Events that shaped 2015
As the curtain is drawn on 2015, the year would go down in the annals of Nigerian entertainment as one of the most eventful. The year brought into the limelight Kiss Daniel whose hit song, Woju, became a runaway hit. It was also the year Olamide ruled the industry and Harrysong gave us one of his most creative songs ever, Reggae Blues. 2015 was equally the year Tuface Idibia got ‘Fortified’ as he clocked 40 and marked the event with a celebration that brought the industry to a standstill. Here are the events that shaped the music industry in the outgoing year.
Reggae Blues: Creative Song of the Year
Though, he’d been on the scene since 2011, Harrysong (Harrison Tare Okiri) will remember 2015 as the year he released one of the most popular songs of his career. Currently trending, Reggae Blues, which has won Harrisong the prestigious The Sun Creative Person of the Year award, is indeed a breath of fresh air. It has the potential of dictating trends far into 2016 and beyond.
Olamide still sitting on the throne
This year, YBNL honcho, Olamide emerged as the most searched Nigerian musician on Google, and it was for good reason. His hit track, Melo Melo, leads the pack of top 10 trending songs in Nigeria. Indeed, The Most Outstanding Artiste of the Year Award should go to Olamide. Badoo, as he is popularly called, recorded massive hits and collabos, and the climax was Bobo, which won him numerous awards including AFRIMA’s. His album, Eyan Mayweather, is currently heating up the charts; and in 2015, he has definitely consolidated his hold on the industry.
Kiss Daniel: Revelation of the Year
Known for hits like Woju, Shoye, Laye and Good Times, the act known as Kiss Daniel hit the limelight in 2014 and since then he has never looked back! Indeed, Woju has earned the G-Worldwide Entertainment’s act 11 straight weeks on the MTV Base Official Naija Top 10 and six weeks at the number one spot. The remix of Woju, featuring Tiwa Savage and Davido, peaked at Number 1 and Number 2 respectively on the MTV Base Official Naija Top 10, the first time an original song and its remix would peak at the first and second positions on the chart. In May 2015, Daniel released a single, Laye, which is still making waves. Definitely, this singer is surely one of the acts to watch out for in 2016.
Aity Dennis’ miracle twins
One of the stories that dominated 2015 is no doubt Aity Dennis’ delivery of a set of twins 24 years after marrying her hubby, Pastor Dennis Inyang. Indeed, it was with joy that the couple welcomed the babies. No wonder, they held a special thanksgiving service and concert to celebrate the miracle.
Skibii’s ‘death’ and Five Star Music
Was it just a publicity stunt or was it for real? That was the question on the lips of everyone when the news of Skibii’s ‘death’ broke. Indeed, the industry was thrown into shock following the news, not because of his popularity but also because of his association with KCee’s Five Star Music. The incident culminated in the sack of Soso Soberikon, manager of the platform.
However, when Soso turned up at Nigerian Entertainment Conference as representative of Five Star Music, tongues started wagging. A few weeks later when Skibii dropped a single, nobody needed a soothsayer to know that the entire story could have been a publicity stunt. But then, Skibii did get his five minutes of fame and made the best use of it. Thanks to the video of his single, Sampu, which was released a short while after.
Korede Bello finally finds his voice
It was another year of growth for Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records, as new kid on the block, Korede Bello, finally found his voice after his single, Godwin, was unleashed on Nigerians. Although, he had been on the platform for a while, the release of Godwin finally gave him a music identity, defining him as an independent artiste on the Mavin platform. The song broke the gospel/secular barrier, as it became a national anthem and was popularly sang in churches, As 2016 beckons, Nigerians can’t wait for his much anticipated album.
LIJF and the return of Labule
Two events that defined jazz music in 2015 were Inspiro’s Productions’ Lagos International Jazz Festival (LIJF) and Labule. Held at Freedom Park, Lagos late April, LIJF remains the talk of the town as it featured five stages and a host of local and international jazz artistes. With the success of the events, jazz music lovers are definitely looking forward to the 2016 encore.
Tiwa Savage becomes mom
Despite criticisms and controversies that trailed her marriage in 2014, Tiwa Savage forged ahead with her manager/hubby, Tee Bills. The pair had their first baby, a boy, a couple of months ago. Fans were thrilled when pictures of the little tot popped up on the social media. Meanwhile, word is rife that the singer is poised to make a grand return to the industry with the release of a brand new album in 2016.
Tuface’s 40th birthday and book launch
It was one of the most celebrated events of 2015 and it attracted stakeholders from all walks of life. Tuface Idibia’s 40th birthday celebration and the launch of his biography, A Very Bad Good Guy, remains one of the biggest events of the year. Tagged ‘Fortyfied’, the birthday concert, which held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Sunday September 20, 2015, attracted the crème de la crème of the industry.
Oritsefemi and his many controversies
For self-acclaimed Musical Taliban, Oritsefemi, 2015 was an eventful year. Aside breaking up with his love of many years, Blessing Bawa, the singer also found love in the arms of fast rising singer, Adasounds. However, assassins were said to have attacked the controversy-prone star, which culminated in his crashing of his brand new Range Rover Envogue presented to him a few days earlier by his label. The climax was when he fired Danko, his manager of many years.
Dan Maraya Jos quits the stage
After over six decades of churning out hit after hit, the death of Dan Maraya Jos came as a rude shock to Nigerians. Described as a great musician, who popularised Kutigi, a style of music based on one-stringed music instrument, Dan Maraya was known for his activism. He adopted his name which means ‘Little Orphan of Jos’ to express his love for orphans.
Cynthia Morgan, Burna Boy in love tango
Whether this pair was dating or it was just a publicity stunt is not clear. However, one thing that stands out is that after the pictures popped up on the Internet, it got tongues wagging, as fans started asking ‘what’s up’ with the duo.
AFRIMA redefines music awards
Nigeria played host to Africa when it hosted the continent’s biggest music awards last month. Indeed, the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) remains a popular topic of debate, as music buffs continue to evaluate the impact the awards had on the African music industry. Now, expectations are high for the next edition, which holds in November 2016.
D’banj’s 10th anniversary and debt controversy
One story that made screaming headlines early this year was that Koko Master, D’banj, was flat broke and indebted to the tune of over N200 million. But then, the musician proved detractors wrong when he staged a superlative 10th anniversary concert on January 31, with the host being American superstar, Amber Rose. It was a crème de la crème affair as the likes of Banky W, Praiz, Lami Phillips, Yvonne Ekwere, Kemi Adetiba, Toke Makinwa, Tola Odunsi, Ehiz, Shaydee, Charles Ahize, Wizkid, Davido, Phyno, Seyi Shay, and Emmanuel Ikubese graced the event.
Endorsements and deals
For most Nigerian acts, 2015 will go down as a year they inked multi-million naira endorsement deals. Earlier in the year, Airtel led the pack by signing up Tuface Idibia, IK Osakioduwa, Phyno and Patoranking as its Smart Icons, while Seyi Shay joined Wizkid and Tiwa Savage at Pepsi as brand ambassadors. Others that also raked in millions of naira in endorsement deals included Don Jazzy, Iyanya, Omawunmi, Mi, Bez, and Flavour.
Timaya, Teckno, Adekunle Gold and Wande Coal also made their marks in 2015.