Nigeria’s contemporary music industry has come a long way. From when wanna-be artists were hustling DJs for instrumentals to the futile search for properly structured labels and distribution channels.
Though still bedeviled by piracy, the industry has found some rhythm and feeding off the digital market, it has produced global hits and stars.
With fortunes to be made in the industry, just as is the case with football, it is now really cool to pursue a career in music. Ask Falz.
Unfortunately, it’s not every Adekunle that struck Gold and found Orente that has been able to follow it up.
Yes, one hit wonders abound. In fact, they are legion and we bring you the “fairest of them all” in no particular order.
Professor Linkin – Jogodo (2004)
At a time when the likes of Zule Zoo and Mad Melon & Mountain Black were stars, Professor Linkin’s 2004 weed anthem “Jogodo” played in clubs across the country effectively running the streets.
But just like American artist Afroman who disappeared after his 2002 Grammy nominated weed anthem “Because I got High”, Professor Linkin has remained the artist who asked us to pass him the “rizzla and the ganja”.
Sky B – I’m calling (Ma Bebe) (2007)
Where to start… In the case of the artist called Sky B, not many are surprised he fell off. Was he ever on? His track “Pray for me”, an unforgivable attack on everything Eminem achieved with “Stan”, was widely ridiculed for his horrible rap skills.
But then, Sky B’s I’m calling (Ma Bebe) became an unlikely hit, with its infectious hook. Looking back at the video now, one can’t help but pray that those featured in it have thick skin.
DSmart – Pikin (2007)
DSmart’s comedic track Pikin, released around 2007, had a similar impact to Harrysong’s “Reggae Blues”. It, however, lacked the latter’s quality. But back then a song with a little child insisting he wants to drink small stout was amusing and entertaining. And that was that for the artist.
A conscious track, “Wey the work”, which highlighted the plight of graduates in the country went largely unnoticed and a remix of Pikin – “Pikin don Repent” only announced that his career was over.
Marvelous Benji – New Dance
At a time when people were crazy about trying every possible dance style in a country where people just love to get down, a good dance track was never going to pass by unnoticed. And Marvelous Benji’s New Dance wasn’t just a dance track; it was an anthem for Suo, the rave of the time after Konto and Garala. To it, everyone moved their backs “as if them wan broke” just the way the artist wanted them to. It turned out to be the only marvelous track from an act who named himself Marvelous.
AY.com Pass me your love (2009)
In 2009 AY.Com collaborated with Ginger Master Terry G to drop this mega hit. Initially mistaken as a Terry G number, Pass me Your Love received massive airplay across the country. But after fans passed their love to AY.Com he left them heartbroken by failing to deliver. Too much love ruins some careers, I guess. Well, he asked for it.
Konga – Baby Konga (2003
“See Konga, Baby Konga…” was about the only thing majority of listeners heard from the 2003 club banger “Baby Konga” by Lawal Olumo who went by the stage name, Konga. The reason was because he sang the song in Eno, a language that was little-known across the country. But who cared whether we didn’t hear a thing he said besides “See Konga, Baby Konga?” After rocking to Awilo and dozens of Makosa songs, the rhythm of Baby Konga was enough to keep us going. Although Konga went on to feature on another hit on this list, he has been unable to come up with another track anywhere close to this.
Kelly Handsome – Maga Don Pay
Around 2008, Kelly Handsome hit the scene with Maga Don Pay. With Nigeria battling to improve its advance-fee-fraud-battered image, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission allegedly didn’t find the “yahoo, yahoo”-promoting song funny. But the street didn’t mind too much, singing “Hallelujah” along with KH. But then the artist forgot about his career, choosing instead to start beef with MI and take shots at the likes of Don Jazzy. And that is where the story ends. Years later, we remember KH mainly on lists like this.
Kas – Fimile
You may not remember Kas Lionheart Jonathan aka KAS, but into Naija hits for up to seven years, you may recall a hit track called “Fimile” from 2010. Well KAS was the artist behind the track, which went on to win an award and prepare Nigeria for a new star.
You don’t believe the hype? You should, the song was so big on the scene that the new artist put out a remix featuring two of the biggest name in the industry at the time, Tuface and Dbanj. Well dude couldn’t follow it up. The result is a spot on this list. What? Fimile!
Bigiano – Shayo
When your song gets nominated for an MTV Africa award, surely, the stage is set for you. That is precisely what the 2009 hit track “Shayo” did for Babalola “Bigiano” Olugbenga.
The video was shot in South Africa, the music was played everywhere and the stage was set… and then we were forced to conclude that the shayo dulled Bigiano’s creativity. Opportunity gone.
Soty – Malaria
When Soty dropped feel-good love song Malaria mid-2000, many looked forward to more beautiful songs from the artist. It was not to be. It’s hard to find another song by the artist. Such a shame.
Adaz – Zarokome
About the same time Nigerian’s were swinging to Soty’s Malaria, Adaz came up with an equally great love song about parental interference, something many Nigerians relate to. It turned out music wasn’t the one for Adaz. We hope he had fun with Zarokome though. Hey, he deserves it.
Debee – Collabo
Eight years after Collabo hit it big for Debee, the artist fell off. We guess he couldn’t get the collabos he really desired.
Big Lo – Delicious (ft 2 Shotz) (2004)
Soul E – Soul E Baba Dey Here (2007)
Let’s keep this simple. Some people expected Soul E to be as big as Tuface after he dropped this hit. Even though 2 Baba featured him on his 2006 song E Be Like Say, Soul E Baba ended up here.
DJZeez – 4Kasibe
Morachi – Hapuya Lyke Dat (2007)
One of the biggest hits of 2007 was Morachi’s Hapuya Lyke Dat. Dude had the energy and confidence common with acts such as Flavour, albeit without the sex appeal. The video of the song also helped boost it. But then, that is that about that and his career.
Resonance – Chinwe Ike
2006 hit Chinwe Ike put Resonance on the map. The song was so successful that Tuface got in on the remix. And though Resonance got a lot of love for it, it apparently wasn’t enough to keep the hits coming.
X Project – Lorile (ft Konga)
Now this song was nominated for Best Collabo at the 2008 Headies. It’s such a shame X Project fell off. Okay, we don’t mean that.
Meanwhile for the records, Konga is a one hit wonder who was featured by another one hit wonder. How is that for a record?
Who did we leave out?