By Aishat D. Abdullahi
Social media went abuzz following the recently concluded Headies Awards, which saw the likes of Asake, Rema, Burna Boy and Seyi vibez clinch awards in various categories.
Ahmed Ololade, popularly known as “Ololade Asake”, bagged the sought after ‘Next Rated’ award in this year’s Headies Award, to the delight of his fans.
The Headies (originally called the Hip Hop World Awards) was established in 2006 by the Hip Hop World Magazine of Nigeria to recognize outstanding achievements in the Nigerian music industry.
The annual ceremony, which features performances by established and promising artistes, has been held in the US in the past two years and broadcast live on HipTV to viewers across Nigeria.
- We may exhume Mohbad’s corpse, say police
- Protest as residents accuse Muslim Man of sharing dog meat in Kaduna
Of all the categories at the award ceremony, the ‘Next Rated’ award category is the most coveted and talked about as the category shines a spotlight on the freshest and most promising talent in the Nigerian music industry.
The category is dedicated to recognizing the up-and-coming stars who are making waves and are expected to achieve even greater success in the future.
In 2015, the ‘Next Rated’ award stirred up a drama between Olamide of YBNL and Don Jazzy of the MAVIN, as the record label bosses disagreed on who was more suited to win the award.
Don Jazzy’s signee, Reekado Banks, was announced the winner of the category, which Olamide rejected, saying his YBNL-protégé, Lil Kesh deserved it more.
Daily Trust highlights a list of artists who have won the ‘Next Rated’ Award in the past 15 years, including their latest works.
Born Bukola Elemide, Nigerian-French soul singer, song writer and recording artiste, Asa, won the ‘Next Rated’ award in 2006.
Asa’s recent works include her latest Album, V, which was released in 2022. In addition to producing evergreen songs, Asa continues to host shows and concerts while maintaining a private personal life.
David Adoga, popularly known as Overdose, was a radio DJ in Abuja and Jos. In 2001, he got offered an opportunity to record an album, where he recorded some videos in the process that enjoyed airplay on local TV stations in Nigeria.
In 2007, he bagged the ‘Next Rated’ a
Award at the Headies. Currently, Overdose does more of acting and has featured in recent movies such as Prime series, “Beyond the Veil”.
In 2008, Oluwatobi Wande Ojosipe, popularly known as Wande coal, won the award for the next-rated artiste. Wande Coal got signed to Don Jazzy’s Mo’Hits Record in 2006 and left in 2012. This year, he unveiled his fourth studio album, “Legend Or No Legend”, which featured some of the biggest artistes around, from Wizkid to T-Pain, Olamide to Fireboy DML. He also won the award for ‘Vocal Performance, Male’ in the recently concluded Headies awards.
Omawumi Megbele was the winner of the ‘Next Rated’ award in 2009. She hugged the spotlight as the 2007 runner-up on West African Idols ꟷ a reality TV show ꟷ and has released so many EPs and four albums, with her latest one titled, ‘Love Deep High Life (LDHL)’, which was released in 2021.
Omawumi is one of Nigeria’s most renowned female musicians and has 23,200 monthly Spotify listeners.
Nigerian Afro hip-hop duo, Skuki, composed of two brothers ꟷ Vavavoom (Tumininu Laolu-Oguniyi) and Peeshaun (Atewologun Laolu-Ogunniyi), won the Next Rated’ award in 2010.
The duo has released numerous songs with their latest in 2015, featuring Tiwa Savage. They have also been nominated for several other awards.
Vavavoom recently released his album in April 2023 titled “We gon get it” and Peeshaun is now a relationship coach and a motivational speaker.
Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, professionally known as Wizkid, is regarded as one of the biggest and most influential African artistes of all time and was recognized as the next-rated singer in 2011.
In 2009, Wizkid signed a record deal with Banky W’s Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E). He later rose to the limelight after releasing “Holla at Your Boy”, the lead single from his debut studio album.
In 2013, Wizkid established Starboy Entertainment. Wizkid is a recipient of numerous awards which include the Grammy Award, MOBO Awards, BET Awards etc. ‘More Love, Less Ego’ is the fifth studio album by Wizkid and was released on 11 November 2022 through RCA Records and Starboy Entertainment.
American-born Nigerian singer, songwriter and record producer, Davido, was recognized as the ‘Next-rated’ artiste at the 2012 Headies Awards.
Davido made his music debut as a member of the group KB International. He rose to fame after releasing “Dami Duro”. In January 2016, Davido announced on Twitter he had signed a record deal with Sony Music and a few months later, he founded the record label Davido Music Worldwide, to which singers like Dremo, Yonda and Peruzzi are currently signed.
In January 2019, Davido sold out The O2 Arena in London, becoming the first solo African artiste to do so after Wizkid in 2018.
The ‘unavailable’ crooner released his fourth studio album titled ‘Timeless’ earlier this year and he has won numerous awards like the MTV Europe Music Award for Best African Act, 2017, The Headies Humanitarian Award, 2022, amongst others.
2013 saw singer Sean Tizzle win the highly coveted award at the Headies. Born Morihanfen Oluwaseun Oluwabamidele, the singer is currently signed to Wind Vane Music.
Sean rose to stardom in 2013 after the release of his smash hit single ‘Sho Le’ and thereafter worked with Unlimited L.A to deliver the music video. He has released about 30 singles and two albums so far, one in 2017 and the latest DUES in 2023.
Popular reggae-dancehall singer and songwriter, Patoranking, clinched the award for the ‘Next-rated’ artist in 2014.
The singer started his music career doing underground collaborations with artists such as XProject, Konga, Slam and Reggie Rockstone. Patoranking released his latest album ‘World Best’ this month.
Reekado Banks won the controversial ‘Next-rated’ award at The Headies 2015 when he was a signee under Mavin Records.
His debut studio album ‘Spotlight’ was released in September 2016 and was at the number 10 spot on the Billboard World Albums chart.
In 2021, Reekado Banks released the single ‘Ozumba Mbadiwe’, and dropped a remix of same song in 2022.
2016 saw Mr Eazi win the award for the ‘Next-rated’ artist at the Headies. Mr Eazi is the pioneer of Banku music, a fusion of sound he describes as a mixture of Ghanaian highlife and Nigerian chord progressions and patterns in songs like Legalise, Oh my Gawd, Miss you bad and Leg over.
Popular singer, Mayorkun, was the 2018 winner at the Headies Awards. Mayorkun released his debut studio album, ‘The Mayor of Lagos’, in November 2018. After his exit from DMW in 2021, he released “Let Me Know” and his second studio album ‘Back In Office’ in October 2021, under Sony Music West Africa division.
He won the City People Entertainment Awards under the Artist of the Year Category in 2017 and the Headies Next-rated awards 2019 Best R&B/Pop Album for The Mayor of Lagos.
Divine Ikubor, fondly known as Rema, got signed to Jonzing World records in 2019 and also bagged the ‘Next-rated’ award in the same year.
He is best known internationally for his 2022 hit single “Calm Down”; the remix with American singer, Selena Gomez, of which peaked at No 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and led the U.S. Afrobeats Songs for a record-setting 52 weeks.
On January 12, 2020, Rema received the Soundcity MVP Awards for the best new artist and was nominated for Best Viewer’s Choice: International Act at the 2020 BET Awards. His latest album, ‘Rave and Roses’, was released in March 2022.
In 2020, Omah Lay gained widespread recognition after his self-produced single, “Bad Influence”, which went viral on social media. The traction earned him the ‘Next-rated’ award at the 2020 Headies.
Omah Lay’s latest album, titled, ‘Boy Alone’, was released in July 2022.
Bnxn (pronounced as Benson), who was formerly known as Buju, headlined his first and debut sold-out concert in Lagos in 2021.
In 2022, Buju officially changed his name to Bnxn to avoid confusion for being mistaken with Buju Banton and having more unique branding.
On 4 September 2022, Bnxn won The Headies 2022 Next Rated award at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
YBNL’s Asake walked home with a brand-new car after winning the highly coveted Next Rated category at the 2023 Headies award on September 4, 2023.
In September 2022, his debut album, ‘Mr. Money with the Vibe’, was released, breaking the record for the biggest opening day for an African album on Apple Music at the time.
The album debuted at number 66 on the Billboard 200 chart and recorded the highest charting Nigerian debut album in the history of the chart. His sophomore album, ‘Work of Art’, was released in June 2023, becoming his second album to debut at number 66 on the Billboard 200.