The Nigerian music industry is arguably the biggest in Africa. Nigeria is a country filled with talents and a huge ecosystem for artists of different genres to thrive. The year 2022 has blessed us with some great music from some of our favorite artists. Even the new guys are not slowing down. The past, present and future of Nigerian music seems to be in good shape.
It makes you wonder how they are able to achieve this feat. Nigeria, the most populous black Nation in the world is well known for their songs and dance moves. Since the inception of Afrobeats, Nigeria has ensured that they remain among the frontlines of the industry.
From hotly anticipated albums to long-awaited debuts, we present to your Urban 5 top 8 best Nigerian albums of 2022 (so far).
Top 8 Best Nigerian Albums of 2022
8. Simi – “TBH (To Be Honest)”
TBH by Simi is an 11 track project with relatively low PR than we have seen in recent years. Simi went lowkey in this album – maybe it was intentional, maybe it wasn’t – the fact remains that she was a little bit too lowkey.
Simi opens the album with “Story story”, a confession of her life before and during the fame. Simi, the mother of one and wife of Nigerian highlife singer, Adekunle Gold, proved once again that she has the ears for music and melody. Fave, Deja and Adekunle Gold all lent their voice on the album. Basically, Simi goes by “if it works for you, don’t change it”. There was no dynamism on the album as it is mostly the kind of track you expect from Simi. Great work in the studio but it would’ve been nice to see a dynamic mix up on the project.
7. Wurld – “My world without u“
Wurld is one of the finest male vocalists on the continent. His falsetto is something to die for and he makes really great music – I mean great music. His earlier projects are more of an alté vibe but he has proven that he can also be a mainstream artist when he wants.
My world without u is a project which sounds more like he is interested in exploring his abilities as a contemporary artist. Crazy that he added nineteen tracks to this album but it is worth it. Listen to “Make It Snow” and “Sweet n Fine” and thank me later.
6. Victony – “Outlaw”
Victony is an excellent artist. He executes well and knows how to deliver his message. his falsetto is also top notch. Outlaw is his first major body of work since surviving a ghastly motor accident in 2021. Victony’s E.P is a mixture of sexual tension and pain. He finds a way to match them really well to produce seven great songs.
Victony has made a name for himself and constantly shown that he deserves a spot among Nigeria’s new Gen elites. Yet to release a debut album but his E.P gives us a glimpse of what is to come. SPOILER ALERT: It’s good.
5. Adekunle Gold – “Catch Me If You Can”
Adekunle Gold has grown a lot since his debut album, “Gold”. From being one of the alternate artists to becoming a mainstream artist, Adekunle Gold is showing everybody what he brings to the industry. His 4th studio album and counting. It is alleged that AG has never released a bad song and this is a testament to that statement.
“Catch me if you can” is a 14 track project featureing A-list artists like Davido and TY Dolla $ign. New Orleans singer, Lucky Daye also lent his voice on the album in the smashing single, Sinner. We love that he appears to be having the time of his life as he experiments different sounds from different parts of the world. AG shows his versatility and how much he gels well with the entire production team.
4. Asa – “V”
Asa is in a league of her own. She does not drop songs as often as you’d love but when she drops, it’s an awesome one. “V” – which is the roman numeral for five – is Asa’s fifth studio album. She came into the industry with what is considered as one of the best debut albums in Africa till date and she still maintains her relevance in the music industry.
There is nothing wrong with the album at all. I mean it is a flawless project. Asa dabbles into mainstream afropop which is a bit different from the RnB and Soul music we are more familiar with. Anyway, she delivered well. ‘IDG’ ft Wizkid is definitely the biggest song on the album but tracks like ‘Show Me Off’, ‘Good Times’, ‘Believer’ are all instant hits as well.
3. Rema – “Raves & Roses”
Rema’s long-awaited debut album is worth the wait. Rema plays with some messy, yet interesting tunes. The project is an experiment well produced. The album spans proper afrobeats, amapiano and dancehall.
In the early days of his career, Rema received his fair share of criticisms like every other artist destined for greatness. He held his head high and continued to serve great music, growing in his crafts and feeding our minds with beautiful melody. Calm down, Soundgasm and Time N affection are the biggest hits on the album but every other song is still pretty dope.
2. Omah Lay – “Boy Alone”
The breakout star of the pandemic era, Omah Lay delivers his debut LP, a fine collection of sounds that comment significantly on his growing pains as he navigates the fame monster and all the repercussions. Lay doesn’t go it alone though as the record elicits support from producers P.Priime and Niphkeys alongside guest appearances from Justin Bieber and Tay Iwar. The songs on Boy Alone highlight Lay’s impressive penmanship and his moody reflections on loneliness and heartbreak coexist with sexually adventurous lyrics.
1. Burna Boy – “Love, Damini”
You know that poem, “Good, better, best. I will never rest….”? Well, Burna Boy took it personal. Love, Damini showcases Burna Boy at his most vulnerable. We are all aware of what Burna Boy can do but each time he makes something, the bar increases. He keeps taking the bar higher and we can’t even tell if he has reached his peak.
Dropping 19 tracks is bold but you want to know what is even bolder? Making every single track excellent. Burna can still spin a good yarn but 19 tracks of semi-profound meditation, on heartbreak bops and braggadocio material with some social commentary thrown in can be both over and under whelming at the same time.