Popular Artists

By: Cara Haley

The Nigerian background is found within many musical artists today. However, Nigeria only has a select few artists that were born in Nigeria and have pursued a career in Nigerian music. The genre that is popular throughout Nigeria is called Afro-beat. Afro-beat is a mixture of jazz, funk, rock, and the traditional West African music. Many Nigerian artists place themselves in this genre of music.

Abolore Adegbola Akande


Abolore Adegbola Akande, or better known as 9ice, is a popular Nigerian artist who sings Afro-beat music. He is considered to have a classic style of music. 9ice uses the Yoruba language in his music which helps him to stand out from other artists.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti


Another popular Nigerian artist was Fela Anikulapo Kuti, who also played Afro-beat music. He had the ability to play multiple instruments including the saxophone, keyboard, trumpet, electric guitar, and at times, the drums. One of the main reasons Kuti’s music remained in Africa for the most part was because of the lengths of his songs. Most of his songs were 10-15 minutes and some even lasted up to 30 minutes in length. Kuti’s eldest son actually followed in his footsteps, joining his father’s band that started his own career.

Olufela Olufemi Anikulapo Kuti


Olufela Olufemi Anikulapo Kuti, or Femi Kuti, is much like his father when it comes to music. He can play the saxophone, keyboard, and trumpet, as his father did, plus vocals. Femi plays Afro-beat music as well; however, he also plays jazz music. As similar as father and son are, Femi did make his own path in his music career and slightly steered away from the Nigerian music culture with his jazz music.

Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel


A popular artist, known world-wide, who has a Nigerian background and completely steered away from the Nigerian music culture, is Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel. Seal is one of the many Nigerian artists who did not pursue Nigerian music. He is a musician who specializes in guitar, bass guitar, and vocals. Seal is placed in many genres such as, soul, R&B, adult contemporary, soft rock, and pop music. He is a Grammy Award winner and is known world-wide for his many musical hits.

Timi Dakolo


An equally popular artist in Africa’s eyes is Timi Dakolo. He was the winner of the television show “Idols West Africa” and is now pursuing his music career. Dakolo is a Nigerian vocalist in the genre of soul music.

Many of these popular Nigerian artists are unknown to the rest of the world; however nothing stops them from their love of entertaining through music.

Wikipedia- List of Nigerians- Musicians. 9 April 2011. 13 April 2011 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nigerians#Musicians>.




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