Nigerian female musicians have come out of the shadows to reshape the sound of African music and work with other artists around the world.
Ayra Starr, a 20-year-old artist who has been making waves both locally and internationally, is one of the new artists.
Her most recent accomplishment is her song “Ogogoro,” which served as the music for Creed III. The song, which had its premiere on March 3, 2023, was a collaboration between her and the American rapper Bas.
Libianca’s, a Cameroonian-American singer, recently included her in the remix of the song “People” as well.
Temilade Openiyi, often known as Tems, is likewise well-known throughout the world. She just made history when one of the soundtracks for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” earned her an Oscar nomination. Afterwards, “Naatu Naatu,” a song written by Kaala Bhagavad-Gita, M.M. Keeravani, and Rahul Sipligunj for the film “RRR,” won the Best Original Song prize over her.
Her hit single, “Essence,” has also broken charts, making her the first African woman to reach No. 1 on Billboard, performing at prestigious venues like Glastonbury and the 02 Arena, among others, and teaming up with other international superstars like Drake and Future.
Future, Tems, and Drake’s collaboration demonstrates the expanding influence of African music and its acceptance on a worldwide scale. Tems also made history in 2022 when she became the first female musician from Nigeria and Africa to take home the Best International Act honor at the BET Awards.
As more and more female singers become well-known on a global scale, they are dismantling stereotypes and demonstrating that the music industry in Nigeria is not solely dominated by men. These women are transforming Nigerian music and demonstrating that they are just as talented as, if not more so than, their male contemporaries.
Their success has not only served as an example to other female artists but has also provided them with chances that were previously solely offered to male musicians.
One of these female musicians that has established herself on a global scale is Tiwa Savage. Tiwa had been a part of the Nigerian music scene for many years, first as a backing vocalist for performers like Mary J. Blige and George Michael before going solo. In 2018, she became the first female musician from Africa to secure a contract with Universal Music Group. Afrobeats and R&B were combined in her music, which immediately became well-liked in the US and the UK.
She made her debut in 2010, and since then, she has gained popularity both inside and outside of Nigeria. She has amassed a sizable fan base thanks to singles like “Kele Kele Love” and “All Over” and has collaborated with big-name artists like Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Coldplay. She won the MTV Europe Music Award for Best African Artist in 2018 and made history as the first female African musician to do so.
Yemi Alade, who rose to fame with her famous song “Johnny,” is also not far behind. Universal Music Group was drawn to Yemi’s music, which combines Afrobeats, reggae, and R&B, and they offered her a record deal in 2019.
Oyinda Olukanni, the founder of Party Monkz Entertainment and a music executive, said that the success of Nigerian female musicians on the international music scene was a testimonial to their talent and dedication.
“They have surmounted obstacles and broken down barriers to become some of the most well-known and respected artists in the world. As long as these female singers continue to push limits and open doors for younger generations, there is no doubt that Nigerian music will flourish and develop, according to Olukanni.