Every year, this subject of ‘Next Rated’ has continued to spark controversies in affairs that concern the Nigerian music industry. Recall that as the 2016 year dawned upon us, we witnessed a most dramatic falling out from two most respected labels in an act of folly that was perpetrated by both their leading executives. We didn’t need to be told that matters like such are taken very personally by these thespians in music especially going by the dastardly effects of that new year happenstance, which was met with very harsh results.
Moving on… as the year progressed, newer artistes have stormed the industry (as was, still is and should be the case). Some of them have stayed buzzing on the radar, honing their spotlight to very incredibly cataclysmic and impressive relish. While awards season is finally come on us, the big trick question strumming the lips of pretty much everyone concerned is… ‘who will be crowned with the titled of next rated for the 2016 year?‘ So we’ve taken the pleasure of putting together a shortlist.
Mayorkun burst onto the music scene Bond-style. It was in such unusual fashion and with no warning whatsoever to the shooting star prowess his simple person wields. Quite the rubble-causing entrance it was that saw him break past the threshold limits set for rookie artistes. First, he was signed to a highly revered music label in the industry, Davido Music Worldwide, which is owned by Nigeria’s top afro pop music sensation, Davido. Next, his official music debut left so much to be desired when he topped charts, garnered multiple scores later equating to millions of downloads and then the accompanying visual for the single had hit the million-views mark barely a week to release. Of course, there are the questions, there are the doubts, there are even fears but what’s certain is that we haven’t looked back since.
Humblesmith has experienced total growth since his emancipation, being a typically vivid representation of the expression ‘from nothing to something’. Only moments after the hustle finally paid off, he was having some of Africa’s biggest musicians in the revered likes of Phyno, Davido and Flavour bless his music singles with serious sauce, grace and pure swag in their voices. Just like he admitted, it never crossed his mind that any of his songs will have such firm grip on the industrial populace, and this further verified it’s gospel – a doing that could have only come from God! Humblesmith seems like an artful performer whose penchant lies in the desire to keep us dancing. So we recommend that he sticks to the script because we’re still watching out for him, and quite very keenly too.
Niniola crossed over from making the top finalists on revered music talent hunt show, Project Fame, to holding the music industry spell-bound with her vocals like that of a quintessential canary. In the 3-year period of having broken forth, she has managed successfully, a string of cellular music hits that have ultimately formed her grand discography. With a reputation that precedes her actual person, she has tailored her music to represent soul, gyration and a sense of pan-africanness yet still without losing the condiments that make up truly good music and from an impeccably skilled musician like herself. Little wonder she comes in doses of high demand.
They call him Mr Koker… Mr Do Something! Slowly warming his way into the hearts of music lovers from one of the records housed on MI’s 2014 album was perhaps the best and sweetest maniacal attempt pulled off. Before we knew it, he got us totally reeled in with his official debut right after music label, Choc Boi Nation, had confirmed his signing. The intriguing thing about Koker is how much his creative person resonates with super star prospects that are hard to miss. It’s why we’ve had him pressed for more despite the fact that he’s gradually living it up. And so with trendy singles, a national dance anthem and that pretty boy face, his is obviously the sound of a victory in lurking.
Ycee is like the candidate of best fit for this crown, considering the fact that he was certified in the preceding title for rookie of the year. Since his coming out that had too much grandiose styled in it, he hasn’t rested half a bit on his oars. His efforts can be identified in a variety of banging hot singles and features, which he has slayed with skillful precision to the relish of music fans generally and especially, patriots of the hip-hop and rap movement. Ycee has become a model for diehard and success thirsty young dreamers who aspire to conquer their turfs and terrain just like he has. And as the nominations continue to pour in, it attests to his inputs as well as achievements here and there in music and the industry. Who better deserving, I ask again?
Terry Apala is one heckuva star indeed, and without any doubts whatsoever. His artistry, although always deeply-rooted in the Nigerian south-western culture, still is damn too impressive with his funkified reinvention of western hip-hop embellished heavily with elements from the apala music genre. At a time when the industry has become too stereotype and basic in pretty much everything, Terry is living up to his desire of contributing his quota by bringing something new to the table. His stellar highlights in doing music include an utterly pulsating voice that soaks up all your attention and a sass of local originality being the bedrock of his success, post-millennial era.