Five “Underground” Nigerian Artistes You Probably Don’t Listen To
Music lovers are excited about the growth of the music industry in Nigeria. It is a breath of fresh air. Over the past months, we have seen the rise of a couple artistes, especially in the Afropop scene. In fact, we are not the only ones noticing the growth, CNBC Africa named the Nigerian music as the most dominant in Africa.It predicted:
‘’The industry produces over 550 albums of different kind of music annually, records sales have more than tripled in the past five years and industry stakeholders have projected that the country’s entertainment industry would hit one billion dollars by 2016.’’
Hmm… Have we?
Who are the artistes we call underground artistes, you may ask? Osarumen Osamuyi, a sound designer and synth programmer in Nigeria said: ‘’ An underground artiste in Nigeria (and really anywhere) is a musician or any other creative whose music caters to a very niche audience initially. That is, a small, very dedicated fan base who aggressively promotes said artistes cause until major players in the music space notice the person,’’
‘’After this happens, the artiste often has to make changes to their sound to appeal to a larger demographic, and this is when they are said to have gone mainstream or commercialised,’’ he added.
Based on the above definition of an ‘underground’ artiste, we will be sharing the 5 Nigerian ‘underground’ artistes we discovered last month:
Okunola “Likkle” Martin
Born and raised in the Northern part of Nigeria Okunola “Likkle” Martin, an architecture graduate, describes his music as a mix of reggae, hip-hop, afro juju and soul. His music is influenced by Fela, Femi and Seun Kuti, the Marley brothers, Lagbaga, Sade Adu, Dr Dre and King Sunny Ade. Currently, Okunola is serving in Lagos, Nigeria.
Born and raised in Lagos, Dáramólá started music at a young age as he followed his mum, Gbemisola Olalaye, who is a gospel artiste in Nigeria to the studio. Dáramólá has been on Billboard multiple times for his work with Lecrae (Columbia Records), Andy Mine (Reach Records.) and Social Club (Capitol Records); he is currently based in Miami in the US and owns an online magazine.
Quincy Ukot, also known as T. Devour, is a hip-hop artiste who is the head or the collective “Devour with pleasure”. Inspired by Kanye West and Fela Anikulapo, T. Devour describes his style of rap as ‘’unorthodox’’: the merge of contemporary sound with African sound.
Elomaina Mafeni, also known as AYLØ, started singing in secondary school, Loyola Jesuit College, and has since then been making music with classmates. Currently, in the UK, the final year student describes making music with his classmates as ‘’nurturing’’. AYLØ is inspired by Kendrick Lamar, Lauryn Hill, JCole and Chance the rapper.
Jarell Ebuka considers himself as an Audio/Visual creator who brings art to life through music and animation. He says that his music base on real life situations.