2022 has come and gone, but the reflections on the year continue. It was a splendid year for several Nigerian musicians – and not quite so for others. For some of those who had a great year in 2022, their impact transcended home. It was international, and the world felt its magic.
In this post, we bring together some of those musicians and view them in the light of their creative energies and what impact they made the preceding year. Of course, opinions will always be subjective. Still, we anticipate you will love the names on our list.
The names on our list are given in no particular order. Now let’s roll.
Table of Contents
1. Burna Boy
Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, the Nigerian singer who goes by the stage name Burna Boy, was one of the artists who had a splendid 2022. From releasing memorable beats to touring the world, Burna Boy had a superlative 2022. The crowning glory for him, though, must have been his selection as one of the greatest singers of all time by RollingStone Magazine. He is one of three Nigerian musicians of Nigerian descent on that list.
The others who made the cut are way older, with one being the great Fela, who, incidentally, he is inexorably linked to. The other is Sade Adu.
Burna Boy’s rise should intrigue anyone who cares to pay attention because came straight out of jail into the world of music, and he has achieved so much in a short time. Now, he is your “African Giant.”
It was a bad year; it was a great year. This oxymoron best describes the situation of Nigerian singer Davido last year. 2022 had begun on a grand note. Along the line, tragedy struck when the songster lost his only son, Ifeanyi, in a drowning accident at his Banana Island home.
It was like ashes in the mouth, and the songster had to ditch social media briefly. But a flower rose from his ashes as he was co-opted to perform at the World Cup closing ceremony – a personal milestone and easily one of the biggest highlights of his career, ever.
For one, that performance put him before a billion people around the world – something none of his concerts have been able to achieve.
“Jah Bless Me,” he sang a while back. And it must be said that Jah has indeed blessed the songster – probably beyond his dreams. From an unknown kid in the backwater of Surulere who founded a kiddies band in church, the songster has emerged as one of the leading voices in afrobeats in Nigerian.
On the international scene, he is also highly respected for his contributions. WIzkid released an album dubbed “More Love, Less Ego,” often abbreviated MLLE, last year to mixed views. While some tweeps described the compilation as splendid, others said they weren’t “feeling it.”
Of course, that takes nothing away from the magical run the songster had in 2022.
The year 2022 might be described as Asake’s best yet. Of course, 2023 might be better. But for now, the year just gone has been the best for the singer so far. many Nigerians would tell you that they haven’t heard about the musician before 2022.
And then, “out of the blue,” the songster just blew up, snagging the number 1 spot on the most streamed album on Apple music. What’s more? Almost all the songs in the said album made it to the charts as well – a personal record.
Such was the shock and beauty of Asake’s lifting last year that one of his compatriots insinuated that the songster used juju (a form of local magic or witchcraft) to get to his current position. Asake’s fame transcended Nigeria as well.
Chukwuka Ekweani is the bloke who goes by the stage name CKay. He is one of the Nigerian musicians who made an impact last year, not just locally. His gong resonated internationally as well.
The afrobeat ace history as the first-ever African artist to feature in the top 100 Billboard Artists year-end chart. The significance of that milestone wasn’t lost on the singer, as he celebrated it, joined by his fans across social media platforms.
Interestingly, the songster also had a good run with his “Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah)” tune, which peaked at number 17 on Billboard Global 200 songs – another personal milestone. While CKay might be young in age and even younger on the music scene, he is seen as one of the key voices of afrobeats in Nigeria, going international.
Rema has been in magical form ever since he popped into the music scene via Jonzing World and Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records. The songster had a memorable 2022 and even clinched a spot on the favourite songs list of former United States president Barack Obama.
That wouldn’t pass for a milestone per see, because he had made the list previously. But then, it still means a lot for the youngster, as not many Nigerians of his age have been able to make that list. Rema has great appeal, too, and many see him as one of the leading voices in the Mavin Universe.
With 2022 already marked as a splendid year for him, the songster is looking forward to an even grander 2023.
7. Adekunle Gold
In 2022, some were gold and some were dross. That is, some accomplished much while others didn’t make much f an impact, It may well be said that Adekunle Gold was one of those who “made gold” in 2022 on the international music scene.
Not many who suffer from sickle cell get to live long and tell the tale. Adekunle is a survivor – something he amplified in his music. The songster had a good run with his ” 5 Star” tune last year.
8. Kizz Daniel
He kissed the orbit last year. Yes, he did – but literally. He might be picked asone of the examples of the saying that dreams can come true. The songster released “Buga,” which became an instant anthem in Nigeria and even beyond. the release of that, and the rapturous reception, provoked another dream.\
Kizz Daniel wrote on social media that it would be his dream to perform the song during the World Cup. Some tweeps mocked him for speaking his mind while others wished him well. It turned out the heavens were on the side of the singer, as he ended up performing the number during the World Cup.
That was the most symbolic highlight of his career last year. He got to perform before the world in a literal sense. Unless he should have something similar, it would be his biggest performance yet.
9. Fireboy DML
Have you seen a bloke on fire? Well, then you have to see Fireboy DML. The YBNL ace easily finds a spot among musicians who had a splendid year in 2022 on the international music scene. Known for his impressive stagecraft, the songster gave music lovers a lot to remember for a long time with his Afrochella performance.
That singular moment of creative energy reverberates to this day. But, of course, his resonance transcended that moment.
This Tems isn’t terms, and it certainly has nothing to do with conditions. Lol. The Nigerian singer had a splendid 2022, with many wins on many fronts. She became the first African female to debut at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. That was made possible through her collaboration with American rapper Future, whose song also included Drake.
2022 was also a memorable year for the singer as she snagged the best international act award at the year’s BET Awards, becoming the first African female to be so crowned.
What’s more? She’s also the first female Nigerian singer to make a solo debut on Billboard Hot 100. She is also one of the Nigerians on the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack.
11. Omah Lay
Your Port Harcourt boy Omah Lay had a global resonance in 2022 with his debut album and other projects and engagements. The songster not only made Nigerians “Understand,” he extended the same power to other music lovers across the world. Beyond that, he is also one of the artists to watch this year.
12. Tiwa Savage
The “Savage” ends with the name. The songstress isn’t really savage as a person. When it comes to spitting the bars, you can count on her as well. The former Mavin Records queen. She was one of the singers nominated for the Readers’ Choice Awards last year. Although she didn’t win, she is still one of the Nigerians who dominated the international music scene last year. If – and how – she will continue on the same wavelength remains to be seen.
13. Ayra Starr
She fancies herself as a “Celestial Being,” and only a few would want to quarrel with that. The songstress not only has a good voice, but she was also able to put that to enormous use last year, sending the world into a “Rush” of Euphoria that continues to this day.
The songstress has a secure place among Nigerian artists who dominated the world stage in 2022. One of the key highlights for her last year was her beating some older figures, including Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade, to the legit readers’ choice awards – not that it counts much for them, though. Lol.
He was formerly known as Buju. But he pivoted into the world of a new name, BNXN, which reverberated for much of 2022. The “Omo Elewa” chanter is not only a massive believer in his abilities as an artist, but he also happens to be his biggest hypeman. He trended for much of 2022 and stands out as one of the Nigerian musicians who dominated the world stage in 2022.
15. Yemi Alade
We may have passed the era of “Elele,” but singer Yemi Alade is still very much active on the music scene and stands out as one of the Nigerians who dominated the world stage last year.