Nigerian music in the 2010s saw a significant shift in both style and mainstream popularity, the scene had always been diverse, with a range of genres including Fuji, Highlife, Afrobeat, and many more. However, the 2010s saw the rise of Afrobeats, a fusion of polyrhythmic sounds that dominated Nigeria and beyond.
One of the main drivers of Afrobeats’ popularity was the emergence of a new generation of Nigerian artists who were able to harness the power of social media to reach a global audience. The most prominent, like Wizkid, Davido, Olamide and Burna Boy, blended traditional African rhythms with contemporary pop, R&B, and hip-hop to create a sound that was both unique and accessible.
The success of these artists was not limited to Nigeria, Afrobeats gained widespread popularity in other parts of Africa and around the world. In the United Kingdom, Afrobeats became one of the most popular genres of music among young people, with notable rises like Maleek Berry performing to sold-out crowds at staple venues. Afrobeats also saw success in the United States, with artists like Wizkid and Davido collaborating with American pop and Hip-Hop stars.
In addition to Afrobeats, the 2010s also saw the emergence of other popular genres in Nigeria, such as alternative and indie music. Artists like Asa, Bez, and Johnny Drille built a devoted following for their unique sound and deeply personal lyrics. The alternative scene or ‘Alté music’ demanded its place in Nigeria’s musical scope through pioneers like DRB Lasgidi, Cruel Santino, Odunsi The Engine and more.
These artists and others helped to create a vibrant and diverse music scene in Nigeria.
One of the key challenges faced by the Nigerian music industry in the 2010s was the lack of a strong infrastructure for supporting and promoting artists. Many artists struggled to get their music distributed and promoted, and there was a lack of investment in the industry. However, despite these challenges, the 2010s saw the emergence of a number of successful independent record labels, such as Chocolate City and Mavin Records, which were able to provide support and resources to artists.
Another challenge faced by the music industry in the 2010s was piracy, with many artists losing out on significant revenue due to unsanctioned distribution of their music. However, the rise of streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music helped to mitigate this problem, as more and more people began to access music legally.
Overall, the 2010s were a significant decade for Nigerian music. The emergence of Afrobeats and other genres helped to bring Nigerian music to a global audience, and the success of artists like Wizkid and Davido demonstrated the industry’s potential. While there were challenges, the 2010s also saw the development of a stronger infrastructure for supporting and promoting artists, which bodes well for the future of Nigerian music.