Nigerian music industry was until recently solely dominated by homegrown talents who ruled the industry, and made names for themselves until recently when some of the gifted artistes in the diaspora saw the goldmine of opportunities inherent in contemporary Nigerian entertainment industry and decided to return home.
Today , they are amongst the top players in Nigeria’s showbiz. In no particular order here are the returnee musicians making waves in the Nigerian music scene.
Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo (popularly known as D’banj, born June 9, 1980) is a Nigerian singer-songwriter, harmonica player, andbusinessman. He has won several music awards including the awards for Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007,Artist of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2009. and BET Awards of 2011 for Best International Act: Africa. He adopted the stage name D’banj, a combination of his first name Dapo and his surname Oyebanjo. D’banj is currently best known internationally for his 2012 summer hit “Oliver Twist“, an uptempo dance fusion of Afrobeat and electronic dance music that topped the African charts 2011 and was a top 10 hit in the UK singles chart in 2012 reaching #2 on the UK R&B chart.
She is undoubtedly one of the most sought after amazons in the music scene today. When she released her debut hit single:’Kelekele Love’ many music pundits felt she was just another flash in the pan till she proved them wrongly.
Fast forward to 2014, Tiwa Savage has a bestselling album: ’Once Upon a Time”, an amazing fan base, juicy endorsement deals, lucrative performance fees, and also belonging to the class of the most talked about showbiz personalities. Her return to Nigeria has been worthwhile. Today, she’s a brand ambassador to some many blue-chip companies.
He is the rapper every rapper wants to be like. Jude Abaga began his music career when he returned to Nigeria in 2003. Desirous to make his mark on the industry, M.I released his critically acclaimed single, ‘Safe’, a song that infused popular Nigerian songs into its lyrics.
M.I rolled his sleeves and got to work. Presently he has an endorsement deal with Globacom and the Lagos State Ambassador for Energy, floats his own music outfit called,”Loopy music’ and a judge on the critically acclaimed ‘X factor’. Mister Incredible has built a strong brand beyond the returnee who was hungry for stardom.
The delectable songstress Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua better known by her stage name ‘Seyi Shay was born and raised in London, to a Nigerian parents.
Prompted by the growth of the Nigerian Music and also yielding to the advice of Sound Sultan, Seyi returned home to make a name for herself.Like a gazelle running towards its destination, she is gradually becoming her own woman, breaking away from her ‘Beyonce’ like stereotype to creating her own unique signature, Afro pop style, which is a blend of RnB, Soul, and Jazz. Just last year, she clinched an Etisalat endorsement deal and was also nominated in the ‘Next Rated Category of The Headies.
Armed with a silky smooth voice that can calm frayed nerves, Banky W born in the United States of America returned to Nigeria in 2008, after the completion of his album, Mr Capable. From showbiz to advocacy, and brand endorsement, Mr. Wellington sure has the Midas touch and has become one of the formidable forces in the music industry creating platforms for the likes of Wizkid, Skales and also sustaining a music brand that has been seductive to marketing communication experts ,becoming a toast of brands who need a known face to endorse their products.
Michael Collins Ajereh (born November 26, 1982), better known as Don Jazzy, is a Nigerian Multi award-winning record producer,singer-songwriter, musician, former CEO of Nigerian record label Mo’ Hits Records founded in 2004 and current CEO of the Mavin Records label which he founded in May 2012 after his split up with childhood friend and Mo’Hits partner, D’banj. Born in Umuahia inAbia state, his first signing was D’banj who was at that time also the Vice-President of the label and now President after split.
Don Jazzy’s first full credit production work was in 2004 on Tongolo for Nigerian singer D’banj. He went on to produce D’banj’s first studio album titled No Long Thing released in 2005.
He has produced tracks for Dr SID, Wande Coal, D’Prince, Darey, Naeto C, Olakunle Excel et Zanga (O.A.U), Sauce Kid, Ikechukwu& Tiwa Savage. He also collaborated with Jay-Z and Kanye West on the production of Lift Off, featuring Beyoncé on the album Watch The Throne, released on August 8, 2011.
He recently was rated as the 36th. “Most powerful celebrity in Africa” according to Forbes
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