We bring you a list of top 10 Gen Z Nigerian musicians that regularly come up during conversations, trend online, and have some of the most popular songs in recent times. In this article, we place the age range of Gen Z between 1995 and 2009.
While several other study research study publications may place the starting birth year for Gen Z at 1993, there are debatable variations. Some reputable publications do favour 1995 as the starting birth year with the ending birth year being 2009 instead of 2010.
It is important to also point out that some publications even place the starting year of birth for Gen Z, also called Zoomers, in 1997. So it makes sense to go with 1995 because it is an average of both ranges 1993 to 1997 and is also the most popularly agreed to date.
In this list, we look at the top ten Nigerian artists that were born between 1995 and 2009. Note that this list does not consider their artistry or talent but rather, their popularity on commonly used social media platforms and their most successful works.
10. Tems – Temilade Openiyi
Temilade Openiyi is a Nigerian Alternative R&B and Afro beats singer born in 1995 and she closes off the list of top ten Genz Nigerian artists in the tenth position. The talented songwriter and record producer uses the stage name Tems and one of her early singles, “Try Me” has been her most successful works to date.
“Try Me” music video currently has 5.6 million views on YouTube and balancing this with her 990K followers across Twitter and Instagram places her at the bottom of this list.
9. Oxlade – Ikuforiji Olaitan Abdulrahman
The professional Nigerian singer and songwriter born Ikuforiji Olaitan Abdulrahman, popularly called Oxlade, was born on 22 April 1997. He comes ninth on this competitive list.
Oxlade has a total following of 1.3 million across Twitter and Instagram and his most successful music video on YouTube “Away” has garnered 2.8 million views so far. The Lagos-born singer is highly regarded for his great vocals.
8. Lyta – Opeyemi Babatunde Rahim
At number 8 is 23-year-old Opeyemi Babatunde Rahim, known by his stage name Lyta, who found fame after Olamide signed him to his YBNL Nation record label. Despite leaving amidst song controversial circumstances, Lyta is still doing quite well.
He has 1.8 million followers across Twitter and Instagram. About one year ago, he put out the music video for his single “Worry” and it has more than 1.7 million views on YouTube and counting. He has other popular songs and recently featured Zinoleesky, Emo Grae & Naira Marley on “Are You Sure?” which many expect to outperform his earlier songs in the future.
7. Bella Shmurda – Akinbiyi Abiola Ahmed
With a real name as melodious as Akinbiyi Abiola Ahmed, one would think Bella Shmurda would pick any as his stage name, but that is not the case. The singer draws inspiration from different realms it would seem and at just 24, he is cementing his name in the Afrobeats history books.
He has over 1.6 million social media followers with 1.4 million coming from just Instagram alone. He has been delivering masterpieces since he debuted with “Vision2020”, yet, it is still his most successful song with 8.2 million views on YouTube.
6. Omah Lay – Stanley Omah Didia
Nigerian singer Omah was born Stanley Omah Didia on 19 May 1997 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He entered the Nigerian scene with the earworm “Bad Influence” and has since acquired his own cultlike following with only a nametag missing for now.
His social media followers have grown to 1.9 million but his high ranking on this list has to do with his highly successful song “Godly”. It currently has more than 20 million views on YouTube.
5. Joeboy – Joseph Akinwale Akinfenwa
Joeboy coined his moniker from his first name Joseph and he is the Nigerian music industry sweetheart. Joseph Akinwale Akinfenwa blew into the music scene with visualiser-style videos sponsored by Mr Eazi’s emPawa Africa project.
No wonder, his most successful music video remains the 2019 “Baby” visualiser that currently has 44 million views. The singer also has a total social media following of 1.9 million.
4. Lil Kesh – Keshinro Ololade
Keshinro Ololade, known professionally as Lil Kesh, found stardom in his late teens. He was born on 14 March 1995 (although some sources list it as 1994) and was discovered by Olamide when he just turned 19.
He released “Shoki” not long after before dropping the successful remix featuring Davido and Olamide. The video has 13 million views on YouTube and has been his most commercially successful song.
Although in recent years, Lil Kesh has struggled to reach that height of success again, we still rank him highly for his large following. He has 4.1 million social media followers and he is the third most followed on our list.
3. Rema – Divine Ikubor
Divine Ikubor, known by his stage name Rema, is another artist that became popular as a teenager. He is even yet to turn 20, as he was born on 1 May 2000, but he has become one of Nigeria’s biggest stars.
The mixed Afrobeats superstar has 2 million followers each on Instagram and Twitter but his high rating here is not just because of social media fans. Rema’s “Dumebi” has over 38 million views on YouTube and it is the third most viewed music video on this list.
2. Fireboy DML – Adedamola Adefolahan
Adedamola Adefolahan, is a 24-year-old Nigerian singer and songwriter who uses the stage name Fireboy DML. And, true to his moniker, he has really brought the fire with him since he entered the misc making grand stage.
His largely successful music video “Vibration” has 29 million views and coupling it with his 4.3 million social media fans places him above all other Gen Z Nigerian musicians, except one.
1. Korede Bello – Korede Bello
Bello tops the list of top ten Gen Z Nigerian musicians ready to dominate the world. You are forgiven if you think the singer is too old to be on this list. He has been making waves since forever.
Korede Bello was born on 29 February 1996 and has dropped songs in various genres such as blues, R&B, Afrobeats, hip hop, and pop. Unsurprisingly, he leads every other person in all the metrics we used.
He has the most followers on social media with a combined 5.3 million people following his Instagram and Twitter accounts. He also has the most successful music video mentioned here with his 2016 “Do Like That” single getting 114 million views on YouTube.
There you have it, the Nigerian music industry Zoomers that are dominating their space. Artists like Nonso Amadi, Zinoleesky, Dice Ailes, and Blaqbones narrowly missed the cut. Which artist are you surprised to see on this list and which one would you have loved to see here?