In an industry mostly dominated by the Male artistes, its not so easy for the females to stand out. One problem I’ve noticed is the fact that most female artistes are not consistent and its not so easy to keep churning out music every 2 months just to settle the demands of the hungry Nigerian Market.
Please note that this list is based on Delivery, Popularity, Media Awareness, Commercial Value &Consistency (not one hit wonders)
10 Niyola ( Eniola Akinbo )
Now this was a very tough decision because I personally felt Splash should be in this position but technically speaking Niyola has done more than enough to earn her spot on this list. For those who don’t know Niyola is not a new face in the Nigerian music scene.
Niyola’s unique story started in 2000 when she took part in the AMEN starlet competition and emerged first runner up – meeting with the then “Plantashun boys’’ who invited her to do a duet with the group (she ended up recording with Faze as the group would soon split). She later joined Trybe records briefly; leaving to jump start ‘’Make sum noise ‘’entertainment a production outfit owned by Freestyle of TRYBESMEN. She released her first singles Me n U (in da club), No more and Dem say on the imprint.
After the release of the singles, it wasn’t long before she got signed to Westside Music (where she released her eponymous debut album containing the smash hits Bring it on and Call my name). The album got two nominations that year at the Hip hop world awards. She also signed a management deal with Now muzik later on.
Niyola recently got signed to Empire Mates Entertainment and was featured on several tracks on the EME Empire Mates State of Mind album alongside leading Nigerian acts, Wizkid, Banky W and Skales; including her debut single as the EME 1st lady, titled ‘Don’t Go There. She recently released 2 singles Crazy & Toh Bad .
9 Tipsy (Tipsy Enupo)
Standing out as an artiste is tough but standing out as an indigenous rapper in Nigeria is probably back-breaking. Here’s a female who has carved a niche for herself as one of the most relevant female rappers in Nigeria. The first time i heard her Agbero voice was back in 2010 after the death of Dagrin. She released a tribute video for Dagrin. For those who dont know Tipsy had earlier tried out for a beauty pageant titled Miss West Africa before she released her first official single titled Ching Chong.
She bounced back in 2012 with her hit single titled Emi Naa Ni. In 2013 she released tracks likeProphetess Aiye , Tin Geh Geh ft Dammy Krane , Your Love, O Ka mi Lara . The Prophetess Aiye blew our minds with her hit single titled GOD punish devil which se recently released some months ago. She’s currently signed to Bigboyz Entertainment.
8 Yemi Alade
Yemi Alade began making music professionally in 2005 and would go on to win the maiden edition of the Peak Talent Show in 2009. Her debut single “Fimisile” which featured eLDee was released in 2010 and peaked remarkably with over ten thousand hits on YouTube.
She followed up with the video for her smashing single titled Ghen Ghen Love. With hits like Bamboo, Show me , Dance make I dance , Dont worry & Faaji, She’s set to take over the music scene. She recently released 2 singles titled Birtyhday Song & My Head O .Yemi Alade is currently signed to Effyzzie Music Group.
7 Muna ( Munachi Abii )
Born and raised in Port Harcourt, Owerri-native Muna was encouraged by her family to pursue her passion for music and arts. Prior to winning MBGN, Muna had performed as part of Port Harcourt-based rap group The Specimen A, and collaborated with Terry da Rapman on the critically acclaimed My PH Girl. Contrary to popular belief, Muna did not start her music career with rap group Ijaw Boyz, although she did perform with them as a guest artist. As a solo rapper, she performed as Babyrella before changing her stage name to Muna.
In June 2010, after years of collaborating with various artistes, Muna signed a multi-year management contract with Ayo Shonaiya’s RMG company and started working on her debut album The Goddess, The Hustler, which will include the singles I Feel Real, and Killer Queen. Muna continues to collaborate with other hip hop artistes; in early 2011, she wrote the lyrics and featured on Waje‘s hit single So Inspired and also appeared in rapper Suspect’s video for I No Send You. Muna was one of the female rappers to feature and represent Nigeria on the globally televised BET Cypher for the BET Awards in 2011, and in April 2012, Muna released two singles Here To Stay and Down Down Low. She bounced back tremendously in 2013 with two singles Put on A show & No tomorrow.
6 Seyi Shay ( OluwaSeyi Joshua )
Deborah Oluwa-Seyi Joshua better known by her stage name Shay, is a UK based recording artist, songwriter and producer. Born and raised in London to Nigerian parents, she began performing at the age of six eventually joining the London Community Gospel Choir (LCGC), which gave Shay the opportunity to perform in cities around the world, including a 4 week tour of Japan at the tender age of 14. Shay signed her first record deal with Sir George Martin, the legendary producer of the Beatles.
Shay is an accomplished songwriter of songs including “You Will See” for former Spice Girls, Mel C’s successful solo debut “Beautiful Intentions”, “White Lies” from the latest Chipmunk album featuring Dirty Money, as well as other songs featured on Hed Kandi and African Twins compilation albums around the world. Shay has toured with P. Diddy and Beyoncé in the UK with FROM ABOVE, and has written and worked with a number of industry heavy weights like Brian Michael Cox, Chipmunk, Rob Knoxx, H-Money, Cameron Wallace, Jolyn Skinner, Joshua Tree, and Joe & Brian Higgins.
In 2005, she formed a girl band in the UK called Boadicea managed by Ron Tom, who was also the founder and manager of the top selling UK female group Sugababes and All Saints. After Boadicea split up in 2007, Shay successfully auditioned to become a member of the British pop/R&B girl group FROM ABOVE.
This pretty damsel broke out from the group tand came to Nigeria to dazzle us with hits Like Loving your way, No lele & Irawo. She recently released a new single titled Killin me Softly ft Timaya.
5 Eva ( Eva Alordiah )
Eva Alordiah better known to most people by her stage name Eva is a rapper, singer, dancer, model, makeup artist, writer and songwriter born to Nigerian parents from Delta State. She moved to Lagos as a child and graduated from Bowen University with a degree in Computer science in 2009. She released her first ever studio recording with the help of Tha Suspekt early 2009 and titled it ‘I dey Play‘. The song which was done over the popular ‘a millie‘ instrumental by Lil Wayne went on to become a fan favorite and received airplay on radios, gaining for Eva a maximum level of recognition. With the success of that single she went on to record more songs, collaborating with well known successful artists in the business and acquiring a good level of success to her brand.
In 2011 she released her EP titled GIGO which featured hits like I done did it & Down low. After her feud with Trybe records, she left and joined 3UD entertainment where she released 2 singles Biggie & Mercy. After a brief spell and lots of controversy she left the record label.
She won the award for Female Rap Artiste of the Year at the Eloy Awards 2011. She’s set to release a video for her new single Lights Out.
4 Chidinma ( Chidinma Ekile )
Chidinma made the big time by emerging as the first ever female winner of the MTN Project Fame competition previously won by Iyanya, Mike Anyasodo and others. Her recently released single “Jankolikoko” featuring Sound Sultan has been receiving massive airplay and has further thrust her music into mainstream media.
Her hard work paid off as she won the award for Best Female West African Act at the KORA awards 2012 after the release of her hit single Kedike. She didnt relent on her efforts as she released singles such asEmi Ni Baller, Kite, Bless my hustle & Jolie.
She recently became an MTN ambassador as she released her new single titled Oh Baby.
3 Waje ( Aituaje Iruobe )
Aituaje Iruobe who is mostly known as WAJE which is the acronym for “Words aren’t just enough” is a Nigerian singer whose vocal range covers three octaves. The lady behind the remake of P-Square’s “Omoge Mi” and the female voice in the duo’s 2008 hit track “Do Me”, Banky W “Thief my Kele”, M.I “One Naira“.
Her vocal ability has earned her awards such as BEST RHYTHM AND BLUES SINGER (2011 CITY PEOPLE ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS), BEST FEMALE VOCALIST (2011 NIGERIAN ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS), BEST FEMALE VOCALIST (2011 HIPHOP WORLD AWARDS ), BEST AFRICAN ACT (2011 DEAFA AFR0-EUROPE AWARDS), BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE (2010 SOUTH SOUTH AWARDS), BEST FEMALE PERFORMER (2010 SOUTH SOUTH AWARDS), MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR (2013 CITY PEOPLE AWARDS).
She recently released her début album titled WAJE (Words aren’t just enough) which contained hit singles like I wish , Onye, Grind & Black n White. Her hard work paid off when she recently got appointed as brand ambassador for Globacom. To silence her critics she recently released a single titled 17.
2 Tiwa Savage
Putting this damsel as number 2 was probably the hardest part in the selection. I know most of you think she is the hottest female in Nigeria and i agree to an extent. Tiwa hit the nigerian music scene in 2011 with her debut single Kele Kele love. The song received a lot of positive review from critics.
A few months later and she dropped another hit single titled Love me (x3). Though the song wasn’t as good as Kele Kele love, she pushed the track with airplay and DJ rotations. She featured super star producer Don Jazzy on her next single titled Dont leave without my Heart and and she eventually got signed to Mavin entertainment some months later.
She took a brief break from the music scene only to stun Nigerians with her Love groping single titled Ife wa Gbono. She recently released her début album titled Once Upon a time which contains tracks likeOlorun Mi , Eminado , Folarin & others. Her hard work paid off as she was appointed as the brand ambassador for MTN.
She has won series of awards including Female Musician of the Year(City people Award 2011), Best RnB Soul Song ( Afrotainment Museke Online Music Awards ), Most Promising Act ( Dynamix awards ) & Best Vocal Performance (Female) (The Headies) . She has performed on stage with Sting, 50 Cent, The Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, Robbie Williams, and Destiny’s Child to name a few. Her latest single titled His voice truly shows her vocal abilities and her ability to move emotions with her lyrics.
1 Omawumi ( OMAWUMI Megbele )
On the 26th Day of January 2007, Omawumi auditioned for the West African version of an internationally acclaimed TV talent show tagged ‘IDOLS WEST AFRICA’. Omawumi with her strong voice and out-going personality dazzled the millions of viewers across the continent with each ‘spectacular’ and was voted the 1ST RUNNER UP of IDOLS WEST AFRICA when the competition ended in May 2007.
In 2008, Omawumi picked up the pieces of her defeat and released her début Single ‘In The Music’ A kwaito based sound which she fused with pidgin English and the song became an Instant Hit…. Hitting number 1 on various radio stations and getting multiple nominations and awards including the most coveted award ‘NEXT RATED’(This award came with a KIA OPTIMA!) and BEST FEMALE VOCALIST AWARDS FROM HIPHOP WORLD AWARDS 2009.
In November 11, 2009 Omawumi released the long awaited album ‘WONDERWOMAN’ with hit songs like ‘Ma Fi Mi Shere’ featuring Eldee The Don, ‘Chocolata’ featuring Naeto C and ‘Today Na Today’. This album sold 100,000 copies in one week! She also featured in the Hit Single ‘THANK GOD’ by the late Dagrin. Amongst multiple nominations (SOUNNDCITY MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS, NIGERIAN MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS, CITY PEOPLE AWARDS etc), Other Awards for her success in the industry includes
• BEST R’N’B/POP ARTISTE 2010-Nigeria Entertainment Awards. New York.
• BEST FEMALE MUSIC VIDEO 2010-Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
• OUTSTANDING RECORDING ARTISTE-Icon Awards
• BEST NEW ARTISTE– Women in Entertainment and Arts. Vivacity PR. London.
• PROJECT ALERT ICON-In recognition of her commitment to advocating for Zero-Tolerance for all forms of Violence against Women and Young Girls.
In April 2013, she released her second album which contained hit tracks like Bottom belle, Stay Alive, If you ask me & others. She currently has 4 Brand endorsements which include Globacom, Konga , Mortein & Malta Guinness. Most female musicians in the Nigerian music industry are known for scandals but not Omawumi. She stays away from the media spotlight and she’s best known for easy going lifestyle.
She recently silenced her critics with her new single titled Somori.