For the Nigerian music industry, 2018 has been an eventful year. We’ve had successes both on the home front and at the international level, collaborations with top artistes, tragedies, trends, comebacks, assurances, stew and of course, breakout artistes.
At NaijaTurnUp, we have made a list of our top 10 Breakout Artistes of 2018. Are you ready? Okay then, let’s do this.
Santi should ordinarily not fall under this category seeing as he started his foray into this industry last year with the release of “Beat It Up” on which he featured DJ Yin and Tay, but it wasn’t until this year when he served us “Alte Cruise” together with Zamir and Odunsi that he really hit his stride.
Songs like “Icy”, “Freaky”, “Rapid Fire” and collaborations with Amaarae, Shane Eagle, Bridge, Nonso Amadi, Izzy, Odunsi, and Maison2500 have since followed and formed the highlight of his break into the industry this year. There’s still a whole lot to expect from him if the successes recorded in this short time is anything to rely on and we are excited about it.
Limerick became one of the YBNL signings announced by Olamide in February and he didn’t waste time to put himself out there.
“Pesin” was the song that announced his arrival to the big leagues as the talented lyricist dazzled on an ID Cabasa-produced song, serving us a free-flowing track that easily brings to mind the early Olamide years and the pre “Chairman” songs of the legendary MI.
He has since followed “Pesin” up with “The Future”, “Ruff Play”, and scored quite a number of top collaborations with artistes of repute.
8. Nonso Amadi
Perhaps it won’t be out of place to say that the alte music genre has had a great year. There was that time when Brymo was flying the flag alone and now we have Adekunle Gold in the mix and a lot of new artistes towing that path this year.
Nonso Amadi is one of such artistes that launched his career in that line. Last year could easily have passed as his breakout year, but it’s when the industry finally takes note of you and place you on a pedestal that you start counting.
Nonso‘s music year has been delightful. Started the year with “Marry You”, a collaborative effort with Tomi Owo, another artiste that should be on this list if consistency wasn’t an issue.
Songs like “No Crime”, “Dail Me”, and collaborations with Banky W, Kida Kudz, Santi, Mystro, Tomi Agape have all been highlights of his breakout year.
When Lyta was signed by Olamide-led YBNL in February this year, a lot of people knew he had potential, but then, the music industry has seen a lot of potentials that never became more than that. Over the years, there’s been a lot of artistes that showed promise but they quickly fizzled away,
That wouldn’t be Lyta though as he quickly repaid the label’s faith in him by releasing “Time” on which he featured YBNL leader, Olamide a few days later to announce his presence on the big stage. He’s not looked back since then.
He has since gone on to release songs like “Ire”, a cover of Adekunle Gold‘s song of the same title, “Save Me” which was another cover, featured on Westsyde‘s “Kpakujemu” alongside Olamide, Terri, and Barry Jhay.
He is without doubt on our top 10 list of 2018 Breakout artistes and when you consider that he’s just 19, it’s easy to get even more excited about how much this bundle of talent still has to offer the industry.
6. Zlatan Ibile
When it comes to street anthems, very few artistes can claim to have done as much as Zlatan Ibile this year even though he is the new kid on the block.
He did not just release songs or drop slangs, this new kid introduced a new dance step that has since gone viral. Who can claim not to be aware of his leg work steps? Fans jump on songs he’s on just to watch him do the leg work dance.
His popularisation of Gbe Body Eh as part of his “Zanku” song is another plus to his name. Other songs like “Jogor”, “Osanle”, and collabs with Davido, Lil Kesh, Davolee and others made him one of the standout newcomers that made things happen on the Nigerian music scene this year.
What’s that song by Sean about one man changing the world? Well, Idowest must have done a subconscious remix in his head as he made an instant impact with his songs. Talk about one song changing the industry, right?
Idowest can easily lay claim to being one of those that ushered in the reigning shaku shaku movement. When he dropped “Omo Shepeteri” in January, it et the ball rolling for him and it wasn’t a surprise when Davido‘s DMW came for him later in the year, officially making him one of 2018’s biggest faces.
He has since dropped more songs, collaborated with Davido on “Ji Masun”, a song that went viral and featured on a number of trending songs.
Another breakout artiste in the alte music genre is BOJ who has surpassed what anyone expected this year. Songs like “Kiss Me Kiss Me”, “Bill Up” and not forgetting the “Make E No Cause Fight” EP that he dropped alongside Ajebutter22.
BOJ earned his place on this list and judging by the momentum at which he’s blazing on, there’s no doubt at all that he’s headed for the top and we are excited for what this holds for the industry.
Is there any need to explain why Peruzzi is even on this list? Perhaps, the question should not be who did Peruzzi collaborate with this year and should instead be who did Peruzzi not collaborate with this year?
For a newcomer, Peruzzi is definitely not acting as one. The way he’s been strutting around the industry, you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s been at the top for an upwards of five years.
Prior to his collab with 2face on “Amaka”, the song that went viral, Peruzzi had been a steady face but that song too catapulted him and now, he has collaborated with all of the big faces and dropped some of 2018’s trending songs.
Can anyone reasonably fault Odunsi‘s appearance on this list? Some will argue that he’s been alternative music’s biggest ambassador this year, at least on the Nigerian music scene.
Odunsi the Engine has not just made a name for himself, he has built a loyal fan base and created a following that surpass the length of time he’s spent since he burst to limelight.
“Alte Cruise”, “Desire”, “Mine”, “Divine” and the trending project, “Falling” are some of the highlights of 2018 that stood Odunsi out and that’s not forgetting the top collabs with Davido, MI, Show Dem Camp, Santi, Falz, Ajebutter22 among others.
1. Teni Makanaki
We want to wait for anyone to come forward and dispute this. Has 2018 seen a bigger breakout than Teni? Her Headies win is just one of the many validations of her hardwork, but the fans will strike their chest proudly and declare Teni one of the biggest faces around.
In fact, if a list of artistes that shook the industry in 2018 will be made, Teni will make the top 10 list. It’s rare for a young artiste and newcomer to have such loyal following as Teni does but her brand of music ensures that she is always in the news and is always connected to the fans.
Teni is number one on our list. Songs like “Askamaya”, “Shake Am, “Case”, “Lagos”, “Fake Jersey”, “Wait” and more set Teni apart this year and we are proud to name her our number one breakout star of 2018.
Do you agree with our list? Who should you think should make the list that did not? Who do you think shouldn’t be on this list? Share your thoughts in the comments section. We are listening.