The Nigerian music industry is filled with a wealth of talents, and you will be surprised by the tons of music that are released yearly by both male and female artists. DJs, radio stations and popular music tv channels have found more jams to serenade the nation with the influx of female artists in the music industry. Barely will you check a top ten chart and not see a female artist on the lineup. These female artists are raising the bar and are getting the respect they deserve. Here are 7 female Nigerian artists you should have on your playlist:
Tems is a Nigerian singer and songwriter She composed and recorded the song “Mr Rebel” in 2018 and “Try Me” a song with over 6.5 million views on YouTube in August 2019. Her unique tone and sound have earned her a huge fanbase known as the Rebel Gang, and in —– she released her debut EP, For Broken Ears. Tems collaborated with Wizkid on his hit song Essence from his Made In Lagos album. The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in July 2021, making Tems the first Nigerian female artist in history to be featured on the chart. She was also featured on Khalid’s song “Know Your Worth” alongside Afropop star Davido.
2. Ayra Starr
Oyinkansola Sarah Aderibigbe, professionally known as Ayra Starr is a 19-year-old Cotonou born Afropop singer every Nigerian should be listening to. Ayra Starr is signed to Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records, and she released her first project, the eponymous EP Ayra Starr, in January 2021. This 6-track EP caught widespread attention and made Ayra Starr one of the most talked-about artists of the year so far. With guidance from her Mavin label, which has also seen the immense growth of fellow label mate Rema in recent years, Ayra Starr is expected to deliver more amazing music in the near future.
Often referred to as The First Lady of DMW, Abdusalam Suliyat Modasola is a 22-year-old singer and songwriter with a unique voice and style. She is the first and only female artist signed to Davido Music Worldwide (DMW) and she released her first song as a DMW artist titled “Melo” in 2020. Early in 2021, Liya hinted via Twitter that an EP was on its way soon.
4. Efe Oraka
The R&B/Soul singer, Efe Oraka, is another rising female talent with a unique voice and style music fans should pay attention to. The young vocalist started singing as early as age 11, and gained considerable popularity after posting a viral Jon Bellion medley, as well as following the release of her soulful single, “Wonderland”. In 2020 she released her debut EP, Magic, which featured former Chocolate City Music CEO, M.I. Abaga on the song “Zion”.
5. Bella Alubo
Bella Alubo is an Afropop/Afro-fusion artist born and raised in Jos. Her debut solo EP, re-Bella, which features artists like Boj and Victoria Kimani, Sho Madjozi and Efya, is an embodiment of musical talent. In 2018, she released a collaborative EP with then-label mate Ycee. The duo were previously signed to Tinny Entertainment but accused the label’s founder of refusing to pay their artists. Since then Bella Alubo has released another EP titled Summer’s Over, as an independent artist. She is currently preparing to release her debut album “The Bella Buffet Album” in August 2021.
6. Dami Oniru
Dami Oniru is a young singer and songwriter. The talented artist started recording music as early as 2015 under Chase Music, a record label that she started with her colleague, Jinmi Abduls, and she released her first EP, Cliché in 2017. In February of 2019, Dami Oniru released her second EP, Bri’s Lounge,which was well-received and gained her considerable recognition.
7. Lady Donli
Zainab Donli, popularly known as Lady Donli is a 24-year-old singer/songwriter and a key figure in Nigeria’s alternative or alté music scene. The Cleveland-born and highlife-influenced singer has already collaborated with the likes of Davido, Show Dem Camp, Mr Eazi, Tems, Kida Kudz, Odunsi the Engine and Ghanaian artist Darkovibes in the past. Lady Donli released her first EP, Love or War in 2014 which was followed by two subsequent EPs, Wallflower and Letters to Her. In 2019, she released her debut album titled Enjoy Your Life, which featured artists like Amaarae, Tems, BenjiFlow, VanJess, SomaDina, SOLIS, Tomi Thomas and The Cavemen.