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Nigerian musicians trend on global scene

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By Usman Oladimeji

Some Nigerian musicians performed at elite international events.

There’s no denying that Nigerian music has recently been receiving high recognition globally and gaining momentum in clubs, arenas and other public spaces across the world. Artists like Burna Boy, Davido, Wizkid, Asake, Tems, and others boomed the country’s music industry as they became internationally recognised for their contributions to music. Some Nigerian musicians have even been sighted performing at an elite international event. An instance is the electrifying medley performance of Burna Boy’s global hits “Last Last” and “It’s Plenty” at the 2023 UEFA Champions League final football match on Saturday at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey.

It has been postulated that the large population of the country and the prevalence of music-streaming services like Boomplay, iTunes, Spotify, etc. contributed to the rising prominence of these artists. Data Reporter statistics in 2023 estimated that 122.5 million Nigerians were on the internet, out of a total population of 221.2 million. Meanwhile, internet usage had already reached 55.4% of the population. In the early part of 2023, it was found that 193.9 million or 87.7 percent of Nigeria’s population had access to active cellular mobile connections.

1.3 million playlists generated by Nigerians on Spotify in a year.

The global accessibility provided by these platforms has greatly improved the prospects for Nigerian musicians. Professor Umar Danbatta, the head of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said that the country’s entertainment industry has progressed internationally owing to its reliance on digital media. Following the launch of Spotify, Nigerians generated 1.3 million playlists in a single year. This massive uptick in music streaming gives Nigerian musicians an edge over their counterparts in less populous countries.

On the global scene, the Nigeria music industry has grown to become a major player in the music market, with significant influence in countries like the United Kingdom, the United States and beyond. Popular Nigerian singers have contributed to this wave by making an impressions internationally with their music, garnering a slew of awards and collaborating with other international musicians. An example of a Nigerian music star who is bringing honour to his country on the international and domestic scenes is Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, better known by his stage name, Wizkid, a Grammy Award-winner.

One needs high-quality music to gain global notoriety.

We also have Burna Boy, a Grammy Award-winning Nigerian musician, who made history on June 3, 2023, by becoming the first African performer to sell out London Stadium, a UK stadium with a capacity of 80,000. Thus far, he has amassed more than a billion streams on Spotify and is one of the most-listened-to Nigerian artists on Apple Music. Davido has brought honour to the Nigerian music industry as he delivered a show-stopping performance at the FIFA World Cup closing ceremony in Qatar on December 18, 2022.

In addition, Temilade Openiyi, better known by her stage name Tems, is a sensational Nigerian female singer who was just presented with the plaque for her Grammy award. Tems took home the award for Best Melodica Rap Performance at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards on February 6, 2023. She triumphed for her contribution on Future’s hit track “Wait For U,” which featured Drake. Public analyst Remi Adebayo recently spoke with the media and stressed the need for producing high-quality music if one aspires to gain global notoriety with little to no promotion.

High access to internet makes Nigerian music go global easily.

Adebayo claimed that the success of Nigerian musicians was due to their ability to create music of such high quality that it received accolades across the world. This reflects their great success on a worldwide scale. He said that a high number of Nigerians who have access to the internet make their own music and become a global phenomenon on Social Media platforms like Twitter and the video sharing app TikTok, which has become the latest tool for promoting music discovery and contents in the entertainment industry generally.


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