Every day the internet reminds us of the importance of giving flowers to those deserving of them as and at when due. Today, the 16th of April marks World Voice Day, as a result, we’ll be highlighting some of the top vocalists in Nigeria that have not only entertained us over time with their vocal power, strength and range, but also new acts that are also making a mark with their vocal dexterity.
The Mushin2MoHits maker is credited for being the inspiration and role model of some of our favourite new-age singers. This is because he has with his falsetto unlocked legendary range while being able to switch things up to party mode. For this alone, his debut album is referenced as an undisputed classic and touted by many as the best body of work out of the #234.
‘Black Diamond’, as he refers to himself continues to glow on the music scene with his recent entries such as Available, a feature on Peruzzi’s latest album, and that on Fireboy DML’s Spell.
Asa broke out some ten years ago with her soothing vocals and unique artistry but ensures that her voice is not one we forget in a hurry as evidenced by her vocal submissions in her latest studio album, Lucid. Take her haunting My Dear as a recent yet classic example.
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Before Wurld, the term ‘Afrosoul’ wasn’t one we were familiar with. But one listen to his collaborative album with Sarz, I Like Girls with Trobul and his standalone, Afrosoul, and the core meaning of the term cuts through as clearly as the blue-haired singer’s voice does.
Remember the aforementioned role of Wande Coal as the role model for new generation acts? Well if there was a list of Wande Coal proteges, Oxlade would sit smack dab on the number one spot, with his falsetto proving that he isn’t one singer to be messed with. His input in Blaqbonez’s Mamiwota is one song that gives credence to this.
The Nigerian-oriented Mama Africa may churn out simplistic songs soon to get you on your feet but it is no secret that when it comes to live performances, Yemi Alade performs with steel in her voice. Her Woman of Steel album was definitely aptly named.
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Omawumi may not put out music as much as she did in her yesteryears when she regaled us with If You Ask Me and this in itself is a loss our ears suffer but coincidentally, the powerful vocalist made a reappearance today itself with a single titled Bullshit, in which she sings about the one million and one things plaguing Nigeria-based Nigerians and in the most soothing way too.
Sometime last year, Timi Dakolo went on a wedding-performance spree where he sang at 8 wedding receptions and pro-bono too! Now that’s one man that knows his worth in conversations where vocal strength and serenading power is brought up.
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A duo made up of brothers, the Okorie men have since the release of their debut album, Roots, entertained Nigerians at different locations with refreshing and immersive live renditions of their modern take on Igbo highlife. These performances have been reported to best the experience of the album and are filled with excellent instrumentalization and vocalization, right down to the toe-curling falsetto of Benjamin Okorie who handles the drum.
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She has one of those voices that can not be forgotten in a hurry and imprints itself on your mind as it chills your soul with its velvety thickness and her Iced Tea serves as a prime example.
Another veteran in the game who back then, entertained us with RnB records even when music consumer-ship tended to crave fast-paced music. She continues to do so till date with a notable appearance on Basketmouth’s Yabasi where she delivered the vocals for Ride or Die. She also released an EP titled Heart Season, today on which she takes us on a ride of calming vocals.
Last year, Chike released a debut album where from vocals to songwriting, he left no stone untouched and earned himself the number one spot on our album for the year. With all these, it would be remiss not to have the boo of the booless himself on this list as one of the top vocalists in Nigeria.
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His is a name many became familiar with after his stellar feature on Wizkid’s True Love but the honey-toned singer had always been a sweetheart in circles that enjoyed alternative Nigerian music and enjoyed songs such as his catchy standout song, The Box, and later output such as Sugar Daddy with Odunsi, among others. This Friday, Tay Iwar also put out a new EP done up in his enchanting blues titled Love & Isolation.
It can be argued that Barry Jhay laid down the blueprint for RnB-infused street-hop because right from his breakout single, Aye, this singer had us hooked with his out-of-the-box application of enchanting Fuji-fused vocals.
Buttery soft and tranquil as a day by the beach, that’s the vibes given whenever the African Bad Gyal decides to remind us of her RnB leanings as seen in songs like Park Well. Switching things up is however not above her and for that, there’s songs like Glory.
When Fireboy hit the scene with Jealous, nobody could have predicted that that was the tip of the iceberg, but with two studio albums and none of them spotting a subpar song, he is indeed and as sung on the intro of his Apollo album, champion, and of his vocal box too.
This singer pulled off a perfect heist, from being the perfect gentleman to being an impassioned yet courteous angry man on his Thunder Fire You, and without skipping a beat too.
That’s one heist that is only possible to get away with when you have the impressive vocals that Ric Hassani plys the airwaves with.
The Omo Rapala herself may have more songs that tick the Afrohouse box, but Niniola’s vocal range shine through and undoubtedly make her one of the top vocalists in Nigeria, from her Afrohouse submissions such as Addicted to her RnB songs like Night and Day with Nonso Amadi.
Her vocal tenor might be likened to a baby’s but is one entertaining paradox as Simi never ceases to arrest us with this same voice over and over again and through every record that makes her impressive discography.
Brymo doesn’t only shine as an excellent songwriter but allows his vocal strength to do the talking for him as well. Take Ozymandias for example where these two skills were married to birth an A1 song.
AG baby may have morphed into the daddy but one thing he didn’t leave behind is his vocal ability. From his breakout single, Sade to Exclusive and other songs on his latest album, Afro Pop Vol. 1, he remains the gold level singer that he always was.
This list of top vocalists in Nigeria for the year 2021 is a nonexhaustive list as we definitely have other talented singers in the country. Did this list include your fave or not? Hit us with your list of vocalists that we didn’t cover and put us on to more good music in the comments section.
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