Music is an integral part of Nigerian life and there is no doubt that Nigerians love music, be it local or international. But in recent times, Nigerians have consistently demonstrated their love for local artists, with many of these musicians surpassing their foreign counterparts in the West, including those who are the biggest names in entertainment.
This is corroborated by data from Spotify Wrapped – their annual roundup of the year’s top artists, albums, songs and playlists, released by users of the platform around the world.
This love of the local can even descend to the city level, as evidenced by the fact that Wizkid, from Lagos, was the most featured artist in Nigeria’s largest city this year. And what other country on the planet would celebrate its cities’ notorious traffic jams with a four-hour playlist made up mostly of local artists?
Given that the music and entertainment industry is expected to generate around $ 8 billion for the economy this year, this is a phenomenon that should definitely be celebrated and encouraged.
But what drives this passion? Naija music (as Nigerians lovingly refer to their country) is moving and gaining popularity around the world. It is thanks to a new wave of Nigerian artists creating innovative music and generating interest beyond the borders of the region by showcasing the vitality of the local music industry.
Afrobeats, the heavy-beat electronic music from Nigeria, has grown into pop music gaining a global fan base and establishing a path to global domination. Thanks to the growing popularity of Afrobeats, renowned artists like Snoop Dogg, Drake and Ed Sheeran have collaborated with Nigerian artists, bringing them worldwide attention.
This is a point of pride for Nigerians and could explain why they prefer local artists and music, whether they listen to nightclubs, weddings or music festivals, or just through DJs. of street.
In the recently released Wrapped Data by Spotify, Nigerian artists singing and rapping in the Afropop genre dominated the local music scene, with artists like WizKid, Burna Boy, DaVido and Olamide topping the list of the top five most popular artists. International singer Drake is the only foreign hitmaker in the top five list.
The fact that the songs by these artists tend to revolve around love, wealth, partying, and certain societal vices – like online fraud – all of the things Nigerians face on a daily basis can provide some context as to why they resonate more than songs by foreign artists. .
It’s not just the latest club bangers that are driving Nigeria’s love for local music. They also release local albums much more regularly than their international counterparts. Of the top 10 albums released by Nigerian Spotify listeners, seven were local. WizKid’s current rave album Made in Lagos topped the charts, beating International artist Justin Bieber’s Justice.
Interestingly, the Wrapped data shows that Nigerians also enjoyed their local music to make the most of their time in traffic. In the top five car data tables, local talent and music dominated the list with Feeling by LADIPOE leading the table, followed by Essence, Wizkid with Tems and Bounce by Ruger. Lojay’s Monalisa and DaVido’s Ke Star Remix placed fourth and fifth respectively.
Wrapped data shows that love of Nigerian music crosses age groups as well. Even Generation Z, who grew up with easy access to international artists, shows a strong preference for local artists. Topping the list of these artists and songs are Gbese by Yung Felix and Positivv, Feeling by LADIPOE and Bounce by Ruger.
On the African continent, other data from Wrapped shows that Nigerian artists also rank among the top 40 artists in sub-Saharan African countries like Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.