13 Nigerian Musical Icons of All Time

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The Nigerian Music Industry churn out hundreds of Artiste and hundreds of thousands of songs yearly but there are only a few A-listers Musicians in Nigeria

These Artistes have set themselves apart from the great multitude by making good music that stands the test of time.

Fewer artists, however, have built a career in music and even a smaller number have shown an understanding of the business side of their occupation.

When it comes to personality, not too many Nigerian musicians embellish their great talent with the right carriage.

Nonetheless, for young aspiring artists looking for role models in the industry, IDEASLANE has put up a list of 13 Nigerian Artiste whom they can learn from; these ones have shown some degree of edge in certain areas over many others.

We advise that you make more research and study these ones very well and only learn from their strengths which is our focus in this piece.
If you have bought an album by Cobhmas Asuquo, you’ve been

‘419ed’! This is one Nigerian Artiste that is very well respected and esteemed in the industry even though he has no album to his credit.

Cobhams is a musician, producer, and songwriter. He has worked with top-notch artiste at home and abroad. he is undoubtedly on an A-lister musician in Nigeria.

In 2007, Asuquo produced Bukola Aramide’s ASA. His 2014 ordinary people is an example of how to do good music.

This great husband and father is a trained lawyer turned musician. Because he has achieved such great feats even as one with a special need, Cobhams Asuquo graces this list as a great influence on the younger generation.
Ageless! Pasuma wonder has

been doing music before I was born and still does music with people that I am old enough to mother.

Pauma wonder evidently knows the importance of relevance as an Artiste in a fast-growing industry like that of the Nigerian music industry and he works at remaining up to date and relevant.

You may not like his genre but you will definitely love what he does with it.

He creates a genre of music that is a fusion of Fuij and hip-hop and the result for Pasuma is acceptability across a larger group of audience.

For the remaining one of the most relevant oldies in the industry, we say kudos to Pasuma.

I admire Sound Sultan’s (Olanrewaju Fasasi) versatility, he is a

bunch of talent – a singer-songwriter, actor, rapper, comedian and recording artiste. If you play his 2000 ‘jagbajantis’ today, it will make as much sense as it made 15 years ago.

“This ever looking 20” ‘oko won lode master ventured into the Nigerian entertainment industry in the 1990s.

He is one of the most consistent and hard-working guys I know in the industry and he has done very well with his image management.

He does not just sing, he addresses social-political exigencies of his society and he seems conscientious. For retaining that ‘gentleman looks’ and proving to the younger ones that you don’t have to be bearded to be a star, we love him even more.

13 Nigerian Musical Icons of All Time

Don Jazzy has an in-depth understanding of the business of music, little wonder he has made himself a force to reckon with in the Nigerian music industry.

Born Michael Collins Ajereh, Don Jazzy is an award-winning record producer, singer-songwriter, and musician. We see him as an A-lister Musician in Nigeria.

He has produced the best of the best of songs in Nigeria.

If any upcoming artiste is fortunate enough to sign to his music label, his/her life will never remain the same again –for the better.

Don Jazzy is truly a Don when it comes to managing raw talents and making the best out of them. Don Jazzy simply has the best team.

Don Jazzy is envied even among producers like himself. We are proud of Don Jazzy because he is an inspiration to many aspiring producers, born and unborn.
Adewale Ayuba popularly known as Mr Johnson has over 15 albums to his credit. Adewale Ayuba is one Artiste who has done remarkably well with the Fuji music genre.

Loved by young and even the older generation, the exceptional Ayuba started his career in the 80s and his music still makes us get on our dancing shoes.

Ayuba adds enormous stylishness and sophisticatedness to the Fuji music probably than any Fuji musician in the show Biz.

His unique approach to his genre of music is not far-fetched from his education both at home and abroad.

This fashionista sure knows how to combine good music with good personality.

Adewale Ayuba has many reasons to inspire the younger generation of musicians but perhaps the most forceful lesson we learn from Ayuba is education plays a significant role in one’s career as a musician.
When you see a good music video in Nigeria these days, two words come to your mind: Clearance Peters.

This is because Clearance Peters is the only Director who is responsible for almost all the good music videos in recent years.

Where he gets the energy to produce top-notch videos in so many numbers without compromising quality baffles us greatly.

He is a talented music video director, filmmaker and cinematographer par excellence, and truly, we have not seen had his kind in a long while.

We admire Clearance’s vibrant energy, his ingenuity and creativity.

Directors in the making would find in you a reason to be hardworking and dedicated to good work.
Popularly known as Kaffy, Kafayat Shafau Ameh, though not a musician is an artist who has set an unmatched record in the Nigeria entertainment industry.

At a time when dancers were nothing but appendages at the tip of a musician’s dress, Kaffy danced her way into the music industry.

At her arrival, Kaffy redefined the word ‘dancer’. Putting on her dancing shoes on since 2002, Kaffy has achieved such feat as dancing for 54 hours thereby breaking the Guinness Book of record.

For her enviable dedication to her profession and her unrelenting energy even through motherhood, Kaffy makes this list of outstanding Nigerian musicians/Artistes.
Banky W
Bankole Wellington represents

the Nigerian Music Industry excellently. We love what he does with the Banky W brand.

Banky W is sure a master of his craft but more than that, he knows the power of branding and he has created an irresistible Banky W brand.

He has done the same with his record label, EME. His songs are great – no matter the genre he does, his lyrics are a break from the norm and his videos are always on point. We love him at shows and events too.

Banky commands admiration effortlessly and for this, many young ones have something to learn from him.

13 Nigerian Musical Icons of All Time
Born   Bisade Ologunde, Lagbaja is a multi-award winning Nigerian Afrobeat musician, singer and songwriter.

Lagbaja is one Nigerian musician who is in a class of his own. Two things characterize lagbaja: his mask, costume.

Lagbaja’s mask is used as an icon of man’s facelessness. The name depicts the anonymity of the so-called “common man”.

Lagbaja represents the faceless and voiceless in the society and he uses his music to advocate change in the part of the ruling class.

Notable literary critics have written extensively on Lagbaja’s music than any other Artiste in this list. Lagbaja’s music has also attracted an array of international audience.

We celebrate Lagbaja for his ‘Africanness’, his unequalled creativity and his dedication to the course of the common man.

Those of us who appreciate good music embraced his first

single released in 2009. It was a bunch of goodie for the soul. But of course, Timi Dakolo’s genre was nothing like what many Nigerian youths were used to and so many people did not think Dakolo would last long.

But this soul healer was bent on proving to the world that good music is good music no matter the genre in which you sing it.

Songs like Iyawo mi and wish me well proves that Timi Dakolo’s niche is firmly established.

We like the fact that Timi Dakolo’s rough beginning has not lured him into doing a popular but less deep kind of music.

His music makes sense and young ones who want to make sensible music should listen to Dakolo.
He started his musical career in 1953 and had mentored a number of musicians including Ebenezer Obey and the late Orlando Owoh.

He was known for his

dexterity at playing the guitar, Rolling Dollar’s last major hit was “Won Kere Si Number Wa”.

Late Prince Olayiwola Fatai Olagunju’s “Won kere si number wa” was released in about his 80s and it made a hit that brought him back to fame.

Fatai Rolling Dollar thus defies age as a limit to achievement and for this, we celebrate him though he is late.
Asa is a Nigerian French singer, songwriter, and recording artist who was born on 17 Sept 1982. Asa is simply legendary! Although she is a pop star with a growing global appeal,

ASA has obviously remained true to her African roots.

Her themes are particularly fascinating as she weaves her lyrics around daily concerns of an average African and other citizens of the world.

This highly talented young Nigerian has been celebrated by lovers of her music all over the world and is particularly admired by millions of fans in Nigeria.

Asa has proven beyond reasonable doubt that she is the latest in a long line of African artists to make it big on the world stage.

Asa is definitely an inspiration to hundreds of budding female and male Artiste, especially in Nigeria.

Formerly known as 2 face Idibia, Tu baba, is one of the most acclaimed and successful Afro-pop Artiste in Africa.

Tu baba is one of the most awarded musicians on the African continent. He started his music career in the

The 90s and since then has remained dedicated to the course of good music.

His contributions to the Nigerian music industry is most significant.

Admired by millions of his fans all over the world, Tu face Idibia is particularly endearing to many due to his much talked about humility.

In 2006, his song “African Queen” was used in the soundtrack for the film Phat Girlz, which was released internationally.

2 baba has also been an ambassador for quite a number of brands including Guinness, Nigerian Breweries e.t.c.

He is the brand ambassador for the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control. This philanthropist is unquestionably Africa’s best.

He is also one of the Artistes with the highest fan base in Africa. Tu baba is one of the most bankable entertainers in Africa, yet seemingly approachable.

For these reasons we have mentioned and others that we cannot completely enumerate, we believe 2 baba is indeed a role model for lots of hundreds artiste in the making.

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