Nigerians are lovers of music. From time immemorial, several people have contributed to the metamorphosis of the different forms of music, exploiting the art to give it more meaning. As a result of their efforts, today in Nigeria music is beyond just words added to suitable tunes and beats. In many cases, it is used to convey hope and to spread love; and in some other cases, music can serve to improve one’s mood when depressed by the economic hardship of the country.
Nigerian musicians are some of the best in Africa. Over the years, they have dominated the African and global music scene, scooping major awards and honours at local and continental ceremonies.
Some songs literally ‘reigned’ for short periods of time, while some others have turned out to be all-time favourites. This post highlights the top ten best Nigerian songs of all time! Many millennials may not be conversant with a few of them, as they existed before they were born.
#1. ‘African Queen’ – TuFace Idibia
This song is an all-time hit. It won several awards both within and outside Nigeria. The song was part of the album ‘Face to Face’, which sold approximately four million copies. It was also used as a background track for a Hollywood movie, which was a first for any African musician.
The song talks about the beauty, carriage and potential of the African woman, typified by a black woman who played the role of the singer’s queen in the song’s music video. As a result of the widespread impact the song had, TuFace Idibia’s fame grew exponentially, and so did his wealth – so much so that he was himself baffled. Before long, he had begun touring cities and states, performing his hit song at concerts and events. Politicians and wealthy elderly folks also regularly invite him to perform the song at their special occasions. In 2005, the song won him the award of African Artist of the Year at the MTV Music Awards, as well as several other awards.
#2. ‘Joromi’ – Sir Victor Uwaifo
Good music is like wine; it gets better with age. Such can be said of Sir Victor Uwaifo’s all-time thriller, ‘Joromi’. In this song, he accurately represented distinct elements of the Nigerian culture and traditions. Folk songs are currently on the brink of extinction, and his is perhaps the only surviving one among the ancient folk songs that made Nigerians happy in the good old days.
No millennial can know this song; and even if they did – through their parents of which ever way, it is likely that they will not have appreciation for it.
#3. ‘Ijoba Orun’ – Lara George
When a Gospel song gets widespread appreciation, it is as a result of its impact on the lives of its listeners. Lara George’s ‘Ijoba Orun’ served to remind people of the vanity of life, the frail nature of humans, and the need to work towards making heaven, or at least a better life in the afterlife. It is an all-time favorite, and an encouragement for Gospel music artistes.
#4. ‘God-Win‘ – Korede Bello
This is one of the most recent songs on this list. Mavin Records Ace, Korede Bello sang this song to illustrate the infinite power and usefulness of divinity in influencing human situations and circumstances. He admonishes people to attribute their successes and achievements to God who enables them to do so.
He talks about getting bank credit alerts, making certain accomplishments and breakhroughs, and a lot of other positive developments as God’s handiwork.
#5. ‘Aye’ – Davido
David Adeleke a.k.a Davido is the brain behind Aye. The song was released in the year 2014, and instantly topped all music charts within and outside the country. In the song, he told the story of a poor farmer who fell in love with an african princess. Damning the odds, he proposed marriage to her.
Everybody loves a love story, and ‘Aye’ is one perfect lovesong.
#6. ‘Personally’ – P-Square
The song ‘Personally’ was one of the tracks on the 2014 ‘Double Trouble’ album. The most intriguing and fascinating aspects of the song are the lyrics, the beats and the dance moves. There is no place where the song did not find widespread application – clubs, parties, ceremonies, beaches, and etcetera.
Paul and Peter Okoye are very dynamic artistes and their song ‘Personally’ showcased this in clear detail.
#7. ‘Mma Mma’ – Frank Edwards
This is another Gospel song that qualifies to be regarded as an all-time favorite. In the song, gospel music star Frank Edwards sings about the goodness and faithfulness of God in all situations. He further admonishes people to always regard divinity as their source of sustenance.
#8. ‘Abosede’ – Sunny Neji
Here’s another love song. Though the singer Sunny Nneji may have been long forgotten, his song yet lives on. He tells a love story about a lady named ‘Abosede’ whom he fell in love with.
#9. ‘Why Me?’ – Mo’ Hits Records
Millennials will by no means know this song but it definitely ranks as one of the best songs of all time. It was done by the now defunct Mo’ Hits Records.
#10. ‘Ada Ada’ – Flavour
‘Ada Ada’ is perhaps one of the best songs to play at weddings and engagement ceremonies, especially for families in the eastern part of Nigeria. The song basically celebrated Nigerian traditional weddings and served to showcase our country’s rich cultural heritage. It particularly cast the spotlight on Igbo marriages, with all their accompanying traditional rites and customs.
In the song, Flavour, like TuFace Idibia in African Queen, sang about the beauty, ingenuity and resourcefulness of Igbo ladies, using them as a representation for all Nigerian and African women. When it was released in 2013, it became an instant hit, and in no time it began topping all the hip hop music charts across the nation. The song also won numerous awards within and outside Nigeria.