Zlatan "Zanku (Leg Work)" music video.

5 Nigerian Artists to Watch in 2019

Featuring Zlatan, Dami Oniru, Bella Alubo and more.

Stopping just short of predicting the future, our list of Nigerian acts to watch in 2019 is based on the promise these artists have shown and the work they've done in the past year, all chosen from a wider pool of talents eager to establish themselves in the public's consciousness.

Read ahead for our selection of the Nigerian Artists to Watch in 2019.

Dami Oniru

Dami Oniru's first EP, Cliche, came out in 2017. Since then the singer-songwriter has released a handful of singles like "Iyawo" and "Fallin" that have brought her more recognition among Nigeria's new wave of young artists who favour melancholy and introspection.

This January, Oniru's released Bri's Lounge which shows remarkable growth in her vocal strength and choice of satisfying, if not terribly adventurous, soundscapes. She succeeds in displaying singing chops over songs that draw from a capella and harmonising, blends of woozy trap synths and sunshakes to traditional afropop. Explored, on the 7-track EP are themes of sadness, loss, mortality, turmoils of one's inner life, perseverance in one's art and spiritual growth. But also playful songwriting as on "See" which features Remy Baggins, a longtime collaborator and singer in his own right. So far confirmed for 2019 are plans to release videos from Bri's Lounge along side pop-up events and a set at Gidifest 2019.


"Kapaichumarimarichopaco" goes the tag by 'Zanku' originator Zlatan, the man behind the new dance craze of the year. Zlatan has also cleverly fashioned a song ("Zanku (Leg Work)") to go with the move, which is boosting his popularity. The rapper's features on "Able God" and "Jogor" has led to higher-profile collaborations with Davido ("Bum Bum") and Burna Boy (Killin Dem"), which is introducing the charismatic talent to a wider audience. Zlatan is currently on a club tour across cities that include London, Cyprus, Kenya, Dubai and Istanbul, in an effort to capitalise on his new found fame.


This January, Maddtonic finally released Dutty Love, a joint EP with producer LeriQ that builds on his long-earned reputation as a sure-footed dancehall artist. The five expertly crafted songs almost make-up for the periods of low activity caused, in part, by insufficient label support. His 2018 single "Control It" had a modest impact despite its songwriting showcasing an impressive and seamless combination of dancehall and afropop musical vocabularies. Dutty Love should catapult his status and bring his music to a wider, appreciative audience

Bella Alubo

Recently freed from her contract with Tinny Entertainment, the label that launched her and rapper Ycee, into the public consciousness, singer Bella Alubo marched into 2019 off the back of her re-Bella EP, released in December. The first single, "Aiya," is boosted by a tasteful video with the support of Empawa Africa, the initiative started by Mr Eazi. Other songs on the project draw from the moody and seductive spectrum too frequently associated with Nigeria's 'Alte' scene, as well as from South Africa's gqom.

Del B

Del B might be better known as the producer responsible for certified hits like "Pull Over" (Kcee & Wizkid), "Like" (Tiwa Savage & Reekado Banks) and "Gbese" (Wizkid & Trey Songz). The former sound engineer is establishing himself as a solo artist this year with the upcoming release of his 11-track EP in March. Titled, Afrodisiac, the EP will boast features from top-layer afropop artists like Mr Eazi and Davido, promising newcomers like Dice Ailes, as well as Bam Bam from Big Brother Nigeria and radio on-air personality Moet Abebe. As if to make up for years of fitful starts as a singer, a joint album with Runtown is scheduled to follow, details of which are yet to be announced.

MohBad & Naira Marley in "Komanjensun." (Youtube)

MohBad & Naira Marley Connect For 'Komajensun'

The uplifting tune sees Naira Marley and his newly signed Marlian Music artist going in over a head-nodding beat by Rexxie,

Naira Marley and MohBad come through with the new music video for "Komanjensun."

The uplifting tune sees Naira Marley and his newly signed Marlian Music artist going in over a head-nodding beat by Rexxie,

The music video for "Komanjensun," which was directed by Naya Effectz, sees both Nigerian artists playing the part of students as they and their mates dance on a school bus.

Naira Marley also recently connected with C Blvck for the music video for "Tingasa," the opening track from his Lord of Lamba (LOL) EP.

The 6-track project Lord of Lamba is a classic representation of the Naira Marley's signature upbeat sound. It features the likes of Young John and Mayorkun and was produced by Killertunes, Studio Magik and Rexxie.

Watch the new music video for Naira Marley and MohBad's "Komanjensun" below.

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Nike Has Unveiled a New Nigeria 2020 Kit—and It's Just as Striking as the First

The Super Eagle's new kits are an impressive follow-up to the 2018 design.

Nike and Nigeria have done it again.

On Wednesday, the sporting brand unveiled a brand new Nigeria kit. This comes after the success of the wildly popular World Cup kit from 2018 which seamlessly fused streetwear with athletic function. The famous design was even nominated for the Beazley Design of the Year Award the year of its release.

The 2020 design is just as striking, featuring an angled, hand-drawn green design on top of a cream base. The Super Eagles's football crest is placed at the top front of the jersey, with the signature Nike swoop underneath. Matching sock sets were also unveiled for both colors of the jersey.

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Davido's Fiancé, Chioma Rowland, Tests Positive For Coronavirus

The Nigerian musician made the announcement via a heartfelt Instagram post on Friday.

Chioma Rowland, the fiancé of star Nigerian musician Davido, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The artist shared the news via Instagram on Friday, writing that he and 31 people on his team decided to get tested after returning back to Lagos from abroad. While he and the rest of his team received negative results, Rowland's test came back positive.

"Unfortunately, my fiancé's results came back positive while all 31 others tested have come back negative including our baby," wrote Davido. He added that they both showed no systems, but would be self-isolating as a safety measure.

"We are however doing perfectly fine and she is even still yet to show any symptoms whatsoever. She is now being quarantined and I have also gone into full self isolation for the minimum 14 days," he added. "I want to use this opportunity to thank you all for your endless love and prayers in advance and to urge everyone to please stay at home as we control the spread of this virus! Together we can beat this!"

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Juls Drops New Music Video for 'Soweto Blues' Featuring Busiswa and Jaz Karis

The Ghanaian-British producer heads to South Africa for the music video for the amapiano-inspired track.

Heavyweight Ghanaian-British producer Juls shares his first offering of 2020, and it does not disappoint.

The producer enlists South African music star Busiswa and London's Jaz Karis for the jazz-inflected "Soweto Blues," which also boasts elements of South Africa's dominant electronic sound, Amapiano. The slow-burner features airy vocals from Karis who features prominently on the 3-minute track, while Busiswa delivers a standout bridge in her signature high-energy tone.

"The song dubbed "Soweto Blues" is a song depicting the love, sadness and fun times that Soweto tends to offer its people," read the song's YouTube description. The video premiered earlier today on The Fader. "The energy is amazing, the people are lovely and I've found a second home — especially the vibrancy of Soweto," the producer told The Fader about his trip to Soweto for the making of the video "Jaz Karis is singing a love song, which is symbolic of my new love of Soweto and I'm honoured to have worked with Busiswa whom I have been a fan of for a long time."

Fittingly, the music video sees Juls traveling through the township, taking in its sights and energy. The video, directed by Nigel Stöckl, features striking shots of the popular area and its skilled pantsula dancers.

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