World Music Day: 10 Nigerian songs that took Afrobeats to the World


Afrobeats, the infectious fusion of African rhythms and Western pop influences, has gained global recognition and acclaim in recent years.

Nigeria, with its rich musical heritage, has been at the forefront of this movement, producing numerous hits that have captivated audiences worldwide. On World Music Day, we celebrate the 10 Nigerian songs that have played a significant role in taking Afrobeats to the world, showcasing the talent and creativity of Nigerian artists.

1. Davido - Fall (2017)

Released in 2017, Davido's Fall became a monumental hit, solidifying his status as one of Nigeria's biggest music exports. The track's catchy melody and infectious beat garnered attention beyond Africa, earning it a spot on global music charts and introducing Afrobeats to a broader audience.

2. Wizkid - Ojuelegba (2014)

In 2014, Wizkid released Ojuelegba, a heartfelt tribute to his hometown in Lagos. The song not only resonated with Nigerians but also struck a chord with listeners worldwide. Its soulful vibe and relatable lyrics propelled Wizkid to international fame, leading to collaborations with renowned artists like Drake and Beyoncé.

3. Burna Boy - Ye (2018)

With its release in 2018, Burna Boy's Ye quickly became an anthem for self-belief and resilience. The track's infectious afro-fusion sound and empowering message resonated deeply with audiences, propelling Burna Boy to global stardom and solidifying his position as a leading figure in the Afrobeats genre.

4. Omah Lay - Soso (2022)

Omah Lay burst onto the global music scene in 2022 with his hit song Soso. The song's smooth blend of Afrobeat and R&B elements, combined with Omah Lay's soulful vocals, captivated listeners around the world. Soso served as a testament to the rising wave of young Nigerian artists making their mark on the international music scene.

5. Rema & Selena Gomez - Calm Down (2022)

In a groundbreaking collaboration, Rema teamed up with global superstar Selena Gomez for the track Calm Down in 2022. The fusion of Rema's vibrant Afrobeat sound and Selena Gomez's pop sensibilities created a unique and refreshing musical experience. This collaboration further solidified the global reach and impact of Nigerian music. It is currently sitting at number 4 on Billboards' Hot 100 Chart.

6. Fireboy DML & Ed Sheeran - Peru (2022)

Fireboy DML joined forces with British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran for the remix of his hit single Peru in 2022. The collaboration showcased the seamless blending of Afrobeats and global pop influences, captivating fans around the world and highlighting the cross-cultural appeal of Nigerian music.

7. Wizkid - Essence ft. Tems (2020)

Another hit from Wizkid's repertoire, Essence featuring Tems, took the world by storm in 2020. The track's captivating melody, smooth vocals, and undeniable chemistry between Wizkid and Tems propelled it to international acclaim. Essence became a summer anthem, transcending borders and introducing Afrobeats to new listeners globally.

8. D'Banj - Oliver Twist (2012)

Released in 2012, Oliver Twist by D'Banj marked a significant turning point for Nigerian music on the global stage. The infectious track, with its fusion of Afrobeats and dance-pop elements, gained immense popularity across continents and showcased the vibrancy and versatility of Nigerian music.

9. 2Baba - African Queen (2004)

African Queen by 2Baba (formerly known as 2face Idibia) is a timeless classic that played a pivotal role in introducing Nigerian music to the international scene. Released in 2004, the song's captivating melody and heartfelt lyrics resonated with audiences worldwide, establishing 2Baba as a global ambassador for Afrobeats.

10. CKay - Love Nwantiti (2019)

CKay's Love Nwantiti became a viral sensation in 2019, taking the Afrobeats wave to new heights. The infectious track, with its irresistible blend of Afrobeats, pop, and dancehall, captured the attention of global audiences and further solidified Nigeria's place on the world music stage.

Honourable Mentions:

  1. Oxlade - Ku Los Sa
  2. Ayra Starr - Rush
  3. Burna Boy - Last Last
  4. Davido - Fall
  5. Yemi Alade - Johnny

These honourable mentions represent the diverse talent and range within Nigerian music, with each song making its mark and contributing to the global popularity of Afrobeats.

On this World Music Day, let us celebrate the immense contributions of Nigerian artists who have taken Afrobeats to the world, sharing their vibrant culture and musical heritage with millions of listeners worldwide. These 10 Nigerian songs, along with many others, stand as a testament to the power of music to transcend borders, connect people, and foster a sense of unity across the globe.