artist, from Ilorin, and he got vibe. If you don’t got vibe, you wouldn’t wanna do an album. You gotta watch the guy, he’s a bomb!
Notable Track(s): Resurrection (with Pele Pele), Guilding (with Amazing Ypee), Lighter (with Rhito, Mode Real)
17 and running. Been grinding since he was 15, when he made a name for himself with his cover of Ycee’s smash hit, “Juice.” He then released the Ypee-assisted “Chop” and recently “Shey Normal.” He’s coming with the Jaypizzle-produced “Come Show.”
Notable Track(s): Money, Chop (with Amazing Ypee), Bicycle (with Quasar Miami), Shey Normal.
Watch this space!
Written by Adebayo Stephen follow him on IG Adebayo_Stephen_official