Keep your eyes on these Nigerian artistes, among them is the next big thing

Like the bloom of a flower, the turning point in the career of an artiste is a beautiful sight to behold. It is the period between being in the underground and operating in the mainstream. It is the period between being up and coming, and becoming established. It is referred to as the breakout period. Every great artiste in history, at one time or another; had their breakout experience.

After convincing us with the beauty of their talents and showing signs of readiness for the big stage; a crop of budding Nigerian music talents are tipped to experience their period of bloom. These talents have impressed over singles, collaborations, EPs and stage performances. They have been knocking for a while and are now set to break through the glass ceiling of mainstream music.

Here is a list of artistes to watch in 2018:

LADY DONLI: I call her the vibe princess because of the manner with which she rolls out streaming lines with the delivery of a rapper and the depth of a poet. It is a beauty to listen to her blend jazz and hip-hop music in a manner reminiscent of Lauryn Hill.

Lady Donli commands a growing fan base, following the offering of two EPs and a number of well-received singles. Her song, “Ice Cream” ft. Tomi Thomas was featured on Complex’s “Bout to Blow,” alongside music from global super stars like Katy Perry, Drake and Wizkid and Migos.

She brings a fine alternative to the diluted Afro-pop music in circulation, in the Nigerian music market. More Nigerians are expected to lend their ears to the calling voice of Lady Donli, who look would usher her into the realm of mainstream music.

ODUNSI THE ENGINE: One of the new generation alternative artistes referred to as “Sound cloud artistes.”The singer and producer caught the attention of Nigerians through his uploads on the streaming platform and he has since won many more over, with his serenades.

His joint War EP with Nonso Amadi is a stand out material and it got a revered artiste like M.I to tip him for great things. Odunsi hit the billboard most viral charts at number 5, and he is still only 19 years of age, with no record deal. The promising act is set to take his music to a new height in 2018.

TOLANI: An ardent believer in the potential of the African sound and an advocate for the original Afrobeat, Tolani looks set to make a difference in the music industry. He takes pride in the fact that he is the first African artiste to feature in the Iconic Fela and Beatles Abbey road music studio competition. The acceptance of Tolani’s songs seems to be increasing with every new offering and he looks set to hit his stride in 2018.

JINMI ABDULS: The 21-year old singer is one of the prominent players in the ongoing revolution to pull down the wall of resistance to alternative music in Nigeria. Jinmi Abduls has recorded considerable amount of success in establishing himself. His Jinmi of Lagos album got rave reviews, he was nominated in the category of ‘Fast Rising Act’ at the 2017 Nigerian Teen Choice Awards, his song also topped charts in other African countries like Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe. The young man has done so much in such a short time and he look set for more achievements.

MINZ: I first heard about Minz when one of my Twitter friends shared with me, soundcloud links to songs by some new generation artistes. He is in the Artists & Repertoire (A&R) business, so you can guess that his suggestions are made of filtered material. Even with the plethora of good music material, Minz’s music stood out and I got to listen to tens of his songs. I followed up on his music career and I got to learn that he actually commands a good following even outside the country. Last year, he headlined his own show in Gabon and the singer is set for bigger things this year.

TENI: 2017 was good to Teniola Apata. She first caught the attention of Nigerians with her freestyle videos on the Internet, then she went on to release one of the songs that trended in the year. She signed a record deal, released a video and became an instant sensation. She even took the credit for writing a song for Davido. She is expected to continue her good run and leap even higher up the scale of prominence.

SQUEEZE TARELA: He is called the “record killer” for his amazing skill with melodies and rhythm. The singer, whose ambition for greatness brought him down from London; found his way to the spotlight in 2017. He made a good impression with ‘Hottest Thing’ and then really allowed his talent manifest on ‘Better.’ He went ahead to compliment his artistic brilliance with some good moves in the area of management and promotion, all this looks set to come together to usher him through the door of mainstream music.

YOVI: This LRR act had a flash of brilliance with his 2017 song, ‘Amen.’ The song got enough buzz to be referred to as a sleeper hit. Yovi made a statement with the song and he got music lovers to earmark him as a bundle of talent and one to watch out for in the future. With the support system available to him at his label and the mentorship of Reminisce, the budding singer looks to be entering his breakout phase.

Written by Oluwatobi Ibironke

Ibironke Oluwatobi was a shortlisted participant in The Critic Challenge 2017. He is a writer and a reader, whose interest lie in entertainment and socio-politics. He holds a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering, which he earned from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Ogbomoso, in 2015. He has written for publications including PulseNG, Tush Magazine, Tooxclusive, Daily Sun Newspaper, YNaija. He is mostly inspired by the Hip-Hop community. He hopes to publish books in the future. He shares his perspective on selected topics from his home in Lagos State, Nigeria.

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