The hit songs and incredible albums that the Nigerian music scene continues to produce continue to have an impact on the West African region, the continent, and the entire world.
With notable albums by musicians like Wizkid, Tems, Aya Starr, Burna Boy, and Rema as well as important alternative releases, this year continued the tradition of the nation’s prodigious musical output.
Below are the 10 best Nigerian albums of 2022 so far;
Burna Boy ‘Love, Damini’
Burna Boy, who is now in his forties, reflects his position in the larger scheme. Love, Damini showcases Burna Boy’s most exposed lyrical side. Sonically, a lot of what he has done before has been done better elsewhere.
Burna can still tell a good story, but 19 tracks of semi-profound reflection, on heartbroken bops and braggadocio material with some social commentary sprinkled in, can be at once overwhelming and underwhelming.
Rema ‘Rave & Roses’
The eagerly anticipated debut from Rema is a vast feel-good album that serves as a reminder that pop music may be obnoxiously manufactured, disorganized, and still be incredibly enjoyable.
Masterminded by producer, London, Rema holds his own against intricate beats that seem to have been created just for him to show off his vocal prowess in Rave & Roses. The album includes dancehall, Amapiano, real Afrobeats, and Synthpop.
Rema, who is no longer the naive child who wooed you with the gibberish of “Dumebi,” has a lot on his mind, yet he is never quite as assured as when he is bragging about his vice.
Soul and folk icon, Asa With her fifth studio album V, makes an unexpected mid-career turn. V, however, is a real stunner, so there is no need to be concerned.
V, which is cohesive and expertly made, gives Aa the chance to experiment with popular afropop. Aa teaches the youngsters how to compose pop music that feels soulful and is true to her creativity since she can’t—and won’t—take shortcuts.
Even when Aa opts for minimalism and upbeat feelings, V is polished. For the first time in her career, Aa—known for recording her prior albums solo—accommodates guest stars (Wizkid, The Cavemen, Amaarae) with pleasing, addicting results.
Wizkid’s More Love, Less Ego
Wizkid launched his much awaited “More Love, Less Ego” album through Starboy/Sony Music International/RCA Records, following the commercially and critically acclaimed “Made in Lagos” and “Made in Lagos (Deluxe)” albums.
Collaborations with musicians like Ayra Starr, Skillibeng, Shenseea, Skepta, Naira Marley, and Don Toliver are included in the 13-song collection. Along with the previously released afro-fusion track “Money & Love,” “More Love, Less Ego” also features the previously released lead single “Bad to Me,” which was created by P2J.
Catch Me If You Can – Adekunle Gold
Attempt to capture AG Baby. Adekunle Gold is setting goals for himself, just like every other artist. You can recognize Adekunle Gold instantly when you hear him. In Catch Me If You Can, he takes something with him as his signature.
B A H D – Falz
Falz is one of Nigeria’s finest rappers. With B A H D, Falz shows us how bad he is as a singer too. He gave us a new Falz and, no, he cannot be boxed.
Simi ‘TBH (To Be Honest)’
On her sixth studio album, TBH (To Be Honest), Simi plays things safe—possibly too safe. The mom of one traces her rise to fame and money as the album’s candid opening track.
Simi keeps the sound within the parameters of what has worked in the past with assistance from her husband Adekunle Gold and last year’s breakout Fave, but without any of the dynamism that characterized her magnum opus, Simisola.
TBH, however, is a competent 11-track album that showcases Simi’s melodic sense and her sonorous voice.
Mr Money With The Vibe – Asake
With Asake, there is no introduction needed. This year, Mr Money came in with the vibe and stamp. He made his presence known and has his name imprinted in our hearts.
19 & Dangerous (Deluxe) – Ayra Starr
Ayra Starr will always be a threat, no matter what age she continues to advance to. You must be afraid of her. Don’t you all realize how deadly I am, Ayra wondered. Here’s a deluxe, all right. You’ll see how dangerous I really am.
Omah Lay ‘Boy Alone’
Omah Lay, the pandemic era’s breakout star, releases his debut LP, a great selection of sounds that make major comments on his growing pains as he navigates the celebrity monster and all its consequences.
Omah Lay is not alone, though; producers P.Priime and Niphkeys, as well as Justin Bieber and Tay Iwar, lend their support to the song. The lyrics on Boy Alone combine lyrics that are sexually daring with Lay’s outstanding calligraphy and brooding meditations on loneliness and heartbreak.