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Female Artists in Nigeria take the stage

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By Nicole

More and more emerging artists are female, dominating the industry.

The women in the Nigerian music industry have done amazingly well, demonstrating their value repeatedly over the past ten years. They have broken numerous records in Africa (127 million views on Johnny by Yemi Alade, and most recently, 10 million streams on what is now known as the Nigerian Tik-Tok slo-mo sound track “single and searching” by Yemi Alade and Falz), received numerous national and international awards, including Billboard recognition, and even featuring (like Khalid, Rick Ross and a lot more).

Ayra Starr, a 20-year-old artist who has been making waves both locally and internationally, is one of the new artists. After the release of “Away,” the artist’s breakout song from her self-titled debut extended play, in early 2021, she became widely known. The song prepared the stage for the August 2021 release of her debut full-length mixtape, 19 & Dangerous. The album, which is mostly classified as Afropop and R&B, has received positive reviews from critics. In Nigeria, it gave rise to two top forty songs. Her most recent accomplishment is her song “Ogogoro,” which served as the soundtrack for Creed III, a Hollywood film. The song, which had its premiere on March 3, 2023, was a collaboration between her and the American rapper Bas. Moreover, Libianca’s, a Cameroonian-American singer, recently included her in the remix of the song People.

Tems is the first Nigerian female artist to win a Grammy.

Born on June 11th, 1995, Temilade Openiyi, known better as Tems, got to notoriety after she participated in Wizkid’s 2020 single “Essence” which garnered a Grammy Award nomination. After being released in a remix with a Justin Bieber feature, the song reached its highest point on the Billboard Hot 100 at number ten. At the 65th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, she received her first Grammy Award. The singer won the “Best Melodic Rap Performance” category for her work on Future and Drake’s smash hit song “Wait for U” in 2022, making her the first female Nigerian artist to do so. For her contribution to Rihanna’s song “Lift Me Up,” which was recorded for the film “Wakanda Forever,” Tems is also the first Nigerian artist to be nominated for an Oscar.

As more and more female singers become well-known on a global scale, they are dismantling stereotypes and demonstrating that the music industry in Nigeria is not solely dominated by men. These women are transforming Nigerian music and demonstrating that they are just as talented as, if not more so than, their male contemporaries. Their success has not only served as an example to other female artists but has also provided them with chances that were previously solely offered to male musicians.

Universal Music Group was drawn to Yemi’s music.

One of these female musicians making a name for herself on the global scene is Tiwa Savage. Tiwa had been a part of the Nigerian music scene for many years, first as a backing vocalist for performers like Mary J. Blige and George Michael before going solo. In 2018, she became the first female musician from Africa to secure a contract with Universal Music Group. Afrobeats and R&B were combined in her music, which immediately became well-liked in the US and the UK. She made her debut in 2010, and since then, she has gained popularity both inside and outside of Nigeria. She has amassed a sizable fan base with two singles like “Kele Kele Love” and “All Over” and has worked with prominent worldwide artists like Coldplay, Rihanna and Beyoncé. She won the MTV Europe Music Award for Best African Artist in 2018 and made history as the first female African musician to do so.

Yemi Alade, who rose to fame with her famous song “Johnny,” is also not far behind. Universal Music Group was drawn to Yemi’s music, which combines Afrobeats, reggae, and R&B, and they offered her a record deal in 2019. On October 2, 2014, Alade released her debut album King of Queens. The album gave birth to her most popular track, Johnny, as well as other singles including “Kissing,” “Tangerine,” and “Taking Over Me” with Phyno. Both the 2015 Headies Awards and the 2015 Nigerian Entertainment Awards nominated the album for Album of the Year. Alade’s second album, Mama Africa, which featured the singles “Na Gode,” “TumBum,” and “Ferrari,” was released on March 25, 2016, by Alade. The Worldbeat Album category at the 2016 Independent Music Awards was won by Mama Africa.

The rise of female artists is a testament to their talent and hard work.

According to Oyinda Olukanni, the founder of Party Monkz Entertainment and a music executive, the success of Nigerian female singers on the international music scene is a testimonial to their talent and dedication. To become some of the most well-known and respected artists in the world, they overcame obstacles and broke down barriers. As long as these female singers continue to push limits and open doors for younger generations, there is no doubt that Nigerian music will flourish and develop, according to Olukanni.

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