Music they say is an art and a universal language. The Nigerian music industry experienced what I call a colossal and stupendous influx of hit songs and bodyworks ranging from EPs and delectable studio albums both from old and new generation artists in 2021. The beginning of 2021 signalled the unveiling of the goodies the year had in stock for music lovers as the atmosphere was serenaded with a plethora of smash hit songs that ushered in the year.
From the first quarter of the year to the fourth quarter saw artists coming through with either their judicious and long-anticipated debut or sophomore album which started dropping like it’s hot setting up the industry in flames, and music fans grooving to a steady inflow of jams from their favourite Act.
Considering how competitive and transformed the Nigerian music industry has become in recent years with continuous evolvement, and Afrobeat revolutionaries and renaissance coming up the mainstream ladder, we literally compiled this list to review top albums with a good performance index that made 2021 a groovy and scintillating year:
Wondaland by Teni
Dolor Makanaki popularly known as Teni gave us an insight into her long-anticipated sophomore album when she released the catchy tune “For You” featuring Davido. Reminiscing on her previous hits songs like “Case”, “Power Rangers” and “Billionaire”, which sparked up immeasurable industry outrage and earned her industry acceptance and huge fan base, permit me to say that, her “Wondaland” album lived up to expectations.
The Prodigal by Mr P
After the split of the biggest African music duo, and twin brothers, Peter and Paul that made up P Square half a decade ago, we saw tons of singles from the stables of the half of the duo Peter who goes by the stage name Mr P that got music lovers wondering when his solo debut album would be dropping, and what it would look like. Mr P quenched that urge on 2nd April when he unleashed “The Prodigal” album, a compilation of 16-tracks that featured Nigerian Artists like Simi, Teni, Tiwa, the fast-rising Act Singah, and guest appearances from American singers, Tamar Braxton and Mohombi.
Mr P proved controversial audience with opposing views who had the notion that he is just a dancer wrong beyond every reasonable doubt that he is a vocal powerhouse who can succeed as a Solo Artiste.
Rum and Boogie by Peruzzi
The DMW Act is one of the best songwriters in the industry first started by giving us amazing and top-notch singles that became ravenous hits. He first gave us a pip into the pop when he released the soulful tune “Majesty” which stole our hearts and paved the way for his debut album, he geared it up with “Nana”, another melodious and irresistible song that slid music lovers into ‘I can’t wait’ mood lying in waiting for the album. Peruzzi, who is a master strategist, kept making fans yawn by dishing out “Southy Love” featuring YBNL starman Fireboy which increased the anticipation. The “Rum and Boogie” album that consists of 20-tracks was released in April. The distinctive album was partitioned into two which the first dimension had 10 tracks he named “Rum”, and the second phase was “Boogie”. Music lovers couldn’t get enough of it because he delivered a masterpiece.
Shall We Begin by Laycon
The 2020 BBNAIJA Lockdown winner Laycon leashed out the highly and fans most anticipated album “Shall We Begin”. The project which is his debut album saw the BBNAIJA winner display his vast nature and lyrical strength. The album was released on April 30 2021. Listening to some songs in the album, Laycon is really bringing back a new phase to Hip-hop and Nigerian rap music.
UY Scuti by Olamide
The YBNL Nation record label Honcho Olamide is one consistent Nigerian Artist that often comes through with an album annually. Badoo who always entices his fans with good music continues his relevance run with his 9th studio album “UY Scuti” released on the 14th of June, a compilation of 10-tracks. The album which charted on 45 countries upon release with the lead single “Rock” has remained steadfast on the chart logs with massive airplay. In summary, Olamide is a Nigerian artist that fans always look up to for something new and different and he delivers.
Sex Over Love by Blaqbonez
The Chocolate City Afrobeat-Hip-hop rapper who has previously released three EPs consecutively from 2018 and twice in 2019 unleashed the long-awaited LP he dubbed “Sex Over Love” which happens to be his first studio album, and consists of 14tracks see the Rapstar proving himself lyrically and not here to play with anyone. The album earned him a spot on Rollingstone’s list of Best Albums of 2021.
Citizen Of The World by King Perry
The Port Harcourt born Continental Boy and Afro Dancehall DM record signee Popularly known as King Perry finally rolled out his debut album “Citizen Of The World” released on April 28 where the “Eastern Baby” crooner showed his music composing skills and meeting up to criteria. The project which serves as his first industry bodywork quenched the long wait and projected the singer as one of the new generation of artists that posterity will always remember for being uniquely different both lyrically and delivery wise.
The Prince I Became by Ric Hassani
Ric Hassani who is also known as African Gentleman is one magical Nigerian vocalist and well crafted Afropop, R’n’B and Neo-soul singer with a touch of modernity who has singled himself out and sure knows how to combine Afrobeat with R’n’B to give it a plausible undeniability that is soothing to the listener. On February 26th, he released his second studio project “The Prince I Became”. The album that touched on different aspects of life which is a complete package gave Music Lovers goosebumps. “Thunder Fire You” which is a heartbreak song and smash hit which got banned by NBC still didn’t dissuade music lovers from being thrilled as they easily could relate with the lyrics.
SoundGod Fest Reloaded by Runtown
Runtown after what seemed like a long loud silence from the “Mad Over You” crooner shovelled out his 4th studio album “SoundGod Fest Reloaded”. The 12-tracks album which was released in the second quarter of 2021 is a fusion of Afrobeats with Afro-Caribbean vibes and was basically delivered in English and Jamaican Patois. The gun-blazing unexpected album featured guest appearances from Emtee, Minz, Darkovibes, Gemini Major, Rowlene, Bella Shmurda and Made Kuti.
The astonishing album is another proof that Runtown is a Sound god.
Rudykillus by Rudeboy
The twin brother of Mr P that made up the defunct duo PSquare who is now known by his solo stage name Rudeboy whom fans stirred up controversies and debated with the public conception on micro-blogging app Twitter when their separation hit the public domain that, he is the lead singer and songwriter of PSquare as a group soldiered on as an independent Artiste after PSquare was dissolved due to squabbles that rocked the Square family. Fast forward to 2021 after almost 5 years of pursuing his solo career, Rudeboy came forward with his first solo album “Rudykillus” which housed 15 tracks that resonates PSquare vibes.
19 and Dangerous by Ayra Starr
The Mavin record female sensational singer who rose to prominence in 2019 after she was discovered on Instagram by Don Jazzy stepped forward with her debut album “19 and Dangerous” released on 6th August 2021 after two successful EPs to consolidate her place in the spotlight. Ayra who expanded her worldwide fan-base with the views of her industry official single “Away” that went viral crowned her which gave her a global audience exposure. The album is a mix of Afro-pop, Afrobeat and R’n’B combined together with the album lead single”Bloody Samaritan” sweeping off every chart and stealing shows at events.
Somewhere Between Beauty and Magic by Joeboy:
Right from the moment Joeboy got unlocked and made his way to the star-studded mainstream Nigerian music industry two years ago, and released the breathtaking breakthrough song “Baby” which turned his music career around, he has relentlessly kept firing up with scary pressure, and registered two remarkable EPs that birthed other overwhelming and appealing singles like ‘Beginning’ and ‘Don’t Call Me Back’, the versatile Afro-pop and R’n’B singer who has mastered his art cuts the cord of anticipation on 4th of February and appeased his fans by releasing his debut studio album “Somewhere Between Beauty and Magic” that contains 14 tracks with production credits to MoGBeatz, Killertunes, Dëra, BeatsbyKO and E Kelly.
The album is best described as a celebration of love in its innumerableness. However, the album centres on love and consensual sex which is beautifully embellished in magic. Rollingstone enlisted the album on Best Albums of 2021. The album tops the list of the most streamed album on Audiomack, and on Boomplay with over 33 Million streams.