Nigerian Artistes To Watch Out For in 2019
A wise man once said, “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard” and this has been evident in the Nigerian music industry, where certain artistes who are supremely talented, refuse to put in the work required and then become less successful than those who are clearly less talented than they are.
The year 2018 has shown us some great talents who we believe will take their current levels of success to higher levels in the coming year, and make huge impacts in the industry. Just in case you’re thinking, “no one can tell the future, you do not have the crystal ball”, well we agree, this list is not based on some divine revelation or innate super powers, but based on the clear progress we have observed in the artistes’ careers over time due to the hard work they have put in. If Nostradamus were alive today, he would most likely concur with this list you are about to read as well. Below are the list of Nigerian Artistes To Watch Out For in 2019
1. Peruzzi – Peruzzi was featured by the legend 2Baba, on one of the biggest tracks of 2018 titled ‘amaka’, so he needs little or no introduction. His real names are Tobechukwu Victor Okoh and he was signed to DMW in 2017. However, Peruzzi has been on his musical grind from way back and even caught our ears back in 2011 when he used to rap and go by the name TC Peruzzi. If we are keeping it 100, he had some cool lines but he wouldn’t have struck you as the sickest rapper. Over the years though, he sure found his sound and improved his singing skills. He released his debut album under DMW titled “Heartwork” and it’s being received positively. We expect some videos off the project in 2019 as well as a crazy run from Peruzzi.
2. Teni – Teni aka Teni Makanaki is one very talented musician who we have seen evolve from being only a ‘social media phenomenon’ where she constantly put out viral videos, (an act which birthed her single ‘Fargin’ that put her on everyone’s radar in 2017 while she studied In an American University) to a professional main stream artiste. She is already taking the industry by storm and has released a number of hit tracks this year including case, askamaya, fake jersey etc. When she performs, she lights up the whole arena, carrying her audience along every step of the way. She is currently signed to Doctor Dolor Entertainment and is definitely going to do bigger things next year.
3. Odunsi – Odunsi aka The Engine, is a singer and producer from Lagos state who kicked off his musical career in 2016 with the release of his debut project titled TOOL (Time of our Lives) which positioned him as one of the leaders of the ‘new wave’. His sound as introduced on TOOL was a blend of underlying African sounds with EDM, soul and Reggae music, one he tags as Afro-Fusion. The project was definitely a breath of fresh air and put him on the map as an artiste to watch out for.
He then followed up in 2017 with a single titled desire, which featured Funbi and Tay Iwar, as well as a 4 track joint EP titled ‘War’ which he worked on with another new age rising star Nonso Amadi. He also featured on both of MI abaga’s projects ‘ Rendezvous’ and ‘Yung Denzl’ , released in 2018, which increased his popularity among the old heads and music lovers around the world. To top of the year 2018, He showed his evolution as an artiste by dishing out an amazing debut album titled ‘rare’, which features heavy weights like Davido, Runtown and Nasty C. He is referred to as one of the pioneers of the alté movement and would be hosting his first headline concert on the 24th of December 2018. He is currently with universal records and has announced plans to tour parts of the United Kingdom in the early parts of next year. Watch out for Odunsi in 2019.
4. Blaqbonez – When it comes to hard work and consistency, Rapper Blaqbonez (born: Emeka Akumefule) exemplifies these on a high level. He caught our ears at first, when he won the zombie rap competition organized by Terry the Rapman in 2012. Ever since, Blaqbonez has been firing on all cylinders. The rapper released his debut mixtape Hip hop in Blaq (HHIB) in 2013, and followed up with more singles and an Ep titled “Unfinished Ep” in 2014. However the year 2015 was when blaqbonez started popping up on major radars. He went on to participate at various rap competitions including the King Kong rap competition by Vector which he was first runner up, and the rhythm freestyle fury competition, as well as the Hennessy vs class competition which he both won.
In the same year he released his very much anticipated CTAT mixtape which got over 60,000 engagements and he also went on to feature on the sound city blast cypher. The year 2016 saw him release singles like wave boy and Rambo which featured heavy weights Vector and Dremo. At this point he was already getting cosigns from the likes of ill bliss, Mi abaga, Terry the Rapman, Ycee and so on. He then released another Mixtape, a 17 track body of work titled ‘Last time Under’ in February 2017 which got him even more recognition and expanded his audience and fan base. This year however is his biggest yet. He is currently working with chocolate city, signed to 100 crowns and has had The legend MI abaga cosign him numerous times. He released his debut album titled ‘bad boy blaq’ this year which had MI as it’s executive producer as well and it is currently tagged as one of the best Rap projects of 2018. We are surely set to get more fire from blaqbonez in 2019.
5. Zlatan Ibile – Zlatan Ibile (Born: Temidayo Omoniyi) is another rapper you have to watch out for in 2019. This dude is arguably the hardest indigenous rapper out there at the moment. We saw Zlatan for the first in 2014, at the final of a rap competition hostel by airtel in Abeokuta, Ogun state where he emerged winner after impressing judges ID cabasa and Reminisce. He then got on to work with the veteran Producer ID Cabasa as part of the rewards for winning the competition.
This was his gateway into the music Industry as he was just 19 years old at the time. Fast forward to 2018, Zlatan has become quite popular with his music and is currently the major pioneer of the Zanku – Leg work Dance and Movement. He has tracks with heavy weights like Olamide and Davido and is set to host his own concert early next year. We suspect he also has unreleased music with Burna Boy and he’s expected to shake up the industry in 2019. “Kapaichumarimarichopaco”
6. Fireboy DML – Fireboy (Born: Adedamola Adefolahan) is a singer based in Lagos state and is currently signed to Olamide’s YBNL. He studied English at the Obafemi Awolowo University, where he gathered his initial and core fanbase before Olamide signed him. His fanbase is currently increasing though and based not only on his immense talent and vocal abilities as displayed on previously released tracks and freestyle videos, but on the reception of the recently released YBNL Mafia family album , he seems to be everyone’s favorite and thus he is another artiste we think you should watch out for in 2019.
7. Oxlade – Oxlade is pretty new on the scene as well, but he is profoundly talented. First time we heard about oxlade was his feature on the bad boy Blaq album by Blaqbonez, where he killed this particular jam titled ‘mamiwota’ then we heard him on another joint track with Fireboy DML titled ‘Sing’ and that song was so good, it even caught the ears of many industry veterans including Davido who cosigned Him and we suspect might be looking to sign him up in the coming year. He recently released a single titled shugar and is available on all platforms. Oxlade is another talented hard worker to watch out for in 2019.
So who else do you think we need to watch out for in the coming year? You can let us know via our comment section.