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BN Music presents “Introducing the Cool Kids” – Nigerian Music’s New School – Class of 2013



2012 was a big year for the Nigerian music industry. A lot of things took an unusual turn, for the better that is, as the industry grew even bigger, globalizing itself, so to speak. The industry’s heavy hitters signed international deals; more artists embarked on international tours and the music videos as well as online accessibility to our superstars became a lot better.

But that’s not all that happened in 2012. Last year, a ‘new’ breed of musicians emerged into the limelight – each a hybrid Nigerian, branded, creative, very individual and with their own unique sound. Not to say that any of them are ‘new’ artists, but 2012 marked their triumphant entry into celebrity; going from the ‘underground’ into household names.

In no particular order, allow me to introduce you to Nigerian Music’s ‘New School” – Class of 2013:

Burna Boy

Burna Boy

I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that Burna Boy is the first name on your lips when ‘New School’ is mentioned. Although the young star had been putting out music way before 2011, he won over Nigeria’s hearts with his braggadocio, his hits “Touch Your Toes”, “Tonight” and most notably, “Like To Party”.

For more on Burna Boy, {click here}

Twitter – @Burnaboy



No one has been able to put Igbo indigenous Rap on the map since the days of 2Shotz & Big Lo‘s “Delicious”; especially in this industry where absolutely everyone sings in Yoruba. Nonetheless, Phyno came through with his, you know, hair and stuck to his sound. The Igbo language has never been so cool.

Twitter – @Phynofino

Yemi Alade

Yemi Alade

Yemi Alade turned heads by force, with her bubbly and infectious Afro Pop tunes and her always on-point ‘Ghen Ghen’ style, getting the guys swooning so helplessly that the ladies had to watch their backs. She has certainly come a long way from “Fimisile” featuring eLDee, way back in 2010.

Twitter – @YemiAladee

DRB Lasgidi

drb lasgidi

DRB Lasgidi‘s sound is as much a juxtaposition of Western & Nigerian culture as their dress sense. Mixing up danshikis, rough facial hair, grunge vests & tees, wide-brim hats, skinny jeans, bandannas and round glasses, the “Toyin” crooners – Boj, TeeZee & Fresh L are “Afro Hipsters”. One thing’s for sure – they are not afraid of mashing anything up, from colours and patterns, to beats and genres.

Twitter – @DRBLasgidi | @BojDRB | @FreshLDRB | @TeeZeeDRB



His bass vocals, ironic moniker and intelligent wordplay totally caught us off guard when “Senrenre” became a massive hit. He went on to clear all doubt with his even bigger hit “Omo Pastor”. Remember the group, Soyinka’s Afro from “Ko Easy” back in 2009? Well, he was part of it. {Click here if you want to see young Ajebutter22 with a mohawk}

Twitter – @Ajebutter22

Seyi Shay

Seyi Shay

Seyi Shay marked out her own lane in the Nigerian music industry extraordinarily well. From her eye-catching outfits and stellar performances, to starring roles in music videos and love letters, the “Loving Your Way” songstress’ hard work is certainly paying off. We can only wonder how she’s going to shock us next.

Twitter – @IamSeyiShay

Dammy Krane

Dammy Krane

Dammy Krane sounds like no other. And, with just “My Dear”, “Ligali” and his “Gangnam Style” cover, this ’21st Century Fuji’ singer has taken Nigeria by storm. With his feel-good vibe, Afrocentric style, endless energy and 2Face‘s Hypertek record deal on his back, Dammy is certainly a force to reckon with.

Twitter – @Dammy_Krane



Tomi Thomas, Bridge, Yung Killing and Briss have all been on a “Bad Guy P” long before the swagged out music video dropped. Hefty beats, great chemistry, witty punchlines, individuality, solid R&B crooning, cool slang and an addiction to high fashion are all elements that make the L.O.S formula complete.

Twitter – @Team_LOS | @YuNgKwtf_LOS | @TomiThomas_LOS | @BrisB_LOS | @BridgeLOS



The epitome of unique, Blackmagic‘s sound is unrivaled for its originality, though reminiscent only of Fela’s Afro beats. His singles “Confam” & “Repete” quickly made him a household name to avid music listeners. If you ever bump into a dark and mysterious man, deep in thought, wearing a shokoto, fedora and tee shirt, just let him know that “everything confam oh”

Twitter – @ejayblackmagic

Temi Dollface

Temi Dollface

This UK-raised Nigerian was a style star way before a lot of us heard her music. Her music effortlessly builds bridges across Soul, Jazz, Afro Hip-Hop and Afro beats into what she terms as ‘Drama Soul’. With her new single “Pata Pata” and its music video on the way, we’ve got our eyes locked on this one.

Watch Pilot Africa’s feature on the singer here! For more on Temi Dollface, {click here}

Twitter – @TemiDollFace

The Producers



“Music is my life support machine…I am empty without it”

Sarz has produced a good percentage of all the hit songs in the past few years, from Shank‘s “Ghetto” to Wizkid‘s “Dance For Me” all the way back to the late Dagrin‘s “Kondo”, just to name a few. Lest we forget his fire banger with Wizkid, “Samba (Beat of Life)”. His name on a production has almost become synonymous with ‘hit song’ and it’s great he is finally getting the deserved notice.

Twitter – @beatsbysarz

Studio Magic

Studio Magic

Every time I hear ‘I need that magic’, it’s like I’m at a traffic light that just turned green and if i don’t move, I’m going to get yelled at by fellow commuters. Studio Magic is a production collective made up of two very talented producers – Platinum Toxx & Headphones91

Headphones91, Producer/A&R

Headphones91, Producer/A&R

Platinum Toxx, Producer/DJ

Platinum Toxx, Producer/DJ

These two have produced a myriad of banging tunes with their creative production style that sounds like nothing else in the industry. They have produced jams for the likes of M.I, Dr. Sid, Ajebutter22, L. Marshall, Falz, DRB Lasgidi, X.O Senavoe and American Rap star, Joe Budden, just to name a few. Watch out for them; their tunes are lethal.

For more on Studio Magic, {click here}
Twitter – @StudioMagic_ | @Platinumtoxx | @Headphones91



If you have ever heard any song from the Aristokrat Records’ stable, then you know who produced it – Leriq. He is responsible for every hit song that Burna Boy has ever breathed on, most especially the tunes that have become massive hits of late.

His production style cannot be put in a box either from his experimentation with live instrumentation to funky electronic sounds. We do hope that we hear more collabos with him and non-Aristokrat Records acts soon because his last “Bigger Better Best” production was sure fire.

Twitter – @LeriQ_TLS



The producer from the G.R.I.P Musik crew has had a field day since he started churning out his music. He’s responsible for hits like Yung L‘s “Red Rose”, Endia‘s “48”, Ice Prince‘s “Aboki”, “Truth”, “More” and even Victoria Kimani‘s “M’toto” to name a few. He’s really an embodiment of the ‘new skool’ sound.

Not only does he have a lot of big tunes, he’s the Nigerian producer whose production keeps getting freestyles and covers made on by artists, known and up-and-coming. And, with his strong affiliation with Ice Prince and the Choc City crew, he’s going to be around for a while.

Twitter – @DChopstix

Maleek Berry

Maleek Berry

Bring back the R&B vibe into the new Afro Pop scene, Maleek Berry has been able to rise to mainstream success so much so that he’s the premier producer on Wizkid‘s Star Boy Entertainment label. With hit songs produced for Davido, Wizkid and Wande Coal on his bill, this is one producer to watch out for.

Twitter – @MaleekBerry | For more on Maleek Berry, {click here}

Photo Credit: BellaNaija | Twitter | TeamCapital | TCD Photography | TrybesRecordsReloaded


  1. HRS

    April 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Burna Boy is def here to stay, love “Tonight” and “Like to party”, Dammy Krane is a clown! I like his spirit and yep, he’s here to stay, love his “Kole re body”, that husky voice is very nice. Yemi Alade too, “Ghen Ghen”, on point. Phyno….. Hmmmm, don’t understand Igbo but I feel the beats on his song. I love Seyi Shay’s “Loving your way’ and the Boss Black magic “Confam”, his music is unique and sweet to the ears! 🙂 As for the producers, I only recognize Sarz on the beatz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😉

    • T.I

      April 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      Sarz isn’t the best tho lol. I personally like studio magic. Great guys.

    • wicked Cameraman

      April 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      i am confused 2013 kids? sheyi shay’s video cam eout 2010 or so,almost all these artists have been on the scene for dunky years how are they the class of 2013?na wa the list i tired where is the Eme crew?and many others i can’t think of na wa abeg all these list that these people put together kill me na so them go give sheyi sheyi award for video she released 5oyears ago smh

    • wicked Cameraman

      April 19, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      tired where is the Eme crew?and many others i can’t think of na wa abeg all these list that these people put together kill me na so them go give sheyi sheyi award for video she released 5oyears ago smh

  2. olanrewaju hammed

    April 19, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    it’s a very good and great revolution for the big Nigeria music industry…. what a massive turn around, but remember say them never blow finish o…. we stil yapa o!

  3. Enitan

    April 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    burna boy style is nice i likey and yes i like “serenre” ajebutter 22 i like phyno too doe i dont undastand bur i like his rapping Dammy krane hmmmm ‘lipsealed’ i love seyi shay yaaaayy Sarz beat of life i love u muaaaah

  4. TRUTH

    April 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm


  5. LolaRaeFan

    April 19, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Why isn’t Lola Rae on this list??

    • Trendiest

      April 19, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      Bcos she only has one song thats popular thanks to bella for d publicity

    • ermm

      April 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      im guessing this is a Nigerian list …Lola is not Nigerian

    • Partyrider

      April 19, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      She is Nigerian

    • Keri

      April 20, 2013 at 8:16 pm

      I think it’s because she is not Nigerian but Ghanaian/British. Her parents lived in Nigeria for years that’s why she knows a lot about Nigerian culture. 🙂

  6. deshola

    April 19, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    chidinma nko?

  7. Anon1

    April 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Never heard of black magic but that video was worth watching. Nice song. The girl in the video is so pretty, with the most genuine smile. The Igbo guy’s song was good too, didn’t understand much but Olamide made up for that.

  8. Yardie

    April 19, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Maleek Berry has been around for a while and is here to stay, he;s the guy behind the Carolina hit by Davido, and Back to the matter by Wizkid, he’s got sick beats.

  9. destiny

    April 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Burna boi

  10. Msunderstood

    April 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Burn a boy, Dammy krane(special love), Seyi Shay, black magic, DRB, Ajebutter – love them all. They deserve all the hype.

  11. areyoumadareyoustupid

    April 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    whoooooooop studio magic and ajebutter 22!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. k

    April 19, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    were is KSWITCH?? Enhh??

  13. Mo'blezzin

    April 20, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Dammy Krane for girls na….Pasuma for the ladies……DEEP!!! #soto#ligaligali

  14. Demmy

    April 20, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I love everyone on the list. The DRB guys are amazing especially Boj. LOS have my heart too. Burna Boy is an incredible singer. Yemi Alade is so edgy. I LOVE Blackmagic. Actually, I love all of them, nice post. x

  15. dupe

    April 20, 2013 at 10:39 am

    If this is an opinion piece then it’s fine but a thorough list, no!

    You missed out Shaydee, GRIP Muzik, Ms Jaie, Praiz…so many others!

  16. dj olapunch

    April 20, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    why is selebobo and lnc not included here

  17. alwayshappy

    April 21, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Thank you BN for this roll call… honestly all of these children wey don get “freedom” to pursue music, arts and entertainment as a pro-fasion in Africa, God bless una… make una butter and break bread well so una no go become 1 hit wonders who never make decent classic beats/jams/songs my grandchildren go gbadun.

  18. Idak

    April 21, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Phyno,Man of the year!!
    Nwanne, obago……

  19. female with glasses

    April 23, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    ozzy b should be on this

  20. pinkymaryberry

    June 12, 2013 at 12:50 am

    Phyno beatz all of dem!! Even tho I don’t understand Igbo!!

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