The list includes Wizkid, Davido, Tekno, Tiwa Savage and other acts.
Nigeria might be the poverty capital of the world, but we still consume copious amounts of data.
Yes, YouTube numbers of our major artists are not as impressive as that of some of their western or latin counterparts, but some still have good numbers. Due to one thing, YouTube numbers are now more important than they were; YouTube content monetization – Creatives now get paid for their content.
That’s why it is worth celebrating that Yemi Alade hit one million subscribers and Davido hit 500 million in total views.
On the matter of subscribers, here are the most followed Nigerian artists on YouTube as of 2:09 pm on August 1, 2019;
10) Tiwa Savage
Subscriber: 401,238 subscriber
Mummy Jam Jam is the songbird that thrills with the lyrical maneuver of a veteran and the soul of a teenager. She makes things seem easy and sometimes, it feels like she doesn’t get enough credit.
Nonetheless, her fans appreciate her. Her numbers on YouTube are not to be messed with. Her most watched video, ‘Ma Lo’ featuring Wizkid and Spellz has been streamed over 38 million times on YouTube.
Her 2017 smash hit, ‘All Over’ has also been streamed more than 30 million times.
In 2016, the singer had what was possibly the biggest African song. He was crooning, but had to slow down after roadblocks blocked his ascension.
The smash hit, ‘Mad Over You’ has been viewed more than 91 million times on YouTube.
Subscribers: 451,893 subscribers
The modern king of the streets is slowly hitting veteran status. After seven albums and one collaboration album with Phyno, he deserves some break. Nonetheless, with two songs and one other collaboration, he boasts of three videos that have passed the million mark.
His most viewed video remains the 2016 mega-hit, ‘Wo,’ has more than 26 million views on YouTube.
7) Burna Boy
Subscribers: 452,695 subscribers
He launched, he got fans, then he soiled his hands in infamy. But now, he’s back churning out quality songs and albums.
There is no stopping him. His equal parts love, equal parts unbridled lewd talk single, ‘On The Low,’ has been watched over 40 million times on YouTube.
6) Mr Eazi
The Nigerian artist most likely to hit a billion self-made dollars, the man has been waxing stronger, using his music as a canvas on which to writer a timeless story.
Born Tosin Ajibade, his most viewed video on YouTube is ‘Leg Over.’
Wizkid is arguably the greatest Nigerian act of his generation. His claim might even threaten to have Africa in its grasp. What we can’t debate is his impact as an artist.
After launching on to the scene with smash hit, ‘Holla At Your Boy’ and his classic debut album, Superstar, he had an unprecedented three-year run – from 2011 – 2013 – where everything he touched turned to gold.
This culminated in featuring on Drake’s 2016 chart topper, ‘One Dance.’ Since then, he has worked with a lot of foreign acts.
4) Yemi Alade
Some will deem it arguable, but it’s not. Yemi Alade is the modern day, premier African female act. She had been bubbling under before, but her single, ‘Johnny’ which now has over 100 million views on YouTube was her claim to fame.
A few weeks ago, she was celebrated for hitting the one million subscriber milestone.
This might be a bit surprising to a few Nigerians, but facts are facts. After his 2016 run where he had five hits back-to-back within 12 months, Nigerians should learn not to underrate this man.
A few weeks ago, he was one of the few Nigerians to feature on Beyonce’s The Lion King: The Gift album. While the multi-talented musician and performer has slightly slowed down, the checks must still be rolling in.
2) P Square
Although now separated, brothers Peter and Paul Okoye otherwise known as P Square got divided by what many can’t confirm.
At the height of their reign, they are not just the top music acts from Africa, they had legitimate claim to be named the top African acts. With performances brimming with boundless energy and impeccable vocal capabilities, they serenaded women with love songs and men with their artistry.
When P Square had YouTube videos with 20 million views, most Nigerian acts were struggling to hit one million.
In 2010, a precocious 18-year-old literally jumped onto the scene with a Naeto C feature on a single, titled, ‘Back When.’ Since then, hits have fought to displace one another, accolades keep rolling in and so is acclaim.
With his status as an act with incredible success comes following. He tops this list as the Nigerian act with the most subscribers. One could wager that his numbers skyrocketed after his unprecedented 2017 run.
Beyonce’s latest body of work is not a cash grab attempt to milk the Afrobeats trend but a love letter to the beauty of African music.
Circa 2011, Beyonce Knowles Carter recorded a 20-track album inspired by the Afrobeat god Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. That album never left her engineer’s hard drive.
During this period, King B jumped on the track ‘Lift Off‘ on the Watch Throne, the classic collaborative album by her husband JAY-Z and pop culture icon Kanye West.
One of the producers of that track was Michael Collins Ajereh a.k.a Don Jazzy, who produced the track ‘Oliver Twist.‘
Naija LabelDon Jazzy and Kanye West. Date unknown (Naija Label)
The D’banj track is the seminal record that started the invasion of Afrobeats (contemporary West African pop music) into the UK, other parts of Europe, the Caribbean and eventually North America.
Since then, Afrobeats has had a few inflection points, such as the ‘Apple brand of rap’ Drakeworking with Wizkid, Davido scoring a global sing-along ‘Fall‘, and Yemi Alade racking over 100m views on YouTube for her runaway hit ‘Johnny‘.
Now, Beyonce is taking a stab at Afrobeats with her latest body of work ‘The Lion King: The Gift‘ inspired by the live-action remake of the classic Disney animation released in 1994.
This is not B’s first sonic body of work that pays homage to Africa. In 2016, she released her cathartic album ‘Lemonade‘.
Beyonce channelled the Yoruba deities Osun and Yemoja for the visual interpretation of her emotional mood at the time. She also worked with Laolu Senbanjo, a visual artist whose works are based on Yoruba iconography and mythologies.
BeyonceBeyonce as Yoruba goddess Osun (Beyonce)
Now, on this LP, she assembles Afrobeats mightiest acts, Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, Tekno, Wizkid, Yemi Alade and Tiwa Savage to help her channel the beauty and strength of Africa. Other African acts include Shatta Wale (Ghana), Moonchild Sanelly (South Africa), Salatiel(Cameroon), and Busiswa (South Africa).
Heavy-hitters from America, Pharell, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino also appear on the project but don’t get it twisted, the African acts own the narrative on this body of work.
The trio of Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi and Tekno, elevate the tempo of the album with the ‘lamba*‘ driven ‘DON’T JEALOUS ME‘. This is the core of Afrobeats music, easy rhyme schemes, hypnotic melodies sprayed all over an irresistible hard-knocking beat.
The party starter track is followed by a solo offering from the hottest Afrobeats act in the world right now, Burna Boy.
On the mid-tempo ‘JA ARA E‘, he warns you to “watch out for the hyenas” with his commanding voice. Zlatan, one of the hottest rappers in Nigeria at the moment, blesses the track with his adlibs that have induced kicks on dance floors all over Nigeria. Tip: Americans, Google Zanku*.
Ayodeji Ibrahim ‘Wizkid’ Balogun who rattled speakers in America with the BBK-OVO remix of his smash hit ‘Ojuelegba‘ in 2015, teams up with Beyonce for a duet on ‘BROWN SKIN GIRL‘ featuring Ivy Carter and emerging alt-Hip Hop act SAINt JHN.
The track is an ode to melanin beauty. “Melanin too dark to throw her shade/she minds her business and winds her waist” sings Beyonce. The pro-melanin theme is a common trope in global contemporary music but it is still an agenda that still needs to be pushed.
Mr Eazi makes a second appearance on the LP by assisting Tiwa Savage on ‘KEYS TO THE KINGDOM‘, a highlife-driven mid-tempo cut that touches on the themes of destiny and royalty.
Only the rabble-rouser from the Gold Coast, the dancehall warlord Shatta Wale could get Beyonce to flow with an Afrobeat cadence on ‘Already‘ also featuring Major Lazer. The gravel-voiced Ghanaian pounds the beat to submission. “Try to stop it, me say no, no, no/royalty, don’t you say no, no, no” he declares.
Energy goddess Moonchild Sanelly brings her genre ‘Future ghetto punk‘ on the ‘My Power‘. Starring Tierra Whack, Beyonce and featuring Nija, this is a fem-anthem celebrating girl power. “Refer to me as a goddess/I am tired of being modest/100 degrees hottest-if we are being honest” spits the American rapper Tierra Whack in a machine-gun flow that can create holes in a vibranium suit.
A cornerstone track on this album, the South African clicks and tribal drums is a rallying call for Africans to come and dominate the world stage.
Beyonce is as impressive on her solo cuts as she is on the tracks she features acts. On the Sarz-produced ‘FIND YOUR WAY BACK‘ Beyonce tells about a story about independence, strength and resilience. The track is peppered with vocal contributions from top Nigerian A&R Bankulli* who appears again on ‘OTHERSIDE‘.
The latter track is a ballad on friendship, “If it all ends and it’s over, If the sky falls fire, Best believe me, you will see me on the other side“, sings Beyonce. Bankulli elevates the spirituality of the song when he brings down the Holy Spirit in his native tongue, Yoruba.
27 tracks (13 Lion King interludes inclusive) and 54 minutes long, Beyonce has curated a strong, balanced and vibrant album. To hell with it, this could have been the soundtrack for the Black Panther movie.
Beyonce describes this album as her “love letter to Africa” and said she “wanted to make sure we found the best talent from Africa and not just use some of the sound or my own interpretation of it.“
The Beyhive leader achieves this impressively by allowing African artists to do their thing. On the album, she plays the role of a party host who opens her doors to artists from the great continent of Africa to rock the house. And rock the house they did.
Even JAY-Z gives a shout out to Lagos, the city capital of Afrobeats, “Bumping Fela on the PUMA jet like we from Lagos” on ‘MOOD 4 EVA.‘
The Lion King: The Gift albums comes at a time when questions are being asked if Afrobeats can dominate America on a mainstream level. This album is a good shot at answering this question.
This however should not be the lens through how this album is viewed. The context is not Beyonce lending a helping hand to African acts but African artistes making Beyonce culturally relevant in a continent that is an emerging powerhouse on the global music scene.
Mrs Carter you are welcome.
Sincerely yours, from Africa.
Rating – 4 out 5
*Bankulli is credited with additional vocal credits on ‘Lift Off’, ‘Illest Motherfucker Alive’ off Watch the Throne.
*Lamba is used to describe a style prevalent in Nigerian pop music songs that have easy going lyrics and enchanting beats.
*Zanku is a street dance in Nigerian created by rapper Zlatan.
Beyonce has released the much anticipated Lion King album which features several Nigeria artists.
The much-awaited Lion King album from one of the world’s most talented artists, Beyonce has been released.
The album dropped today Friday, July 19, 2019, and has several Nigerian artists on its feature list including Wizkid, Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Eazi and a host of other African acts.
The album, Lion King: The Gift, is a collection of music inspired by the 2019 remake of the classic Disney movie ‘Lion King.’ Wizkid is featured on a song titled, ‘Brown Skin Girl,’ alongside Beyonce’s first child, Blue Ivy Carter, Beyonce, and Saint Jhn.
Beyonce releases Lion King album ft Wizkid, Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Eazi, and others [Instagram/Beyonce]
Mr Eazi, Yemi Alade, Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage, and Tekno all give a very interesting mix to the album as they sing in different languages about embracing blessings in ‘JA ARA E,’ ‘DONT JEALOUS ME‘ and ‘KEYS TO THE KINGDOM.’
Mr. Eazi launche emPawa room with ‘Thank You (Freestyle)’ with Guiltybeatz
Artist: Mr Eazi and Guilty Beatz
Song Title: SHOTAN
Date of release: July 12, 2019
Details/Takeaway: Mr. Eazi has been on a high lately. About a week ago, he announced three emPawa platforms. A few days later, one of his emPawa acts, JoeBoy‘s video for single, ‘Baby’ his five million views on YouTube.
Now, with emPawa distribution set to launch in a few days while he meets with TIDAL in New York, he has launched emPawa room with a freestyle titled, ‘Thank You.’
Producer, Guiltybeatz is also credited for the song, a celebratory one themed for gratitude to God for talent and success. The singer really does have a lot to be thankful for.
The platforms will include a distribution arm, a publishing arm and a label services arm.
Mr Eazi to launch three emPawa platforms on July 19, 2019. (Instagram/MrEazi)
After a stellar 2018, the Nigerian superstar artist has since performed alongside Burna Boy at Coachella 2019. Another highlight of the past 12 months for the singer is the project his started, emPawa Africa.
According Eazi, emPawa Africa is a “service provider” that should not be conflated with his label, Banku Music. But in the short time since its creation, emPawa has started a campaign to give $5,000 to 10 individuals/groups. On its YouTube page, the project has put up music more than seven acts across Africa.
Now, the singer has said he will officially launch other arms of the service provider on July 19, 2019. He made his proclamation on his Twitter account @MrEazi.
He wrote, “I said it, and I am doing it! Empawa Distribution, Empawa Publishing, Empawa Label Services all Launch JULY 19!!!! Jah be Praised.”