Arguably Africa’s biggest music scene right now, Nigeria has continued it’s growing trend of churning out massive hits and 2016 was an outstanding year for many of the industry’s young, new and vibrant artistes.
The popular Nigerian music in 2016 saw a flurry of newcomers and established musicians thrilling the local and international audience with their unique sounds, dancing, street slang and fashion trends.
This is why it is more difficult compiling a list of 5 standout songs from the varied types of music the scene has to offer.
This year’s top 5 song list does not feature most of the celebrated musicians like P-Square, D’Banj, Yemi Alade, Davido, 2Face, Wizkid and Tiwa Savage to mention a few, but rather the promising acts from the previous years who have developed and perfected their sound, in the process creating an evolution and growth in the Nigerian music industry.
The top 5 songs has been a strong reflection of the fans taste, good music, high quality sound production, captivating visuals and creating of trending social and culture style.
1. Runtown – Mad Over You
In May 2016, singer & songwriter, Douglas Jack Agu popularly known by stage name, Runtown had a very public dispute with his label Eric Manny Records which later saw the artiste change his management and still continue working with his label.
Runtown immediately went back to the studio to record his new song “Mad Over You“ produced by Del’B. The song came out quietly in November, 2016 and became a massive hit a week later.
“Mad Over You” is a song that sees Runtown serenading a beautiful Ghana girl and heaping praises on her with a twist of different Ghanaian foods. Del’B on the other hand, smooths out the beat with a touch of Nigerian Beats, HipLife and Dancehall melodies.
“Mad Over You” at first listen gives you that feel good, relax and chill factor, with the simple production and arrangement from Del’B, while Runtown harmonizes to the beat, the sweet melodies of “Mad Over You” prompts the listener to put the song on continuous replay.
Clarence Peters cleverly shot and directs the visual which displays a classy and colourful selection of beautiful women posing and wearing African garments, as he interprets the song to showcase the beauty of women, which breaks the norm of having a leading lady, Runtown would have been calling his superwoman. It was not surprising to see the video quickly reach over 1 million views on Youtube, within 2 weeks of release.
“Mad Over You” is that your favourite song that you can listen to after a hard days work, chilling by the beach, thinking of a special person or dancing to, in a secluded section of a night club with someone you like. Runtown big ups.
Watch “Mad Over You” Video:
2. Tekno: Pana
Your favourite boy, Tekno Miles released his massive and chart topping hit “Pana” in July, 2016. The mellow and lovey dovey song was produced by Kris Beatz.
The singer-songwriter shows off his strong vocal talents with his smooth delivery over the Kris Beatz genius production of splendid drum arrangement, pounding bass and the ear pleasing synths to compliment the song.
Tekno warms up the lady in the song with his flattering, admiring lyrics which every pretty and love searching girl wants. This is evident in his Instagram posts which has gained him plenty of admiring beautiful women followers. He is in charge of this classic song, right from the beginning to the end.
The visual is strictly for lovers, Clarence Peters directs and brilliantly captures the song lyrics with so much sexiness, romance and the onscreen kung fu master display of Tekno as a hero to his woman. “Pana” is one of the most viewed Nigerian videos of 2016 with over 13 million as at the time of this post.
2016 is probably Tekno’s best year yet, as he also delivered two big hits – “Where” – in May 2016, “Diana” – in October 2016, signed a huge deal with Sony Music and toured extensively worldwide. This is coming off 2015 where he scored big with the huge anthem “Duro” and the Bracket assisted hit “Panya“.
The Made Men Music Group musician is the future of Nigerian music, expect his new album in 2017. Keep it up, hardworking Tekno.
When the 2 biggest rappers from the south-east and the south-west of Nigeria collaborate, you know it’s going to be magical. This is exactly what happened when, Phyno enlisted his friend, Olamide for this thunderous hit titled “Fada Fada (Ghetto Gospel)” in this almighty thanking song, produced by perhaps the best Nigerian producer of 2016, Masterkraft.
Right from it’s release in May, 2016 the song became an instant hit with the fans, was one of the most requested songs on Radio & TV and also the most sought after song in weddings and big occasions.
Masterkaft artfully produced this classic Hip Hop and Highlife fusion jam with his gifted keyboard skills spread all over and the traditional drums pounding away in the song. With Nigeria being a very spiritual country, Phyno and Olamide’s simple, clean lyrics and rap delivery pushes the song into a gospel genre, street survival anthem and celebration of success.
Without wasting time Penthauze Music quickly released the huge jubilation visual a week later on 13th May, it was shot in Lagos Island by the award winning director, Clarence Peters. Nice one Phyno.
Watch “Fada Fada” Video:
4. Olamide – Who U Epp?
One of the hardest working label boss and recording artiste, Olamide could have taken a break in 2016 to enjoy his money, after his huge success the previous year. Rather the gifted and talented rapper in April, 2016 released the big anthem and street slang “Who U Epp“. Reports from the YBNL camp, have it that super producer Shizzi made the beat in 15 minutes.
Shizzi with his magic fingers applies the synths and drums in this production, to make the record a hit, which was initially released as a freestyle, but Olamide on hearing Wande Coal’s awesome version quickly brought in Phynofor his prowess rapping delivery to release an official version which was used for the video.
Artful cinematographer, Sesan directs this video for the biggest Nigerian street slang record of 2016, Olamide asks “Who U Epp?“.
Watch “Who U Epp” Video:
5. Timaya featuring Flavour – Money
Timaya has been the most versatile and consistent Nigerian artiste in the last 5 years. So it’s no doubt the singer-songwriter knows what his Nigerian audience likes when it comes to crafting classic hits.
The entertainer collaborates masterly with his long time hit making and talented producer, Young D on another monster record, called “Money” featuring the Highlife star, Flavour, the song was released in April, 2016.
The song lyrics is a good story telling of how one’s life can turn around when they acquire huge wealth. Timaya and Flavour both interplay and blend very well as they sing out the Young D produced, gentle thumping drums and the piano spicing up the harmonies. “Money” enjoys heavy rotation at weddings, events, clubs, radio and TV nationwide.
Clarence Peters gives the visual a vivid understanding and direction of the song story, as Nollywood star actor, Nkem Owoh plays the lead role.
Timaya never stops working, he is one of the biggest exports of Nigerian music, he can easily switch his flow from club, to inspirational or cultural Nigerian songs. We salute Timaya, “Bang Bang” the hits boss.