#YNaija2013Review: Vector, Yemi Alade, Niyola… See who made the 10 most underrated artistes of 2013

by Uche Briggs

Niyola all made up for a photoshoot

1. Morell

Morell is a brilliant Northern ambassador. His Oxygen and  Anti-Social songs have that peculiar northern appeal that creates an appreciation for the culture. You really don’t have to take my word for it. Listen to Ganga Da Garaya (http://notjustok.com/2013/09/10/morell-ganga-da-garaya/)

Thank me later.

2. Sound Sultan

Very few Nigerians alive, dead and yet to be born can write songs like the young man can. Remarkable composer, he is.

3. Solid Star

Talent for several days, Solid Star’s street feel is pristine in its delivery. Omotena is one of the best songs ever written songs.

[READ: #YNaija2013Review: These are the Top 10 (plus 1) magazine covers you loved so much in 2013 (PHOTOS)]

4. Yemi Alade

Yemi is on a totally different level. And I will tell you why.

–          Amazing vocals!

–          She connects with the Nigerian audience.

–          Her drive and determination is killer!

–          She takes her art very seriously. Her stagecraft is perhaps unmatched by any lady in the game. You should ask those who were at the Headies.

–          Lastly, and most importantly, she has been able to articulate an identifiable brand image (Awon Stubborn) that cuts through the clutter while the Seyi Shays and Niyolas struggle to break the hold of generics.

With her monstrous hit single, Johnny http://notjustok.com/2013/10/14/yemi-alade-johnny-prod-by-solebobo/ , one can only hope she would walk in and take her seat in the male dominated pop scene.

Timi Dakolo performing
Timi Dakolo performing

5. Orezi

We are all witnesses to how Waje, armed with killer vocals, lovely persona and hips/bootay for days, robbed the young man of his Best Raggae/Dancehall award at the just concluded Hip Hop World Awards.

The world is waiting for this young man.

6. Shaydee

Shaydee’s flavour is no mean feat. His vocals on Ice Prince’s I Swear is the redeeming part of the song save for Chopstix’s mastery. It is only too sad that he is in the same label as Wizkid.

7. Niyola

Way before the affiliation with EME, Niyola has been wreaking havoc on the scene. Niyola needs to push her art leveraging on the EME platform. Banky will perhaps always be too preoccupied with his art. The bulk of the job will fall at her feet.

[#YNaija2013Review: #OgaAtTheTop, May D’s duplex & the most embarrassing moments of 2013]

8. Yung L

Grip Muzik, Sweet Muzik; you already know!

2013 witnessed the invasion of the Grip Boiz. However, the one person who has done the most is the talented Yung L. Dude’s delivery and panache is on a whole new level.

Vector and Toke Makinwa hosting TFAA2013
Vector and Toke Makinwa hosting TFAA2013

9. Vector

Bad management? The rise of indigenous rappers (Igboro ti takeover!)? One will never be too sure what the cause of Vector’s relatively understatement is. His versatility, as evidenced by this track with Sarkodie (http://notjustok.com/2013/12/27/sarkodie-rap-attack-ft-vector-special-someone-ft-burna-boy-aka/), leaves one speechless.

He is however burdened by the curse of every Nigerian rapper – Punchlines for the sake of it.

10. Misturr K9

Eldee needs to do a better job at promoting this act. The multi-talented artiste has the potential to be a huge force in the Nigerian music industry.


– Praiz

Praiz’s lack of mainstream success could easily pass off as a consequence of Nigerian’s undying love for tungba tungba music. Beyond that however, the vocal giant has unwittingly gifted the devil the upper hand by releasing sparingly in the last one year.

In 2014, the X3M music artiste would need to step out and create more songs, videos and covers for already released material.

Timi Dakolo

Timi Dakolo is not underrated; he merely occupies a niche market. He will never be a Wizkid but more importantly, WizKid can never be him.


Uche Briggs writes from Lagos, Nigeria. Find him on Twitter @UcheBriggs

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