Nigerian music industry has fewer of the feminine gender, acts unlike other industries crowded with ladies. This is evident in the global recognitions of some of the few, but sophisticated Nigerian female musicians have gotten over time. They have been able to garner enviable accolades, huge fan bases and global achievements which are ranking factors of the best in the music industry. In this report, BLESSING INNOCENT writes on top female artistes in Nigeria
Tiwatope Savage-Balogun, popularly known as Tiwa Savage, is probably the most seductive female artist in Africa. Tiwa Savage is undoubtedly the richest female musician in Nigeria. Born on February 5, 1980, in Isale Eko, Lagos State, she relocated at the age of 11 for her college education in London, where she started her musical career. This ignited her passion for music, and further her passion in studying music at Berklee College of Music, and participated in the UK edition of the X-Factor. Tiwa Savage signed her first publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music in 2009. This helped her grow her musical career in the Nigerian music industry, which motivated her to sign her first deal with Mavin Records in 2012 when she finally moved down to Nigeria. Her first hit single ‘Kele Kele Love’ from her debut album ‘Once Upon a Time’, made its way up to the Nigerian music charts. Tiwa Savage had performed in many local and international shows and is also a brand ambassador to Maggi, Forte Oil, Pepsi and Konga.
Yemi Eberechi Alade with the stage name Yemi Alade is one of the most talented and loved female musicians in Africa – she is undoubted among the best female musicians in Nigeria. Since her debut into the music industry with her hit song titled ‘Johnny’, the Effyzzie Music Group singer hasn’t slowed down a bit. Yemi who was born on March 13,hails from Ondo State. She ventured into music in 2013 and has won great recognition as a result of her expertise in the craft. Her energetic performance and African infused style are evident in her hairdo, fashion looks, songs and music videos. This style has dubbed her the title of ‘Mama Africa’ in the music scene. Every music lover across Africa recognizes Yemi Alade by her signature African styles, choice of music beats and dance moves.
A-list Nigerian female musician Omawumi, who hails from Delta State and was born on 13th, April, 1982, is unarguably one of the best female musicians in Nigeria. The superstar singer who is popularly called ‘Oma Wonder’ ventured into music in 2007 after coming out as a runner up in the West African Idols competition. She got into the music industry instantaneously and started making waves across the country. Her first album ‘Wonder Woman’ was successful with various stations airing her songs and individuals relaxing to her melodious voice. Omawumi’s music prowess is evident in her contest in the Nigerian music scene both in her video quality and music style. An actor, songwriter and a singer, Omawumi made her exploit from her first single ‘In the music’, which boosted her career after which she released some other hit tracks, putting her on the track of success. Her second album, ‘The Lasso of Truth,’ made a more commercial success for her. Omawumi is a brand ambassador for Globacom, Mortein, Konga.com, and Malta Guinness. She’s also part of the campaign called “Rise with the Energy of Africa.” She has won The Headies award twice.
Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua with the stage name Seyi Shay was born on December 21, 1985 to Nigerian parents resident in England. Her music career kicked off with a record deal which she signed with a label affiliated with George Martins. The singer returned to Nigeria in 2011 to continue doing music. She released two amazing singles, ‘Loving You Way’ and ‘No Le Le’ which paved way for her in the Nigerian music scene. In 2014, she released the hit track ‘Ragga Ragga’ which topped the chart for almost a week as number 7 on MTV Based Official Naija Top 10. After this success, she released her debut studio album titled, Seyi or Shay in 2015. As a songwriter, Seyi Shay wrote and performed three songs for the Konami’s video game soundtrack, and she performed in many staged shows, local and international with American pop star, Neyo at the MTV Base Awards in Africa. Although Seyi’s music pace and tracks are not as mindblowing as they were in her early days, she is still one of the best female musicians in Nigeria. An Etisalat’s major brand ambassador, she has other endorsement deal from the Bacardi Breezer, and the most recent agreement with Pepsi.
Joromi crooner, Simisola Ogunleye, otherwise known as Simi, was born on the 19th April, 1988. The music sensation shot into the limelight in 2014 with the song ‘tiff ’ since then she hasn’t slowed down in the maledominated music industry. Simi’s outstanding voice, music style, relatable lyrics, and expertise make her one of the Alist female musicians in Nigeria. The former gospel musician the last of four siblings and being a tom- boy during her teenage days didn’t deter her from honing her music skills. She made her debut in 2014 with the singles titled ‘Jamb Question’. After the release of her well-embraced single title ‘Soldier’ featuring rapper Falz, the musician did another duet with the rapper title ‘Chemistry’ got her nominated in three categories of The Headies 2016 where she won one award. In 2017 Simi released her much-anticipated album ‘Simisola’ which had twelve trending songs. She got her biggest record ‘Duduke’ in 2020 during the pandemic, a song which was among the Top Ten Nigerian Songs in 2020 and was dedicated to her daughter ‘Adejare Kosoko’ whom she was pregnant of at the time of releasing the song. She got married to fellow musician Adekunle Gold in 2019.
Aituaje Aina Vivian Ebele Iruobe, popularly called Waje, was born on September 1, 1980. She first gained recognition in 2007 in PSquare hit track “Bizzy Body” and also in P-Square single
“Omoge Mi.” She also runs a TV reality show sponsored by MTV Base South Africa and Zain, which gave her musical career a boost, peeing her way into becoming top richest female Nigerian artist. They call her the queen of soul, and truly, Waje has been touching souls in equal measure since she joined the music industry a few years ago. Her video ‘Coco Baby’, which features Diamond, is a testimony of how irresistible Waje can be. In 2018 Waje released her second album ‘Red Velvet’. This was 5 years after the release of her self-named debut album ‘Words Aren’t Just Enough’ she was a delight. Waje and her BFF Omawunmi launched Hermanes Media – A media outlet that is aimed at curating amazing content around Africa. Her path to becoming one of the top richest Nigerian female musicians started when she signed an outstanding endorsement deal with the indigenous telecommunication giant, Globacom. Waje, which is an acronym Word Aren’t Just Enough, is a household name.
otherwise known as Chidinma, was the winner of 2010 Project Fame West Africa. She rose to stardom after participating in the third edition of the competition. Born on 2nd May, 1991, she is the sixth of seven siblings and a graduate of sociology from the University of Lagos. She ventured into music with her debut album ‘Chidinma’ which had songs like ‘Jankoliko’, ‘Carry You Go’, ‘Kedike’ and ‘Run Dia Mouth’. The album was well-received among music lovers and scaled high. In 2012, she released the hit single ‘Emi Ni Baller’. The song gained prominence and topped the chart in MTV Base Official Naija Top 10 char, making her the first female musician to peak at number 1 on the chart. Chidinma has kept amusing fans with her incredible voice and amazing songs over the years. In 2012 she won the Kora Awards as the Best Female West African Act, where she performed the song “Kedike” at the ceremony. After a very long absence from the music scene, Chidinma reappeared again in May 2021 but this time to celebrate her 30th birthday, sharing photos of herself on Instagram. She expressed regrets wasting over nine years doing secular music, noting that her sudden switch to gospel music was fueled by a new encounter with God and understanding of her Christian faith. To announce her arrival into the Nigerian gospel music scene, Chidinma released her debut gospel single titled, ‘Jehovah Over Do’ on Sunday, May 2, 2021.