10 Nigerian Songs From 2019 That Deserved Better

January 6, 2020

2019 saw a lot of defining Nigerian songs — from Rema’s breakout hit, “Dumebi”, to Burna Boy’s Obama-approved “Anybody” — but there were still a lot of great tracks that got overlooked. So, we decided to spotlight 10 songs that deserved to be so much bigger.

In no particular order, here they are:

1. Ladipoe’s “Jaiye”

Exceptionally produced and performed, Ladipoe’s “Jaiye” was easily one of 2019’s best songs, but it never got the attention it very clearly deserved. Even with a flawless music video, which nabbed a Headies nomination, the song stayed frustratingly under the radar.

2. Tems’ “Looku Looku”

Tems’ “Try Me” was one of the biggest breakout songs of last year, but before that anthemic track, the rising star kicked off 2019 with the hypnotic “Looku Looku”. Singing about a trifling lover, Tems brought the same intensity that made “Try Me” so instantly appealing.

3. Adekunle Gold’s “Kelegbe Megbe”

With “Before You Wake Up” and “Young Love”; 2019 was the year Adekunle Gold showed off his range. In between those hits, however, he dropped “Kelegbe Megbe” — a Fela-inspired ode to authenticity. The underrated gem is undoubtedly one of the singer’s most accomplished efforts. 

4. Falz & Dice Ailes’ “Alakori”

Even with expectedly fun verses from Falz, a really strong music video, and one of the catchiest hooks of 2019, courtesy of Dice Ailes, “Alakori” inexplicably failed to become the monster hit it was tailor-made to be. Would it have blown if it came out in a different year? We’ll never know. 

5. YCee’s “Dakun”

On “Dakun”, YCee had a little something for every kind of fan — from those who love his impeccable flow to those who were won over by his solid voice. Not since “Juice” has a YCee single been this radio-friendly, which is what makes its tepid performance all the more frustrating

6. Asa’s “Good Thing”

After leaving us for half a decade, Asa returned with a bang. Following the beloved “The Beginning”, she dropped the empowering “Good Thing” — a song about realising your worth. The powerful message alone should have made the stunning track perform a lot better.

7. Fireboy DML’s “King”

Fireboy DML had many wins in 2019 — from the success of his breakout hit, “Jealous”, to the release of his acclaimed debut, Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps — but we still think the fantastic “King”, easily the best single he put out, deserved to soar higher than it did. 

8. Reekado Banks’ “Put In Pressure”

The always-great Reekado Banks was responsible for one of 2019’s most inescapable hits, “Rora”, but his equally impressive follow-up, “Put In Pressure”, didn’t quite take off the way we expected it to, even though it was released right in time for Detty December.

9. Omawumi’s “For My Baby”

More than any other song on this list, Omawumi’s astonishing “For My Baby” got totally ignored last year. One of the best-written love songs of 2019, it’s downright criminal that its accompanying music video hasn’t even been able to amass up to 10,000 views on YouTube.

10. Oxlade’s “Legend”

Oxlade is clearly destined to be a star, and on his underheard 2019 single, “Legend”, he declares as much. Thoughtfully written and passionately performed, this is the up-and-comer at his most self-assured, and we can’t wait to see all that promise to finally pay off.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 11, 2019

Everyone has something to say about what kind of person they are. But how well do we truthfully evaluate these things? Not that much, I can assure you. The average person is always lying to themselves to make sure they look good. But you know what and who doesn’t lie? Zikoko quizzes that’s what. Take […]

November 11, 2019

Today, we are going to be using your taste in music to determine how good you actually are in bed. All you need to do is create the ultimate Nigerian hit — from the lead artist to the producer — and we’ll tell you if all your partners leave satisfied, or if you are just […]

October 10, 2019

2019 is certainly Burna Boy’s year, but, if we are being honest, so was 2018. Since his transcendent mixtape, Outside, the afro-fusion star has refused to get his foot of our necks — dropping a string of fantastic singles and then capping it all off with his career-best album, African Giant.  So, in a bid […]

September 1, 2021

August is over, and here are some of our best quizzes from August. Enjoy: 1. QUIZ: Only Ajebutters Can Get 10/21 On This Quiz Some people like to form ajepako when they’re really ajebutter. Are you one of them? Let’s find out. 2. QUIZ: Sorry, If You’re Under 25 There’s No Way You Can Pass […]

October 29, 2019

We are going to be attempting to guess when you’ll marry based on your favourite Nigerian foods. What does your fave swallow have to do with when you’ll tie the knot? Please, don’t ask complicated questions. This quiz is rigorous and accurate (don’t quote us), so just take it already. QUIZ: Why Do You Have […]

November 20, 2019

Last month, we thoughtfully made a quiz telling you guys exactly when you’ll marry, but some of you claimed that your spouse was nowhere to be found. Well, now we’ve created one that’ll tell you exactly who you’ll be dragging down that aisle. Take and start planning that wedding: 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are […]

More from Pop

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X