We have carefully picked the bests to look out for in 2022 and it would be a blessing to your ears once you decide to listen to their music.
2021 was really a year in the Nigerian music industry that saw the rise of upcoming and debut acts leading the industry to work relentlessly to secure prominence.
Olasunkanmi Rehanat Alonge, better known by her stage name Sunkanmi, is a Nigerian songwriter and singer. She rose to little fame after featuring Olamide on her hit single “For Body” in 2015, 6 years later, Sunkanmi dropped “Body Language EP” with her single “Body Language” climbing the Nigerian Top 100 Charts, her song was a popular Instagram sensation & we are not expecting her to stop at that, I am expecting her to go harder in 2022.
Signed to Don Jazzy’s record label – Mavin Records, Magixx is a 23-year-old Mass Communications graduate from the University of Lagos. On the 23rd of September, 2021 he was activated as a Mavin and dropped a self-titled EP “Magixx EP” which debuted on Top 10 Apple Music Albums Nigeria.
Singles like “Love Don’t Cost a Dime” & “Like A Movie” also charted Top 100 Songs Nigeria. If you check the history of Mavin acts, their sophomore year is always doper than their debut year so we are looking forward to seeing Magixx take over the global scene this year.
Ugochi Onuoha with the stage name “Guchi” is a Nigerian singer/songwriter who put out “Addicted” in 2019 and the single has now crossed 2.5 Million views on YouTube.
Earlier this year, she released “Benzema” – a single that went viral on TikTok and over 3 million views on YouTube.
Recently, the songbird featured Zlatan on “Scatter My Head”, a single which is already doing very well.
Guchi is a talented artist and we know for sure that she is coming with more fire in 2022.
You probably heard Jaywillz for the first time on “Jailer” off Olamide’s 9th studio Album “UY Scuti”. Amazing thing was, Jaywillz already dropped an EP titled “Love or the Word” a month before the release of UY Scuti.
Days after the Olamide feature, Medicine a song from his EP became a charts & TikTok sensation and is still currently on the Top 100 Songs on the Apple Music Nigeria charts. Watch out for Jaywillz in 2022!
For the first time, we saw the name “Savage” on “Confident featuring Buju” on the Apple Music Top 100 Nigeria charts and immediately clicked to listen to the song and it stuck as an immediate jam. A few days to that time and into weeks, “Confident” was already a national jam treasure as it climbed up the charts rapidly.
You probably thought Savage was done with “Confident” but NO! He hit us with “Rosemary featuring Victony” and followed up with his debut EP, “Utopia” which has a strong lineup of “Buju, Victony, Kida Kudz, Emtee” and a host of others – you probably need to bless your ears with a listen.
It is certain that in 2022, Savage would be a force to reckon with in the industry.
This is a personal favorite for us. Born Tonade Oladapo Adetunji, “Oladapo” is a final year Engineering student of the University Of Lagos, Singer & Songwriter. The Afro-fusion wonder-kid rose to fame after his debut with Sony Music West Africa on “Alone” produced by P.Priime, a song with emotions that served as the lead single to his 5-tracked EP titled “Blind” which made him more famous and has given him the chance to perform on a lot of stages.
In 2019, Oladapo was a part of the first set of students of Mr. Eazi’s Empawa Africa initiative. Also cited by Complex as one of the 10 artists to watch, I am very confident about this guy and I know he is going to perform excellently next year.
Born Adindu Victor, AV is a young musician and composer from a family of music lovers. His debut single “Big Thug Boys” was not only a Nigerian smash hit but it was a chart breaker in Africa.
AV did not stop at that, he served us “Confession” which currently charts on the Apple Music Top 100 Nigeria. If AV could give us two smash hits in his debut year, it would definitely be easier in 2022!
Sometime in 2020, a youngin hit us with a 6-tracked EP titled “Saturn” that had Falz on the feature of “Maria”. The EP marked a beautiful start to his career and was tipped to be wavy in 2021. However, the delay is not denial as Victony bounced back from his accident and hit us with a comeback 2-tracked EP titled “Dark Times” explaining his life from the accident.
He later got a feature on Mayorkun’s Album on the viral hit “Holy Father” which later charted at Number 1 on the Apple Music Top 100 Nigeria for weeks. Victony was also on Savage’s Utopia single “Rosemary” and recently dropped a collaboration EP with Nigerian talented producer “Rexxie” titled “Nataraja” that has two singles.
Victony probably blew your minds and will be standing tall in 2022.
One of the artists that had the best breakout year for me was Lojay! From the debut collaboration EP with powerhouse producer Sarz titled “LV N Attn” that had single like “Tonongo, Monalisa & LV N Attn feat. Wizkid”.
“Monalisa” later went to become a jam that would be competing for mainstream honours. Lojay was recently featured on “Only Fan” alongside Zlatan Ibile on DJ Neptune’s “Greatness 2.0” Album a single which is currently a friend with the charts. We are definitely expecting bangers from Lojay in 2022.
Top of our list is Fave, a fourth-year Law Student at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. Fave broke out in 2020 after posting a freestyle video of a free Jinmi Abduls produced beat on Twitter (the freestyle was later released as NBU).
The freestyle video put her on the radar with people like Bizzle Osikoya, Mr. Eazi & Empawa Music & Olamide amongst others monitoring her. In 2021, she released “Beautifully” which received a loud ovation from the Afrobeats audience and she was featured on “Pon Pon & Want” two tracks from Olamide’s 9th Studio Album “UY Scuti”.
She did not only stop at the UY Scuti feature but dropped “Baby Riddim” which peaked at Number 2 on the Top 100 Nigerian Apple Music charts and was number 1 in other African Countries like Ghana, Uganda, and Gambia. “Baby Riddim” was a viral TikTok sensation and was gradually popping on everybody’s Instagram Reel. Fave is definitely worth keeping an eye on in 2022.
Thank You for reading through, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year, but we would not let you leave without answering the big question;
WHO WERE YOU EXPECTING ON THE LIST THAT MISSED OUT?
Let us know in the comments section.
By David “Elemoh” Olaoye
Creative Team Lead, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife