Some outstanding Nigerian musicians were nominated for the 64th Grammy Awards of 2022 which included Wizkid, Burns Boy, Tems, Femi and his son Made Kuti, as well as Angelique Kidjo who eventually emerged the winner of the Global Music Album award with her “Mother Nature” which is her first album of original music in seven years.
Here is a throwback of some of the notable songs by five of the Grammy nominees.
- I want God to judge me by my words – Sheik Khalid
- Why I Parted Ways With My Husband – Actress Nkechi Blessing
“On the Low” by Burna Boy
Burna Boy’s Afrobeat talent was well displayed in his 2018 hit song “On The Low” (which some fans also call “Angeli-Angelina”). It is a lovely mid-tempo afrobeat track mixed with a subtle dancehall beat. Shortly after its release, found its way into a lot of Nigerians’ playlists. The vocals are clear, and the melody is loveable straight from the start. The video currently has 259 million views on YouTube. It won the Viewers’ Choice Award at the 2020 Soundcity MVP Awards Festival.
“Stop the Hate” by Femi Kuti
In “Stop the Hate,” you can tell Femi Kuti has had enough. The music legend’s song powerfully speaks of the importance of highlighting the issue of political corruption in a language and rhythm that’s both poetic and movingly musical. While the message dominates the music, it also expresses the gravity of the situation with the natural soothing afrobeat momentum. With the addition of more universal statements, Femi opened up the floor to a wider demographic, highlighting the fact that issues of corruption are by no means restricted to the African continent.
“Free your Mind” by Made Kuti
The song, “Free Your Mind” by Made Kutie, continues a trail that’s been blazed by his family for generations: pairing additive, deeply-layered afrobeat grooves with lyrics about sociopolitical consciousness. “‘Free Your Mind” according to the singer, was very much inspired by the teachings he had received from his father and his efforts to understand exactly what the black man and woman’s situation was in Nigeria, Africa, and around the world.
“Fever” by Wizkid
“Fever” by the award-winning Nigerian singer, Wizkid was released in 2018. It gained a lot of attention, becoming one of the most popular songs by the artiste, as well as recorded some controversies following the appearance of the Nigerian music star, Tiwa Savage, in the music video. It won the Song of the Year award at the All Africa Music Awards in 2019. The single, “Fever” was judged the best song to have come out of Africa in 2019 by the selecting panel of the AAMA ahead of Davido’s “Wonder Woman” and Burna Boy’s “Ye.”
“Damages” by Tems
“Damages” is the lead single of Tems’ album, “For Broken Ears” released in 2020. “Damages” leans into everything that quickly endeared initial listeners to Tems; it’s emotionally expressive, instantly relatable and magnificently crafted. Getting in her self-assured bag atop a dancehall-adjacent beat produced by Spax, Tems sends a message to a former lover, flaunting her emotional growth to let him know she’s far from interested in rolling the years back even though she doesn’t rue the naivety of her “baby girl” years. In her typical manner, “Damages” is loaded with artfully plain lyrics, clearly written from a personal perspective, and her chamber-filling voice effortlessly wrings out every ounce of feeling so that listeners can connect with the song’s emotive richness.