The Nigerian music industry was eventful in 2021 most especially for women as have stepped forward to prove that they can achieve much more than what the men can.
Particularly exciting about the year 2021 is how the women didn’t come to play. The divas of music held sway dictating their own trends and controlling the narrative of how they wanted their stories to be told.
We have carefully selected a list of female artists that have done exceptionally well in pushing Nigerian music to the world in 2021.
Below are Top 10 Female Nigerian Artists that gave us extraordinary vibe in 2021.
Tems is one of the breakout stars of 2021 and she is among the female artists that made impact in the music industry. Although, she has been in the music scene for quite some time, she became more recognized after her hit single, ‘Damages‘ and her collaboration with superstar, Wizkid on his global hit song, ‘Essence’. Her collaboration with Wizkid on the song ‘Essence’ earned her first career entry on billboard Hot 100 and she also featured on Canadian superstar rapper Drake’s ‘Certified Lover Boy’ album. Her collaboration with Drake on the song ‘Fountains’ earned her another Billboard Hot 100 entry.
2. Ayra Starr
Hailed by NME as “the teen leading her generation’s sonic revolution”, and tipped by The Face and CLASH as one to watch – Ayra Starr has earned critical praise for her soulful vocals and raw lyrics that reflect the strength and growing pains of her generation. Introduced by music guru, Don Jazzy through Mavin Records, the fast rising singer debut in January, 2021, with ‘AYRA STARR‘.
After an impressive, self-titled 2021 EP that placed her among the vanguard of rising Nigerian pop stars, and lead single ‘Bloody Samaritan‘ which is still disturbing charts, Ayra Starr delivered her official debut album in August 2021.
3. Tiwa Savage
Tiwa undoubtedly is a huge figure in promoting African music. With perfect blend of empowering lyrics and rich tune in her songs, she continues to take on the world with her outstanding performance and vocals. Savage’s fearlessness in combining a unique fusion of Afrobeat, R&B, soul and pop paid off, earning her an abundance of award nominations including four Channel O Music Video Awards nominations, five World Music Award nominations, two Headies nominations, MTV Africa Music, BET & MOBO Award nominations and many more.
The African Bad Girl as she is fondly called hit it really big in 2021 with her collaborative record featuring Brandy, Titled “Somebody’s Son”. The track is off her Water & Garri EP, a mini project released in August 2021 as follow-up to her acclaimed third album, 2020’s Celia.
Simi has advanced her business of music from that sweet girl next door rave, to an impressive and untouchable rank of being arguably the number one of the hottest female artiste in Nigeria. This is a feat she has succeeded in achieving using her impeccably-styled sonorous vocals and a consistent delivery of songs spanning the soulful symphonies of Tiff, Jamb Question, Love Don’t Care and Smile For Me to the beat friendly E No Go Funny, Open And Close, Joromi and Owambe.
The multi-talented music star didn’t do much as regards dropping singles in 2021 But made a big impact with her featuring. She delivered a hit on Chike’s “Running (To You)” and Mr P’s I Love You among others. Simi got the No. 4 spot ahead of Teni because of her AFRIMMA recognition as the Best Female West African Artist.
In an industry where women have to present themselves a sexual fantasy just to be up to the standard and successful, Teni has proved that one doesn’t have to bare it all just to be accepted. Since her rise to fame, the singer has refused to slow down with her monstrous hits.
The singer blessed us with a mega hit track titled ‘For You‘ in 2021. ‘For You’ features Nigeria’s biggest male artist, Davido and serves as a lead single to her debut album – WONDALAND. When the album got released in March, Mosaldo and Hustle off the project turned into powerful tracks and kept her ahead of others.
6. Yemi Alade
Although she is not well recognized in Nigeria, Yemi Alade has continued to extend her wings to not only Africa but other parts of the world.
In 2021 she released Queendoncome EP, Did a collaborative record with Grammy Award winning Angelique Kidjo, Her US Tour and got a special invitation by Prince Williams to perform at Earthshot Prize Awards in the United Kingdom.
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Niniola is one of the most successful and acclaimed female artists in African music. Hits like “Maradona” and “Boda Sodiq” have won her glowing endorsements from the likes of Drake and Timbaland; none other than Beyoncé has looked to her for musical inspiration, borrowing from “Maradona” to compose “Find Your Way Back” from the iconic singer’s Grammy-nominated The Lion King: The Gift project, Making Niniola a Grammy
The confirmed Queen of Afro-House experimented in 2021 and came out victorious. Niniola combined Afro-House with the buzzing Amapiano and delivered the hit tracks; ‘Too Sweet‘ and ‘I Did It (Bum Bum)‘ which are off the 2021 – Amapiano/Afrohouse Ep “Lagos To Jozi“.
Since going viral on social media during the first COVID lockdown in 2020 after posting a freestyle of what then became her third single, N.B.U (Nobody But You), with a beat provided by Jinmi Abduls, she became the trailblazer on everybody’s radar. With her unique storytelling abilities, she explores a primary but variant theme of love, heartbreak and its variants, to make music that resonates deeply with her audience.
FAVE start 2021 by releasing Beautifully, But dominated and stormed the industry with her hit track ‘Baby Riddim‘ which is still among the Top 10 Nigerian songs right now.
9. Adeyinka Alaseyori
Adeyinka Akinyemi popularly known as Adeyinka Alaseyori is a Nigerian Gospel Music minister, songwriter and singer, one with a captivating voice just like that of Tope Alabi. She has released three albums titled; ‘Alaseyori mi’, ‘Alaabo mi’ and Arojinle so far. Her main mandate, as a gospel singer is to bring down the hand of God through deep cultured worship and undiluted praise.
The gospel singer made this list all thanks to the hit song- ‘Oniduro mi‘ and the clash she had with Tope Alabi. The Oniduro Mi controversy made her very popular in 2021 and earned her alot of gospel concerts and shows. Later in the Adeyinka Alaseyori released a new album titled ‘Aye Ope Yo’.
LIYA is the first female artist to adorn the 30BG crown. The First Lady made a glorious beginning with MELO late 2020. “Melo” which means ‘how many’ in the Yoruba dialogue, released under DMW, is her first official single. Her vivacious personality is only matched by her amazing voice that all fans immediately adore.
In 2021 she continued her mission to penetrate the industry with the release of her debut EP titled “ALARI”. On the debut EP, Alari (a word Yoruba for “stand out”), Davido Music Worldwide’s latest signee reveals her range by employing a spate of genre-mashing stylistic choices and stirring vocals to convey weighty messages.
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