How exactly do you measure the success of an artiste? Is it by chart performance? Number of times they get to lip sync at Eko Hotel? Street credibility? Or Endorsements? Well, almost all those factors count but then again I became fully aware of the Kiss Daniel effect when his hit 2017 song “Yeba’ was played on the organ in my church during offertory (shooketh!)

Since his breakout barely four years ago in 2014 with his infectious hit “Woju”, Kiss Daniel has steadily risen to become one of Nigeria’s biggest pop stars. Then DJ Coublon produced song placed the then 20 year old on the map and introduced not only to the artiste, but his record label G-Worldwide and the then fairly unknown producer to the world. A remix soon followed featuring Mavin’s Tiwa Savage and poverty appropriator Davido (you were never poor *rme*) which earned Kiss a record on the MTV Base chart as the first artiste to have both his single and official remix sit at number 1 and 2 respectively on its chart.

2015 saw him increasing his fan base to include moms and dads everywhere, with the release of wedding anthem “Woju” and the owanbe fuji inspired “Good Time” both songs earning him a seat on the table of hit makers. The year didn’t roll by without its Ls as Kiss got Katy Perry’ed at the 2015 Headies Award, walking away without any trophy after the year he had musically. Fast forward to 2018 with a critically acclaimed debut album and several other chart topping singles under his belt, it seems like Kiss Daniel is here to stay.

So what is the Kiss Daniel effect? And how does an artiste during a period of 4 years, have hit after hit with no stank record to his name? Well you know the popular saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, that seems to be Daniel’s mantra, and boy has it worked for him. Hit after hit, Kiss Daniel has stuck to the same Afropop sound that made him famous. The similarities between “Woju” and “Laye” are uncanny and the pop star himself seems to be aware of the comparisons “them say I too dey mess with the same sound” Sticking to the same sound is definitely working for Kiss, but how long could this winning streak continue?

One of the biggest pitfalls in the Nigerian music industry is the constant desire for relevancy and keeping that fan base intact, this is one part of the game most artistes are yet to master. Looking at other Afropop artistes like Davido, WIzkid and Olamide (he stopped being a rapper years ago) who release singles faster than the President books his next trip as a travel blogger, music these days tend to be lackluster and uncreative. Kiss Daniel on the other hand has had less than 15 promoted singles in his 4 year career, which is still hard to believe considering how he has maintained his popularity over this period. This strategy has helped the pop star curate a discography of songs that although not timeless, still bang till this day. Taking a break and spacing out singles isn’t always a guarantee at chart topping success (ask Mo’Cheddah), so his ability to achieve this feat is not only laudable but impressive. With a new self-owned record label following the highly publicized split from G-Worldwide, “Yeba” and “No Do” still getting massive airplay and his recent February release “4 days” coupled with a rumored sophomore project in the works, it’s safe to assume that 2018 will be a lituation for the hit making pop star.


Co Creative Hub. Curators on MoreBranches.

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