By Ayo Onikoyi
2022 was an eventful year for most music artists in Nigeria but it was particularly a turning point for a few who took their acts around the corner of obscurity to huge popularity. In this review, Potpourri takes a look at those who cemented their claims as the next big acts to rule the music world for a long time. While the list may feature artists who basically debuted last year or two years ago, and made waves this year, the list also features a producer who crossed over to singing. Let’s go on a ride.
Asake: Ahmed Ololade Asake, simply known as Asake claims to have begun singing in 2015, his first ever produced song was ‘Lady’, which he released in 2020. With the release of the single “Lady,” Asake made his debut in the industry. He promoted this song with Sydney Talker, Tunde Ednut, NastyBlaq, and Broda Shaggi. The success of the song spurred him to release his follow-up hit, “Mr. Money,” garnering him the nickname “Mr. Money.
These songs, however didn’t earn him the recognition he deserved, but they gave him the platform to build on a musical career, a career that finally blossomed early this year, after he was noticed and signed by rap king, Olamide, to his record label, YBNL.
Asake grabbed the opportunity of being signed by a renowned music label, and he quickly ascended to stardom with two back to back hit songs that helped him get known. The songs are “Mr. Money” and “Sungba.”
Asake’s musical style is characterized by up tempo Afro and Amapiano-styled production. His songs also contain elements of Fújì. Asake has since recorded several successful songs that have many of his fans gushing. Some of his songs are as follows: Lady, Palazzo, Mr. Money, Sungba, Mr. Money With The Vibe, Terminator, Body, Gbale Lo, Gegeti, Star, Trabaye, Payin, Ayeeza, Sungba Ft. Burna Boy, African.
Victony: Antony Victor, professionally known as “Victony”, started off as a rapper but later switched and started releasing R&B, trap music, and Afropop records. 2021 started with his record “Pray” gaining traction, a song that was released after he was in a car crash. He got his biggest break in October 2021 when he teamed up with Mayorkun on the song “Holy Father”.
Victony had done melodiously phenomenal since his career began. In 2022 however, the singer dropped a few hit songs; songs that placed him as one of the hottest artists this year. Victony’s extraordinary talent was never in doubt though, as he is the idol behind one of the creative bangers of 2022 “kolomental” which he delivered from his forthcoming album “outlaw”
Pheelz: Pheelz, whose real name is Philip Kayode Moses, has always been known as a producer. As a matter of fact, Pheelz became an instant celebrity in 2012, after he was credited to have produced all but one song on Olamide’s Baddest Guy Ever Liveth album. Following the footsteps of producers like Terry G, who had a successful music career after switching into performing songs, Pheelz released his first single in 2020, ‘One life’.
On 15 March 2022, he signed a record deal with Warner UK, and shortly after, his single “Finesse”, which was already banging speakers in Nigeria, became an international success, and earned him, his first career entry on the Billboard Global 200 at number 131, the TurnTable Top 50 at number 1, World Digital Song Sales at number 10, UK Afrobeats Singles Chart at number 1, and the UK Singles Chart at number 52.
Pheelz was also the first Afrobeats artiste to perform at the BET Awards Pre-Show, where he earned a 2022 nomination for Best New International Act. Now with his latest new hit ‘Electricity’ bursting the speakers, Pheelz has cemented his status as one of Nigeria’s most exciting crossover artistes, with a song that delivers a track that will no doubt be on repeat at parties all summer long.
Boy Spyce: Ugbekile David Osemeke, professionally known as Boy Spyce, who is currently studying accounting in a university in Nigeria, has proven this year that he’s a 20 years-old boy with a huge music talent. His popular hit songs are “smile and weather for two”
His freestyle video for Wizkidʼs hit song “Essence” featuring Tems catalyzed his fame as he went viral on the internet. Many music lovers will remember Boy Spyce for his funny lyrics in the Mavins all star track, ‘Overloading’.
His present booming songs are Wayo, Bad Things and Dreams, and they are songs from his EP, ‘Boy Spyce’.