New Afrobeat Stars on Global Stage: Meet 8 Nigerian Singers That Got Big Breaks As International Artists 2022

  • Like it or not, Afrobeat has come to stay as a global powerhouse and a force to reckon with in music across the world
  • 2022, fortunately, for many young Nigerian singers was another mega-hit as some fast-rising green buds made their musical debut internationally, and it was a huge success
  • in this article has compiled a list of Nigerian young singers that got their big international breaks in 2022 and have ever since taken the world by a storm

The growth of the Nigerian music industry globally at the moment is untenable, and leading that charge globally is Afrobeat.

The Nigerian sounds have gradually displaced Reggae, reggaeton, and dancehall as the party starters and club music across the globe.

Photos of Asake, Tems and Fireboy DML compiles a list of young Nigerian singers that got huge international breakthroughs in 2022.
Photo credit:@asakemusic/@temsbaby/@fireboydml
Source: Instagram

And just to reinforce that growth in 2022, eight new Nigerian singers made a huge global berth.

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1. Tems:

The super-talented Nigerian songstress, Temilade Openiyi better known as Tems, has grabbed 2022 by the scruff of its neck and has made it her own.

Tems broke into the Nigerian music industry in 2019, with her hit single “Try Me”, and ever since she hasn’t looked back.

However, more recently, the singer got her international berth through the Iconic Afrobeat musician Wizkid. The Made In Lagos crooner featured Tems on his track “Essence” and ever since it’s been a geometrical growth for Tems hot-tailing away in 2022 with two Grammy nominations.

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Just some days ago, on December 7, 2022, BillBoard’s world Top 100 was released and Tems’ song ‘Free Mind’ made the list ranking number nine across the world, that’s a huge feat for the sonorous voiced singer.

Apart from these achievements, Tems recently became the first African woman to win in the Best International Act category at the 2022 BET Awards.

She has multiple collaborations with international stars like Future, Drake and Camilla Cabello.

2. CKay:

The Love Nwantiti crooner, Chukwuka Ekweani professionally known as CKay is another young Nigerian superstar that has built on his international success in 2022 and taking it to a new level.

CKay is one of the most talented singers of his generation, with a voice next to none in vocal manipulation. In 2022, Chukwuka released his debut album ‘Sad Romance’, which is a follow-up on his two previous EPs, ‘CKay the First and Boyfriend’.

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The young singer’s song, ‘Love Nwantiti,’ is at the moment the most streamed Afrobeats song on Spotify with over one billion listens.

The track was released in 2019, but it didn’t get the recognition it deserved until March 2022, when it debuted at number one on the Billboard Afrobeats chart.

Since March, it’s been from glory to glory for CKay.

3. Fireboy DML:

Adedamola Adefolahan, popularly known as Fireboy DML, is another young Nigerian artist who’s had a great 2022.

Fireboy between December 2021 and 2022, has got to feature International music stars like Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, and Chris Brown on his album.

His hit single Peru was number one, on the UK top 100 music chart for 10 weeks straight. It is at the moment the Afrobeat song with the most covers in different languages.

2022 was an amazing year for the Osun state-born Nigerian singer.

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4. Rema:

Mavin record label superstar, Divine Ikubor aka Rema, is probably one of the few Nigerian singers who became more popular outside of Nigeria faster than in the country of his birth.

Rema had been scoring international recognition for his music as far back as 2019, and 2020 after he was featured on ex-US President, Barack Obama’s end-of-year music of the year and his workout music list.

However, in 2022 his stock grew substantially as he finally dropped his debut album, Rave & Roses. Just to put in context how much Rema’s influence had grown in 2022, the young Afrobeat musician got to feature American superstars like Chris Brown, 6lack, AJ Tracey and Yseult on his first studio album.

Rema was also one of the seven Nigerian singers that worked on the Wakanda Forever album.

5. Asake:

Nigeria’s first fully-fledged Afro-Fuji musician, Ahmed Ololade aka Asake, is no doubt the rave of the moment.

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He came through in early 2022 and ever since he has put the Nigerian music industry on lockdown with back-to-back hits non-stop.

In early 2022, Mr Money dropped his debut EP Ololade Asake, as if that wasn’t enough, the singer went on to put the entire music industry in a chokehold for two months straight when he dropped his debut album, ‘Mr Money With The Vibe’.

The singer’s album topped nearly all music charts in the UK and got to debut on the Billboard new music chart in the U.S.A.

2022 has been a huge year for Asake as he continues to sell out shows, venues and arenas. We wish him many more international successes ahead.

6. Ayra Starr:

Mavin Records’ latest signee Oyinkansola Sarah Aderibigbe, popularly known as Ayra Starr also made the list.

The 20-year-old musician who started her career covering popular songs on Instagram is proof for young citizens in Africa that you can have a great global presence no matter your age.

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Starr after being signed to Mavin Records released her first album “19 & Dangerous” to positive critical responses.

Ayra’s international breakthrough and influence could be seen through her collaboration with veteran American singer Kelly Rowland, featuring on the remix of her hit track Bloody Samaritan.

7. Omah Lay:

Another young Nigerian singer to have made a stunning international berth in 2022, is Stanley Omah Dibia, better known as Omah Lay.

The Port-Harcourt-born singer, took the Nigerian music industry by storm in 2020 with several international hit singles like Bad Influence, Lo Lo and Get Layd.

However, Omah went international in 2022, after some collaboration works with American superstar Justin Bieber on the track Attention.

Ever since Omah’s stock on the international market has been on a constant rise. He is hailed as one of the new generations of singers to take over the Afrobeat baton from Wizkid, Davido and Burna Boy in the nearest future.

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8. Oxlade:

The last singer to be highlighted on this list is the young singer, Ikuforiji Olaitan Abdulrahman, aka Oxlade.

2022 has been a great year for the young singer as his music finally got the international breakthrough it deserves.

His hit single, Ku Lo Sa, took the industry by surprise, racking up streams upon streams across all music platforms.

Oxlade got an esteemed honour during a show in Ghana to be brought by the legendary American pop singer, Usher, and it was a huge privileged for the young Nigerian.

He was also brought on stage by Wizkid during his show in the US, at Madison Square gardens.

Like it or not, the artists on this list are all the next big things out of Nigeria’s music industry, and it is safe to say everybody gears up for their take-over.

Honourable mentions



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Billboard best songs of 2022: Tems debut at no 9 as Wizkid and Burna Boy make the list

Meanwhile, recalls reporting that Afrobeat continues to put the music world in a chokehold, as the Billboard Best Songs of 2022 top 100 list confirms the growth once again and global recognition of the Nigerian music culture.

Nigerian female singer and songwriter Tems yet again earned herself more accolades with her song ‘Free Mind’ ranking at number nine on the Billboard top 100 best songs of the year.

While Billboard Afrobeat regulars Burna Boy and Wizkid completed the list of the African contingents on the top best songs of the year.


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