The Nigerian music industry now trolls with the finest show offs it could ever have boasted of. And this has made it painstakingly impossible for us to come into the awareness of those with the actual talent and skill for such. Away from the Timi’s and Bez’ and Praiz’, Brymo’s, Banky W’s, Nosa’s and Cobhams’, I wanna show you some other guys who are equally (or almost) as baddass as the afore-mentioned but might never be seen in such revered light because hierarchical profiling (no thanks to us, fans) and genre defines have already driven a fine, blinding wedge in that.
Find below, a top 6 non-sequential count of the most underrated male vocalists in Nigeria as of now.
Sojay (real names Chinedum Samuel Okorie) far as I’m concerned, tops the list of those silky smooth and beard gang tenors whose voices can literally send crisp chills down your spine. His unquenchable thirst for GOOD MUSIC has defined his choice of R&B. The adept singer-songwriter now signed to Reminisce’s label, hit gold with his a musical cover of Drake’s Marvin’s Room in 2013. This went on to becoming an all-time fan favourite.
He dusted himself off his stint with Trybe Records and began his life as a deserving superstar once he started writing and featuring on materials with Reminisce. Joining Les Roses Rouges Records became the upturn of events that has paid off immensely for Sojay. At present, his recently released EP, SoFar SoJay, which was welcomed to very positive reviews from music pundits in the industry, has one of the most trended R&B singles/video. You guessed it! – The lewd titled song, Fook You.
Obinna Michael is another very underrated male voice in the Nigerian music. You should know him by the mononym which he propagates his music – Byno.
Byno entered into fame after a myriad appearances on talent hunt shows, all of which didn’t exactly meet with an expected end. But it sure broadened our auditory horizons on the singer’s vocal prospects especially after a couple independent releases and features with industry weights including Shaydee, Splash and M.I (the great)
Byno’s rich tones can be tied to a variety of music classics including Rihanna’s Stay, John Legend’s All of Me and Sam Smith’s Stay With Me. You can easily tell how much a show off he can be that moment he grabs the mic, but he still remains quite underappreciated especially for his vocal rank and designs.
Should Tjan need any introduction? Okay, maybe a little. His names are Tijani Fowosere, and he breathes this life of music like it’s the second air of survival his existence depends on. Tjan has otherwise been referred to as ‘Naija’s Best Secret’… but I prefer to say he’s ‘Naija’s Sweetest Discovery’ since this era of R’n’B now peddled by the young.
If you think Banky W and Iyanya are stunting on ’em ladies with their silk High Notes, then you should hear Tjan’s remodeled version of all that vocal charade. He recently put out a new Cobhams-produced track titled “Aduke“, which is fast growing on music sweethearts and he is equally famed for big singles including, I Love You So and Hey Mama.
Make no mistake, Sammy Yakubu might be an underground trotter in pop music but he’s got a voice that can still stormy waters. Of course, literally I mean.
He’s no small boy to the industry having joined vocal association with the likes of Praiz, Simi, Niyola, Banky W, Shaydee, Sound Sultan, Lami Phillips, Rotimi and Tekno. Sammy is signed to X3M Music and has coasted off a variety of high profile performances exclusively for the elite. When he is not melting hearts away at corporate gigs, you can find him giving Praiz a run for his megabucks in the studio where he’s often a very handy vocal assist. Sammy was featured on the track ‘Lost In You’ off Praiz’ double-disc debut album, Rich & Famous. He can be tied to a handful of notable releases including a mixtape from far back as 2011.
That’s like one of my favourite vocal signature intros.
Everybody is pretty much aware of the Reeky Banks story to glory. Doesn’t mean our tough standards has let him off easy and with 2 pats on his back. Regardless, he hasn’t relented on yet proving himself. Reekado Banks is gradually building his artiste profile into becoming one of the voices of this musical generation. His sheer ability to vibe and bounce impressively on tracks is the kind that has only ever been associated with Wizkid. It is also a hidden truth that we love songs like Dorobucci and Adaobi (more) simply because he sentiments our minds very dearly with his vocal deliveries.
With proper guidance and amazing direction, I dare say that Reekado Banks will take on a Timi Dakolo, of course with grueling effort. But since he’s a different turf runner, we’re fine with the Tiwa Savage-featured Turn It Up, Chop Am and Oluwa Ni.
Korede Bello has an unusual technique to belting out his soft vocals. He coos out his melodies and I think that’s just about the cutest thing any guy can do in music. Armed with the knowledge of the functionalities in his dynamic order of a voice, he has slayed to particular relish on musical treaties such as the Asa-featured Somebody Great, African Princess and not forgetting the all-time fan favourites, Godwin and the Tiwa Savage-featured Romantic.
Korede may not be vocally versed like many of his male singing counterparts, but he sure knows just how well to work his caramel voice into diverse ways that suits his listening audience. And that is one tiny but really big detail that has been carelessly overlooked by most music peddlers in the industry.