1st List: Top 10 breakout musicians of 2019

1st List: Top 10 breakout musicians of 2019


There is time for everything and everyone. On this episode of 1st List, we are unravelling the ten musicians who made it big in 2019.


In 2019, youngsters flocked the Nigerian music industry with enthralling vibes. Announcing their arrival, they surfaced with groundbreaking hits here and there.


The newbies in the game emerge with their own sauce, sound and most importantly, their own voice also.


The future of the Nigerian music industry is in impeccable hands; creative souls that aim to promote the image of Afrobeat.


There is no time to sleep on the bicycle; the new breeds know their aim and objective. Rema who is 19, also released 3 EPs within six months of his introduction into the mainstream media. Don Jazzy who is the CEO of Mavins record, unveiled Rema and Crayon to the world, the latter is still gradually garnering momentum. Note, Crayon will not be included on the list because he is yet to have a considerable hit song.


The competition in the Nigerian music industry is fierce, although, there is always room for improvement, however, there isn’t enough room to slouch. The industry does not cater for slow learners, Wizkid’s protegees Terri Starboy and Cesar Milli are yet to carve out their own individual careers.



Reasons are best known to Wizkid why his youngsters are yet to attain considerable push in the industry. His artistes are quite talented; however, they have failed to meet up with the criteria to appear on 1st News breakout superstars of 2019.


ALSO READ: 1st List: Top 10 music albums of 2019


In 2018, Teniola Apata shook the entertainment with her charisma as well as numerous hit singles. Further, we saw Zlatan Ibile emerge with his own legacy. He gave us the gibberish slang, ‘Kapaichumarimarichopaco’; which has since catapulted him into mainstream success.


The breakout musicians of the year

Musicians and creatives spend numerous years in the underground; promoting their artwork independently; awaiting the day they will come into the limelight. Youngsters are voraciously anticipating the day they’ll hear thousands of people screaming their lyrics back at them.


The underground scene knows no boundaries; it is no respecter of age neither does it care about the talent and potential of the budding artiste. In Nigeria, there are hundreds of vocalists; however, only a lucky few attain a commendable level of success.


Things are a lot different nowadays, since the advent of social media; fledgling musicians are able to promote their music online. Some of the social streaming platforms include- Youtube, Spotify, Deezer, etc.


ALSO READ: Ycee fails to garner momentum on ‘YceeVsZaheer’ album

In the meantime, 1st News is about to unravel the ten best breakout musicians of the year.


  1. Tems

23-year-old Alte singer, Tems caught the attention of the world when her single ‘Try Me’ surfaced online. The music video received heavy rotation on MTV and Hip TV. The talented songstress also received a nomination at the 2019 Headies Award.

She has been dubbed the Princess of Alte due to her fashion style and the theme of her music. 2020 promises to be a great year for the talented lad, in fact, she has released two other fascinating singles, ‘Mr Rebel‘ and ‘Looku Looku’.



2. Joeboy

A couple of weeks ago, Joeboy released his first body of work titled, Love & Light EPHe is currently signed to Mr Eazi‘s EmPawa Music.

Joeboy’s hit single ‘Baby’ paved way for the songster who was nominated in the ‘Next Rated’ category at the 2019 Headies Award. Joeboy showed the world that he isn’t a one-hit-wonder, he went on to release ‘beginning‘ and ‘don’t call me back’. His music is predominantly for individuals who are suckers for love.

2019 has been great for Joeboy, he needs to put in more work in 2020 to reveal to his audience that he can make more than a 5-track EP.


More musicians breaking forth


3. Good Girl LA

Good Girl LA is an embodiment of beauty, talent and swag. The adorable songstress mentioned in an interview that she aims to empower women with her music; she is gradually coming into her own.

Her music is confrontational and opinionated, interestingly, she claims to be a staunch lover of Burna Boy. This explains her hunger for success and urge to differ from the norm.

Good Girl LA’s song “Bless me” is nothing short of a beautiful masterpiece in the simple message it portrays.


4. Blaqbones

Blaqbones aka Mr Bomabastic has been in the underground scene for a long time. He has won virtually every local competition, he is finally coming into his own.

He is currently signed to Chocolate City.

BlaqBonez is a Nigerian rapper; popular for winning Terry Tha Rapman’s Zombie Competition.

Blaqbonez won the Tosin Adeda’s Radio Palm Wine in 2015 alone; and emerged 1st runner-up in Vector’s King Kong competition and won the Rhythm FM Freestyle Fury.

Furthermore, he became Rhythm Fm’s artiste of the month; he was also the Hennessy Vs class captain, part of the Sound city blast cypher.

He also released his much talked about mixtape CTAT “Cassette Tapes and TVs” grossing over 60,000 engagements in streams and downloads; which is his third mixtape, following hip-hop in Blaq and the “unfinished EP”.

The artiste has alter egos named Rasaki and President Emeka, which he uses to rap in English and Yoruba.

Blaqbonez also made the list of five rappers on the hip-hop radar in 2016 by Talk Glitz and also Ten rappers to watch out for in Africa by opinion polls.


5. Soft


Soft, a second-generation Afrowave singer has gained modest popularity in 2019. His song ‘money’ featuring Wizkid introduced him to a new fanbase.

Soft whose real name is Collins Uche Faith, it appears; is beginning to taste what being a superstar feels like as he seems to be cashing out pretty well.

The Tattoo crooner who is signed to Dagogo Records, recently wowed fans as he took to social media to flaunt his newly acquired white Benz worth millions of naira.


6. Oxlade

Oxlade real name Ikuforiji Abdulrahman Olaitan is currently one of the young new acts tagged to change the face of the Nigerian and African music Industry.


7. Ckay

On August 30, 2019, CKay released his second EP, the 8-track CKay The First

From the EP, he released the potential hit, ‘Way’ which features label mate, DJ Lambo. The single wonderfully merges an interpolation of Beethoven’s ‘5th symphony’ with a memorable experience.

Beethoven’s concerto piano mergse with elements of afrobeat percussion.


8. Fireboy DML

Adedamola Adefolahan also called Fireboy DML was born on the 5th of February 1996.

Meanwhile, reports indicate he was signed to Olamide’s YBNL records as a replacement for Adekunle Gold. His debut studio album, Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps has set him on the path towards greatness; and there is nothing holding him back.

His hit singles ‘Jealous’ and ‘King’ are the most popular songs to air in 2019.


The biggest breakout musicians of 2019


9. Rema

Don Jazzy’s protegee, Rema surfaced in March 2019 with his eponymous debut music project. The singer has released two more EPs this year and has gone on to win the ‘Next Rated’ award at the 2019 Headies Awards.

Born Divine Ikubor, Rema grew up in Nigeria’s bustling Benin City, near the country’s southern coast.

He was forced to mature early on after his father died from asthma-related issues when Rema was only 8 years old.

Rema’s EP marks a new era for the label; and perhaps for Nigerian pop music at large.

On “Iron Man,” he lets loose eccentric melodies; that would make some assume he hails from the same Atlanta neighbourhood that birthed Young Thug.

It features four distinct tracks that introduce the country to his youthful take on Afropop. EP incorporates a medley of Western influences and a soft voice that makes every word sparkle.

Rema is rapidly carving a career for himself.


10. Naira Marley

Naira Marley has been in the music scene for a long time. In 2018 he released the single, ‘Issa Goal’ which served as the national anthem for football fans of the Nigerian national team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

‘Issa Goal’ featured numerous artistes including Tiwa Savage and Simi; however, Naira Marley fizzled into obscurity months after the World Cup tournament came to its conclusion. At the time, Marley was just a regular singer with talent; however, he wasn’t considered an elite in the industry until his hit single ‘Soapy’ hit the airwaves.

Prior to Marley’s emergence as the most popular musicians of 2019; he was remanded in EFCC custody over fraud allegations.

He has since transitioned into a monster hitmaker. Naira Marley has since released ‘Puta‘; ‘Bad influence‘; and ‘Am I a yahoo boy?’. Everything this controversial artiste touches has translated into gold.

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