Our writers at Novice2STAR has carefully highlighted the top 10 Nigerian albums 2020.
In a year where over a score of albums were dished out in Nigeria’s music space, we have been able to highlight 10 top albums released in 2020. The global pandemic affected the flow of cash within the music industry as it did to every other industry in the world. For the music industry across the world, the effect was negative. Nigerian musicians earned over fifty percent of their income from live performances, tours, and concerts.
With the virus prohibiting social gatherings for over six months, it was difficult for most artists to earn from live performances. A whole lot moved their attention to virtual performances as an alternative, but this couldn’t be measured to the concerts where you get to feel your fans and measure their connection to your new materials.
2020 to many is a horrible year but to others, it was a big lesson. Looking at the bright side, 2020 has given the Nigerian music industry an opportunity to revisit the sound, perfect the production, and effectively generate never heard melodies. More projects were dished out this year most were in the year’s plan, others are a result of being lockdown at home doing nothing.
No matter the reason, all the projects released this year were dope. Regardless, we have carefully selected our top ten albums based on their production/sound, Lyrics/wordings, melody, delivery/performance, and replay value.
Top 10 Nigerian Albums Released In 2020
10. Tiwa Savage – “Celia”
Tiwatope Savage aka Tiwa Savage after hosting a writing camp in Lagos, London, Los Angeles, California, presented a smooth and infectious bag of melodies titled “Celia”. The album whose foundation was made on Afrobeat housed a whole lot of other genres, exposed more African traditional music elements, and presented a new Tiwa Savage.
Though some of the songs in the album were not exceptional, Tiwa’s “Celia” album (named after her mom) is a perfect body of work with crazy sounds, wonderful lyrics, and a reasonable replay value.
Celia featured Sam Smith, Davido, Naira Marley, Stefflon Don, Dice Ailes, and Hamzaa. The album produced 4 singles: “Attention”, “Dangerous Love”, “Koroba”, and “Temptation”.
9. Davido – “A Better Time”
With expensive features and classic melodies from Africa and America, Davido launches his third studio album, “A Better Time”.
Compared to his debut album “Omo Baba Olowo” released in 2012 and 2019’s dramatic “A Good Time”, A Better Time album by Davido is a solid gospel of African sound with new melodies of Afro-fusion—a mix of afrobeat, afro-house, dancehall, and more —with hope to dominate the international market.
The new project by David features Nicki Minaj, Lil Baby, Nas, HitBoy, Young Thug, and Chris Brown from the United States of America. It also accommodates a few Nigerian singers like Bella Shmurda, Tiwa Savage, Ckay, and Mayorkun with Mugeez (Ghana), Sho Madjozi (South Africa), and Sauti Sol (Kenya) representing other countries from the black-dominated continent.
8. Olamide – “Carpe Diem”
Veteran indigenous rapper, Olamide recovers from his dad’s death with a brand new project titled “Carpe Diem”. The Nigerian rapper and singer employs some new kids to unlock a mysterious part of him that thrives in afrobeat and Afro-fusion sound that we haven’t seen before.
The new album tracklist features 12 tracks with features from Fireboy Boy, Phyno, Peruzzi, Omah Lay, and others. Production credit went to the usuals. Young Jonn, VSTIX, ID Cabasa, P Prime, and Pheelz.
7. Brymo – “Yellow”
In Brymo’s seventh studio album, “Yellow”, the talented Nigerian singer takes a ride with dark tunes rooted in R&B and Alternative to pass literal messages in paradox, idioms, and proverbs. The cool sounds carry spiritual melodies that fit Brymo’s rare vocals.
“Yellow” by Brymo is a 15-tracks album with zero features. Beyond the similarities to Adele, though—the perfectly thought lyrics, the growled vocals, often over the jazzy piano—Brymo reconvenes his energy possessing these sounds like a pop star. He married the melodies of soul, pop, and jazz in “Yellow”. It’s a magical body of work. It is one of the top Nigerian albums 2020.
5.Wizkid – “Made In Lagos”
It’s nothing but love, romance, and all the naughty stuff you could ever imagine from the Wizkid part of Lagos. His critically acclaimed fourth studio album “Made In Lagos” is a definition of how matured the Nigerian superstar has grown to be. To a host of his fans, the 14-tracks body of work is made for the ‘grown and sexy’. It is therefore worthy to note that all songs on MIL are below 105 BPM (Beat Per Minute). This only hints at the soul-soothing cool vibes encapsulated in this project.
“Made In Lagos” is not just another body of work from the Nigerian but one he considers so dear. According to the singer, the album is meant to express his views and how wonderful his story has been as a young Nigerian whose fame was bred and nurtured in Lagos.
4. “Adekunle Gold – “Afro Pop Vol. 1”
With a smart move away from alternative and highlife musical genres, Adekunle Gold digs deep into the blossom of African pop sound. If one can decipher the believes, experiences, and mood of a creative by connecting through his contents, then I assure you of witnessing the undiluted nature of Adekunle Gold’s talent in this body of work. The chords came just when needed.
Lyrically, “Afro Pop Vol. 1” album is extraordinary. AG Baby captures every moment as if he had a first-hand experience even when he’s obviously telling stories as seen in the last track “My Ex” where he talked about being in love with his ex, or is he?
3. Burna Boy – “Twice As Tall”
Nothing could matter more to Damini Ogulu aka Burna Boy than standing ‘twice as tall’ on stage at the Grammys to receive his award. The circumstances surrounding his fifth studio album “Twice as Tall” is that of an African Giant seeking the world’s validation.
Burna Boy talks about real-life issues, racism, nepotism, and corruption as he revisits history to back up the idea of Pan-Africanism. From the soothing melodies in Real Life, the party vibe in Comma, the groovy nature of Way To Big, and the eternal message in Monsters You Made, Burna retains his spot in the international market.
2. Chike – “Boo of The Booless”
Ever seen an album performed like a movie? Chike “Boo of the Booless” is a well-composed novel. The new alternative act introduces a new spirit with soul-lifting sounds that perfectly rub off our cheeks and makes us smile.
The album exposed Chike’s confidence, storytelling talent, and the ability to create colorful mental pictures. “Boo of The Booless” may not have come with a whole lot of hit tracks, but it sure came with quality vibes and a magnificent delivery.
1. Fireboy DML – “Apollo”
YBNL superstar, Fireboy DML carefully selects a bunch of songs to make up his sophomore album tagged “Apollo”.
Adedamola Adefolahan aka Fireboy DML rides on alternative, afro-fusion, afro-soul, and afrobeat sounds, to crown himself a champion and a legend in a making in the “Apollo” album.
Apollo’s music direction is awesome, the replay value is high and the lyrics are spectacular. In a singular word, the album is ‘addictive’.