In the past decade, a substantial percentage of Nigerian music has been categorized as Afrobeat
to the world internationally. The enduring character of our sound is rooted in the Nigerian experience, even though this may indicate that we are steadily expanding in global markets.
This has been expressed in many songs. Nigeria has shown to be an inspiration to its musicians, with many of them creating exceptional songs out of the shared experience we all have, whether directly through societal commentary, through celebrity-infused love odes, or by incorporating a viral dance.
In the early decade, a small percentage of the population had an internet-enabled phone, making it difficult for them to download or stream music online. Instead, most people listen to music by purchasing audio or video CDs. Interestingly, a lot of sales were achieved at that time because artists primarily released their songs as albums.
However, over the past decade (2010 – 2020), Nigerian music has seen an incredible number of excellent albums. Nigerian hip-hop saw a golden era as the previous decade came to an end. Music underwent change in the decade’s early years. Native rappers gained fame thanks to the rise of artists like Dagrin, and afrobeats traveled the world. And from these come artists like Phyno and Olamide, among others. The songs on this list, which dates back to 2010, are the most popular but not always the most well-liked commercially.
Please be aware that the following factors were taken into consideration when choosing and ranking these songs:
CULTURAL IMPACT: The song’s influence on public opinion, both inside and beyond the music industry.
QUALITY: We decided on this by opinion, keeping in mind that quality is a relative term.
POPULARITY: How well received was the song? How many regions does it span? What is its selling point? Views, charts, and other things.
LONGEVITY: Replay value is meant here. Is a song from seven years ago still gaining streams and being performed at events?
Keeping the aforementioned in mind, we at Naijatastic.com present our list of the top 45 Nigerian songs of the decade (2010 – 2020), which has been carefully picked by our team. We want to lend our support to the recognition of these 45 Nigerian songs that were released in the last decade.
1. JAYWON – THIS YEAR (2012)
An appreciative song. When Jaywon’s song was published in December 2012, it immediately became a popular tune and many Nigerians’ yearly prayer.
2. MR. EAZI ft. EFYA – SKIN TIGHT (2015)
One of Mr. Eazi’s most popular songs from his early career, when he first popularized the Banku sound. Even today, “Skin Tight” is still regarded as a classic masterpiece.
3. 2BABA ft. PERUZZI – AMAKA (2018)
“Amaka,” which is to account for Peruzzi’s breakout, also arrived at a key time for 2Baba, who, despite the fact that his abilities were dwindling, reminded us that he could still compete. Many men could relate to the song’s tale of a character who makes promises only to break them. It became one of the most popular songs that year.
4. WIZKID ft. DRAKE – COME CLOSER (2017)
Following the remix of “Ojuelegba,” other foreign artists formed connections with influential Afrobeats figures, giving rise to tremendous songs. “Come Closer,” an Afro Dancehall song by Drake and Wizkid, is one example.
5. FLAVOUR – ADA ADA (2012)
For a long time, the unofficial wedding song in South Eastern states was Flavour’s unconventional declaration of a woman’s attractiveness. Given that it effectively invented a subgenre of Afro Highlife, it continues to be a classic.
6. STARBOY ft. WIZKID & L.A.X – CARO (2013)
The Starboy duo’s performance of the Afropop-flavored tune was a huge success. At the time of its release, it grew to become one of the more distinctive hit songs.
7. NAIRA MARLEY – SOAPY (2019)
Naira Marley incited the country with “Soapy,” a song with a sexually suggestive theme and an even more suggestive dancing move. But eventually, the populace’s rage gave way to perplexity, and Naira Marley took up camp, flourishing in unexpected settings.
8. NINIOLA – MARADONA (2017)
It’s a major flex that Beyoncé pays royalties for this song. Many Nigerians were first exposed to Niniola’s sensual Afro House style at home with the song “Maradona.”
9. MALEEK BERRY – KONTROL (2016)
Maleek Berry’s talent as a singer went mostly unnoticed for most of the decade, but when he found his groove, few could equal his capacity to create fantastic songs. Without a question, “Kontrol” is a great tune, as evidenced by its popularity and critical acclaim.
10. WANDE COAL & DJ TUNEZ – ISKABA (2016)
Wande Coal’s mastery of Afro Pop components was reaffirmed in this song. “Iskaba,” unquestionably an epic release, would continue to shake dance floors in a way that few other songs can.
11. KISS DANIEL – MAMA (2016)
With his sweet pop hits, the former G Worldwide artist earned his claim in the industry. After “Woju” and “Laye,” “Mama” became a popular classic and was played just about everywhere you could imagine.
12. SMALL DOCTOR – PENALTY (2016)
This song received a ton of street support because, after all, it was written for them. More than any other song by the Street Pop group, Small Doctor’s cheerful song “Penalty” brought his distinctive and playful Fuji-influenced style to the nation and beyond. It quickly became the toast of popular culture.
13. DR SID ft. DON JAZZY – SURULERE (2013)
This song was so popular that Wizkid, Phyno, and Tiwa Savage all contributed features or remixes to it. It was so significant that, for a time, the only song that could unintentionally come out of one’s mouth was this one.
14. SKALES – SHAKE BODY (2014)
Shake Body, which is credited with reintroducing Skales to a Pop audience, demonstrated his talent by reviving “Mukulu” Skales with less lyricism and more dance.
15. ORITSE FEMI – DOUBLE WAHALA (2013)
The song, which was dedicated to Fela Kuti
, spread like wildfire and attracted new followers of Oritse Femi
. The song’s success was seen by the older fans as just fitting for such a talent.
16. DUNCAN MIGHTY – PORTHARCOURT BOY (2010)
The Niger-Delta song served as Duncan Mighty’s formal entrance into the wider populace. He had been impressing locals in the South East and South-South markets for almost ten years prior with his new sound and cutting voice, which conveyed his frequently poetic lyrics.
17. TIWA SAVAGE ft. WIZKID – MA LO (2017)
The melodic compatibility between Tiwa and Wizkid should have led to a collaborative effort, but “Ma Lo” is enough consolation for now. The Afro Pop song showcases all the sensual and sassy that each artist finds appealing.
Truthfully, considering that songs like “Eminado,” “My Darlin,” and “Kele Kele Love” narrowly missed being included on the list, one could argue that Tiwa has 1 or 2 more singles among the 45 Nigerian songs of the decade.
18. HARRYSONG ft. OLAMIDE, IYANYA, KCEE & OREZI – REGGAE BLUES (2015)
It is simple to understand why this lively song became an anthem. The song could only become popular with such a diverse production and amazing verses (and that epic hook) from top-tier Afro Pop artists.
19. YCEE ft. MALEEK BERRY – JUICE (2017)
The alluring rapper-singer style that YCEE is known for was present in “Juice.” Its success was only predictable when Berry’s unusual melody was added. When “Juice” was released outside of the country, its sound was compared to that of Bryson Tiller, a musician known for invoking the chill and sensual in his tracks.
20. DAVIDO – SKELEWU (2013)
One of Davido’s earliest attempts into the American market was the dance-related song. A hit, it would receive praise from Nigeria to London, Johannesburg to Los Angeles, and other places.
21. MAVIN – DOROBUCCI (2014)
The Mo’Hits team made the all-label crew song popular in Nigeria. Don Jazzy’s Mavin stars had to adhere to custom when they split up. This resulted in “Dorobucci,” whose impact at the time was so significant that your favorite grownup probably prefixed his or her name with “Doro.”
22. OLAMIDE – WO! (2017)
“Wo” demonstrated Olamide’s full force. The upbeat rap tune practically had the entire room to itself and sounded as natural on the lips as a second language.
23. P SQUARE – PERSONALLY (2013)
Famous twin duo P Square created “Personally” and dedicated it to their main artistic inspiration after Michael Jackson passed away. The song’s use of Afropop’s mellow rhythms and the video’s abundance of Jackson-aethestics combined to make it such an enticing commitment that Jermaine, Michael Jackson’s brother, took notice.
24. LIL KESH ft. OLAMIDE & DAVIDO – SHOKI (Remix) (2014)
Lil Kesh released a remix of his biggest single after being signed by YBNL. And “Shoki” become even more popular with standout verses from Davido and Olamide.
25. STARBOY ft. TERRI RYN, CEEZA MILLI, SPOTLESS & WIZKID – SOCO (2018)
One of the most memorable tracks at the time was the Starboy Posse cut. It did a wonderful job of introducing us to Terri, Ceeza Milli, and Spotless, a less well-known trio, who all provided solid verses to go along with Wizkid’s straightforward yet compelling hook.
26. BURNA BOY & ZLATAN IBILE – KILLIN DEM (2018)
This song was one of the best proponents for the Zanku movement, and Zlatan and Burna Boy fully exploited the timeless classic.
27. DAVIDO – AYE (2014)
“Aye,” arguably Davido’s best love song, was released prior to the 30 Billion boast. The song’s lyrics, which were different from the grandeur show Davido is known for these days, gave the song and its accompanying visuals, in which Davido was portrayed as a madly in love farmer, a genuine sense.
28. PATORANKING ft. TIWA SAVAGE – GIRLIE O (Remix) (2014)
The potential of Patoranking’s breakthrough song further increased when Tiwa Savage appeared on it. The Afro Dancehall song was well received at that time more than before because many people used its lyrics to express their love for their better halves.
29. TEKNO – DURO (2015)
Tekno’s lengthy string of single-word Afro Pop hits began with “Duro.” “Duro” shared Tekno’s favorite qualities as a producer and artist with the subsequent songs: catchy verses, a straightforward hook, and a danceable beat.
30. SEAN TIZZLE – SHO LEE (2013)
“Sho Lee” not only became a breakout hit, but it also showed Sean Tizzle’s natural talent for producing catchy music.
31. WIZKID – AZONTO (2012)
At the height of his capabilities, Wizkid transformed a popular Ghanaian dance into a lively, distinctly Nigerian Pop hit.
32. 2FACE IDIBIA – ONLY ME (2010)
The philosophical thoughts of 2face are not overlooked. “Only Me” was released during a time when he (reportedly) had a falling out with a Super Eagles player. In a song that can be used to teach, he applies his passionate composition to the message that, as Donne once remarked, no man is an island.
33. BURNA BOY – YE (2018)
Kanye West fans who stumbled into Burna Boy’s “Ye” discovered something even better: a powerful collection of Afrobeats. They gathered around the man and the music. They weren’t the first, though; Nigerians were already aware of Burna’s unique skill. Only “Ye” took that foreign flight. And ever since, it has been gratifying.
34. PHYNO ft. OLAMIDE – FADA FADA (2016)
The two indigenous rapper had been close friends for some time. They have strengthened that by creating great music. Fada Fada achieved considerable success. It earned popularity and burst heads. Phyno appeared to have the Afro Highlife sound down. Olamide made an Igbo track. An ideal combination.
35. KCEE – LIMPOPO (2012)
Kcee’s song, which explored a variety of sounds, flourished despite its repetition. strong songwriting, effective production, and the right mood. “Limpopo” broke down barriers and shook all over the continent for a while thanks to its all-inclusive sound.
36. KOREDE BELLO – GODWIN (2015)
A song that was well received by all. It was a gospel song with the popularity of a pop star. The finest song by Korede is “Godwin,” and for good reason.
37. TIMAYA – BUM BUM (2012)
Soon enough, Timaya began to explore a career in the more financially successful Dancehall, leaving behind a large portion of his politicized lyrics. From the unprocessed sound of drums, he has created some treasures, and “Bum Bum” is positioned well. It questions a woman’s physical parts, like many of his songs do. He collaborated with Jamaican Dancehall icon Sean Paul on its remix.
38. FLAVOUR – NWA BABY (ASHAWO Remix) (2011)
Early in the decade, Flavour was heavily influenced by the Highlife sound, and the majority of his songs used sex as their obtrusive background. Flavour sings about a female he wants to go out with in “Nwa Baby” in a serenading Igbo accent.
39. IYANYA – KUKERE (2011)
Iyanya’s “Kukere,” a huge song, combined his sex appeal with frantic percussion beats. As many fell in love with the accompanying Etighi dance moves, “Kukere” was well appreciated.
40. DAVIDO – IF (2017)
Davido was becoming more at ease with upbeat Afropop tunes at a vital point in his career. The majority of them later developed into fan favorites. The Tekno-produced song “IF” was well-liked by both Nigerians and foreigners, with the majority of listeners being charmed by its corny lyrics and the song’s now-iconic 30 Billion brag. One may argue that “IF” ought to be included in our list of the top 45 Nigerian songs of the decade given its widespread praise both domestically and abroad.
41. Oxlade – Away (2020)
Buzzing “Away” is a song by Nigerian afro-fusion artist Oxlade from his first 6-song EP, Oxygene. Afropop, highlife, R&B, and other genres are combined in the Spax-produced song to create a catchy pop-leaning sound. In a previous interview, when asked to sum up his EP in two words, he replied: “Calming & Unique. In the sense that this music is intended to reduce stress during a difficult time.”
42. TEKNO – PANA (2016)
Another song in Tekno’s Afropop collection was “Pana.” Its purposely sensuous and slow-paced mood provided the ideal background for Tekno’s sensual song.
43. OLAMIDE – BOBO (2015)
The most popular song at the time was “Bobo” by Olamide. The Young John-produced smash could be heard wherever one went, and it inspired people to dance Shakiti Bobo. What a dance it was!
44. RUNTOWN – MAD OVER YOU (2016)
People were moved by everything that went into making Runtown’s tender love song, and it quickly travelled from Ghana to Nigeria and everywhere else.
45. Olamide – Green Light (2020)
Olamide, a popular musician from Nigeria, released Carpe Diem, a 12-track album, in October. The project, according to Olamide, “is a representation of the intellect as well as the contemporary sound brewing underground in Nigeria.” “It combines numerous traditional components with the galala sound from Nigeria.
It also incorporates what we term Celestial, which is the practice of playing popular music in places of worship. Olamide acknowledges that the album’s standout tune is the incredibly addictive “Green Light.”