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How Some Emerging Nigerian Music Talents got Discovered


For a starter, there is no specific secret formula to break into the music industry in Nigeria. Even so, for the up and upcoming acts, there are several process to undergo.

Talents get uncovered in various ways. The pathways to the big time can be the least expected sometimes. Some stars rose to the spotlight after their catchy covers of hit songs, some for their freestyle clips gone viral on social media, and others the odd way of being controversial.

Quality, hard work and luck should not go under the radar here. You can’t be a brag and back up claims with whack songs. It just won’t take you anywhere.

No matter how an artiste makes it to the mainstream, it isn’t just plain sailing. It is always a journey of many highs and lows. Here is a list of 5 emerging artistes and the spectacular ways they got their fanfare.

5) Picazo-Rhap

Picazo Rhap whose real name is Omogbolahan Sodiq Ilabode is a talented rapper with huge potentials. Most of his work is done in his native Yoruba language.

Picazo’s story is a product of living a creative life on social media. His cover for the 2018 hit song “Able God” went viral after he shared it on Twitter and Instagram. A few days later(on 14 October same year), he signed to Olamide’s YBNL Nation along with his friend Yomi Blaze. He went from an unknown gem to one of the most talked-about rising stars in the industry at that time.

Olamide said he discovered Picazo on the IG page of a friend who posted a video of the young rapper. Picazo had been known for his freestyles and impressive covers for hit songs alike.

His stay in YBNL would be short, however, as it was announced on 9 June 2019 that he left the label.

4) Blaqbonez

The self-proclaimed “Best Rapper In Africa” – also a tittle of one of his songs(BRIA). Blaqbonez’s self-confidence and assuredness is what makes him stand out from the other emcees. I won’t be exaggerating if I say Blaq has lived up to the hype. The Guardian recently described Blaq as ‘carrying the torch of Nigerian rap’

Blaq started out as a battle rapper. In February 2012, the then-unknown 16 years old Blaqbonez won Terry Tha RapMan’s Zombie competition. Over 3,000 aspiring rappers participated. As the winner, Blaq featured on Terry’s album with a host of other star rappers. In 2015 He emerged 1st runner-up in Vector (rapper)’s king kong competition.

M.I’s 2017 controversial song ‘You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Life’ song kick-started a debate about the declining Nigeria hip-hop scene. Blaqbonez took the opportunity to render a direct reply to the song. Few weeks down the line, he signed to 100 Crowns entertainment, an imprint record label of Chocolate City.

His LP in 2018 peaked at number one on the iTunes chart.

3) Lyta

Another artiste once on the roster of YBNL Nation. Lyta was doing freestyles and performing in shows. He released a song titled ‘Time’, an emotional song he wrote after the death of his best friend in 2017.

While he was performing in one of the shows as usual, his story would be about to change. Olamide happened to be one of the stage organizers. He loved the song ‘Time’ which was performed by Lyta on the night. Contacts was exchange there.

Lyta signed to YBNL in early 2018 and a remix of ‘Time’ was made with Baddo. Lyta left YBNL after a rumoured bust-up with Olamide. He signed with Doro Misik Gang shortly after and released ‘Monalisa’ under the label.

Much has happened since but Lyta owes much of his achievements to Olamide.

2) Rema

Rema’s shot to stardom in 2019 left many in amazement. Not many artistes have made the kind instant impression Rema has. Not to talk of his millions of fans in a short while.

It began in February 2018. Rema posted a freestyle he did on the beat of afro-pop singer D’Prince’s track “Gucci Gang”. D’Prince featured Don Jazzy and Davido on the track.

In the post, Rema tagged the singers. D’Prince, a brother to Don Jazzy was impressed with the video and told Jazzy about the kid. Soon after, he went to Benin to meet Rema by himself. The rest as they say is history.

1) Joeboy

After all, maybe doing covers for hit songs is the surest bet to the spotlight. Joeboy went mainstream in 2017 after his cover for one of Ed Sheeran’s hit song. He as not looked back since.

According to Joeboy, it was a friend’s idea to record the cover for ‘Shape Of You’. His cover went viral. Then he got in contact with a female friend (he didn’t know in person) on Instagram. She sent the video to a bunch of artists.

As Joeboy opens up “The next day, I was reading for my exams jejely o and I saw a notification that Mr Eazi liked my video with his verified account. Next, Mr Eazi commented and then he messaged me saying, ‘sup.’ Next thing, he dropped his number. Next thing, he says, ‘Call me.’

Joeboy’s ‘Baby’ in 2019 was one of the biggest songs out of Africa for that year. It is clear to see, Joeboy is a bona fide star.

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