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2021 Top 10: Nigerian Songs

With new acts like Ayra Starr and Monalisa making waves for themselves with “Bloody Samaritan” and “Monalisa” respectively, staple figures in the industry in Olamide and Adekunle Gold did not back down either, coming in hot with dope singles in “Rock” and “High”; here is our Top 10 Nigerian Songs for 2021.

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For the second installment of our 2021 Top 10, we have decided to go with top Nigerian songs that not only had tens of thousands of playtime on our individual playlists, positioned reputably on various charts, made a trend for themselves either through social media challenges or just by the aura the song gives off but also are certified bangers in real life, that is, the streets, clubs, parties etc.

It is no secret that there is no “official” chart yet in Nigeria where music fans, enthusiasts and listeners in general can go to source statistical data of individual songs but thanks to the Apple Music Hot 100, TurnTable Charts, Official UK Afrobeats Chart, Top Charts, we were able to put the chart positioning of the 10 songs that will appear on our Top 10 Nigerian songs for 2021 into reasonable perspectives.

Criteria:

• The song must be a 2021 released single.

• The song must have appeared on various charts Top 10, especially. . .

• . . .a Top 10 presence on Apple Music Hot 100 and TurnTable Charts. . .

• . . .and at least a reasonable positioning on iTunes, YouTube or the Official UK Afrobeats Chart.

Now let us get straight into the Top 10 with some few words on why each song made it on our list and why it is ranked in its respective position.

10. MonalisaLojay, Sarz

Like an unexpected loud bang in the middle of the night, Lojay burst into the Nigerian mainstream scene with Monalisa from the Sarz-produced “LV N ATTN” EP . Thanks to our mazophilic brethrens, anytime they hear “‘Cause this your miliki for front na for me” or those who tend to be pygophilic than the average dude, hearing “Ibadi e lo ta bi rodo orekelewa / . . . / Your water bum wey drown like tsunami orekelewa o ehe“, the ambience immediately takes up a mosh-pit life of its own.

Monalisa peaked at No. 3 on NG Apple Music (AM) Hot 100, No. 4 on NG iTunes, No. 4 across various radio stations and No. 7 on TurnTable Charts (TTC). Quite some impressive numbers for a first time charting song by an artiste in the ever volatile and competitive music world.

9. SoundgasmRema

Hold! Wait! You must be thinking how the heck is Soundgasm this low on the ranks, best belive, we thought likewise too but as the popular meme goes: “It is what it is”. Rema’s sensual hit single, Soundgasm, is a force to reckon with undoubtedly, especially the effort in transforming the R18 sexual innuendos filled bridge into an ASMR voiced commercial success without the NBC having a problem with it or even outrightly banning the song from being played on radios and TVs, a very commendable one, not too many artistes can pull off.

Rema’s Soundgasm enjoyed fruitful charting, achieving the pole spots on AM and YouTube while peaking at No. 2 on TTC and iTunes; the song is still currently enjoy massive airplays till date, so sweet to hear like the “Do-oh, do-oh, do-oh, do-oh, do-oh, do-oh, do-oh, do-oh, ah-ah” hook.

8. Sip (Alcohol) Joeboy

The intoxicating trendy smah-hit single by Joeboy debuted at No. 1 on different charts in the country, so much that people got figuratively drunk and started to show-off their weird sides (but lest I digress). In general, Alcohol (as it is colloquially known) is a feel good song which exuberates positive vibes unto the listeners.

TurnTable Charts, iTunes and Apple Music Hot 100 peak of No. 1; No. 3 peak on the Official UK Afrobeats Chart says a lot about the massive reception of the single by fans all over the world. I feel it would also be wise to note that Sip (Alcohol) only ranks this low on our list because it is the most recently released single amongst the songs we deliberated on; it was released about 2 months ago, September 24 to be precise.

7. Bounce Ruger

The Kukbeatz-produced big chune which mesmerises females with jiggly big bums, inevitably causing them to “Wiggle that booty and whine fi me” is no stranger to our earbuds at this point.

Like the title says, the song bounced its way to the top position on NG Apple Music and its affiliate iTunes NG while also maintaining an average 7th position across radio stations in the country and a peak of 4th on TTC. Ruger definitely made a ground statement with Bounce and no denying we all bopped to the tune.

6. Rock Olamide

Hmm! What else can I say? Olamide’s presence on every end-of-the-year song or album debate is always expected and that is FACTS. With Rock (and the subsequent “UY Scuti”) release, Olamide completed the beautiful transitioning into a pop artiste so blissfully, a newbie would have thought Baddo had always been a singer, an English-speaking one at that.

The midtempo Eskeez production perfectly matches Olamide’s gentle wooing vocals, gliding the song to peaking at No. 1 on AM, TTC and YouTube, with a No. 2 charting pinnacle on iTunes and an average of 8th spot across Nigerian radio airplays. I ask again: what else can I say? The song rocks!

5. UnderstandOmah Lay

The loveability of Understand was instantaneous. Immediately the kick starts sounding, we immediately begin to fictionalise Omah Lay’s first words, first line, first rhyme, in fact, the entire song but the irony lies in the fact that we enjoyed the tale of a heartbroken man, even forming dance moves to go with the Tempoe-made instrumentals.

However, what has Omah Lay been able to accomplish with Understand? A rightful top spot on the Apple Music Hot 100 and YouTube, not forgetting that of TurnTable Charts. I guess it is safe to say, heartbreak makes for the best R&B songs.

4. Bloody Samaritan Ayra Starr

When the 19-year-old Benin Republic born gifted singer, Ayra Starr, magnificently declared: “Everything I desire, I go receive“, she meant it unremorsefully. Releasing her eponymous debut EP was a moment for Ayra Starr, something very uncommon for a female artiste in the Nigerian music industry but Ayra Starr and her team pulled the right strings and it worked out marvellously in her favour.

Bloody Samaritan and its low effort dance move forced a TikTok frenzy amongst influencers and fans of Ayra Starr, shooting it up various charts, even till date, the song still ranks high among its contemporaries, that is, song that was released within the same time frame of early August. We have it peaking on the TTC and iTunes rank, a peak of No. 2 on NG Apple Music, No. 5 on Official UK Afrobeats Chart and an average of 7th position across varying radio charts in the country to show for it.

In case you need the Ayra Starr’s formula to stardom and commercial success, just know: “A wise man said, “Follow the stars”“.

3. High Adekunle Gold ft. Davido

AG Baby and Baddest brought their A-game when recording High. The Amapiano-infused instrumental made it easy for the vibrant track to enter the already infected Amapiano oversaturated Nigerian music soundscape.

The charts took the “Me I just want to be high / Be aight, be high” verbatim, placing it No. 1 on AM and iTunes, 2nd spot peak on YouTube and TTC, including an average No. 7 rank on various radio charts in the country. Well as Davido said “Watimagbo“, we indeed did hear High unrelentlessly.

2. PeruFireboy DML

Not to sound condescendingly oblivious but who would have thought Fireboy DML would be the artiste to break the Official UK Afrobeats Chart record? Going 4 straight week at No. 1? An incredible feat!

Fireboy could not be extinguished as Peru literally continued to burn fiery hot, tearing down charts, peaking at No. 1 on Apple Music Hot 100 and its sister chart, iTunes as fans bought the track, not paying mind to how much the single cost.

1. Feeling LadiPoe, Buju

Feeling being at the summit of our Top 10 Nigerian songs probably did not surprise you. Yes, we know that already. Apart from being our No. 1, LadiPoe’s and Buju’s well composed Feeling song enjoyed viewing other songs at No. 1 on Apple Music Hot 100, iTunes and TurnTable Charts.; an average 6th spot spin on varying radio stations in the country is not bad either.

Cliché but LadiPoe and Buju must really like the way they are feeling now.

Honourable Mentions:

• Outside – Buju
• Bling – Blaqbonez ft. Amaarae & Buju
• Naira Marley – Zinoleesky
• Lie – Kizz Daniel
• Big Thug Boys – AV

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Ckay features Blxckie on new track “By Your Side”

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2021 breakthrough artiste, CKay, is not letting his foot off the pedal yet, putting out two new singles, one of which is titled “By Your Side” featuring South African vocalist and rapper, Blxckie.

“By Your Side” production starts slow with CKay gliding his smooth R&B-toned vocals on the well paced drumbeat intertwined with violin sound, singing to his love interest about how she makes him loose himself anytime he is around her and how she is always on his mind.

Gradually the instrumentation gains pace, giving room for a more lively mood and of course, dancing, as the most sought after Amapiano sound is blended with the production; Blxckie woukd eventually come on, singing a little, before spitting some bars in his native mother tongue.

“By Your Side” is produced by Tumisho. Listen:

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JAY-Z adds “Free Mind” by Tems, “Mood” by Wizkid and “Feeling” by LadiPoe & Buju to his 2021 playlist

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American legendary rapper and business mogul, JAY-Z, adds 3 Nigerian songs to his playlist curated on Tidal, a streaming platform owned majorly by him. The 3 songs are: Free Mind, Mood and Feeling.

Free Mind is sung by Tems, taken from her 2020 released EP – “For Broken Ears”, the third track to be precise; although no solo song by Buju made it to the JAY-Z playlist titled “Block Vibes”, he would however be the most featured Nigerian act on the playlist as he lands two songs, thanks to the mega features from Wizkid—Mood—and arguably one Nigeria’s song of the year in Feeling by LadiPoe.

You can view the full playlist curated by JAY-Z in the picture below:

JAY-Z “Block Vibes” playlist featuring Wizkid, LadiPoe, Buju and Tems.

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Wizkid is Africa’s Apple Music Artist of the Year award recipient for 2021

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Wizkid (sobriquet Big Wiz or StarBoy) receives the honour as Apple Music Artist of the Year (Africa) for 2021. The annual award held by the premier streaming platform praises individual artites for having a stellar year on its music platform both through streams and culturally.

On Wizkid winning, an excerpt from Apple Music reads: ” In October 2020, he released “Made in Lagos,” his critically acclaimed and most commercially successful album, which included his hit song “Essence,” a track that gained 125 million plays on Apple Music and over 2.8 million Shazams. This past year, he’s been the most streamed African artist on the continent on Apple Music and ranked on the Daily Top 100 charts in 60 countries, in addition to his monthly plays on Apple Music growing by more than 250 percent outside of Africa.”

“Thank you to Apple Music for this award”, Wizkid said, continuing, “It’s a blessing to get to do what I do, and I’m proud to be representing for Africa.”, Ayodeji “Wizkid” Balogun says in thank you speech. The Apple Music Award, the third annual series will air on Apple Music and Apple TV starting Tuesday, December 7, 2021.

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