The best and Top 10 Nigerian songs/Music of 2021
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After a rocky 2020 that witnessed a pandemic and national protests against police violence, Nigerian artists are hitting 2021 with a newfound force. Here is our selection of the best Nigerian music of 2021 so far.
Johnny Drille – Bad Dancer
Johnny Drille helms a suite of singers whose art furthers the gospel that Nigeria music is indeed more than afrobeats. With his debut album in view, the Mavin Records signee serves “Bad Dancer”, where he sings about treating his love interest to a slow dance even at the risk of being an oddball. Following “Mystery Girl”, Drille once again proves his affinity for declarative lyricism and fervent melodies. The singer’s long anticipated album has been slated for release in the coming quarter. Drille touts this record as the most beautiful love song you’ll hear this year and we couldn’t agree more.
Joeboy – Focus
Off the singer’s debut album, Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic comes “Focus” where the singer addresses unrequited love; urging his love interest to be more candid about her true feelings. It’s dark, moody visuals which trumpets the dangers of drinking and driving is reminiscent of the record’s hook “tori moti moti moti moti moti shayo,” which translates from Yoruba to English as “I’m so drunk that I’m intoxicated”. According to Joeboy, the record was inspired by an experience of one of his producers.
Rema – Bounce
Following a riveting run in the previous year, the singer struts into 2021, hand in hand with legendary afrobeats producer Don Jazzy, armed with an amapiano & afro-fusion bop dubbed “Bounce”. Here, the singer jacks up his storied gratification which leans towards women’s physical essence. This suffices as the first collaborative offering of Don Jazzy and his protege, Rema. It immediately became one of the hottest records in Nigeria upon release in February and it comes ahead of the singer’s highly anticipated debut album.
Ayra – Away
The last days of January saw the unveiling of Ayra Starr by Mavin Records, with an eponymous five-track EP. It’s lead single, “Away” toppled huge records like the Phyno-assisted “Highway” and pop culture-heavy “KPK” just days after it’s release. According to the 18-year old singer, the Louddaa-produced number is inspired by an intent to encourage people to shun anyone or anything that burdens them. Amidst maintaining its place atop charts and airwaves, UGCs across short-form video platforms haven’t stopped gushing out even months later.
Chike – Running (To You) (feat. Simi)
This is an alternate version of “Running” off Chike’s debut album, Boo of the Booless which has since spent a full year in the Top 10 of Apple Music Charts Nigeria. In commemoration of the opus’ one-year anniversary, Chike taps Simi to cater to lovebirds with a serenade that muses about treading the deep end for a significant other. The Voice Nigeria alumni is reaching new heights with this rendition as it dominates charts and airwaves across the continent.
Zlatan – Lagos Anthem Remix
Here, Zlatan enlists his cronies for a remix of the P.Priime-produced record themed after Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos. The record could pass for a socio-political experiment about the state of affairs. It examines the municipal at both ends of the spectrum ranging from woes of the regular Lagosian to the grandiose of their well-to-do counterparts. The remix bears some amapiano elements and has since been met with critical acclaim.
Ajebo Hustlers – Pronto (feat. Omah Lay)
The Port-Harcourt bred singers are speeding their way to becoming the foremost duo in contemporary Nigerian music following the Omah Lay-assisted “Pronto”, a brilliant sequel to the conscious “Barawo” and “Symbiosis”. The record is themed around sexual gratification which Omah Lay croons subtly in the hook. This record is one of the singles off the duo’s forthcoming debut album to be released in coming months.