Omawunmi Boma Megbele has been singing from the age of two and by this year, for 25 years. A product of a reality show, which she did not win, she went on to show the world that sometimes, with a positive attitude and hard work, the person not holding the trophy could still be a star.
A well-heeled and sought-after performer, she has performed at The Future Awards 2009, the Inspire Africa Benefit Concert, the HipHop World Awards, Nigeria/South Africa Fashion/Music Fest, NLNG Independence Day Gala Night amongst others. She was also a part of the Ovation Red Carol performers. She has also collaborated with Sasha, Da Grin and others.
She won the 2007 Hip Hop Awards Next Rated prize Best vocal performance (Female), was nominated for 2 categories of the Sound City Music Video Awards, the Nigerian Music Video Awards, and has also gotten the City People Awards, Just U Magazine Honorary Award, and is a Honorary Advocate of The Project Alert (Violence Against Women and Children). In November, she released her album “Wonderwoman”- which includes collabos with Naeto C, Eldee The Don, Shank, Dr Frabz, Eric Arubayi, Waje and Kel.
MI – Jude Abaga
Any one following the Hip-hop trends of today needs not be introduced to who the 28 year old MI is. “Talk about it”, his first album shot him into limelight (reportedly selling over 2 million copies) and his second album, Illegal Music, already has a huge following, with 33,000 downloads already on one website alone.
MI’s acclaimed achievement has been to bring people, of all ages, who did not believe in, or enjoy Hip-hop to the awareness of the music genre. He has performed at the MTV awards Kenya, MTV nominees party, City People Awards, Thisday awards, Star Mega Jam, Notes and Swag awards in London, Raves in Manchester, Salty Busara in Tanzania amongst others. He was highly sought after at all the major music shows in 2009.
His album berthed with a massive listening party at the Swe Bar in Lagos and another one at the Aristotle lounge in Abuja. A tour in Manchester was also memorable with non-Nigerians knowing the lyrics of the song. He also popularized Silverbird’s Thank God It’s 1st Thursday shows which have now become very popular, and was a part of the charity event called Do They Know Its Christmas where they raised almost 1 million Naira. His awards include the MTV Awards for Best New Act in Nigeria, Hip Hop World Awards for Best Album, and Nigeria Entertainment Awards for Best Rapper.
Olubankole Wellington a.k.a Banky W, born in 1981, is an American-born Nigerian R&B artiste. His success is defined by the ability to build his talent living outside the country and be able to return home and transfer that potential to overwhelming success.
In the past year, he has performed at Rhythm Unplugged 2009, and was contracted for the Ovation Red Carol and the Calabar Festival. He also hosted the Hip Hop World Awards 2009, where he also won an award as Best Male Vocalist. He recently released a 17 track album titled ‘W Experience’ in 2009 with tracks like: Strong Thing and Lagos Party already ruling the airwaves.
In the past year, these lyricists had over 25 stage performances, including at The Experience 2009, along with Kirk Franklin, Bebe and Cece Winans, Fred Hammond and then had a concert with Brian Cage at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos.
Taking the gauntlet in spite of a lack of corporate sponsorship, they also undertook a tour of campuses in Nigeria, visiting many of the regions of the country and drawing hundreds in crowds.
They received 3 awards in one night in 2 countries: NMVA Best Mainstream Hip Hop, Video of the Year and Song of the Year at the One Gospel Awards. They have also released For my life, featuring Tha Suspect, Xperimental Music and Pana Pana (Roof on Fire) in the past one year, collaborating with Threadstone and Pasuma.
Peter and Paul Okoye continue to inspire thousands for having a strong work ethic and commitment to their craft; drawing amazing crowds not just in Nigeria, but in the continent, especially West Africa where they are possible the country’s greatest music super stars.
Apart from winning the Hip Hop World Awards and the MTV Music Awards, they also released their third album, Danger, which has as usual burst the sales charts and enjoy massive airplay on the radio and clubs. The video for Wahala Dey is easily one of the most recognisable in the country. They also in the past year helped launch the career of new music group Bracket of the Yori Yori fame through their Square Records.
One of the most recognizable voices on the music airwaves in 2009 has been that of the 24 year old Wande Ojosipe, AKA Wande Coal, the latest onslaught from the inimitable Mo Hits Records that produced Dbanj and Don Jazzy. No concert performance in 2009 was considered a hit until Wande was a part of its bill.
His album was released in the past year and launched at a very well attended event, and the Monster Hit, Bumper to Bumper continues to lead charts across the country. He has performed at the Guinness 250 Concert, and was also a part of the Ovation Red Carol performance crew.
Born Kelechi Ohia in 1986, Kel started singing in 2000, but did not release her debut album “The Investment” until 2008, featuring the hit track “Wa wa Alright”
It grabbed so much attention immediately that within months of release, she was nominated for the MAMA awards in Nairobi Kenya, and was in fact the only female Nigerian artiste so nominated. Back home, she was also awarded with the SMVA 2009 discovery of the year, and has collaborated with Omawunmi amongst others. She was announced host of the Dynamix Youth Awards and was one of the celebrities on the Celebrity Takes 2 dance reality show.
Darey (formerly Dare Art-Alade)
A man of many talents (TV presenter, event anchor, etc) Darey, 28, has taken his music and his art very seriously. He released his sophomore album ‘Undareyted’ this year, which got rave reviews for many of its songs. Videos for his songs Not the Girl, No Stars and More have also created massive rippled in the entertainment scene. He also released his un.DAREY.ted VCD collection released on Soul Muzik this year.
This album scored him 2 nominations at the Hip Hop World Awards & 2 at the MTV Mamas in 2009 for the Recording of the Year, Best Male Vocal Performance and Best R&B, Listeners’ Choice categories respectively. He recently won the Soundcity Music Video Awards for Best R&B/Pop Video, Best R&B Nigerian Entertainment Award USA amongst others.
He was announced Most Gifted R&B and Most Gifted Male artist at the 2009 Channel O Music Video Awards held in South Africa. He also shocked many when 72 hours later; he was the highest winner at the 2009 Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA) carting away another 4 awards for: Best RNB Video, Best Producer of Music Videos, Best Use of Costume and Video of the Year categories.
He also performed at the Thisday fashion festival Cape Town with R. Kelly, Thisday Awards with Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan & Lionel Richie, The Valentine Pink Ball alongside Asa, ECOWAS Peace Pageant with 2face, Jimmy Cliff & Alpha Blondie, Guinness at 250 years Dinner at Jade’s Place, Guinness 250 years Conference concert, Aso Savings dinner concert, This Present House Concert, EFCC world anti-corruption day Concert/Dinner, Thisday Peace Concerts in the Niger Delta, A Special performance to mark the German National Day at the request of the German Ambassador to mention a few.
Now more than ever, his eyes are on the mainstream international market. Plans are in place for the digital and physical release of his 3rd album in Nigeria and internationally by 2010. The legendary Dick Griffey of Solar Records USA also chose to work with him on his international release. Griffer is famous for discovering and promoting such people as Dr. Dre, Babyface, L.A Reid, Shalamar, The Whispers etc and was responsible for putting Michael Jackson’s first video on MTV rotation (1st black video in history to be played on MTV) to name just a few. He has also put together a formidable team to work on the Darey project in the US.
Darey also started a TV show titled “The Most un.DAREY.ted Show” as a way to give back to society by picking random talent on the streets of Lagos and giving them that platform to showcase their talents plus a chance to win prize money of up to N1.5m and other gifts to jumpstart their careers. He gave away the cash prize of N1m, a Blackberry Bold from MTN and gave runners up 100k each, and Soul Muzik offered to record their first 2 singles (each).
~The Future Nigeria
~Courtesy Photo Omawunmi Megbele