It’s time to reveal the 10 Best Nigerian Albums in 2020! #TheList2020 covers the best albums, EPs, and other projects released by Nigerian musicians over the past 12 months.
This year, there were a lot of restrictions on movement and human interaction via social gatherings, but there were no restrictions on our access to quality music because as much as the devil works hard, our Nigerian musicians work harder. In fact, rather than a reduction in work rates and music releases, there was a spike. So several years from now, when we remember the year 2020, we’ll also remember the albums that gave us life.
Now that it’s the end of the year, it’s time to give recognition to the best of these albums from 2020 that ticked the boxes where sound quality, cohesion, central themes and message, shelf life, general reception and critical acclaim were concerned, and made our year more bearable:
A lot of unprecedented things happened during the course of the year and the least of it is definitely not a debut album rising to the number one spot as the best album of our 2020 list. Chike rose to fame after making top 10 on MTN’s Project Fame Reality Show but it was really the judges at The Voice Nigeria where he emerged runner up that saw the star power in him.
It is this potential he channelled into giving an album with no misses or skips but pure evergreen tunes that’ll have even the hardest of hard guys ready for love.
When the self-titled African Giant dropped his fifth studio album, it was to massive critical acclaim both locally and internationally. It didn’t just get hype though but peaked at number one on the Billboard World Album charts. The album also wedged a spot for Burna Boy on the 2020 replay list of most Nigerian Apple music users. Most notably, it has gained a Grammy nomination and is now Burna Boy’s twice-in-a-row shot at bringing a Grammy home.
With ‘Get Layd’ Omah Lay was the irresistible honey-voiced singer inviting us to romp in the bed of his music. We were taken unawares by his invitation but even if we could, there was no way we would have turned down his EP which was bound by his infectious voice, catchy lines and relaxing instrumentals. In fact, with it came a full widening of the palates of Nigerian music lovers from the fast-paced songs we’re used to rocking with, to downtempo music.
It hits like well-matured wine sweet enough to have you refilling your glass after each last drop. The best part? It comes with no hangovers. On ‘Made in Lagos‘, Wizkid gave us fine well-matured music which not only put all of Lagos in groove mode but the world.
If there’s one thing about Davido, he will always deliver hits even on a 17-track album. With ‘A Better Time‘, Davido delivered on his promise to do this. This makes it totally up to the listener to select their favourites from the array of hit records he served.
This is Olamide’s 11th studio album but this didn’t stop him from delivering an album of quality. ‘Carpe Diem‘ sees Olamide play the role of the ever-evolving music godfather and it’s only befitting to pay our respects and recognise his album as one of the best of the year 2020.
Despite being Adekunle Gold’s third studio album, he wasn’t afraid to try something new and laidback on Afropop Vol.1. So we got songs of a sentient Afropop quality and cohesion that has us echoing AG baby being the daddy.
Fireboy admitted to creating this album with a god-level conviction in him and indeed, ‘Apollo‘, the Greek god of music and poetry must have felt well represented. ‘Apollo‘ comes with finely crafted lines that tell stories of love, strife and stardom and captures the life of the reclusive Fireboy DML in rhythms of RnB and Afropop.
This year, for non-Igbo speakers, The Cavemen were the biggest reminders of the fact that music is a universal language. Done up in Igbo highlife with a modern flavour and beautiful instrumentalisation, one needs not to understand a lick of Igbo to become immersed in The Cavemen’s journey to their roots.
Made in honour of a phenomenal mother by a phenomenal songstress, on ‘Celia‘, Tiwa Savage wraps us up with her butter-soft voice in vibes of Afrobeats, Afropop, RnB and even South-African house. Little wonder it made an entry as one of Time Magazine’s 10 best albums of 2020.
For the 10 music albums that made the 2020 list, there are several other quality projects that didn’t, but also made our year. In no particular order, here are the albums & EPs worthy of a mention:
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