Afrobeat has really gained momentum on the international music scene with the huge acceptance it has received over the years and in the present-day generation. The mainstream industry in recent times has witnessed the in-streaming of arrays of potential stars that have been street present, and music-savvy lucky to rise to prominence, and at the same time doing expediently well and are considered the future of Afrobeat. The Nigerian induced Afrobeat has so gone viral globally that even Europeans particularly UK artists of African origin are keying in by embracing the genre.
Looking at the unfolding events with the awareness the new generation artists are creating through their impressive projects, it’s no doubt that the future of Afrobeat is bright and beautiful with how the prospective young talented acts are keeping the fire burning with their timeless contents.
Here we made a list of young Nigerian talented music stars who are taking Afrobeat to the next level;
Ruger is a fast-rising young rapper, singer and songwriter. He got signed to D’Prince Jonzing World Records after D’Prince listened to some of Ruger’s works and was impressed. The talented young artist has an EP titled “Pandemic” to his name. He rose to the spotlight in 2020 when he made his debut appearance in the industry and ever since then has been keeping up appearances. Ruger got a feature on Drake’s OVO Sound radio which was his first international push when his song “Bounce” off his EP was played on the OVO sound radio as announced on his verified Instagram page. His songs include, “Ruger”, “Bounce”, “Bow”, “Abu Dhabi”, “One Shirt” featuring Rema and his label Boss D’Prince, “Lockdown” with assistance from Burna Boy and “Bounce UK remix” featuring Midas The Jagaban. Ruger is not just a young act if not the youngest act in the Nigerian music industry.
Mohbad is a sensational and multi-talented artist and also a Naira Marley protege. He was born on June 8, 1995. The new school Artiste gained industry attention in 2019 through one of his online free-styling works. He received two award nominations from City People in 2020 for Revelation of the Year, and Street Song of the Year for his single “Komajensun” featuring Naira Marley. His song “Ponmo Sweet,” which also features his label honcho Naira Marley and Lil Kesh reached No 18 on Billboard’s Top Global chart. His other songs are, “Marlian Anthem”, “Over Hype” and his latest dust raising single “Feel Good” which has become a street anthem.
Cheque is a distinguished and new generation Nigerian rapper and one of the prominent young acts in the music industry signed to Phyno’s Penthouse music. He is popularly known for his smash hit “Zoom” which launched him to the limelight. Superboy Cheque recently released his debut album”Bravo”, and the lead single “Loml” featuring Olamide is receiving applaudable airplay. He previously released “History” which the presence of Fireboy made it exotic.
Oniyide Azeez who is famously known as Zinoleesky is an Afrobeat singer and songwriter who rose to prominence as a gospel of the street and is currently a Marlian Music signee. The singer who has been around for two years now is doing well for himself and continues to reel out with breathtaking songs. He kicked off the year 2021 with “Kilofese remix” featuring Mayorkun and followed it up with the release of “Naira Marley”, his official single for the year. The untamed wildcat struck again on October 8 and unleashed his second single dubbed “Gone Far” and the love has been massive.
The Marvin records signee has been on fire since her rise to fame. She is known for her prowess in songwriting, and combining R’n’B and Afrobeat sounds together. Her debut album “19 and Dangerous” comprises of different sounds which encompass across all genres is an indication that she is well prepared for the future and in alliance with Afrobeat.
Her attention-grabbing lead single “Bloody Samaritan” off her first studio project “19 and Dangerous” receiving airplay is not just worth complementing, but a sign that she is taking Afrobeat to the mainstream. The song peaked at number 1 on the Turntable Top 50 chart and became the first solo song by a female artist to attain the number one position. Similarly, it peaked at number 17 on the US Billboard Top Triller Global.
Ayra Starr also made her way to Pandora Predictions chart and was on August 28 ranked number two on Billboard’s Next Big Sound. With her Afrobeat jazz hybrid album that gives Goosebumps, we can only say that Ayra is definitely on another level.
Bella Shmurda is undeniably a laurel and the best of his kind. His street credibility has singled him out with how he defiantly placed a punctuation mark on his projects. The Afrobeat Prince often comes with an indescribable rhythm that gets you to pause and ponder for seconds, and you can only say that he is a reflection of genuine street realities which mirrors the everyday struggles of the average man out there to pull through while trying to survive. His first single for the year “Rush” which the visual was perceived to be highly controversial due to the nude scenes chronicles the experiences. He is one of the unifying factors who are hellbent on entertaining the public through his music. His “Soldier Go”, “World”, “Party Nextdoor”, “Far Away”, “Lako”, “Champion”, “Moving Fast” and “Out There” are topnotch.
The vibrant and gifted young star has been outstanding this year following the release of his first studio album, “Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic” (SBBM)”, a collection of classic songs with different components which demonstrates his versatility. Joeboy is currently one of the hottest Nigerian artists, and his present status showcases a mastery of his art which he keeps exhibiting in his works. There has been stiff comparison on who is the future of Afrobeat between Joeboy and Rema, but the fact remains that, Joeboy is on his level and Afrobeat resonates on his songs. His follow up single “Alcohol” after the release of his debut album which is breaking different grounds both home and away has earned him a stamped spot in the list as one of the Afrobeat ambassadors.
Ckay is presently the bestselling Afrobeat young Act in Nigeria. He has recorded huge success this year with the popularity he has garnered through his trailblazer single “Love Nwantiti remix”. This year alone has seen him become one of the best selling Afrobeat artists ranked number 10th in the world. He once said during an interview with Vanguard Nigeria that, he’s the future of Afrobeat music.
His achievements are becoming numerous to count with how the smash single keeps breaking grounds on streaming platforms, setting new records and increment in gigs. He broke the good news on Instagram sometime in October that, he is now the 70th Artiste on Spotify after “Love Nwantiti remix” hit 30 million listeners in just one month on the digital platform, and also one of the most streamed songs on Shazam.
Even though “Love Nwantiti”, was enlisted on the CKay’s first EP in 2019, the song which has become a global mega-hit this year after amassing over 15million streams in total was certified gold in France.
The incredible and very talented YBNL Afropop singer who describes his sound as Afro-life is no doubt a big deal as long as the future of Afrobeat is concerned. Listening to his songs is a revelation that, he creates the right kind of energy and vibes, and he’s dubbed as one of the dynamic Afrobeat artists of this generation.
Fireboy is a crafted and poetic songwriter with so much dedication to his works and it speaks for itself in his songs. According to Fireboy in one of his interviews about Afrobeat, he said, “Afrobeats, in general, is very powerful. It goes deeper than music, it’s the culture, it’s our heritage. It’s just like how hip hop is more than the music; hip hop is celebrated as a culture.”. He was featured in top-notch songs which includes, “Southy Love” by Peruzzi and “History” by Cheque, and “Peru” which happens to be his official single for the year is doing massively well on the airwaves.
His timeless debut album “Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps” housed evergreen singles like “Jealous”, “Party Scatter”, “King”, “Vibration” and “What If I Say” and his second bodywork “Apollo” that has won best Afro-pop albums at the Headies awards are more enough proof that Afrobeat is secured without fear of trepidation, and Fireboy is also evidence that the new era that Nigerian music was waiting for is here.
Rema is tagged the leader of the next generation of Afrobeat. The Marvin records frontline act has on many occasions been tipped as one of the brightest futures of Afrobeat by Nigerian music pundits. The young star has a way of creating new sounds by combining trap and Afrobeat together to spice it up which resonates in his songs.
However, Rema announced in May that, his sound will be called Rema “Afrorave” which is a subgenre of Afrobeats with the infusion of Arabian and Indian music. The talented star has released trailblazing singles like the controversial “Booty Bounce”. His follow up steamy song, steamy song “Soundgasm” attained a YouTube milestone when the afro-pop song hit over 12 million views on YouTube making it one of the fastest Nigerian songs to achieve that feat in two months. He boosted his reign in the global scene with a couple of international collaborations, a feature on Justin Skye’s “Twisted Fantasy”, “Dimension” by JAE5, and East London-Ghanaian record producer, “Roadside” Afrobeat remix by the British singer Mahalia, “Rich Girls Like Me” Drake’s “Mention Me” and the most recent feature on fellow label mate “Afro Jigga” by ‘Ladipoe’.