The Nigerian music industry is one of the core industries in the creative industry in the nation today. It’s the leading music industry in Africa continent and its setting pace for other music industry across Africa. The industry had drawn acceptance and intrigue beyond African borders in the last 2 decades. It’s evident that some artists in the industry have global recognitions. Their songs have topped chart positions in Africa, Europe, Asia, US, and across the globe. The impact of the female artists cannot be left out in this success story. Meet our top 5 female artists who have made impact in the Nigerian music industry with their talent, creativity, stage performances, songs, and sense of dressing.
Bukola Elemide known as Asa is a Paris born Nigerian singer, recording artist, and songwriter. At 2 years old, she relocated back with her parents to Nigeria, and grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. Asa returned back to Paris at 16, and her journey as an artist started. Her father was a cinematographer and worked with great artists across Nigeria, Africa, and America. Artists like Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, King Sunny Ade, Diana Ross, Nina Simeon, and Miriam Makeba. Her father’s works have a great influence on her music career.
In 2014, Asa released her first studio album titled Asha produced by Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo. The album got international acceptance. It was on top chart positions in France, Belgium, Switzerland, US, and the world Billboard. Her first platinum titled album Asha won the prestigious French Constrantin Award in 2008.
Asa has released 4 studio albums, live album “Live in Paris” and several hit singles. These songs saw her charting in radios and TVs in Africa, Europe, and Europe. Her hit songs made her to go on a world tour between 2015 and 2017. She has featured in soundtrack appearances like “Kokoya”- on the soundtrack to the film The First Cry”, “The Place To Be”- soundtrack for Guaranty Trust Bank, and “Zarafa”- soundtrack for the animation Movie Zarafa.
She has won several awards and nominations. Such has Prix constantin and the French Music Award nomination for Best Female Artist of the Year. Asa will remain a name that will continue to ring a bell in Nigerian music industry for years to come.
2. Yemi Alade
Yemi Eberechi Alade is a Nigeria Afro pop singer, songwriter, and actress. She was born to a father from Ondo state, Nigeria and a mother from Abia state, Nigeria. She attended Victory Grammar School, Ikeja and the University of Lagos. At the university of Lagos, she took part in a TV talent ‘Peak Talent Show’ and emerged winner. She was signed to Effyzzle Music Group and released her single hit, Jonny, in 2014. Yemi Alade has gained fame in the Music industry after the release of her albums King of Queens and Mama Africa.
She sings English, Igbo, Pidgin, Yoruba, French, Swahili, and Portuguese. Yemi has international recognitions and she has embark on World tours including SHELL Campaign in 2017 #Makethefuture. A unique music video called On Top of the World showcasing clean energy initiatives, the video features Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson. On 27th June 2020, she performed alongside Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Justin Bieber, Shakira and others.
Yemi Alade has won several awards. In 2015 and 2016 she won the MTVAfrica Music Awards for the Best Female Artist. She was the first Nigerian female artist to be nominated for both the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) and for BET awards for the Best International Act . Yemi won the Headies Award for the Best Performer in 2018 and 2019. Her music has been impactful in African countries and the world. Her versatility in African languages and dressing in her videos earned her the nickname Mama Africa. Unequivocal Yemi Alade is an asset in Nigerian music industry. She has been cheered for her creativity, stage performances, sense of fashion, and music video.
3. Tiwa Savage
Tiwatope Savage is a popular household name in Nigerian music industry. She moved to United Kingdom at age of 11. She studied Accounting at the University of Kent, and worked briefly at The Royal Bank of Scotland. At 16, she began her music career doing backup and lent vocals for artists like George Micheal, Mary J. Blige, Emma Bunton, and Kelly Clarkson. After participating at the X Factor in the UK, she went to Berklee Music, and signed a Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2019. She was signed to Mavin Record after moving back to Nigeria in 2012.
Before signing to Mavin Record she drop two hit singles Kele Kele and Love Me 3X. On 3rd July, 2013, she released her debut studio album Once Upon a Time. She has not looked back since then, she has released a lot of singles such as Without My Heart, Ife Wa Gbona, Folarin, Olorun Mi, Eminado, etc. In 2017, her debuts R.E.D and Sugarcane were nominated for Best Album at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards. Tiwa has won several awards including Best African Act at the 2018 MTV Europe music Awards.
She announced her exit from the Mavin Record in May 2019 after her record deal with the Universal Music Group. Her music is mixtures of Hip-pop, Afrobeats, R&B and pop. Tiwa is one of the most respected female artists in Nigerian music industry with a unique voice. She has contributed to the growth of the music industry since her debut. Tiwa involved in series of humanitarian projects like youth empowerment, breast cancer screening, and funds raising to build school in Nigeria.
Niniola Apata popularly called Niniola is a Nigerian singer, who was born and grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. She attended Apata Memorial High School and the University of Lagos. Niniola began her music career in Secondary School, but came into limelight in 2013 at the Sixth edition of the Project Fame West Africa organised by the mobile phone network giant MTN. She was the third runner-up at the competition. She released her debut single “Ibadi” produced by Sarz in 2014. Ibadi topped national music chart and became frequent airplay across Nigeria, and got nominated for the most popular Act to Watch at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards in 2015.
Her single Hit song, Maradona, produced by Sarz in 2017 topped the South Africa chart for many weeks and remains in the number 1 spot for several weeks. She is a composer and songwriter, she composed The Gift in the Beyonce soundtrack album titled The Lion King. The Gift got nominated in April 2020 for a Grammy Award. She has got many nominations and has won several awards since her debut hit song. Niniola is one of the talented and respected female artists in the music industry in Nigeria.
Simisola Kosoko known as Simi, is a Nigerian songwriter and composer. She attended Stars International College and studied Mass Communication at Covenant University. At 10 years of age, She wrote her first song. She started her music career as a gospel music artist and realeased her first album Ogaju in 2008. She became famous when she released the song Tiff. The hit song got nominated for the Best Alternative Song at The Headies 2015. Simi signed 5 years record deal with X3M music in 2014. She launched her record label in 2019 after her record deal with X3M music expired.
She has released 4 studio albums, and many hit singles, like the popular Jamb Questions and Duduke that went viral across Africa. Simi has also done collabos with top artists like Falz, Adekunle Gold, and Cobhams Asuquo. She won her first award at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Award as the Most Promising Act to Watch. Since then she has got many nominations and won several awards. Besides singing, she is also an actress. Simi made her film debut in 2019 in a film tilted, Mokalik, produced and directed by Kunle Afolayan. She is a top female artist in the Nigerian music industry and she has a huge fan base across the nation.