Year in Review; Nigerian Breakout Stars for 2020

Naija Rated


2020 may not be a perfect year for the Nigerian Music Industry but it did have some positive moments one of which was discovering new talents to listen to.

The Coronavirus pandemic saw the pause of outdoor activities and while people were stuck at home, this made music become more relevant. Breakout stars benefited the most.

Artists like Omah lay who came out from the blues and blew our minds with his unique style of music. In less than a year, he has achieved a lot. Bella Shmurda is another example, predicted to be a star in 2020, he brought this predictions to life with his good music.


1. Omah Lay 

Omah Lay started as a music producer but wasn’t really popular. He then started doing music after being snubbed by artists he had done background work for.

His breakthrough came this year when he released “You”, the song git massive airplay and he followed with an EP, “Get Layd”. The EP also became successful amassing over 100 million streams in less than a year.

One would think he would stop there but Omah decided to double his work rate by releasing another EP, “What Have We done” to celebrate his joining of Warner Music.

He is the debut Apple Music Africa Rising Feature Artist. With only about 6 weeks to the end of 2020, he isn’t just a household name in Nigeria, but also outside the shores of Africa.

2. Bella Shmurda 

Akinbiyi Abiola Ahmed, popularly known as Bella Shmurda came into the year with “Vision 2020” which is a hit. He then dropped his EP, “High Tension” which received positive reviews.

He made another resurgence with the raving street banger ‘Cash App‘. He was enlisted by Olamide for “Triumphant”, a song off the superstar’s “Carpe Diem” album off which he received praises for. He again bagged a superstar feature on Davido’s ‘A Better Time’ album

3. Cheque 

Signed to Phyno‘s Penthauze Record label, Cheque is a rapper and singer who became a buzz this year.

Before now he has been on a couple of songs with Phyno and Olamide but these efforts were not enough to drive him into our consciousness.

Cheque went on to deliver an amazing debut body of work this year an EP titled ‘Razor‘. The EP has solid tunes like ‘Satisfied‘ and ‘Zoom‘. “Zoom” is now his widely known song

4. Bad Boy Timz 

Bad Boy Timz is having an exciting year as a newcomer. The Anonymous Music star gained attention after he released ‘MJ‘, a tribute to the late King of Pop. ‘MJ’ became a favourite on the playlist of DJs across the country and an instant club banger.

He then decided to go further by featuring Mayorkun on the remix as the tune continued topping music charts.

Thanks to his being featured on Olamide’s hit ‘Loading‘ off the ‘Carpe Diem’ album, Timz had praises heaped on him for his catchy hook on the song.

5. Olakira 

Olakira isn’t new in the industry but he hasn’t been in the spotlight until his party jam, “Masarati” grew organically to become of of the most played songs on Nigerian radio.

DMW Boss, Davido who loved the song jumped on it to release a remix. The fast-rising music star had before released his “Wakanda Jollof” EP.