Forget radio, Soundcloud is the home of your next Nigerian star. With the number of acts in divergent genres growing, and the limited number of slots available for new acts on radio, Nigerian artistes are beginning to grasp the opportunity that Soundcloud offers.
While radio is important for commercial artistes, it is Soundcloud which caters to the niche artistes of Nigeria. Certain artistes who fit the generic description for these such as Simi, Adekunle Gold and Asa have gone pop, but a teeming mass of others still remain. That’s where Soundcloud comes to play. Nigeria is blessed with a variety of talents, and since they all can’t get a spot on radio, they have depended on the online platform for streaming their music to millions of people.
Nigerian music on Souncloud come in all sorts – from avid hobbyists, to popular stars, the platform is filled with Nigerian music. But it is the niche R&B and Hip-hop artistes who still hold us spellbound. We hereby unveil the best artistes on the platform for the year 2016.
24 year old OzzyB/Santi is a popular name on Soundtrack, with an average of 6,000 streams per track.
In 2016, Ozzy B finally and fully embraced Santi in the highly anticipated project “Suzie’s funeral”. Santi takes us on a musical journey as he blends and fuses different genres to create his own sound.
Santi is a well-known artist amongst the younger generation of Nigerians and has dropped two projects in the past.
Listen to the EP on Soundcloud.
Zainab Donli, aka Lady Donli is an alternative artiste that fuses the genres of Soul, Jazz, Hip-hop and poetry to create her own unique blend of sound. Greatly influenced by her Nigerian routes, she tries to infuse African elements into her sounds.
In 2016, she held her own first with the release of ‘Free?’, and to end the year, she has a new EP out, titled “Wallflower”.
Listen on Soundcloud.
Born August 9, 1996, in Jos, Nigeria, Bella Alubo is a Nigerian rapper, singer-songwriter, performer and actress. She holds a B.Sc in Microbiology, and she’s just beginning to come into her own as an artiste.
In 2016, Bella who describes herself as “too Ajebutta for the razz kids and too razz for the Ajebutta” hopes to become one of the biggest Nigerian rap acts in the near future as she steps out with her 2 project, after 2015’s self-titled “Bella” EP.
Listen up on Soundcloud as Bella lets us once again into her world and shares her skill as a rapper. Plus pay even more attention to her outro. The songs were produced by Syn X and Vicious Klint. This is her 2nd EP and she is gradually becoming a household name.
Odunsi The Engine
Young, talented and ambitious, Odunsi is a neo Afro-Fusion artiste from Nigeria, who is one of the leading members of the growing community of Nigerian singers who have embraced Soundcloud as a base for hosting material.
Odunsi’s first project is a win for the young man who offers a glimpse into his abilities as a producer and singer. Armed with a versatility, dynamic delivery and progressive sounds, the 19 year old is on to something bigger than digital audiences, and the hope for success. He is the deal.
Odunsi “The Engine” also won heavy this year, as his song ‘Situationship’ featured in Spotify United States’ Top 10 most viral tracks. Listen on Soundcloud.
Philadelphia born, American through and through with Nigerian parents in Pennsylvania, USA. From being exposed to music at a pretty young age, he has grown to be a creator of rap music, which has gained him recognition. According to Fader Magazine’s Carrie Battan, his style consists of “switches between rapping and singing, between aggressive, pitched-down vocal tracks and soft, breezy ones. Any gruffness is hedged by sensitive confessions and strong melodies”.
Tunji released his debut mixtape, “The Love Project”, which he recorded and produced entirely on his own in the basement of his dorm at West Chester University. Even though his equipment was normal—a Rode NTK microphone, an audio interface, and Macbook—he still amassed a collection of noise violations.
His best work to date, Tunji delves deeper into his trap-influence from Philly, where he introduces you into his world of sex, interactions with alcohol, flexing, and braggadocio. He never fails to appreciate his come-up at a young age, and all of these open up the mixtape with ‘I suppose’. Listen on Soundcloud.
As a part of the Bantu Collective, Tay comes across as insanely talented and gifted in many ways. The singer, raised in Lagos and Abuja, began creating music at age fourteen. After Co-creating Bantu Collective in 2013, Tay released his debut compilation, ‘Passport’, in April 2014. Although it received little promotion and performed poorly upon its release, the album became a sleeper hit and helped Tay garner commercial standing.
It is from that stand, that he makes another entrance into the Nigerian space in 2016, with an EP, which is branded to evoke emotions. “Renascentia”, (Latin for ‘rebirth’) this 8-track project is handled solely by him, with just a few tweaks and touches co-credited to others. Moving away from the unimpressive fortunes of “Passport”, he makes another play at rebirthing his art. Listen on Soundcloud.
He returned to the limelight in 2016, charged with new life, new rules, new vocals, new inspiration, and a new delivery that’s pluralistic in “Black Couch LP”.
On the EP, Tomi Thomas stays true to his spirit and style, maintaining the integrity of his R&B sounds, while chasing diversity on the other hand via Producer Benie Macualay’s efforts at Island sounds. Hip-hop was a nearby neighbour, necessitated by colleagues. Afrobeat and all its elements are lacking in this, more as a function of the concept, and it was not missed. “Black Couch LP” Vol. 1 was not created for a Nigerian pop crowd, rather, it is the acquired sounds that power this to completion. Listen on Soundcloud.