The rise of female Nigerian music stars in the last few years isn’t only applaudable, it’s also sparked a conversation about a possible female takeover: Lady Donli put out one of the best albums of 2023. In 2024, Tiwa Savage released a first-of-its-kind, well-acclaimed soundtrack album and Ayra’s latest album, “The Year I Turned 21”, received even wider critical acclaim. 

The girlies are up and creating their lanes. They bring newness to the game, and diversity in genre, vocal dexterity, delivery and lyrical content. We know seven on the come-up that should be on your radar.


The combination of a music producer and recording artist in one person is an advantage that usually distinguishes a super-creative individual from an average one. Her musical ingenuity and production skills set her apart among the new wave of Nigerian female pop stars. Her debut EP, “Alter Ego” (2022), expresses relationships, and her latest self-titled EP, “Yimeeka,” explores personal moments. 


Syntiat is an impressive vocalist, producer and songwriter who graduated among the best of The Sarz Academy’s class of 2023. Get on her if you’re looking for music to play during heartbreak, as candles burn and you sip wine in a bathtub.


Mahriisah’s pop style interplays with African rhythms, R&B, Highlife and reggae. Her music is perfect for glamming up to go flex outside or in a speedy car ride with your girlies.


Since Amaeya moved from Delta state to Lagos to push her music dreams in 2020, she has done backup work for A-listers like Tems, Ric Hassani, Tiwa Savage, Asake and Lojay. But she’s fully focused on her thing now. Amaeya’s stories of love, relationships and identity are bold pictures of the spoken and unspoken emotions of a careful romantic turned into music. Since her debut on “The Voice Nigeria” in 2021, she’s stayed true to her soul-drenched Afropop and r&b sound. Singles like On My Own, Delusion

and Too Much will get any new listener started.


From Aema’s solo releases to her notable collaborative work with fellow singer, Kold AF, it’s easy to tell that her alternative soul music won’t be underground for long. When she’s not conquering her ego on No Place to Hide, Aema’s protecting her mental well-being, addressing relationship issues and women’s places in society on “ALT SOUL, Vol. 1” and “No Pity.”


In recent times, Nigerian Afrorock music has been referenced to the likes of Neo, Modim, The Isomers and Clayrocksu, among the very few women making music in that scene. Clayrocksu’s style blends rock, metal and alternative with Afropop, with relatable tales of Nigerian dreams and hustle, love and romance, optimism and higher calling. Her new EP “Hate It Here” is a mirror of all these and fun experimentation. One of the tracks, Nu Religion, mixes atilogwu with rock. What’s more daring than that?


Reespect is a rapper who brings all her emotions to her songs. It doesn’t matter what kind of production she hops on; she’s going to spazz and bring out the soul in her bars. Her latest performance on Showoff Rap show (one of Africa’s biggest hip-hop platforms) is proof she’ll rap circles around the competition and still spit vulnerable lines if she feels like doing so. Put respect on her name.

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