2019 has been an interesting music year thus far. We’re only in August and we can confidently say that we have been blessed with many hit songs. One remarkable thing is that the days when we used to rely on our A-list acts to get good songs are far behind us. These days, new (and emerging) artists have snatched the torch and are ensuring to keep our ears and souls enticed. It’s a thing of joy and we can only go forward from here. Out of these new acts, who should win rookie of the year award?
There are many incredible names to be mentioned and I must say that it’s amazing how each of them has a unique sound. Afrobeats is diverse and if you observe closely, you’ll realize that there’s no regurgitation of a particular style save for zanku. The likes of Oxlade, Barry Jhay, Fireboy DML, Joeboy, Rema, King Perryy, Buju, and many others are creating sounds that are heavenly. You can easily go on your favorite streaming platform and serve yourself from a buffet of Nigerian songs.
I have seen several opinions on social media as well as real life discussions about who is deserving of the rookie award this year. The names that have popped up are Fireboy DML, Oxlade, Rema, and Joeboy. These four acts seem to be the strongest contenders for the award and truly, it’s tough making a guess on who should go home with the award. You cannot deny that each of these acts have put in the work respectively and as such, is deserving of credit. So, who’s most likely to win the rookie of the year?
Although, award shows won’t be held until about the end of the year. However, I don’t think it’s too early to table the discussion and try to weigh their chances. So, let’s address them one by one.
I have never met Fireboy before, but I’ve heard stories about him. And most people seem to agree that he’s a genius. Not only is he endowed with an angelic voice, he’s a proficient songwriter and composer. He learnt how to record himself and was already a treasure even before he got signed to YBNL.
Fireboy gained prominence when YBNL Mafia album was released late last year. His single Jealous (which is considered to be a sleeper hit) steadily climbed charts till it became one of the biggest songs of 2019. Before the release of Jealous, the YBNL act already released a song King and featured Oxlade on a critically-acclaimed hit song Sing.
Indisputably, Fireboy is a potential candidate for the rookie award. His follow-up single What If I Say is also a jam and music lovers are rest assured that Fireboy, indeed, has got the fire to blow up.
Tell me any artist whose entrance into the Nigerian music industry is as suave as Rema’s. No, I dare you. Rema came with a big bang. The Jonzing Records act released an eponymous EP Rema and it contained massive hits like Dumebi, Iron Man, and Corny.
Rema was discovered by D’Prince and the Mavin act didn’t hesitate to invest huge resources in the talented act. He is young and vibrant and his style of music is exceptional. He incorporated Afrobeats, Indian sounds, and trap music to create a perfect blend. He is also good at freestyling and after the success of the EP Rema, he dropped another EP Freestyle (a collection of his freestyles).
Many people believe that nobody is more deserving of the rookie award than Rema and is that arguable? His song Dumebi is regarded to be one of the biggest songs of 2019.
Not to be sentimental, but my bet is on Oxlade. And the simple reason why I’m saying this is that Oxlade is an independent artist. He is not benefiting from any reputable platform. The Ojoro crooner has been pushing his music independently and has successfully carved a path for himself.
Asides giving us hit singles like Questionnaire, Shugar, and Legend, Oxlade has collaborated with various prominent names including Juls, Falz, Melvitto, DJ Tunez. His vocals are unbelievably insane. He’s on a quick rise to the top and there’s no stopping him.
Surely, no one would be surprised should Oxlade secure the rookie of the year award for himself.
As long as you can give Nigerians hit songs, you have them by the jugular. And Joeboy has given us hits. From his massive hit single Baby to the follow-up single Beginning to his appearance on Dj Voyst‘s Gbese. The singer earned himself a spot on Mr. Eazi‘s Empawa after his cover of Ed Sheeran‘s Shape of You went viral on social media.
Listening to Joeboy, it is clear that he has the potential to become one of the hottest acts in the Nigerian music industry. His sound is fresh and he is a strong contender for the Rookie of the Year award