Indeed, 2013 would go down as a great and eventful year as far as Nigerian entertainment is concerned. Talking nuptials, it was the year Tuface Idibia and Annie Macaulay, Tiwa Savage and Tunji Balogun (T-Billz), and Jahdiel and Eben tied the knots. It was also the year Sean Tizzle hit the limelight and fast rising Goldie, ageless Fatai Rolling Dollar and promising Fada U Turn joined the ancestors. The year equally witnessed the departure of Wande Coal from Mavin Records, and of course, Femi Kuti’s fourth Grammy nomination.
However, 2013 is gone and 2014 is here. It is a year full of hopes and expectations. Here, The Entertainer brings you musicians that would rule the scene in the New Year.
Femi Kuti and the elusive Grammy
He made a bold statement on Wizkid’s ‘Jaiye Jaiye’, and with the year scarcely under way, the pressure is mounting on Femi Kuti to deliver. For the fourth time in just a little over a decade, the King of Afrobeat got his 4th Grammy nomination thus raising hopes for Nigeria’s first ever Grammy award.
But the question is, having failed to deliver on three occasions; can Femi Kuti put Nigeria on the world map of the Grammys? Nigerians only need to wait for a couple of weeks for the answer as the next edition of the awards holds on January 26.
Femi got the nomination courtesy of his latest album entitled, ‘No Place For My Dreams,’ in the World Music category alongside the likes of Gipsy Kings, Ladysmith, Black Mambazo and Ravi Shankar.
He gave us one of the biggest hits of 2013, ‘Limpopo’, which successfully transformed him from KC of KC Presh to the solo artiste, KCee, and with the release of his debut album, ‘Pull Over’, KCee has given us yet another hit. Currently one of the hottest musicians in the industry, he would be the cynosure of attention as 2014 rolls on and the act is well positioned to sweep awards this year.
Can Sean Tizzle wear the crown?
2013 was the year Difference Entertainment act, Sean Tizzle, found his groove. And though, he is yet to release an album, he has made a mark with singles like ‘Sho Lee’ and ‘Boogie Down’, demonstrating that he is the act to beat in 2014. But will he deliver? Can he wear the crown? As we step into the New Year, the pressure will surely be on Sean Tizzle to raise the bar or risk being relegated to the back ground. A defining moment for him would be the release of his debut effort in the second quarter of the year and considering his astronomical rise, an endorsement deal might just be around the corner.
DJ Switch’s time to shine
It’s definitely the year for DJ switch to shine. What with N24 million in the kitty and loads of talent? Already the rapper, who came tops at the maiden edition of Glo X Factor music reality show, is said to be in the studio cooking beats with her producer and dropping lines for her forthcoming album, which should drop later in the year. There is also talk of collabos with a dozen of A-list artistes.
Will Fire of Zamani burn?
2010 gave us Oleku and ever since, the rapper with the Aboki swag, Ice Prince, has managed to hang in there. Now with the release of his sophomore effort entitled, ‘Fire of Zamani’ in late 2013, which earned him an exclusive deal with telecoms giant, Etisalat, the act it would seem is poised to take his game to the next level. Already, ‘Fire of Zamani’ has been winning rave reviews but only time would tell if Ice Prince will conquer the ghost of ‘Oleku’ and let ‘Fire of Zamani’ burn.
Wizkid marches on
Ever since he hit the limelight with his debut single, ‘Holler @ Ur Boi’ in 2010, Wizkid has continued to grow from strength to strength. Thanks to the crisis that rocked EME, he now has his own label, Starboy Entertainment. 2013 was exceptionally good for this act as he dropped tracks like ‘Caro’ and ‘Jaiye Jaiye’. With the recent renewal of his Pepsi deal and numerous collabos in 2013, the ‘Back To The Matter’ singer is one act music lovers can’t ignore in 2014.
After Gobe and Skelewu, what’s next Davido?
What he lacks in lyrical depth he makes up for with creative beats and dance. Ever since he hit the scene with his single, ‘O.B.O’ in 2011, which was followed by an album, ‘O.B.O. Genesis’ in 2012, MTN brand ambassador, Davido, has been steadily raising the bar. Just as ‘O.B.O’ was tapering off, he hit fans with ‘Gobe’; thanks to Password, who did the original sound track and even shot a video in 2010. However, to prove that he still had juice, Davido gave us ‘Skelewu’ to wrap up 2013. And as 2014 unfolds, it would be interesting to watch the path his career takes especially the rivalry between him and Wizkid.
Hot hot Olamide!
With a combination of lurid lyrics and punchy lines weaved into what is now known as fuji pop, the act known as Olamide has proved that he’s got a lot to offer. Olamide’s new album, ‘Baddest Guy Ever Liveth’, featuring the hit track, ‘Duro So Ke’, also made huge impact and as 2014 beckons, Olamide, who is now an MTN ambassador, is on top of the watch list.
Burna Boy’s sound
One act who has made serious inroads lately is Burna Boy. He blends Afrobeat, R&B, dancehall and hip hop in a unique and creative way. Known for hits like ‘Abeg Abeg Abeg’, ‘Sweetest Girl’, ‘Like To Party’, ‘Tonight’, ‘Run My Race’, and ‘Touch Your Toes’, Burna Boy released his debut album in August 2013 entitled, ‘L.I.F.E (Leaving An Impact for Eternity)’. As a testament to his growing fan base, he recently hit pay dirt when he was snapped up by telecoms giant, Glo, as one of its brand ambassadors.
Rapper and music producer, Phyno (Nelson Azubuike), surely made a mark in 2013 with his hit tracks, ‘Man of The Year’ and ‘Ghost Mode’. Having produced for the likes of Timaya, Flavour, Ruggedman, 2Shotz, Bracket, J Martins and Mr. Raw, the musician is set to take his game to the next level in 2014. Though, he failed to release his album, ‘No Guts No Glory’, as he earlier promised in 2013, the act has promised to do just that in 2014, and music lovers are waiting.
Don Jazzy and the future of Mavin Records
No doubt 2013 was indeed a rough year for Mavin Records even before Wande Coal’s sensational exit. But as Bob Marley once said, “when one door closes another one opens”, thanks to Eminado, Don Jazzy has returned to the charts. This, ironically, is a reflection of the fact that Don Jazzy’s success may not necessarily translate to success for Mavin like it was when defunct Mo’Hits held sway. And how would Tiwa Savage’s marriage impact her obligations at Mavin? How events play out would be quite interesting as the Mavin brand tries to reinvent and reposition itself.
Going by official statements from his management, the artiste known as Iyanya hit fortune last year through endorsement deals raking in over N100 million. As 2014 gets under way, there’s already talk of more deals coming his way as he continues to ride on the crest of ‘Kukere’. However, to sustain the steam, the act could use a couple of hits to consolidate the industry night.