Nigerian female artists seem to be underappreciated. The fact that men musicians have an edge in the field may be a cultural issue. Whatever the case, they have reached this position thanks to their great contributions to the Nigerian music industry.
When it comes to global entertainment, African music and afrobeats are among the most influential sounds. Afrobeats broke out of Nigeria with such power and distinction that it dominated the whole continent. If you listen to the streets of Africa, Europe, and beyond, you’ll see that afrobeats have evolved into a global music phenomenon. The most well-known names in afrobeats are men, yet women have contributed just as much, if not more, to this musical genre. It’s an exciting moment for afrobeats right now; here’s a list of female afrobeats musicians you should be familiar with; they’re part of a burgeoning trend of African sound that’s affecting mainstream and pop culture worldwide.
Few female artists have achieved this position above their female counterparts in the music industry, despite the fact that it takes a lot of work to become one of the top musicians in the business. However, we made an effort to be objective when developing our exclusive list of the top 10 female musicians, which we think would appeal to a broad spectrum of Nigerians.
Nigerian singer and composer Niniola Apata (born 15 December 1986), also known as Niniola, is from that country. In 2013, she took part in Project Fame West Africa’s sixth season. She was nominated for Most Promising Act to Watch at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards after releasing her debut single, “Ibadi.”
The song was well-received and quickly became the center of discussion across the nation. She was nominated for the Nigeria Entertainment Award in the category of most promising performer to watch in 2015 as a result of it. Before making her music business debut, Niniola finished third in the sixth season of Project Fame West Africa.
Her reputation from the competition helped her get into the business, but her skill and knowledge set her apart from other artists. The soundtrack for the second season of the acclaimed Nigerian film “Gidi Up” featured the premiere singles, which gained success. To rank among Nigeria’s top 10 female afrobeat singers of all time, Niniola Deserve Everything
9. Seyi Shay
Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua (born Oluwaseyi Joshua on December 21, 1985) is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and actress better known as Seyi Shay (pronounced Shay-yee Shay). She rose to prominence as the lead vocalist of the now-defunct pop girl group From Above in 2008. The band got a recording contract with Sony’s Columbia Records and was handled by Mathew Knowles’ Music World Entertainment.
After a few years, she created the all-girl music group Boadicea. They parted up in 2008, and she joined a new girl band called From Above. The trio was well-liked, and Mathew Knowles’ (Beyonce’s father) management company signed them to a record contract.
Following her success in London, the singer relocated to Nigeria in 2011 to further her singing career. She had two fantastic hits, “Loving Your Way” and “No Le Le,” that helped her burst into the Nigerian music market.
In 2014, she released the smash tune “Ragga Ragga,” which spent over a week atop the MTV Base Official Naija Top 10 list. As a result of her popularity, she released her debut studio album, Seyi or Shay, in 2015. Seyi’s music tempo and songs are still as outstanding today as they were in her early days, and she is still one of Nigeria’s top female musicians.
Aituaje Iruobe, better known as Waje (the first letter of each syllable in the phrase “Words Aren’t Just Enough”), is a Nigerian musician. She rose to prominence after appearing on the remake of P-Square’s “Omoge Mi.” Waje also appeared on the duo’s 2008 breakthrough single “Do Me.” She sang on Banky W’s “Thief My Kele” and M.I’s “One Naira.”
She released the music video for “Coco Baby,” featuring Diamond Platnumz, in November 2014. She released the track “Left for Good” in August 2015, featuring Patoranking and Godwin Strings. Waje appeared on “Strong Girl,” the title song for One’s Poverty is Sexist campaign, and also collaborated with Bono on the Lagos campaign in 2015. Waje was named as a judge on The Voice Nigeria, along with other Nigerian performers such as 2face Idibia, Timi Dakolo, and Patoranking.
7. Ayra Starr
Oyinkansola Nigerian singer Sarah Aderibigbe, also known as Ayra Starr, was born in Benin on June 14, 2002. Before opting to pursue a career in music, she started a modeling career with Quove Model Management when she was 16 years old. She shared her first original song on her profile in December 2019 after recreating a number of well-known songs on Instagram. She caught the attention of music industry entrepreneur Don Jazzy as a result, and he signed her to his record company Mavin Records.
Starr joined the Lagos-based modeling agency Quove Models in August 2018. From then, she worked as a model for brands including Esperanza Woman, Complete Fashion Magazine, and Mazelle Studio. 2019 saw the start of her online uploading of versions of songs by performers including Andra Day and 2Face Idibia. According to her, the reason she selected her stage name was because it “means woke and eye-opening and that’s what I stand for.” She made an appearance in the “Dear Future Wife” music video by Eri Ife. She posted an original song called “Damage” on her Instagram profile in December 2019. Numerous individuals, including label chief Don Jazzy, heard this, which resulted in her signing her first recording deal with Mavin Records.
Nigerian singer-songwriter Ayra Starr’s debut studio album is titled 19 & Dangerous. It was made available on August 6, 2021, fewer than seven months after the singer’s self-titled first EP, via Mavin Records and Platoon. A Gen Z girl going from childhood into early adulthood with increased confidence, creative enthusiasm, tenderness, and empathy was the subject of the concept album 19 & Dangerous.
Bukola Elemide, better known as Asa, is a Nigerian-French singer, songwriter, and recording artist born on September 17, 1982.
Aa was born in Paris to Nigerian parents who worked and studied cinematography in the country. When she was two years old, her family returned to Nigeria. Her parents are from Itoku, a local government area in Abeokuta South, Ogun State, Nigeria. Aa grew raised in Lagos, Nigeria’s southernmost metropolis, and moved to Paris 18 years later, when her career as an artist took off. She is the youngest of three brothers.
Aa returned to France at the age of 20 to study jazz music at the IMFP school, where tutors encouraged her she should go ahead and become a recording artist since she was ready and required no education. Back in Nigeria, her debut hit, “Eyé Adaba,” was starting to gain traction. Aa quickly signed with Navy Records. She co-produced her first platinum-selling self-titled album, Aa, with Asuquo with the addition of Christophe Dupouy and Benjamin Constant.
She released a new single titled “The Beginning” on May 14, 2019, and a single titled “Good Thing” on June 25, 2019. She stated on her Twitter profile on September 11, 2019, that her new album, Lucid, will be released on October 11, 2019, which it was. On February 25th, 2022, she released her next album, “V,” which included Wizkid, Nigerian highlife group The Cavemen, and Ghanaian musician Amaarae.
5. Teniola Apata
Teniola Apata MON (born December 23, 1993) is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and performer better known as Teni The performer.
Teni exploded into the music scene like a Netflix blockbuster picture, amassing a vast and committed fan base, following, admirers, and stardom in the twinkling of an eye. Teniola Apata, the young music star’s given name, is Niniola, a Nigerian female vocalist.
She began working in the music industry in 2016, after graduating with a degree in business administration from American Continental University in the United States. “Amen,” her debut song, was released in 2016. Fargin, an unusual track that was passionately danced to in parties and clubs and was shown on music networks, was developed by the extraordinary female vocalist in 2017.
Teni’s debut song “Amen” was released when she was contracted to Shizzi’s Magic Fingers Records. In 2017, she quit the record company and joined with Dr. Dolor Entertainment. Teni rose to notoriety with the release of her single “Fargin” in September 2017. She became famous after releasing the hit singles “Askamaya,” “Case,” and “Uyo Meyo.” MTV Base placed “Askamaya” 15th on its year-end list of the Top 20 Hottest Naija Tracks of 2018.
Temilade Openiyi (born June 11, 1995), better known as Tems, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. She gained notoriety after appearing on Wizkid’s 2020 single “Essence,” which peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 list once the remix version featuring Justin Bieber was released. Her song was nominated for a Grammy Award. That same year, she was featured in Drake’s song “Fountains.”
Temilade Openiyi, popularly known as Tems, gained a name for herself in the music business in 2019 when her single ‘Try Me’ became a blockbuster, and she has continued to offer music lovers a cause to give her more listening time with her top-notch delivery on her tunes.
In 2020, she went even farther, releasing the EP ‘For Broken Ears,’ which had tunes that remained on the ‘Apple Top 100 Songs in Nigeria’ chart for weeks. Tems also appeared on Khalid and Disclosure’s ‘Know Your Worth (Remix)’ and Wizkid’s ‘Essence’ off the ‘Made In Lagos‘ album.
On December 19, 2020, Grammy Award winner Chris Brown mentioned Tems. She was nominated for The Headies in 2019 for Best Vocal Performance (Female) and Best Alternative Song, as well as the ‘Next Rated’ award in 2020.
Simisola Bolatito Kosoko (born April 19, 1988) is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and actress better known by her stage name Simi. She began her career as a gospel singer, releasing her debut studio album, Ogaju, in 2008. In 2022, she also appeared as one of the top judges on Season 7 of the Nigerian idol TV program.
Simisola, the “Joromi” music crooner, is a prominent female artist in Nigeria. The music sensation hasn’t slowed down since breaking into the male-dominated music business in 2014 with the song “tiff.” Simi is a Nigerian A-list artist with a beautiful voice, a unique musical style, and a high level of professionalism.
After the success of her well-received song “Soldier,” in which she performed with rapper Falz, she recorded another duet with him. She received three nominations for The Headies 2016 for the duet ” Chemistry,” for which she received an award. ‘Duduke,’ Simi’s greatest success, was one of the Top Ten Nigerian Songs of 2020.
Simi released two songs, “Tiff” and “E No Go Funny,” on January 9, 2014. Both songs gained a lot of airtime and earned mostly favorable reviews from reviewers. Josh Clarke directed the video for “Tiff,” which was released on August 30, 2015. The song was nominated for Best Alternative Song at The Headies in 2015.
Simisola Kosoko, better known by her stage name as Simi, has finally released her much awaited studio project titled “To Be Honest” album.
TBH (To Be Honest) is Simi’s fourth studio album and the follow-up to her current EP, “Restless II,” which was released in 2020.
2. Yemi Alade
Yemi Eberechi Alade is a Nigerian Afropop singer, composer, actor, and activist who was born on March 13, 1989.
Yemi Alade is unquestionably one of Nigeria’s most talented female artists. She is a great and well-liked female musician across the continent. Since her debut in the music business with her breakthrough single “Johnny,” the Effyzzie music group vocalist hasn’t slowed down.
Yemi Alade made her debut in the music business in 2013 and has since received widespread praise for her talents. Her hairstyle, dress trends, lyrics, and music videos all reflect her upbeat personality and African-inspired flare.
On October 2, 2014, Alade released her first album King of Queens, which included her most hit track Johnny as well as other singles such as “Kissing,” “Tangerine,” and “Taking Over Me” with Phyno. At the 2015 Nigerian Entertainment Awards and the 2015 Headies Awards, the album was nominated for Album of the Year. On March 25, 2016, Alade released her second album, Mama Africa, which included hits such as “Na Gode,” “TumBum,” and “Ferrari.” Mama Africa was named World Beat Album of the Year at the 2016 Independent Music Awards.
On June 9, 2020, Alade was named as one of the leading artists/musicians from around the world to perform at The Global Goal: Unite for our Future, a Global Citizen-sponsored event aimed at highlighting the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the most remote parts of Africa and around the world.
1. Tiwa Savage
Tiwatope Savage (born 5 February 1980) is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and actress better known as Tiwa Savage.
Tiwa made her Nigerian music debut in 2006 with her breakthrough hit “Kele Kele love,” which she created herself. Since beginning her musical career, the award-winning female singer and entertainer has never looked back.
In 2012, she signed with Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records label. (One of the biggest record labels in Nigeria). They had a number of hit singles, including Without My Heart, Dorobuci, Eminado, and others. She has gotten various endorsement deals from corporations such as Maggi, MTN, Forte oil, Pepsi, and others as a consequence of her domination in the Nigerian music industry as a woman.
She has received multiple awards, including the Headies Award, MTV Africa Music Award, MTV Europe Music Music Award, and many others, cementing her position as Nigeria’s top female musician. Her music style, professionalism, meaningful lyrics, and other qualities have garnered her international fame and followers.
After saying everything there is to say about the Nigerian music business, it is common knowledge that these tremendously talented and powerful female artists have carved out niches for themselves in the industry. These Top 10 Afrobeat Female Artists in Nigeria are without a doubt the true MVPs of Nigeria’s music business.