Nigerian female artists have emerged from obscurity to redefine the sound of African music, and collaborate with international artists.
One of the artists that have hit the scene is Ayra Starr, a 20-year-old artist who has been making waves locally and globally.
Her recent achievement is her ‘Ogogoro’ which was used as the soundtrack for the Hollywood movie Creed III. She collaborated with the American rapper Bas on the song, which debuted on the 3 March 2023.
She was also recently featured by Cameroonian-American singer, Libianca’s for the remix of the song “People”.
Temilade Openiyi popularly known as Tems is also making waves globally. She made history recently as she bagged an Oscar nomination for one of the soundtracks of ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. She later lost the Best Original Song award to “Naatu Naatu” a song composed by Kaala Bhagavad-Gita, M.M. Keeravani, and Rahul Sipligunj for the movie “RRR”.
Her popular song, “Essence,” has also smashed chart records, such as becoming Billboard’s first African female No. 1 artiste, performing at renowned stages such as Glastonbury, and 02 Arena, among others, down to collaborating with some of other world heavyweight stars such as Drake and Future.
The collaboration between Future, Tems, and Drake showcases the growing influence of African music and its recognition on the global stage. Tems also made history as the first Nigerian and African female musician to win the Best International Act at the BET Awards in 2022.
As more and more female artists gain recognition on the global stage, they are breaking down barriers and showing that Nigerian music is not just a male-dominated industry. These women are proving that they have just as much talent, if not more, than their male counterparts and are changing the face of Nigerian music.
Their success has not only inspired other female artists but has also opened doors for them, giving them opportunities that were once only available to male artists.
Tiwa Savage is also one of these female artists to make a name for herself on the international stage. Tiwa had been in the Nigerian music industry for many years, first as a backup singer for artists such as George Michael and Mary J. Blige, then as a solo artist. She became the first African female artist to sign a deal with Universal Music Group in 2018. Her music, a fusion of Afrobeats and R&B, quickly gained popularity in the United Kingdom and the United States.
She made her debut in 2010 and has since become well-known throughout Nigeria and beyond. With hits like “Kele Kele Love” and “All Over”, she has garnered a massive following and has collaborated with international acts such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Coldplay. In 2018, she became the first female African artist to win the MTV Europe Music Award for Best African Act.
Yemi Alade is also not left behind, she became popular with her hit single “Johnny”. Yemi’s music, which blends Afrobeats, reggae, and R&B, caught the attention of Universal Music Group, who signed her to a record deal in 2019.
‘‘The rise of Nigerian female artists on the global music stage is a testament to their talent and hard work” said Oyinda Olukanni, founder of Party Monkz Entertainment and a music executive.
“They have overcome challenges and broken down barriers to become some of the world’s most recognized and respected artists. There is no doubt that Nigerian music will continue to thrive and evolve as these female artists continue to push boundaries and pave the way for future generations” Olukanni said.