After Jay Z announced that his cousin was in Nigeria to scout for new talent (click here if you missed it) there has been a lot of focus on the Nigerian music industry.
In the past there have been huge collaborations with International music stars with the most recent being Davido and Meek Mill (click here if you missed it) but none of the records were majorly pushed in the US.
Now Complex Magazine has taken time out to research the top 5 Nigerian hit songs.
The article, written by David Drake, states:
There’s a good reason to believe that Nigeria could very well influence the future of popular music both internationally and here in the U.S. First off, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, and, thanks in part to its oil wealth, the African nation with the highest GDP. In 2009, Nollywood—Nigeria’s answer to Hollywood—became second only to Bollywood in film production, surpassing the United States; likewise, its music industry is highly developed. Nigeria’s stars are Africa’s stars as well; and although Ghana and South Africa, in particular, can rival Nigeria in creative output, for the moment, Nigeria feels like the world’s aesthetic center.
This is due in part to Nigeria’s relationship with the outside world—and the way it co-opts other styles, but presents them in a singularly Nigerian way. Listening to a Nigerian record in isolation could fool you into thinking it was just R&B, Soca, EDM, hip-hop, dancehall, South African-style house music, or Ghanaian Azonto. But hearing the country’s biggest stars in succession makes it clear these styles are shades of paint for the Nigerian Afropop artist. The elements that bring it all together can be abstract—the cultural cues and references to Yoruba and Igbo culture, or the melodies that reference Nigerian musical history. But there are two common links for an outsider: Many of the songs are sung inpidgin English, making them easy club hits. Secondly, the rhythms of Nigeria’s current popular sound, though much more complex than American records, are also much more compulsively danceable.
In Nigeria, the rhythm is as important to the composition as its melody.
The article also talks about the influence of Nigerian music and the growth that can be expected from the Nigerian music industry.
Listing the top 5 hit songs in Nigeria, Complex magazine lists Wizkid’s Ojuelegba, Davido’s The Sound, Seyi Shay’s Jangilova, Lil Kesh’s Gbese and Kiss Daniel’s Woju.
While talking about Seyi Shay’s ‘Jangilova’ Complex states:
Relative to the U.S., where it often seems like women frequently run the pop charts, female artists in Nigeria don’t appear quite as frequently. There are definitely several major female stars, however. Last year, Yemi Alade’s “Johnny”was a major crossover hit, and this year her single “Kissing” has traction. Tiwa Savage is one of the genre’s biggest names, and her 2013 record “Eminado” is a flawless gem. This year, Seyi Shay has one of Nigeria’s biggest records with “Jangilova.” What does the title mean? A discussion at bellanaija.com suggests it’s the pidgen pronunciation of “Dangle over”—a reference to childhood swing-sets. The song is in a high-life style, a Ghanaian genre with particular rhythmic and harmonic characteristics.