By Ayo Onikoyi
From all available statistics, facts and figures no other Nigerian musical artist, male or female was able to pull off what the quartet of Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy and Olamide pulled off in 2020. The duopoly of Davido and Wizkid which has been going on for years was questioned most especially by Burna Boy and the new face on the international scene, Olamide.
Each one of them released an amazing album and it was a staggering success story on all streaming platforms. The figures showed Nigerian music has arrived on the international stage. Particularly of interest is Olamide whose music has not really been able to cross the continent to the international stage. Well, thanks to his international connection which has given wings to fly over the Atlantic. For Burna Boy, his fortunes have changed since the “African Giant” exploit in 2019. Davido and Wizkid however, have never left the horizon, both at home and abroad
Olamide’s “Carpe Diem” album, a 12-track body of work transcended everyone’s imagination. It was his 11th studio album that boasts of high profile collaborations, although mostly with his YBNL Mafia gang. In four weeks of its release it surpassed 80 million streams across all platforms that included Apple Music, Audiomark, Spotify and others.
Olamide never had it so good. His music has been said to be limited by its local appeal but not this time around. The YBNL Mafia boss was wise to have joined forces with an American label and distribution company known as Empire Distribution. It appears the partnership proved to be the goose that laid the golden egg.
Burna Boy’s “Twice as Tall” album catapulted him to a new height. It is arguably the most successful Nigerian album of 2020. In its first month it had garnered as much as 175.3 million streams across all platforms. YouTube posted 25 million; Audiomark 50.2 million; Spotify 34.5 million; Music Africa 18.4 million; Music World 31million and Boomplay 10.5 million.
The album also broke into and topped various music charts across the world, peaking at Number One, World Albums on Bilboard charts. Once again the catch here is the international partnership. It was the Afrofusion star’s fifth studio album and it was managed by experienced international brands like Spaceship Entertainment, Atlantic Records and Warner Music. American superstar, Puff Diddy was one of the executive producers. Youssou N’Dour, Nature By Nature, Sauti Sol, Chris Martin and Stormzy were all featured in the album.
Wizkid’s “Made in Lagos” was released on October 30, 2020 and it was his fourth studio album. Again, the international influence seems to have been the trump card. The album was released by Starboy Entertainment and RCA Records.
Not only did it become the first African album to debut on the Spotify Global Album chart and within the top ten at that, it also amassed over 100 million streams across five platforms nine days after release. It was a huge milestone for an Afropop artist.
Davido’s “A Better Time” completely tipped the table after hitting 100 million streams in three days of its release. In one month, “A Better Time” Davido’s fourth studio album hit 213.2 million streams across the five major music streaming sites.
The album features international powerhouses like Nicki Minaj, Nas and Young Thug.