2014 has been a very blessed year in terms of Nigerian music. Most of the hottest musicians of this generation put out plenty material. Be it album, video or single. There was variety. In the spirit of Nigeria’s big music year, a list of the Top 20 Nigerian songs in my opinion has been compiled. These songs are not in anyway my personal favourites but a compilation of the songs I think rocked 2014. The list is subject to my opinion, which culminated from research and obviously creates room for conversation. Lets get talking, which songs are your Top 20? Below is a list of mine:
- Aye – Davido: The 2014 song of the year had to come from the man of the Year. In the summer of 2013 Davido dropped Skelewu which some might regard as 2013’s biggest tune because of the dance and ofcourse the songs effect. Instead of riding on the Skelewu fame for 2014, the self proclaimed Omo Baba Olowo shocked doubters with this well arranged and melodious song ‘Aye’. The song dropped in February 2014 and a video was released shortly. Since then the whole of Africa has sung her heart out. Many people are still in awe of this rendition. The producer T-spice would probably concede to this song as his biggest production ever to date. Davido won more fans with Aye than he did with Skelewu. The brand grew bigger because of Aye. On YouTube, the video has hit over 12 million views since its release this year. That is the most of any Nigerian video released this year. ‘She no want designer, She no want Ferrari, She say na my love’. Need I say more?
- Johnny – Yemi Alade: Like Surulere, Yemi Alade’s Johnny was dropped in 2013. October 2013 to be precise. But this song did not really take off until February 2014. The video dropped in March and it made the song massive this year, taking the songstress to debut album levels. Every girl was certainly looking for her Johnny this year, be it at parties, weddings etc. Yemi also scored awards and nominations this year for this single. Being the most viewed Nigerian song by a Female artiste, Johnny made Yemi Alade the King of Queens in 2014. This song just piped Dorobucci for second. The song was and still is very very big.
- Dorobucci – Mavins (Don Jazzy, Tiwa Savage, D’Prince Dr Sid, Reekado Banks, Korede Bello and D’ija): This Doro song was so mega and super that the Mavins became arguably the hottest Label/ Group in 2014. The song had the ‘booty call’ effect from the now defunct Mo’hits. Don Jazzy certainly used this song to remind Nigeria and Africa that he can still make massive songs and also put out new faces through the involvement of his Mavin 2.0. The word Doro is over used in Nigeria at least and the common argument is who had the best verse on this tune. I feel in a year void of Davido and Yemi Alade, this would have been the biggest Nigerian song.
- Shoki Remix – Lil Kesh Feat Davido and Olamide: I personally think this remix ended the argument about who had the biggest Shoki song. Lil Kesh’s remix to his Shoki single took the song and the dance to another level. Shoki became a major export once the video of this remix premiered. The song might even be the biggest song this year to many people, after all it started a dance and featured vocals from arguably Africa’s hottest singer Davido and rapper Olamide. Lil Kesh is also performing everywhere now and certainly Shoki-ing his way to the top of Nigerian music’s food chain
- Sekem – MC Galaxy: You can’t tell me you didn’t dance or at least attempt to dance Sekem this year. The song was so infectious that MC galaxy was at many events this year. From Weddings to Political declarations. Every body just wanted to dance Sekem. Sekem even earned the crooner a US tour, one, which people with bigger catalogues can only dream about. Oya Sekem!
- Gallardo – Runtown Feat Davido: Runtown’s break out single Gallardo tore the airwaves especially in the first and second quarters of 2014. The song took Runtown from would be star to certified star. It obviously was done with the help of Davido and a man who brought a new sound to the industry this year, T-spice. Gallardo was hot this year and that is why Runtown is nominated in the Headies 2014 Next Rated category.
- Girlie O remix – Patoranking feat Tiwa Savage: Patoranking is one of the highly rated new artist today because of his huge duet with the Mavin records first lady, ‘Girlie O’ remix. I’m sure this song out did even the expectations of Patoranking. His popularity not just in Nigeria but also in Africa has been on the rise simply because of the impact this single has had. He has rightfully been nominated in various categories of different award shows for this single and expects to walk away with the Headies award for Next Rated artiste later this year. ‘Girlie O’ the remix and the original definitely banged this year.
- Surulere – Dr Sid Feat Don Jazzy: Dr Sid’s Surulere was dropped in November 2013 but it really took off in the early parts of 2014 after the video dropped. This song got the once maligned Mavin Dr performing in major shows including the MTV Africa music awards. The song is/was also nominated in many categories for different award shows and earned Dr Sid a nomination for African Artiste of the year at the 2014 MOBO awards. Most might argue that Surulere is a 2013 single but the relevance it garnered this year makes it a 2014 song. It certainly launched off Dr Sid’s career again.
- Double Wahala – Oritse Femi: To some people Oritse Femi’s double wahala might be their biggest song this year. However, it comes at number 9 on this list. This song captivated the hearts of many across the country and the success of the original prompted a remix by the Kokomaster D’banj. The catchy thing about the song must be that it is a rehash of a Fela song. Still a fan favourite and certainly the song that changed Oritse Femi’s music career for better.
- Show you the Money – Wizkid: Wizkid wasn’t as dominant this year as he was in previous years but one of the singles off his sophomore album AYO had to make this list. Show you the money is probably the most popular single off the album asides Last Year’s Jaiye Jaiye single. An infectious tune that gets you dancing Shoki and by the way, Wizzy the girls would dance if you show them your wallet. Hot tune.
- Alobam – Phyno: If you start a new slang through a song then that song is/was definitely a hit. Phyno’s 2014 single Alobam is probably the rap single of 2014. From the moment his NO GUTS NO GLORY album dropped the fan favourite was Alobam, which means ‘My guy’. The streets love this jam a lot and it received massive airplay nationwide. Phyno is arguably the King of Rap in Nigeria this year because of Alobam, taking nothing away from the other hot singles off his album
- Shake Body – Skales: Many thought it was over for the Ex EME artiste and now Baseline general Skales’ music career till he dropped the massive Shake Body song. Shake Body became a gym favourite for many but was also very infectious in the clubs and on the streets. The song is so big that it seems to have corrected every wrong in the career of the very talented KD born rapper/singer. Skales is performing at packed arenas these days and that is a testament to the ‘Shake Body’ effect.
- Baby Hello – Wande Coal: The black diamond had a very quiet year in terms of material and by his high standards but was still able to give this very hot tune. Produced by Maleek Berry, Baby Hello was big and hot enough to keep Wande Coal relevant as we await his anticipated second album.
- Emergency – Wizzy Pro feat Runtown, Skales and Patoranking: Emergency is probably the biggest and hottest collaboration of 2014. The infectious Wizzy Pro beats coupled with excellent deliveries by 3 of the hottest acts in 2014 made it a crowd pleaser and a party starter. This song definitely caused an emergency.
- Murda – Seyi Shay feat Patoranking, Shaydee: Seyi Shay had a very big 2014 and many thanks to her hit collaboration with Patoranking and EME’s Shaydee. This song ‘Murda’ received massive airplay and the video was heavily rotated across the major TV stations in Nigeria. Probably the most played video on TV this year? A very well received single which has certainly set the tone for a bigger 2015 for the very adorable and beautiful songstress
- Sanko – Timaya: Can a Year pass without Timaya having a big single? The answer might just be ‘NO’. The Egberi Papa 1 of Bayelsa gave us the ‘Galala’ inspired single Sanko, which evidently got the streets reminiscing about the old days. The song also did damage and is still doing damage on the club scene. Timaya had to drop an album with this kind of massive tune and that he did. Go check out his new album Epiphany
- Banana – Slyde: Many People may not know the name Slyde but his hot single Banana was certainly one of the most played songs in clubs across Nigeria this year, if not the most played. The street also showed love. Little wonder Timaya the self-acclaimed ‘King of Commercial’ jumped on the remix. The name Slyde may not be hot yet but ‘Wa se Banana’ was definitely very hot.
- Taste the Money – P square: P square in their normal fashion did not disappoint this year. They released a highly successful 6th studio album and dropped some heavy singles as well. The heaviest of the singles has to be Taste the money (Testimony). From London to Lagos to Johannesburg to St Lucia, the Okoye Twins got people tasting the money. Far from their best but it still did very well and was one of the hottest tunes in 2014.
- Dance – Tekno: The name Tekno got bigger this year and full thanks have to go to the E Kelly produced banger, ‘Dance’. Every nuke and cranny of Nigeria screamed ‘if I dance you go dance’. This song was definitely a hit and has surely set the stage for a big career for the Triple MG artiste.
- Story for the Gods – Olamide: The controversial track by the consistent Olamide had to make the top 20 songs of the year, If only for the controversy that trailed the song. Asides that, the song was very popular amongst club goers and music lovers, it also served as a very fantastic launch pad for the street rapper to drop his latest album, Street OT.
Chima Emmanuel Aguma
A football writer for supersport.com and music enthusiast