We at T.I.N Magazine bring to you ten biggest Nigerian songs of all time. This list is basically centered on the most successful Nigerian pop songs of all time, and by successful the criteria are; How popular these songs are in Nigeria, how popular they are abroad and feats and records set by these songs, pardon the songs on this list are mostly focused on 21st century songs.
TEN MOST POPULAR NIGERIAN SONGS OF ALL TIME
10. KUKERE – IYANYA
“Kukere” (Efik: “Don’t Worry”) is a song by Nigerian singer Iyanya. It was released as the lead single from his second studio album, Desire (2013). Upon its release, the song peaked at number 1 on Top FM’s May Chart, Soundcity’s Viewers Choice, Rhythm FM, and The Beat 99.9 FM’s Blackberry Top Ten Countdown. In addition, it peaked at number 2 on Radio Port Harcourt. CEO Dancers performed the song during their performance on Britain’s Got Talent. To further promote his second studio album in London, Cokobar and Iyanya held the “Kukere Queen Competition”. Participants of the competition were asked to upload a dance video of themselves and state three reasons why they deserve to win
9. WOJU – KISS DANIEL
“Woju” is a song by Nigerian afropop recording artist Kiss Daniel, released on September 1, 2014 through G-Worldwide Entertainment. Dubbed as “one of the best Nigerian songs of 2014″, the song went on to be nominated in the “Hottest Single” category at the 2015 edition of the Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
“Woju (Remix) is a song by Nigerian afropop artist Kiss Daniel featuring vocals from Tiwa Savage and Davido. The song was released on 28 February 2015 under G-Worldwide Entertainment and was produced by DJ Coublon. Rated as one of the “biggest record in Nigeria” by David Drake of Complex, “Woju (Remix)” made history on MTV Base’s Official Naija Top 10 music video chart alongside “Woju” as the first time an original song and its remix would peak at the first and second spots.
8. ADA ADA – FLAVOUR
“Ada Ada” was released as the fifth single from the album on June 30, 2013. It was released simultaneously with its music video. The song celebrates traditional weddings across the African continent. Flavour describes it as a song made to showcase the beauty of Africa, particularly African women. John Okafor, popularly known as Mr. Ibu, and Nwachukwu Uti, the winner of Big Brother Africa 5, made cameo appearances in the video. “Ada Ada” peaked at number 14 on Afribiz’s Top 100 Music Chart. The music video for “Ada Ada” won Video of the Year, Best High Life Video, Best Indigenous Concept and Best Use of Costumes at the 2013 Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA).
7. OJUELEGBA – WIZKID
“Ojuelegba” is a song by Nigerian recording artist Wizkid from his self-titled second studio album, Ayo (2014). It was written by Wizkid and produced by the record producing duo Legendury Beatz. The song shares its title with the metropolitan subsection of Lagos Mainland. It highlights Wizkid’s struggles as an underground artist, who roamed the streets of Ojuelegba to support his recording interest. The song received numerous airplay on all major radio stations in Nigeria, and peaked at number 1 on Capital Xtra’s Afrobeats Chart for February 2015. The official remix for “Ojuelegba” features vocals from Canadian rapper Drake and English grime artist Skepta. It made its premiere on OVO Sound Radio in July 2015. The song was ranked number 12 on the list of the 107 Best Songs of 2015 compiled by The Fader magazine. Prior to the release of the official remix, Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie released his rendition of “Ojuelegba”.
6. AYE – DAVIDO
“Aye” (pronounced ah yay) is a song by Nigerian recording artist Davido, released as the fourth single from his upcoming studio album. The song was produced by TSpize, a record producer affiliated with Runtown. It peaked at number 5 on MTV Base’s Official Naija Top 10 chart from March 28 through April 3, 2014. The song was primarily released to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
The music video for “Aye” was shot and directed in Nigeria by Clarence Peters. It was uploaded onto YouTube on February 7, 2014, at a total length of 4 minutes and 11 seconds. In the music video, Davido plays a poor farmer who is physically attracted to a princess. On “Aye”, he professes his love for his admirer. Davido took the unconventional route by shooting the video in a rural setting. The locality of the area where the video was shot complements the lyrics of the song. According to YouTube’s first quarter report, it was the most watched video by Nigerians on the video sharing site.
“Aye” won the Hottest Single of the Year category at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. The song was nominated for Most Popular Song of the Year at the 2014 City People Entertainment Awards. The music video for “Aye” was nominated for Most Gifted Male, Most Gifted Afro Pop, Most Gifted West and Most Gifted Video of the Year at the 2014 Channel O Music Video Awards. “Aye” was nominated for Best Pop Single and won Song of the Year at The Headies 2014.
5. GODWIN – KOREDE BELLO
“Godwin” is a song by Nigerian songwriter and singer Korede Bello. It was released on 28 January 2015 under Mavin Records, the record label he is signed to. The song features backup vocals from Don Jazzy
The music video of “Godwin” was shot and directed in Lagos, Nigeria by Adasa Cookey and was released on YouTube on 3 June 2015 at a total length of 4 minutes 27 seconds. The video which went on to amass over one million views on YouTube after 5weeks of its upload on the website featured Don Jazzy and cameo appearances from Bovi, A.Y, Elenu, Yaw, Emma oh my God, Dr SID and T.V personality Labi.
4. PERSONALLY – P-SQUARE
“Personally” is a song by Nigerian R&B duo P-Square, released as the second single from their sixth studio album Double Trouble (2014). The music video, directed by Jude Engees Okoye and Clarence Peters, was uploaded onto Vevo on June 21, 2013. It features a cameo appearance from Osita Iheme. Upon its release, the song received positive reviews from many people who were addicted to its catchy beats and lyrical rhyme schemes. As of February 2015, the music video has eclipsed the 37 million views mark on Vevo. “Personally” claimed the number 1 spot on MTV Base’s Official Naija Top 10 Chart from August 10 through August 22 2013.
P-Square was nominated for “Best International Performance” at the 2013 Soul Train Music Awards for “Personally”. “Personally” was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards. The music video for “Personally” was nominated for Best Music Video of the Year at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. The music video for “Personally” was also nominated for Most Gifted Dance at the 2014 Channel O Music Video Awards
3. DOROBUCCI – MAVINS
“Dorobucci” is a song by The Mavins, a collective composed of Don Jazzy, Tiwa Savage, Dr SID, Reekado Banks, Korede Bello, Di’Ja and D’Prince. Released on May 1, 2014, it received generally positive reviews from music critics. Positive remarks went towards its production, instrumentation, and composition. The music video, on the contrary, received mixed reviews. While some critics described the video as brilliant, others felt like it was dull and not up to par.
The music video for “Dorobucci” was shot and directed in South Africa by Nick Roux of Molotov Cocktail Productions. It was released on July 23, 2014 and uploaded onto YouTube at a total length of 4 minutes and 41 seconds. Natalie Pitswe, the winner of Channel O’s Mavin Super Fan competition, made a cameo appearance in the video. The video portrayed The Mavins living a lavish lifestyle: exotic cars and Gatsby-style parties. There were shots of the Empire State Building and White House, as well as shots of a golf ball traveling from Ikoyi to Washington DC. The music video received mixed reviews from music critics. Although some saw it as a flop, others felt like it was top notch.
“Dorobucci” won Best Pop Single and was nominated for Song of the Year at The Headies 2014. The song was nominated for Hottest Single of the Year at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards
2. OLIVER TWIST – D’BANJ
“Oliver Twist” is a song by Nigerian singer-songwriter D’banj. The track was first released in the United Kingdom on May 11, 2012, as the first single from DB Records’ compilation album, D’Kings Men (2013). For the chart week dated May 26, “Oliver Twist” debuted at number nine on the UK Singles Chart—marking the musician’s first chart appearance. Lyrically, the song expresses D’banj’s crave for more women, relating to how the fictional character Oliver Twist asked for more gruel.
A music video, directed by Sesan Ogunro, to accompany the release of “Oliver Twist” was first released onto YouTube on March 19, 2012. The video itself runs for a total of three minutes and fifty-five seconds and sees the artist, D’banj, performing the track in an empty studio designed as a run down home. It is performed in the key of G# Minor throughout the entire song. A member of D’banj’s live set (David Vujanic) makes an appearance dressed as Oliver Twist, whilst the CEO Dancers (three female dancers) perform to the track. In August 2013, the music video has surpassed 21.5 million views making it the Nigerian song with highest number of views on YouTube at the time. The video features cameos from D’banj’s GOOD Music label mates Big Sean, Pusha T, GOOD Music producer Hit-Boy and the label’s founder Kanye West; whilst Mike Dean, Bricka Bricka, comedian, Eddie Kadi and Keisha Buchanan of MKS fame also make cameos.
“Oliver Twist” made its first chart appearance on the chart week dated May 26, 2012—where it debuted at number nine on the UK Singles Chart; as the second highest new entry after The Saturdays “30 Days” (#7).The track also debuted at number two on the UK R&B Chart for the same charting week.”Oliver Twist” spent only one week inside the UK top 10, falling four places to number thirteen on its second charting week—and as of the week dated August 20 has spent thirteen consecutive weeks inside the top 75.
The music video for “Oliver Twist” won Most Gifted Male Video and Most Gifted Video of the Year at the 2012 Channel O Music Video Awards. The song won Song of the Year and was nominated for Best Pop Single at The Headies 2012. D’banj received the Best Male West Africa nomination at the 2012 Kora Awards for Oliver Twist.Furthermore, the song was nominated in the Hottest Single of the Year category at the 2012 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. It was also nominated for World’s Best Song and World’s Best Video at the 2014 World Music Awards.
1. AFRICAN QUEEN – 2BABA IDIBIA
Tu face’s African Queen made history as one of the most successful hits in recent years. Apart from making Face 2 Face, the album in which it appears, sell widely, it also won a number of awards that shot its sleek-faced singer, Innocent Idibia, into further limelight. About four years after the Pan Africanist, pro-womanhood and highly exciting song hit the market
In 2006, his song “African Queen” was used in the soundtrack for the film Phat Girlz, which was released internationally.
“African Queen,” from his 2004 album ‘Face 2 Face’ which has reportedly sold over 2 million copies, 2Face says the success of his single has come as a great surprise to him.
His single ‘African Queen’ has been made popular by its catchy lyrics and memorable rhythm and melody, which has made the single reach the top of the African pop charts – helped considerably by heavy airplay on MTV Base and MTV Africa.
Not only has this young and successful singer won an MTV- ‘African Artist of The Year’ award at the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards in Lisbon, he has also been busy touring around the globe promoting his single release and made his first visit to the UK and later to Brooklyn -New York back in March 2005.
The easy going and humble African pop star (formerly of the Plantasion Boyz) says his inspiration for the song came from his love for African women, “I wanted a song to celebrate their strength, show appreciation of how they support the African man. African women are very warm and they know how to take care of their family”
NOTABLE MENTIONS: Chop My Money- Psqaure, MAMA – Kiss Daniel, MY WOMAN- Patoranking, BOBO- Olamide, SHOKI – Lil Kesh, JOHNNY- Yemi Alade, Skelewu – Davido, GOBE – Davido, Mad Over You – Runtown