20 Nigerian Music Stars Who Took Major Strides In 2022


The COVID-19 pandemic had the world in a literal chokehold and radicalised how music stars made profits and audiences consumed music. As concerts closed shops and stages unmounted themselves due to disuse, music consumption, as with everything else during the thick of the virus, found another means to thrive. In came the rise of music streaming platforms and digital channels to bring music stars closer to their audiences in a close yet so far, but no less effective swoop.

“Before the pandemic hit, the only source of revenue for artists/labels and stakeholders within the music sector in Nigeria was through live music,” said Abisoye ‘Abiz’ Obayan, the Head of Horus Music Nigeria.

“Streaming today has shaped the value of our music creativity beyond the local market and I expect to see more growth in 2022, ” Obayan envisaged.

True to that foresight, Nigerian music saw its fullest bloom in 2022 as industry bigwigs continued their impressive run while breakout music stars imprinted themselves on the walls of ears. Far from an exhaustive list, but we take a look at artistes who took big leaps in the year 2022.


Although still underrepresented when placed side by side with their male music stars, the influence of female artistes like Tems in turning Nigerian music into a global export is unprecedented. From chart-topping songs to award-winning collaborations, Tems has been a sensation in the music scene. Away from her host of awards which include the BET Award for Best International Act 2022 and The Headies Award for Best Female Artiste 2022, she is also nominated for Grammy’s Best Melodic Rap Performance and Best Rap Song categories.

 Ayra Starr

The Celestial Being has maintained her run since the release of ‘Away’ which spent two consecutive weeks at number four on Nigeria’s TurnTable Top 50 and went to number 17 on US Billboard Top Triller Global. The track paved the way for the release of her first eponymous EP in 2021. In July 2022, Ayra Starr was named NET Honours 2022 Breakout Female Artiste of the Year, defeating Adeyinka Alaseyori, Lade (Omolade Oyetundun) and Ugoccie. She also won The Headies Award for Viewer’s Choice 2022.

 Burna Boy

Burna Boy’s Love, Damini easily settled into European Charts from Sweden, Norway, Belgium to Ireland and more. Shortly after his record-setting, sold-out debut at Madison Square Garden in New York, the Grammy award winner also kickstarted his Love, Damini tour which has been largely successful. His song ‘Last Last’, which received gold certifications in three countries, might just be the greatest song out of Nigeria in 2022.


Davido had a relatively silent fourth quarter of the year due to the unfortunate death of his son, Ifeanyi. However, he made history by becoming the first African to feature in a FIFA World Cup official soundtrack and the first African to perform at a FIFA World Cup closing ceremony with the song Hayya Hayya (Better Together).


While Wizkid released More Love, Less Ego, his fifth studio album, to mixed reactions, his past projects spoke well for him in the year in review as Made In Lagos became the longest African Album at number 1 in the history of Billboard World albums. It has also amassed over 500 million streams across digital music platforms. Wizkid did not only become the most awarded artiste at The Headies, but his ‘Essence’ also Won Award For Best Collaboration at BET Awards 2022. Wizkid became the first African artiste to reach 5 billion Spotify Streams – among other accolades.


After an impressive feat in such a short time in the music space, it’s only fitting that Mr Money makes this list. From genre-bending songs to sold-out shows, Asake has imprinted his name in the consciousness of Nigerian music lovers. ‘Mr Money With The Vibe‘ reached No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 1 on the Apple Music Album Chart in 26 countries, including 6 European nations. Simply put, it’s humanely impossible for Asake to make a bad song at the moment.

Kizz Daniel

Kizz Daniel has always been an impressive artiste with no bad songs. However, in 2022, Vado saw his most impressive run yet with the release of ‘Buga’ and ‘Cough’ which became viral songs. Some of his achievements include a Gold plaque from Boomplay for 500 Million streams, the most ‘shazamed’ song in the world with ‘Buga’, a performance at the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup and many more.


Apart from major international collaborations and impressive streaming numbers, Rema became the first Nigerian artiste to perform at the largest hip-hop festival in the world, Rolling Loud. Rema is at the forefront of the new wave of stars pushing the Nigerian sound and, from the looks, the Mavin signee has just begun.


The pink-haired lad has quickly risen through the ranks from an up-and-comer to a break-out star. Ruger’s ’Dior’, from the EP The Second Wave, is the first to peak number 1 song in Nigeria in 2022, alongside Gambia, Kenya, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Madagascar. “Dior” also peaked at number 32 on the Top 50 chart, and number 15 on the UK Afrobeats Singles Chart. His song ‘Girlfriend’, together with its luscious dance step, has become a viral sensation.

BNXN (Buju)


Apart from featuring on the FIFA 23 Video Game soundtrack, fast-rising Nigerian artist Bnxn was named The Headies Next-Rated Artiste for the year 2022 to go home with a Bentley Bentayga SUV. Despite their digital tirade, Bnxn and Ruger are perfectly couched behind the recent wave of impressive Nigerian Pop music.




Apart from becoming the most google searched music star in Nigeria in 2022, Oxlade’s hit song “Kulosa” was well-received in both Europe and the United States. The song made it into over 30 music charts worldwide and received Gold certification in Canada, France and Switzerland.


Virtually everyone sang the catchy chorus ‘Peru’ this year. Of course, ‘Peru’ was nominated for The Headies Song of The Year 2022 and won The Headies Viewer’s Choice Awards 2022. On November 2022, Fireboy DML’s song, “Coming Back to You,” was featured on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever while his ‘Bandana’ became a street anthem.


Olamide and Don Jazzy

Olamide and Don Jazzy have gone from promising artistes to industry godfathers. The two have continued to incubate music stars, providing the Nigerian music scene with remarkable talents. Boy spyce and Bayanni are some of the new stars that Don Jazzy has spotlighted while Olamide’s discovery of Asake is plain extraordinary.


Contrary to certain opinions, Rap music has seen great redemption in 2022 and Blaqbonez is currently carrying the torch on behalf of the genre. Although artistes like MI Abaga and Vector released albums, Blaqbonez’s Young Preacher made a special impression on music lovers, even those who don’t naturally fancy Hip Hop – with the pick of the bunch being ‘Back in Uni’ with its eclectic visuals. Blaqbonez also dropped an album, Behold The LAMB, together with A-Q and M.I. Apart from his lyrical prowess, Blaqbonez has imprinted himself in the entertainment scene due to his comic nature and ingenious marketing techniques.


The ‘Big Energy’ chanteur has continued his impressive run in 2022. Ladipoe’s ‘Feeling’ featuring BNXN won Best Rap Single at the 2022 Headies Awards, while the catchy ‘Big Energy’ became a viral song. If anything, it appears the rapper would have an even better year come 2023.

Young John

Producer-turned-singer, Young John has been a revelation since his song ‘Dada’, featuring Davido, became a hit. He has also followed up with ‘Xtracool’, which is currently doing rounds.



From turning the buttons on a Digital Work Station to thrilling fans on big stages, expect Phillip ‘Pheelz’ Moses to rise to the occasion. On September 23, 2022, he made his debut in the FIFA 2023 soundtrack list, joining the train of Nigerian artistes stretching Nigerian music from an unsure export fighting for fame to a global phenomenon that is well sought after.

Seyi Vibez

Seyi Vibez might just be the new voice of the street. His album Billion Dollar Baby may be endemic to street ears, but there is no denying the talent of the young lad.


Guchi has been around the corner since 2019, however, she began her 2022 run with a brilliant, thought-provoking heartbreak anthem ‘Shattered’. Ugochi Lydia Onuoha has her music career ahead of her.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.