Photo: Kin Kwesy
The 20 Best Nigerian Songs of 2022 So Far
Here are the hottest tracks that have come out of Nigeria this year so far, featuring Burna Boy, Rema, Mr Eazi, Asa, CKay, Davido, Naira Marley, Omah Lay, Adekunle Gold and many more.
The Nigerian music scene continues churning out hits that resonate across the West African region, the continent, and the entire world. This year has been no different for the thriving musical output of the country, with major releases from the likes of Burna Boy and Rema, as well as notable alternative drops.
Check out our picks for the Best Nigerian Songs of 2022 So Far below, listed in no particular order.
Mavins, Crayon, Ayra Starr, LADIPOE, Magixx & Boy Spyce 'Overloading (OVERDOSE)'
Mavin Records gathered the whole gang as they release this addictive crew single, "Overdose," the first taste off their upcoming 10th year anniversary celebration. Produced by the label boss himself Don Jazzy, the song shines light on the individual talents of the label artists—featuring Crayon, Ayra Starr, Ladipoe, Magixx and Boy Spyce dropping their own verses—while also showing collective team effort to bring the project to life.
Burna Boy 'Last Last'
Nigerian singer-songwriter Burna Boyhas done it again with the release of his new album, Love, Damini. While there are many songs we could've picked from the stellar 19-song album, our choice is "Last Last." The African Giant made his directorial debut this week with this single which dropped a month before his highly anticipated sixth studio albumThe song sample's American R&B singer Toni Braxton's hit single "He Wasn't Man Enough For Me." It's but a taste of what the afro-fusion heavyweight has in store for fans this summer.
Mr Eazi 'Legalize'
Mr Eazi has officially landed a new title -- certified lover boy. The love song and accompanying visuals for "Legalize" capture the intimacy of Eazi proposing to his longtime girlfriend, Nigerian actress Temi Otedola. The heartwarming single is a hit, and it had no choice as a powerhouse team of international producers gathered to add their flair and expertise. Producers Michael Brun,E Kelly, and Nonso Amadi, all helped Eazi channel his love into it. The music video is set in Venice, Italy, where the couple got engaged back in April.
Rema 'Calm Down'
Rema, prince of Nigerian music dropped his new album, Rave & Roses, in March of this year. He also shared the lead single from the project "Calm Down," a guitar-led mid-tempo compostion produced by Andre Vibez and London. “Calm down is about the events that led me to finding love at the time," Rema mentions. "It started at a party where I saw a girl who stood out from other girls so I felt like shooting my shot. We spoke and danced... but her friends didn’t let me get any closer which killed the vibe, but afterwards when they weren’t there, we stayed in touch and hit it off.”
Davido 'Stand Strong' ft. Sunday Service Choir
Davido connected with Kanye West's Sunday Service Choir for "Stand Strong," a soulful and gospel leaning single built on afro-fusion percussion. "It was just a different feeling, a different kind of record," Davido told Apple Music, "I don't think I've ever released a record like that. But funny enough, my earlier records, before afrobeats and stuff, that's the kind of music I was geared to, like R&B, slow, soulful type stuff."
Naira Marley 'Kojosese'
Nigerian sensation Naira Marley continues to push his creative talents—this time, taking his turn at dancing with the undead. The artist has released a high-energy, ooky-spooky music video for his 2021 single "Kojosese" to kick off what is expected to be a successful 2022. The song itself took off on music and video sharing app TikTok towards the end of last year, with the #Kojosesechallenge garnering over 22 million video views.
Omah Lay 'Woman'
Omah Lay, who we saw collaborate with Justin Bieber earlier this year, shared the new single and music video for "Woman." The song follows the Nigerian star singing about how everything he does is for his woman. It's a bouncy, dance floor-ready affair paired with some sleek visuals.
Asa came back in full swing with the release of her fifth studio album, V. "Oceans" one of the latest singles from the album, sees her riding low-tempo guitar riffs with her serene vocal delivery in a song about comparing a love to an ocean. Watch the striking video above. Read our interview with Asa around her new album V
LADIPOE 'Big Energy'
Nigerian rapper Ladipoe comes through with a summertime banger in the form of "Big Energy" out via Mavin Records. Produced by Killertunes, the tune drips with bravado and swagger over sparkling synth arpeggios. “I feel like ‘Big Energy’ is an actualised by-product of Providence EP. If Providence is the timely preparation for future eventualities then ‘Big Energy’ is what you feel when those eventualities come to pass. At the end of the song I say 'we didn’t come this far to come this far' which represents exactly how I feel.”
L.A.X 'Waist Drop'
Nigerian star L.A.X dropped his single “Waist Drop'' last week, just in time for the summer. He also shared the music video for the track, directed by Adam KG. In it, L.A.X dances and rides around the streets of California in a Mustang convertible with plenty of good company.
Nigerian musician Victony plays on unique sonic turf. His songs are lined with influences which stretch beyond Afropop and, on his latest release Outlaw, those qualities merge into fully realized bops. "Kolomental," off that tape, establishes his grasp of masterful lyrical arrangement and an astute ear for great beats.
Boj 'Culture' ft. ENNY
Alté pioneer Boj drops a head-nodding new single "Culture," which pairs mid-tempo beat work with light guitar textures. The track, produced by Juls and featuring ENNY, is the latest drop off his upcoming album Gbagada Express which is due this spring. "Culture" comes accompanied by an eye-catching party video directed by Akwasi Poku.
Superstar Tekno dropped the single and music video “JINJA,” in partnership with SoundCloud. On the track, a steady rhythm pulsates as he goes in with his seductive croons. The accompanying video finds Tekno appreciating the fine and expensive things in life.
Adekunle Gold 'Mercy'
Nigerian star Adekunle Golddropped the futuristic visuals for "Mercy," one of the highlights from his recent album Catch Me If You Can. The new DK-directed music video pairs sci-fi cinematography with classic Nollywood aesthetics, and features a cameo from Baba Fryo whose '90s song "Dem Go Dey Pose" is sampled on the track.
Pheelz 'Finesse' ft. BNXN
Nigerian producer turned artist Pheelz shared the music video for his breakout single “Finesse,” which features contributions from BNXN (formerly known as Buju). With this Director K-shot music video, which sees him throwing bills across a mall, he announced his signing to Warner Records.
Kizz Daniel, Tekno 'Buga'
Kizz Daniel and Tekno share the music video for their massive hit "Buga." It's as bright and lively of an affair as their supremely addictive earworm of a tune. Check it out above.
Tim Lyre 'Organic' ft. Tena Tenpo
Lagos based afro-fusion artist Tim Lyre dropped his debut album Worry < (pronounced 'worry less'), which he describes as "a contemplation of love, loss, cruise and vibe, a sonic exploration of the intensely anxious times in which we live, and a reminder to breathe through it all." "Organic" is one of many standouts here, as Worry < will have you immediately hitting that replay button. Read our interview with Tim Lyre.
CKay 'WATAWI' feat. Davido, Focalistic & Abidoza
It's a Nigeria-meets-South Africa concoction in CKay's latest single and music video for "Watawi." The "Emo-Afrobeat" singer enlists the star power of Davido, Focalistic and Abidoza for this sleek new jam.
Mayorkun 'Certified Loner (No Competition)'
Mayorkun shared his first drop of the year with “Certified Loner (No Competition).” The brand-new single comes on the heels of his standout sophomore album, Back in Office. The Mayor of Lagos rarely disappoints and he delivers once again here with this amapiano-inspired tune.
Yemi Alade 'My Man' ft. Kranium
Yemi Alade came through with a head-bopping afro-fusion track about her significant other. She's joined by Jamaican star Kranium for this percussion-forward track ready for the dance floor. Yemi mentions that the single is "a song about what a real woman in the real world desires."
Burna Boy 'B. D'OR' feat. WizKid
Nigerian musical heavyweights Burna Boy and Wizkid joined forces yet again to bring fans an upbeat, musical event of note. After dropping the single "B. D'Or" late last year, the respective Grammy-award winning musicians released the music video — and the visuals are everything and more. The track comes from Nigerian-British producer P2j and grabs its inspiration from one of the most prestigious trophies given to professional soccer players, the Ballon d'Or.
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