Remember that time when I wrote about how I thought our male artistes were stinking? Yeah well not all of them but I’ll say since then, the tension has pretty much heightened. We’ve seen many new collaborations, more singles have been dropped, albums have been released and surprisingly, show-stopping performances have been nailed to the dot.
This top 10 list is about the male vocalists in the industry whose musical dexterity just can’t be missed especially in their voices and their songs.
Pop and high life music have been overtaken by a wanton show of energy (hype) and dance. But Flavour has stuck to his guns, selling himself as the entire package with the addition of his sonorous tenor to making the trio a perfect combination. Some of his music singles where he showed appreciable vocal prowess are Power To Win, Ololufe, Ada Ada, Shake, Oyi as well as the acoustic renditions I’m For Real and Gollibe. He has also delivered laudable vocals on collabos with Bracket, Iyanya, Tiwa Savage, Phyno, Naeto C, Chidinma and Solidstar.
Afro soul singer, Brymo is perhaps the reason why we loved that Ice Prince song Oleku too much. Brymo has a discography of songs covering four critically successful albums; Brymstone, Son of a Kapenta, Merchant, Dealers & Slave and more recently, his 2014 release “Tabula Rasa“ after running solo from former label, Chocolate City Group. His break out single, Ara as well as other notable releases including Good Morning, We All Need Something, Down, Fe Mi, Dear Child, and Prick No Get Shoulder are all songs that highlight his distinguished voice with constant revelation of emotions, and mostly sung in the Yoruba dialect.
8. WANDE COAL
Right from his days with the now defunct Mo’ Hits crew, WC had always shown prospect as a vocalist and a knack especially for commercially styled R&B/afro pop genre of songs. He featured on the vamp for one of D’Banj’s familiar singles, Why Me, and later getting his big break on the label’s compilation debut with Ololufe, which was adjudged to be one of the greatest love songs ever written by a Nigerian. He’s remained constant with several other on-point releases including Bumper2Bumper, Private Trips, Rotate and Baby Hello, not forgetting his epoch delivery on musical collabos with Patoranking, Flavour and the Ghanaian duo, R2Bees.
There once was a time when I Go Always Pray For You happened to be almost everyone’s ring back/caller tune. It was all thanks to the magic in Nosa Omoregie’s musical and vocal artistry. That song particularly grew on everyone and I dare say it had too much to do with the manner at which he executed voicing out the lyrics to the song. It was just simply unique! Nosa later got signed to Chocolate City Music and was featured on Brother, off M.I’s latest studio album. His vernacular-styled hook is still every listener’s favourite.
You know you have really big shoes to fill when your father is a renowned Nigerian entertainer with audiences all over the world. Suffice to say that Darey hasn’t failed in living up to these high expectations. Darey was second runner-up at South Africa’s Project Fame series in 2004 and has since then ascended to newer reigns in his stardom. He can be credited for hugely successful singles like Escalade, Fuji and the popular soul ballad, Not The Girl. His most recent single, Pray For Me features the Soweto Gospel Choir and is off his newly released studio album, “Naked“. Darey’s musical policies and how he executes them continue to earn him recognition on a global scale.
Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk razzled and dazzled with show-stopping performances alongside his silky smooth tenor to clinching the first prize at the debut edition of Nigeria’s highly revered music talent hunt, MTN Project Fame. After his debut release failed to reach commercial acclaim, he revamped his style, yet keeping the voice constant. It’s too bad that we never appreciated the beauty of his music on singles like Iyanya and Love Truly but he found ways to make up for with other musical hits including Mr. Oreo, Away, Story Story and more recently, Applaudise. His
vocal star power has him widely associated with acts Seyi Shay, Tiwa Savage, Emma Nyra, Wizkid, Banky W, Flavour and a fine crop of African artistes.
4. BANKY W
Yes, Banky W may have switched music personas in very recent times but he still commands with his usual sway every time he opens up his vocal power. Pumped with a desire to make it and his velvety voice, Mr R&BW hit the Nigerian shores after a hiatus abroad. His musical cover, Ebute Metta to Rihanna’s 2007 hit, Umbrella became his official announcement to the industry. Banky has since then, stayed blazing his trail with top notch deliveries on songs like Strong Tin, Lagos Party, The Way, Good Good Loving, Yes/No, Jaiye Orimi, Mercy and High Notes. He also enjoys vocal association with acts Tiwa Savage, Lynxxx, Wizkid, Niyola, M.I, Sound Sultan, DJ Xclusive and Sarkodie.
Cobhams is one producer extraordinaire with his hands in everything music – even, vocal sounds. Not only is he well-honed in the art of constructing benign musical orchestrations, he belts out those melodies from his signature baritone as he strikes the black and white keys. Timi Dakolo, Omawumi, Bez, Banky W, Darey, 2face, Waje, Chidinma, Stan Iyke and Lami are some of the industry’s best acts that can attest to his unrivaled directorship in music. Although he may not be armed with a repertoire of records like majority of the afore-mentioned, we still bow in obeisance over sonorous numbers like Ordinary People and his gospel medley, I Worship You.
Praiz Adejo can be likened to the John Legend of Africa, and it is obviously tied to the fact that he sounds a terrific lot like the multiple award-winning international artiste. He entered into limelight from a revered music talent hunt where he placed second, showing off his utterly impressive and unequivocal skills to particular relish. No doubt, he’s quite famed for the R&B single Rich and Famous, he has also expended vocal effort (summa cum laude style) on other music material like M.I’s Epic, Bez’ That Stupid Song and a cover version of Rihanna’s Stay. He released his debut album late last year, which was a double-disc showing his versatility in other genres especially afropop and soukous.
1. TIMI DAKOLO
Interestingly, Timi Dakolo also goes by the alias ‘The Voice’. The soul and R&B singer possesses a firebrand tenor that has his heart and soul deeply sewn into it. Timi has been influenced by a string of life experiences that have birthed stellar records like Let It Shine, Heaven Please, Great Nation, Iyawo Mi and Wish Me Well. Using vocal emotion, his rich, deep sounds transcends you past the evoque musical orchestration and into a virtual world that vividly encapsulates the message in his song which are mostly conscious, often in real time and sometimes true life.
Like King M.I would say, the swagger in Burna Boy’s voice is branded! This guy has got serious frosh in his voice and with a signature sing-style that is a fine blend of afro, ragga and contemporary. Di Don Gorgon, Tonight, Run My Race, Rockstar as well as his hook on AKA’s All Eyes On Me are some of the music singles where you can’t miss him showing off his impressive vocal worth. Recently, he’s become a constant vocal feature for many other African recording artistes including AKA, Da L.E.S, Stonebwoy, Sarkodie, and Heavy-K.