Every year, the industry spits out a range of artists whose prior performance indicates they’ll be dominating the mainstream in said year. While some of them live up to expectations, others don’t and there are some who go unnoticed but tip the scales in their favor during the course of the year. Omah Lay was one of such in 2020 and even more impressive was his success based on experimentalism, something that’s on the rise in the industry and is the source of energy for, the dynamic range of artists on our list of those we’re tipping for a successful year. With a handful of singles, collaborations, and debuts, the following artists are poised for dominance this year based on their run in 2020.
In an industry that breathes down on women unafraid to venture into unpopular spaces, rapper, singer and songwriter is challenging the norm by way of sweet vocals, sass, and the smarts. Last year, her collaboration with Mafeni and DOZ on Feel Right gave us the rundown of her ability to change form. It was a wonderful surprise following her dramatic dispensation on GjtheCaesar’s 2019 hit, What’s The Passcode. By way of these actions, SGawD has proven to be fluid enough to succeed in an industry like ours and we can’t wait to see how she navigates 2021, a year she’s poised to own.
Detoblack’s verse on Odunsi (The Engine)’s Body Count was one of the most talked-about features of 2020. While she didn’t follow up with features or singles half as edgy as her performance on the hit song, her affiliations and freestyle speak to an even more potentially explosive year so long as she puts out material. Detoblack is headed for domination if she can stay the course.
Asides from his hit-making abilities, if there’s anything Davido is good for, it’s putting people on. Liya joined his record label in 2020 and her DMW debut, Melo with the glitz and glamour surrounding its release is enough indication that coupled with her talent, she just might stay on-top this year.
Azanti proved his worth as a rookie in 2020 when he matched PsychoYP’s energy and flow on their debut project, YP & Azanti Vol. 1 which opened a number of possible music paths for him this year, including the possibility of a second volume of YP & Azanti Vol. 1. It will be fascinating to follow him on a journey made possible by his Afrofusion disposition.
It’s hard to predict where an all-rounder like O.L.A will land especially considering how he bubbles to the surface each year, only to float for a while and retreat. His many facets also make it hard to place his plans but in 2020, he showed promise with his five-track debut EP, Vibes, Vol. 1. Now, his strengths are more apparent and we can sense the strong choice to balance his life as a musician on the project. Vibes could just be the catalyst for a successful 2021.
There are several things fascinating about this rapper who plans to carve a niche for himself and appropriate sound in the Nigerian music industry, but, his edginess and resilience are two factors that can’t be ignored. We are of the opinion that combined with his lyrical dexterity and menacing flow, he will sit right at the top this year.
Shmurda’s story is akin to the likes of Zlatan and Naira Marley who owned previous years with class transcendent singles like the industry has never seen before. Cash App, seems like just a starting point for the budding street king. Bankable affiliations and wit are two key elements he has in his corner, speaking to the fact that a successful year is just within his reach.
Bad Boy Timz
Earlier in 2020, Bad Boy Timz was the subject of several theories revolving around the possibility of him being a one-hit-wonder. He came through with Have Fun and cleared all doubts of his reserve running dry. A creative who doesn’t bank on just his music, Timz seems to be heading straight for the top this year.
Revolutionaries, pioneers, entertainers, and everyone’s favorite brother duo. The Cavemen’s success is encapsulated in their starry Highlife driven debut, Roots. Their success in 2021, is unmistakable, it’s a phenomenon we can’t wait to experience.
Rapper, PSIV projects Afroswing which fuses Garage music and Afrobeat in a way that the passion in the former complements the upbeat nature of the latter to produce pieces with the structure of experimentalism and the intimacy of individualism. The rapper is charged with features that posit him at the top of the food chain in the Hip hop scene and 2021 holds a lot of promise regarding this.
Emaxee is passionate and futuristic. He has allowed his experience to seep into his music in a way that makes his offerings personal and emotive enough to completely grip his listener’s attention. In the same way, Ajebo Hustlers were hot on our radars this year by way of social commentary, Emaxee is poised for mainstream dominance now that society is waking up to the power of upbeat social commentaries.
A social media sensation, Fave SZN has proven to us time and again she’s ready to show up and show out. Her impressive run, on and off social media last year speaks to her raw talent on top of which we believe she will stand on and command authority this year.