Headies 2019 Predictions: Who Will Win & Who Should Win

October 17, 2019

The Headies, Nigeria’s most respected music awards, is set to hold this Saturday. The nominees for this year’s edition are better than they have been in a while, with nods for established stars (Burna Boy, Wizkid), exciting up-and-comers (Rema, Joeboy) and more alternative acts (Tems, Odunsi).

So, in anticipation of the big night, we’ve decided to predict who we think will win and who we believe should win a few key categories. While some of them were a bit difficult to predict, others — specifically the ones with Burna Boy, who we think will dominate the night — were a lot easier.

Best Recording of the Year 

  • Adekunle Gold’s “Ire”
  • Patoranking’s “Heal D World”
  • Brymo’s “Olanrewaju”
  • Teni’s “Uyo Meyo”
  • Burna Boy’s “Ye”

Will Win: Burna Boy’s “Ye”

Should: Win: Brymo’s “Olanrewaju”

With Burna Boy primed to sweep the Headies, we doubt the judges will pass up an opportunity to reward his biggest song to date. However, since this category is actually meant to celebrate excellence in songwriting, production and rendition, the award rightfully belongs to Brymo’s modern-day classic, “Olanrewaju”.

Best Pop Single 

  • Burna Boy’s “Ye”
  • Victor AD’s “Wetin We Gain”
  • Duncan Mighty and Wizkid’s “Fake Love”
  • Teni’s “Case”
  • Fireboy DML’s “Jealous”
  • Joeboy’s “Baby”

Will Win: Duncan Mighty and Wizkid’s “Fake Love”

Should Win: Burna Boy’s “Ye”

Unlike ‘Best Recording of the Year’, Burna Boy’s “Ye” absolutely deserves to win the award for ‘Best Pop Single’. Strangely enough, we think it will lose out to Wizkid and Duncan Mighty’s “Fake Love” — mostly because there is no way the Starboy, who is also up for ‘Artist of the Year’, will go home empty-handed.

Producer of the Year

  • Phantom (Burna Boy’s “Ye”)
  • Ozedikus (Rema’s “Dumebi”)
  • Spellz (Teni’s “Askamaya”)
  • Killertunes (Duncan Mighty and Wizkid’s “Fake Love”)
  • Kel-P Vibes (Burna Boy and Zlatan’s “Killin Dem”)

Will Win: Kel-P Vibes

Should Win: Kel-P Vibes

This feels like a no-brainer. Kel-P might only be up for his work on Burna Boy’s “Killin Dem”, but judges won’t be able to ignore the fact that he also produced “On The Low” and “Gbona”. If Burna Boy dominates the night like we are predicting, we fully expect his go-to producer to be carried along for the ride.

Best Rap Album

  • Falz’s Moral Instruction
  • AQ and Loose Kaynon’s Crown
  • M.I’s A Study On Self Worth: Yxng Dxnzl
  • Show Dem Camp’s Clone Wars, Vol. IV (These Buhari Times)

Will Win: M.I’s A Study On Self Worth: Yxng Dxnzl

Should Win: Show Dem Camp’s Clone Wars, Vol. IV (These Buhari Times)

M.I’s pedigree, coupled with the fact that this is actually one of his best-ever albums, will help the beloved rapper bag this trophy. But, in all honesty, Show Dem Camp’s staggeringly thoughtful Clone Wars, Vol. IV (These Buhari Times) is by far the best rap album released within the year under review.

Best R&B/Pop Album 

  • Odunsi’s rare.
  • Burna Boy’s Outside
  • Kizz Daniel’s No Bad Songz
  • Mayorkun’s Mayor of Lagos
  • Adekunle Gold’s About 30

Will Win: Burna Boy’s Outside

Should Win: Burna Boy’s Outside

Before the release of Burna Boy’s career-best album, African Giant, which wasn’t eligible for consideration, Outside was the afro-fusion star’s magnum opus. So, we find it hard to picture a scenario where the best Nigerian project of 2018 doesn’t take home the award in every single category it’s nominated. 

Best Video 

  • Burna Boy’s “Dangote” (Clarence Peters)
  • Patroanking’s “Available” (Clarence Peters)
  • Adekunle Gold’s “Ire” (Aje Films)
  • Falz’s “Talk” (Prodigeezy)
  • Ladipoe’s “Jaiye” (Seun Opabisi & Kewa Oni)

Will Win: Patoranking’s “Available” (Clarence Peters)

Should Win: Ladipoe’s “Jaiye” (Seun Opabisi & Kewa Oni)

It feels like a given that Clarence Peters, who’s nominated twice in this category, will end up winning the award — most likely for the Patoranking’s vibrant “Available”. In an ideal world, however, Seun Opabisi and Kewa Oni would nab the trophy for doing the impossible in the video for “Jaiye”: making Lagos look great.

Next Rated 

  • Rema
  • Joeboy
  • Fireboy DML
  • Victor AD
  • Lyta
  • Zlatan

Will Win: Rema 

Should Win: Rema

While many are saying that Zlatan should take home this award for his relentless work in the past year, we think that Rema — 2019’s breakout star, with three brilliant EPs, a string of undeniable singles and a surprise nod from former US president, Barrack Obama — will (and should) take this. 

Hip-Hop World Revelation 

  • Odunsi
  • Mayorkun
  • WurlD
  • Humblesmith

Will Win: Odunsi

Should Win: Odunsi 

Since Odunsi will most likely lose ’Best R&B/Pop Album’ (rare.) and ‘Best R&B Single’ (“Tipsy” ft. RAYE) to Burna Boy’s Outside and Teni’s “Uyo Meyo” respectively, this category presents the most ideal opportunity for voters to reward one of 2018’s defining stars.

Best Alternative Song

  • Lady Donli’s “Cash”
  • Tems’ “Mr Rebel”
  • Johnny Drille’s “Finding Efe”
  • Brymo’s “Heya”
  • Adekunle Gold’s “Ire”

Will Win: Adekunle Gold’s “Ire”

Should Win: Adekunle Gold’s “Ire”

Since this is the only song on the list that was also nominated for ‘Recording of the Year’, it’s difficult to imagine this award going to anyone else, and it really shouldn’t. The captivating “Ire” stands out as one of Adekunle Gold’s best-ever songs, and it deserves to be recognised. 

Album of the Year

  • Adekunle Gold’s About 30
  • Burna Boy’s Outside
  • Falz’s Moral Instruction
  • Kizz Daniel’s No Bad Songz

Will Win: Burna Boy’s Outside

Should Win: Burna Boy’s Outside 

Like we said earlier, Burna Boy’s Outside was easily the best Nigerian project of 2018. While the other albums nominated are all pretty impressive, none of them can hold a candle to the game-changing mixtape. This, more than almost every other category, feels like a very straightforward choice.

Artist of the Year

  • Burna Boy
  • Wizkid
  • Davido
  • Tiwa Savage
  • Falz

Will Win: Burna Boy

Should Win: Burna Boy

Following the release of Outside, the obvious choice for ‘Album of the Year’, Burna Boy went on to drop a string of fantastic singles that secured his position as 2018’s most essential star. He’s managed to carry his dominance into 2019, ensuring that he will most likely be winning this award next year as well.

Song of the Year 

  • Burna Boy’s “Ye”
  • Rema’s “Dumebi”
  • Victor AD’s “Wetin We Gain”
  • Duncan Mighty and Wizkid’s “Fake Love”
  • Teni’s “Case”
  • Zlatan’s “Leg Work”
  • Joeboy’s “Baby”
  • Fireboy DML’s “Jealous”

Should Win: Burna Boy’s “Ye”

Will Win: Burna Boy’s “Ye”

With the consideration being “the most popular song in the year under review”, the winner will (and should be) Burna Boy’s “Ye”. It’s not only the oldest song on the list — giving it more room to have its full impact — but it also has the benefit of being linked to the star who will surely go on to win ‘Artist of the Year’.

Rookie of the Year

  • Crayon
  • Buju
  • Barry Jhay
  • Oxlade

Will Win: Crayon

Should Win: Crayon or Oxlade

There is precedent for every single person on this list winning the award, and that makes it one of the year’s toughest categories. That being said, we think Mavin Records’ newest star, Crayon — the only artist on the list with a body of work — will end up taking it. But we wouldn’t be mad to see Oxlade swoop in.

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