These are the 10 most unique voices in Nigerian music today

Wizkid

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Wizkid’s distinct voice is an amazing attention grabber. The West African tint to his vocal style has been likened to more proficient and developed voices like Angelique Kidjo and Akon. He can manoeuvre between notes easily while maintaining a sleek chemistry with the instrumentation. Wizkid possesses one of the most sought after vocals for features and collaborations.

Wande Coal

Wande Coal – My Favorite (Prod. Dr Frabz)
Truly one of Nigeria’s most skilled vocalists, his voice is a tenor with a range of at least 2 octaves, which bears similarities with artists like Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson and The Weeknd. One of the biggest highlights of Wande Coal’s voice is an epic falsetto that switches between high melodic screeching and middle range ascension. Wande Coal’s voice has a versatile edge that makes it adaptable to any genre, from Afro-pop numbers like Wanted to soft R&B songs like Ololufe.

M.I

M.I – The Chairman Cypher + VIDEO
Chocolate City’s own Short black boy has a very special rap voice that relies on the breath spaces between his lines as he delivers sleek rhymes. The voice has a croaky edge which is perfect for conscious and romantic raps. The highlight of his voice, however, is his ability to dramatize his voice for story telling. There are not many storytellers in Nigeria, but M is one to listen to.

2Baba

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Since his days with the Platashun Boiz, 2Baba has groomed his voice to stand as a major part of his identity. He uses a combination of loud grunting yells, middle range staccato, low smokey vocal tints and breathing falsetto notes (which can be heard in the last “I love you(s)” of his enduring hit African Queen). The difficulty of mimicking 2Baba’s voice is more in his style of delivery rather than his voice itself. He can alternate between vocal ranges for a long time without losing the rhythm or breath.

Simi

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Simi’s sultry voice is one of the newest revelations in Nigerian music. There is a distinct child-like highlight to her voice almost similar to the seductive vocals of songstress Joanna Newson. Ultimately, her voice is not the most difficult to identify in a room.

Burna Boy

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Burna Boy’s thick voice can do many things. He can sing heavy dancehall numbers like Check and Balance where his voice holds a croaking legato. He can also bring it home by delivering Afro-beats masterpieces like Soke, to crown it off. Burna can also bring his voice to tackle higher notes as he backs up his own vocals with middle range auto-tuned falsetto notes. These and more have made him a favourite for great chorus deliveries.

Don Jazzy

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Don Jazzy is not your conventional vocalist but has a distinct delivery that almost always registers his presence when he is featured or supplying background vocals.

Clay

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Alternative rock singer Clay has a voice that blends classical music with rock. Her vocal range includes a number of wide-range but sonically beautiful octaves with the power to retain high notes for a very long time without breaking her pitch. Her voice is extremely powerful. She can be vocally likened to Amy Lee, lead singer of rock band Evanescence and some parts of Celine Dion’s discography. Her alternative style of music has not yet found a footing in Nigeria, but she is a great singer nonetheless.

Reminisce

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The rapper’s deep tone holds a distinct touch of aggression only hip-hop can tolerate. This deep voice is a major part of the Reminisce brand and is yet to be replicated by anyone else.

Timi Dakolo

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Timi Dakolo’s voice has a smooth croak,  that gives him the vocal range of about 4 notes and 3 octaves. Due to the heavy nature of baritone voice, Timi’s higher 5th octave is not his biggest strength, but his voice has the tendency to lean towards the tenor with sublime clarity. The Iyawo Mi singer, may not be the most popular artiset but he recently won 3 awards at the Headies which serves as an unquestionable confirmation of his skill.

Notable Mentions

Chidinma Ekile

D’banj

9ice,

Pasuma Wonder

 

 

 

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