Nigerian Afrobeats presented the listeners with several moments of awe, especially from the artistes such were never expected. Aside the big names like Wizkid, Burna Boy and Kizz Daniel who flourished borderlessly as usual, throughout 2022, the following artistes had some of the big moments in Nigerian Afrobeats:
A decade old producer recognized for his excellence in the artistry of YBNL’s Olamide for years; in 2022, Pheelz, who used to put singing to test via backup singing, exposed the world to his skill of singing.
Pheelz’s new exploration of singing birthed Finesse, the very first big song of 2022 in the Nigerian Afrobeats industry. This song, within the first three weeks of its release, became the Most Shazamed Song in the world as Pheelz rendered it before an O2 Arena crowd that passionately echoed it back.
Pheelz used Finesse featuring BNXN to unveil Miichkel, a very young producer under the tutelage of Pheelz. It was also at this moment we learned about Pheelz’s establishment called Triibe. To follow Finesse up, Pheelz made another hit with Davido titled Electricity.
6. Young Jonn
A versed artiste in the art of production, Young Jonn’s discography as a record producer has many hits and pop culture around it including Kizz Daniel’s Fvck You, the biggest challenge in Nigerian Afrobeats. Young Jonn’s revelation as an artiste began since around 2018 with songs like Mama Yo and Ello Baby feat. Kizz Daniel and Tiwa Savage; but the singer suffering social anxiety disorder was a big log of wood impeding his confidence.
With the death of his mother around that period, the producer recognized the need for a therapy. Healed, he signed for the evergreen Chocolate City and the producer was unveiled as a full-time singer in 2022. In no time, Young Jonn released a full EP, including the Davido-assisted remix on Dada.
Young Jonn would not limit himself to the #1 Dada scored on Nigeria Apple, he returned in a matter of four months with yet a second EP and one of the 10 biggest songs of 2022 in his home country. He entitled it Xtra Cool.
5. Reward Beatz
Kizz Daniel’s pop in 2022 is tied to his raging hit entitled Buga. The song which was another remarkable moment in the history of Nigerian pop culture has its production credited to Reward Beatz with the assistance of Blaise Beats.
As if Buga was not enough a surprise, Reward Beatz returned in the later part of the year to give Young Jonn his second #1 song of the year on Xtra Cool. With these two songs, Reward Beatz became the most favorite for the Producer of the Year in 2022. His signature says it all when you hear it, “BANGA!”
4. TG Omori
With a trial from Olamide, TG Omori had enough pace to become a familiar name in the Afrobeats scene. The cinematographer also known as Boy Director is known for his obsession with colors in his video directory.
In 2022, TG Omori directed a total of 8 song videos for Asake within 8 months. The artiste also shot Kizz Daniel’s colorful Buga visuals. Though he has been called out for lacking storylines in his directory and has also been rumored to charge millions of Naira for cinematographical works, however, TG Omori’s social media presence is also a thing of admiration.
Sometime in November, he publicly declared his willingness to shoot a free video for Austin De Bull’s Shey You Dey Whine Me, and in a matter of two weeks, contacts were made between the underdog artiste and the cinematographer.
Blaqbonez has successfully registered his name as one of the most prominent Nigerian artistes on the internet. The rapper, throughout 2022, used social media to his advantage with comical publications targeted at promoting his music.
Blaqbonez held a crusade-like show to promote philophobia and singlehandedly took over the unveiling and promotion of his new colleagues signed under Chocolate City, i.e Noon Dave. The rapper also directed a video of his own song, Back in Uni, a video in which he imitated the occurrences in the industry at the time as well as the works of a few other colleagues in the industry.
In a situation where some other established rappers avoided calling out Wizkid for his nauseating comments about Nigerian rappers being “broke boys”, Blaqbonez expressed his disdain for Wizkid’s downplay of the Nigerian rap industry.
Asake’s nightmarish dominance of the industry in the entire 2022 was made possible by a record deal signed under YBNL and the worldly Empire. Since his unveiling in February, the popstar has released an extended playlist and an album.
Asake’s reign is saddled on the infectiousness of the Amapiano. By exploring the sound and some other musical techniques, the singer was able to appeal to virtually every listener in the art of music. Also setting some of the pop cultures of 2022 alongside Kizz Daniel, Asake has scored more than 8 no. 1 songs on Nigerian Apple with an album tipped to be the album of the year and also an unforgettable project in the history of debut albums in Nigeria Afrobeats.
Tems is obviously the most successful Nigerian singer in the last one year. The singer’s 2022 provided her the grace to work with Rihanna, Beyonce, Drake and Future. With a number of plaques won and a total of 3 Grammy nominations recorded in 2022, Tems is the biggest shock of the year in Nigerian music.