By Funmilola Olukomaiya
Nigeria is famous for being the home of stars and intellectuals in whatever field they choose to operate.
There’s no gainsaying that Nigeria is blessed with the best brains and entertainers where the entertainment industry is concerned world over.
In no particular order, we have below, 25 youngsters who made our list of top 25 Nigerian under 30 superstars in the entertainment space.
1. Korede Bello
Popular Mavin boy, Korede Bello is a Nigerian singer and songwriter currently signed to Mavin Records. He is best known for his hit single “Godwin”, a semi-gospel and pop song which became a national anthem and topped many music charts across Nigeria. Korede started performing at the age of 7 by the stage name ‘African Prince’ and went on to write his first song after forming a music group with a friend while in primary school. He started music professionally by recording songs in the studio while in secondary school before he went on to release his first single “Forever”. He holds a National Diploma certificate after studying Mass Communication at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism he’s also an Associate Member of the Institute of Information Management.
23-year-old Korede is has won different awards including The Headies Award for Best Pop Single, City People Entertainment Award for Pop Artiste of the Year and others.
Nigerian singer and songwriter, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, known as Wizkid, started recording music at the age of 11 and managed to release a collaborative album with the Glorious Five, a group he and a couple of his church friends formed. He rose to prominence after releasing “Holla at Your Boy”, the lead single from his debut studio album Superstar in 2011. “Tease Me/Bad Guys”, “Don’t Dull”, “Love My Baby”, “Pakurumo” and “Oluwa Lo Ni” were also released as singles from the Superstar album. In February 2014, Wizkid became the first-ever Nigerian musician to have over 1 million followers on Twitter. Wizkid in 2016 achieved international recognition following his collaboration with Drake on the global hit, “One Dance”, which reached number one in 15 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. He also signed in March 2017 with a multi-album deal with RCA Records. Wizkid has collaborated with several other artists and was featured on the hits “Brown Skin Girl” (with Beyonce), “Energy (Stay Far Away)” (with Skepta), “Sexy Mama” (with Iyanya), “Slow Down” (with R2Bees), “The Matter” (with Maleek Berry), “Pull Over” (with KCee) and “Bad Girl” (with Jesse Jagz). Moreover, he became the first Afrobeats artist to appear in the 2018 Guinness World Records for his contribution to “One Dance”. Self-acclaimed Starboy is undoubtedly one of the world’s biggest music stars as well as a monumental superstar. On the 19th of October, 2019, Wizkid made history by being the first African artiste to sell out the O2 Arena in London… twice. Wizkid is 29 years old.
David Adedeji Adeleke, aka Davido, is an American-born Nigerian singer, songwriter and record producer. Davido was born in Atlanta, US, and raised in Lagos; he made his music debut as a member of the music group KB International. His interest in music began while attending Oakwood University in his late teens, and he started making his own beats and investigating music production. He studied business administration at Oakwood University before dropping out to make beats and record vocal references. Davido rose to fame after releasing “Dami Duro”, the second single from his debut studio album Omo Baba Olowo in 2012. Success came quickly for Davido, and he sated his fans with a string of new tracks released over the next several years while work was being done on his sophomore album, The Baddest. Between 2013 and 2017, singles like “Gobe,” “Aye,” and “Pere” among many others, sometimes featuring collaborations with bigger-name rappers like Meek Mill or Young Thug. In the time between albums, Davido also inked a deal with RCA and began his own label, although The Baddest still remained unreleased in mid-2017. The following year saw Davido issue the singles “Wonder Woman” and “NWA Baby.” In 2019, he paired with Chris Brown for the track “Blow My Mind.” Davido is 27 years old.
4. Burna Boy
28-year-old Nigerian singer and songwriter, Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu widely known as Burna Boy, rose to prominence in 2012 after releasing “Like to Party”, the lead single from his debut studio album L.I.F.E which was released in 2013. With his fusion of dancehall, reggae, Afro-beat, and pop, Burna Boy emerged in the early part of the 2010s as one of Nigeria’s fastest rising stars. Over the next five years, Burna released two more albums and collaborated with a variety of artists, from J Hus and Skales to Fall Out Boy and Lilly Allen. His international exposure widened with 2018’s Outside, which hit number three on the Billboard Reggae chart and won the Nigeria Entertainment Award for Album of the Year. In advance of his next LP, 2019’s African Giant, Burna made his first appearance at California’s Coachella festival. In 2017, Burna Boy signed with Bad Habit/Atlantic Records in the United States and Warner Music Group internationally. His third studio album Outside (2018) marked his major-label debut. In 2019, he won Best International Act at the 2019 BET Awards and was announced as Apple Music’s Up Next artist. His fourth studio album African Giant won Album of the Year at the 2019 All Africa Music Awards and was nominated for Best World Music Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.
5. Reekado Banks
Ayoleyi Hanniel Solomon, with the stage name Reekado Banks, is a famous Nigerian singer and songwriter was signed with Mavin Records in 2014 and left the label in 2018. He now owns his own music label, Banks Music. Prior to his record deal with Mavin Records, Reekado went by the stage name Spicy. In 2014, he bagged a bachelor’s degree in History and Strategic Studies from tthe University of Lagos. The musician who was born into a family of movie lovers was declared Rookie of the Year at The Headies 2014, and won the controversial Next Rated award at The Headies 2015. His debut studio album Spotlight was released on 1 September 2016; it debuted at number 10 on the Billboard World Albums chart. Reekado is 26 years old.
6. Regina Daniels
Controversial Nollywood actress, Regina Daniels started acting at the age of seven with her mother, Rita Daniels who is also an actress. She tops the list of the most beautiful and richest teenagers in Nigeria. In 2015, she was nominated by City People Entertainment Award as the best prominent actress in Nigeria. She has won several awards such as best actress of the year at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards and Most Promising Actress in Nigeria at the Africa Movie Academy Awards. In January 2019, Daniels was appointed Atiku Abubakar’s Youth Campaign Coordinator. Ned Nwoko and Regina Daniels got married in 2019, a development that got widely criticized by fans and Nigerians. She will be 20 on the 10th of October.
Multi-talented Nigerian singer, comedian and actor, Folarin Falana aka Falz is a leading artiste and a multi-award winner in the Music industry. The lawyer-turned-musician gained prominence by criticising politicians, police brutality and other social injustices through his songs. He began his career while in secondary school after forming a group called “The School Boys” with his friend before his professional career as a music artist began in 2009. Falz won the hearts of many with his funny Instagram skits but soon became popular after his song “Marry Me” featuring vocals from Poe and Yemi Alade. Falz who describes his style of music as “Wahzup music”, said it is a fusion of comic lyrics with contemporary hip-hop in a faux Yoruba accent. He is 29 years old.
8. Dj Cuppy
27-year-old Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola, famously known as DJ Cuppy, is a musician and entrepreneur with a rapidly increasing empire. She lived in Ilupeju for six years before moving to Ikeja before moving to London for her GCSEs and A-Levels. Cuppy graduated from Queens’s College London in July 2014, with a degree in Business and Economics. She also earned a Master’s Degree in Music Business from New York University in 2015. In 2014 Cuppy was the resident DJ at the MTV Africa Music Awards in Durban. She moved on to play at the Tatler and Christie’s Art Ball in London, and at the Financial Times Luxury Summit in Mexico City. In April 2014, DJ Cuppy was appointed by Nigeria’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation (Edem Duke) as the tourism ambassador for the country’s “Fascinating Nigeria” campaign.
Divine Ikubor widely known as Rema is a Nigerian singer and rapper who rose to prominence with the release of the song “Iron Man”, which appeared on Barack Obama’s 2019 summer Playlist. The singer was born in the year 2000 into a Christian family in Benin City, Edo State where he grew up singing and rapping while in secondary school. In 2019, Rema signed a record deal with D’Prince’s Jonzing World, a subsidiary of Mavin Records. He released his eponymous debut EP Rema in 2019 and it peaked at number 1 on Apple Music Nigeria. On 19 October 2019, Rema won Next Rated and was nominated for Viewer’s Choice at the 13th edition of The Headies. On 12 January 2020, he received the Soundcity MVP for the best new artist.
Nigerian Hip-Hop recording artist and CEO of the YBNL Nation record label, Olamide Adedeji aka Olamide Baddo or Baddo Sneh is loved for his street-based songs mostly sung in his native Yoruba tongue and English language. As a multi-talented artist, he is a constant feature at top awards ceremonies and has received nominations at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards, the Headies Awards, MTV Africa Music Awards and MTV EMAs. Upon leaving Coded Tunes, he started his own record label YBNL Nation in 2012. He is currently 30 years.
11. Kiss Daniel
25-year-old Nigerian pop singer, Oluwatobiloba Daniel Anidugbe, better known as Kiss Daniel, showed interest in music from an early age and received support from his father. He became famous courtesy of his hit singles ‘Woju’ and ‘Laye’. The Water Engineer ditched engineering to pursue music as a full-time career. Even though Kiss Daniel hasn’t been in the music industry for long, it is safe to say that he is a prince among new generation African artistes. Kiss Daniel was the biggest winner at the Headies awards 2016, taking home three awards, one of which was for album of the year. He founded the Fly Boy Inc record label in November 2017.
12. Lil Kesh
Keshinro Ololade known as Lil Kesh, is a Nigerian singer, rapper and songwriter who rose to fame after releasing the hit single “Shoki”. Lil Kesh started his career in music in 2012 when he rapped among his colleagues in Bariga. He released “Lyrically”, a single which became popular at universities in Nigeria. He was nominated in 2015 for the Best New Act at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. As a recording artist affiliated with YBNL Nation, Lil Kesh has established his own record label YAGI Records (an acronym for “Young And Getting It”) and is managed by Massive Management. Lil Kesh is 24 years old.
13. Fireboy DML
24-year-old Adedamola Adefolahan aka Fireboy DML is a Nigerian singer and songwriter signed to Olamide’s YBNL Nation. His debut studio album Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps was released in 2019. His breakthrough single “Jealous” which enjoyed massive airplay first appeared on YBNL Nation’s collaborative album YBNL Mafia Family in 2018, before being re-released on March 25, 2019. He won Listener’s Choice and was nominated for Song of the Year for “Jealous” at the 2020 Soundcity MVP Awards Festival.
14. Johnny Drille
Folk/alternative singer, songwriter, producer, and sound engineer, John Ighodaro popularly known as Johnny Drille, was shot into the spotlight when he released a cover of “Awww” by Di’Ja. The cover introduced him to more listeners. He followed it up with a personal composition, the Christian country/folksy song ‘Love Don’t Lie’ in June of the same year. August 2015, saw the release of the massively accepted ‘Wait For Me’ that top topped most of the Nigerian alternative charts. In February 2016, he released the folksy love song titled ‘My Beautiful Love’. He was a contestant on the 6th Edition of the MTN Project Fame Academy in 2013. In 2016, he was nominated at the Headies for Best Alternative Song for ‘Wait For Me’ and in February 2017, Johnny Drille was officially announced as a Mavin Records artiste. He is 29.
One of Instagram’s most popular comedians, Maryam Apaokagi popularly known as Taaooma became famous through her comedy skits which are tailored to mimic typical Nigerian mothers. She emphasizes on the unique manner African mothers respond to the actions of their children. Popular for her signature slaps as well as her high-pitched voice, her skits have some of the most hilarious contents you would ever see. She was born and raised in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, where she had her early education. She obtained a Bachelors degree in Tourism and Travel Services Management at Kwara State University. Taaooma who recently turned 22 is not about to rest on her oars, as she continues to produce creative comedy skits that make her a household name in the entertainment industry.
Gloria Oloruntobi aka Maraji is a popular Instagram comedian and influencer who came into the limelight courtesy her well envisioned and executed comedy skits which she uses to tell her inner-city Nigerian stories. She is known for creating skits about everything you’ll consider from gossip, mimicking, friendship to film and TV. She is also great at mimicking numerous Nigerian peculiarities for humour and empirical relevance. She was born on February 6, 1997.
Music star, Augustine Miles Kelechi popularly known Tekno was in 2012, spotted by renowned Nigerian comedian Julius Agwu at an event in Abuja after which he received a standing ovation following the performance of a song titled “Onye Ne Kwu”, his remix of Ice Prince’s “Oleku”. On October 5, 2013, he signed a recording contract with Made Men Music Group, under which he released singles like “Dance” and “Anything”. These singles won him a nomination in the “Best New Act of the Year” category at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. In June 2018, Tekno signed a distribution deal with Universal Music Group Nigeria (UMGN), a division of Universal Music Group in charge of West Africa, as well as the UK-based Island Records. He is 27 years old.
18. Lasisi Elenu
Nosa Afolabi widely known as Lasisi Elenu is a talented Instagram comedian who reaches out to his fans on social media, especially Snapchat and Instagram, where he disguises his face and voice for his signature comic effect. He gained traction on social media in 2017 with a comedy routine that mimicked the perpetual frustration every Lagosian is familiar with. Lasisi Elenu has since become a regular on the speaking circuit, sitting on panels like the Handle It Africa Conference hosted by Penzarville, The Awakening organized by Access Bank and a feature in the Nollywood film ‘The Ghost and the Tout’ and ‘Made In Heaven’. He is 28 years old.
19. Naira Marley
Controversial hip-hop artiste, Azeez Fashola aka Naira Marley is the president of his controversial fan base, “Marlians”. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria but moved to Peckham, South London, England at age 11. He studied at Porlock Hall before attending Walworth School, where he obtained his General Certificate of Secondary Education. Naira Marley graduated with a distinction in Business from Peckham Academy. He also studied business law at Crossways College (now Christ the King Sixth Form College). He began singing in 2014 after discovering his passion for music and was encouraged by close-knit friends to pursue music. He then released the Max Twigz-assisted track “Marry Juana” before releasing his debut EP Gotta Dance in 2015. In December 2017, he released the Olamide and Lil Kesh-assisted single “Issa Goal”, which became the theme song for the Super Eagles at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The official remix of “Issa Goal” was later released in June 2018. He is the pioneer of AfroBashment. The controversial singer is 25 years old.
20 Teni Apata
27-year-old award-winning Nigerian singer, Teniola Apata better known as Teni the Entertainer swiftly rose to fame and stardom in the Nigerian music industry because people could relate to her lyrics which are versatile, as anything around her inspires her. She released her debut single, ‘Amen’ under the Shizzi Magic Fingers Record Label. In 2017, Teni left Shizzi magic fingers and signed with Dr Dolor Entertainment, where she released a single, ‘Fargin’ in September. Teni experienced her breakthrough in the Nigerian music industry after she released ‘Askamaya’, ‘Case’ and ‘Uyo Meyo’. She won the 2018 Headies ‘Rookie of the Year’, 2018 Best New Artiste at the Soundcity MVP Awards Festival, as well as, the Most Promising Act to Watch at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards in 2018. She was a nominee at the 2018 BET Awards ‘Best New International Act’.
21. Sydney Talker
Egere Syndey widely known as Sydney Talker became famous as one of the most talented Nigerian Instagram comedians with his numerous rib-cracking skits. He is one of the new comedians in the Nigerian comedy industry. The ‘Towel guy’ as fondly referred to is known for his unique comedic facial expressions which he has helped him in depicting his characters without stress. He graduated from the University of Benin with a degree in Computer Science. In 2015, he shared his first comedy skit which was about the “Power of Tongue” but rose to the limelight in the year 2019 after he made a comedy video with Davido. Sydney Talker is 24 years.
22. Chinko Ekun
Nigerian rapper, Oladipo Olamide Emmanuel, popularly known as Chinko Ekun, became a person of interest in the music industry after his impressive freestyle performance at the 2017 edition of Olamide Live in Concert. His passion for music started at age 7 but he started doing music while in secondary school. Professionally, Chinko Ekun began his music career in 2011 with ‘Ekun’ as his first official track. After making some waves, he caught the Olamide’s attention of Olamide and later joined YBNL Nation label in 2015. Barely a year later, he exited the record label after his contract expired and in 2017, he joined Dek-Niyor Entertainment, a Dubai based record label. He will turn 27 in September.
23. Zainab Balogun
Media girl, Zainab Balogun is a memorable face in Nollywood although she only recently became a household name. Born in London to Nigerian parents, Zainab has been featured in several international campaigns for different brands. She co-founded “The J-ist TV”, an online entertainment web-series that highlights African culture and a range of topical issues; the series features interviews involving some of Africa’s top personalities. Her more notable appearances include ‘The Wedding Party’, ‘The Royal Hibiscus Hotel’ and ‘Ojukokoro’ which has garnered her critical acclaims. She will be 30 on the 10th of October.
24. Bimbo Ademoye
Multi-talented Nollywood diva, Bimbo Ademoye who is known for her roles in ‘The Backup Wife’, ‘Diary of a Crazy Nigerian Woman’ and ‘Desperate House girls’, started her acting career in 2014 with a short film by Eva George titled, ‘Where Talent Lies’. With many acting credits in her kitty, she is one of the hottest in Nollywood. Bimbo turned 29 on February 4.
25. Wofai Fada
Nigerian Comedienne and actress, Wofai Samuel aka Wofai Fada, grew to fame for her hilarious skits on Instagram. In 2019, she launched her restaurant, JustAfang &Yogiegee Restaurant in Lekki, Lagos State. Apart from being a talented media girl and a communications executive, she has experience in the Oil & Gas, Global Trade & Finance, Power & Energy Sectors respectively. Wofai Fada would be 29 in September.
NOTE: This list is not exhaustive. Do let us know your favourites who didn’t make our list in the comment session.
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