#TheDecadeLists: Artistes of the Decade

At the start of this decade from 2010-2020, many artistes came out with different sounds and originality and as usual we had few of who stayed, and many who left the music scene. This however show how music is constantly evolving and this can be seen with different artistes coming out with different sounds to the populace.

With the few who stayed and the majority who gave up, this however shows that in any music industry the competition is so tight and severe that you must battle your way to the top most especially in Nigeria’s music Industry which is the biggest in Africa.

To those who stayed and battle their way into the music industry and eventually dominated with their sounds and originality. AAUA INSIDER take a look at their efforts that have seen them define their time and fame they earned.

Nigerian Music has gone through lot of transmission, at the start of the decade we witnessed one series of breakthrough artistes like Wizkid, Olamide, Davido and others. 10 years later, Nigerian music is witnessing another change with new and fast rising artistes like Fireboy, Rema, Joeboy, Omah lay and others. Just like the first change that occurred it is expected that a few of all these new acts will stand the test of time.

The Criteria considered for this lists includes

  • Quality: We take a look at the songs, how good they sounds in one’s ear? the lyrical content of the song, talent and everything in between
  • Longevity: Looking at an artiste, we take a look at how they can survive the challenges faced in the music industry and how really far they can go with their sounds in Nigeria Industry.
  • Popularity: After taking a look at the quality of a song, we also look at the general acceptance of that particular song. The popularity of an artiste’s name beyond the music scene is a factor to be considered.

Having listed our 3 major criteria in deciding this #TheDecadeList presented by AAUA INSIDER to lend our voice and to appreciate these artistes for their efforts in this past decade.

15) Frank Edwards

He is an Enugu-born gospel artiste and songwriter whose consistency in these past years placed him on this list among his fellow colleagues. His major achievement was him setting up Rocktown Records which is home to different artistes like Gil, Divine, Nkay, Micah Heavens and lot more.The songs of Frank Edwards has reached countries and continents of the world which has made him sell out venues of his own and placed him as one of the powerful gospel singers in Nigeria and the world. In 2016, he collaborated with famous American gospel artiste Don Moen on an album “grace”. His recent album Born in July which was released last year 2019 is still making waves. He has received many awards to his name.

14) Brymo

Olawale Oloforo better known as Brymo, is a singer and songwriter who for three years into the decade abandoned his pop tendencies. He signed a record deal with Chocolate city in 2010 but left due to contract issues in 2013.  His second studio album The Son of a Kapenta was released in 2012 which was supported by three singles that made waves; Ara, Good Morning and Go hard. The Brymo of Oleku and Ara gave way for more philosophical music and this has led his music elevate him to a god-like status, something like a Beyonce. His new sound in music has seen him garnered more fans and sees his album top charts week in and out. His recent album Yellow was released April 1st 2020, and still making waves as at this time of filing this report.

13) Nathaniel Bassey

He is a Nigerian gospel artist popularly known for his songs Imela, Onise Iyanu, and Olowogbogboro. He is the brain behind the Hallelujah Challenge where he praise God for an hour from 12 a.m. to 1 a.m. on his Instagram page, in a month the event garnered 600,000 views. he has shown different times the commercial success of gospel music in the country which has made him earned a spot on our #TheDecadeList.

12) Olanrewaju Ogunmefun (Vector Tha Viper)

Olanrewaju Ogunmefun, better known as Vector is a rapper and songwriter who at a point in his career been an A-lister. His myth is somewhat powered by his lyricism, which blends more traditional forms of rapping with local language. In an effort to keep the spirit of Nigerian hip-hop alive he released a mix tape in October 2018 called The Rap Dialogue. Vector holds the record of the longest freestyle rap in Nigeria. he has gotten into lot of controversy especially with major acts like Reminisce and MI Abaga. His most listened rap single King Kong was released in January 2015. In November 2019; he released an E.P titled Vibes Before Teslim: The Journey to Self Discovery.

11)  Burna Boy

Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu known as Burna Boy. The self-proclaimed African Giant peaked late commercially into the decade but rose to prominence in 2012 after releasing Like to Party the lead single from his debut studio album L.I.F.E that was released in 2013. African Giant earned Burna Boy his first ever  Grammy nomination due to the Afrobeats movement and his Fela-like sound. Same African Giant won the 2019 All Africa Music Awards. Burna Boy himself won the 2019 Best International Act at the 2019 BET Awards. Currently, his recent album has bagged nominations at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards for the Best World Music Album making him the first Nigerian to have back to back Grammy nominations. He is one of the biggest and most successful African artists. Currently He is our 2020 Artiste of the Year for his remarkable achievements throughout this year.

10) Sinach

Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu known as Sinach made it to our Top 10 #TheDecadeList . She is the first singer-songwriter to top the Billboard Christian Songwriter Chart for 12 weeks in a row. Her song Way maker bagged three nominations and won the Song of the Year at the 51st GMA Dove Awards, making her the first Nigerian to win the Award. She was inducted into the Bethlehem Hall of Fame joining Dwayne Johnson, Pope Benedict XVI and a host of other internationally recognized celebrities on the list. In March 2019, Sinach became the first Gospel singer from Nigeria to garner over 100 million views for a single video on Youtube and the third Nigerian to achieve that feat next to Davido and Yemi Alade who achieved same feat in December 2018. She achieved it with the song titled Way Maker. She is also one of the Top 100 most Influential Christians In Nigeria.

9) Tiwa Savage

She is a songwriter, singer and actress, her debut studio album Once Upon a Time was released on the 3rd of July 2013 which had hit tracks like Eminado, Kele Kele Love, Folarin, e.t.c. The album was nominated for Best Album of the Year at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards and for Best R&B/Pop Album at the Headies 2014. She released several projects that made her place herself among the greats of her time in the music industry. She signed with Mavin Records in 2012 and later annonced her exit in May 2019, to Universal Music Group.

8) Timaya

The bayelsa born artiste is a 14 year veteran who’s ascended to the top of dancehall dominance. Inetimi Timaya Odon better known by his stage name Timaya. This past years has seen timaya taken to the top with his hit singles like Plantain Boy, Bum Bum, Malonogede, Sexy ladies and others that have earned him various nominations and awards including four Headies awards. Timaya was indeed a force to reckon with and this has made him pave way for the likes of Patoranking in the industry.

7) Yemi Alade

Yemi Eberechi Alade known as Yemi Alade is a Nigerian Afropop singer, songwriter,actress and activist. She won the Peak Talent Show in 2009 after which she signed to Effyzzie Music group and had a hit with her single johnny in 2014 which has garnered over 110 million views on YouTube, the highest ever by a Nigerian artiste and the biggest Nigerian song/visual in the last decade. She has received numerous awards to her name most especially the Best Female Act at the MTV African Music Awards in 2015 and 2016 respectively. On 27 June 2020, Yemi Alade performed in the Global Goal: Unite for Our Future alongside Miley Cyrus, Shakira, Justin Bieber, e.t.c.


Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo known as his stage name D’banj, is a Nigerian musician, songwriter, entrepreneur, and television personality.  His biggest single Oliver Twist was a reward for D’banj’s efforts on the home scene and becoming the star of the defunct MO’Hits which also made him a global star in 2012. He got a good music deal with Kanye West and lot more recordings with international artistes. D’banj has really influenced the Afropop genre with his energetic voice and charisma.He has won numerous awards in this past decade most notably the Best Selling African Artist at the 2014 World Music Awards and the Evolution Award at the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards.

5) P-Square

P-Square is the defunct music duo comprises of Peter Okoye and Paul Okoye. They produced and released their albums through Square Records. At the peak of their fame, the Okoye twins were about the largest artistes in Africa, they sold out every venues around the globe and they rocked the World with their Micheal Jackson-inspired aesthetics and a sound that is making impact on several new acts coming right after their peak.They have won a total number of 17 awards together as a due with 18 nominations to their band. However, the duo disbanded in 2016 following a disagreement over the role of their manager.

4) 2Baba

Innocent Ujah Idibia formerly known as 2face idibia and now 2baba. He is a musician, songwriter, record producer, activist and entrepreneur. he changed his stage name in 2014 to 2Baba. The legend’s influence cannot be overstated across the continent and beyond, he has continued to earn pundits and praise to his works. He has spent the decade releasing three projects – two of which were commercially and critically acclaimed (2012 Away and Beyond and 2014 The Ascension). He is one of the most decorated and successful Afro Pop artists in Africa. Truly 2baba nah legend. He has lot of awards and nominations that have earned him this legendary status.

3) Olamide

Olamide Adedeji is known as Olamide Baddo or Baddosneh, In 2011 he released his debut album Rapsodi that made him prepare his journey to stardom, this album was recorded under ID Cabasa label called Coded Tunes. Ever since then he is the only artiste to produce album year after year which has seen him bagged various awards such Artiste of the Year at the Headies 2015. In 2020, Olamided dropped two big projects one was the 999 EP released on 10th of February and  Carpe Diem the 11th studio album released on 8th of October 2020. Currently Olamide has the finest artiste making raves at the moment Fireboy in his record label YBNL.

2) Wizkid

Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun known professionally as Wizkid. The starboy is one of the biggest artistes right now in Africa and the World, He rose to prominence after releasing Holla at your Boy, the lead single from his debut album Superstar. Wizkid’s greatest contribution to the Nigerian Music industry in the last ten years has been his international success, his famously sold out O2 Arena and a collaboration with international Act Drake on One dance has seen Wizkid bagged the second best artist of the decade. His recent album Made in Lagos was released on the 30th of October 2020 which was commercially successful and still making wave at the moment. His song Soco became his first Afrobeats single to be certified Gold in Canada. Wizkid’s contributions to the Nigerian Music Industry have seen him earned various awards and nominations. Currently he is the most awarded Artist at the BET Awards with 3 awards to his name. No doubt that Wizkid is truly one of the greats of his time.

1) Davido

David Adedeji Adeleke better Known as Davido is arguably the best artiste on our #TheDecadeList. He came into the game with Dami Duro, a banging song that depicts his family background and wealth. In 2016, Davido founded his famous record label Davido Music Worldwide (DMW) which has seen fast rising acts like Mayorkun, Dremo, and others. In April 2017, Davido re-negotiated his contract with Sony and later that year went on to record two hit singles IF and Fall. Fall became the longest-charting  Nigerian Pop song in Billboard history. In November 2019, Davido released his second studio album A Good Time  which garnered over 500 million streams and still counting. A year after on 13th November 2020, Davido released a third studio album A Better Time which has huge success. The album housed a lot of hit songs like Fem, The Best featuring Mayorkun, Holy Ground featuring Nicki Minaj and lot more.  Davido has bagged numerous endorsement deal and lot more. Currently he is an ambassador of Infinix Mobile. Davido has bagged numerous awards and nominations and still breaking records upon records in the music scene. This has earned him the number 1 spot on the #TheDecadeList.

Note: The lists were complied in the writer’s opinion. Suggestions and opinions are welcomed in the comment box.



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  • Agbelusi Samuel

    Agbelusi Samuel is a campus journalist, writer, red carpet host, political and sport analyst. A political science student that covers news and politics beats for AAUA INSIDER.

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