The music industry in Nigeria is open to everyone, but it takes hard work, uniqueness, talent, and innovation to achieve success. That’s why musicians often venture into genres to stay relevant.
This trend is not limited to Nigeria; musicians worldwide also switch genres in search of fame. Whether it’s Gospel music, Afrobeat, R&B, or Rap, singers aim to satisfy the musical preferences of over 200 million Nigerians.
In this article, MYTRENDCASTER presents the top 10 Nigerian artists who have captivated audiences by exploring new musical territories.
Top 10 Nigerian Artist That Switch Genre
Wizkid a well-known Nigerian Afrobeat singer, began his musical journey at the age of 11 in Church.
He used the stage name ‘Lil Prinz’ and formed a group called the ‘Glorious Five’ with some friends from the church. Together, they released an album before disbanding.
In 2006, Wizkid transitioned to secular music and started using his current stage name.
Chidinma Ekile, also known as Chidinma, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and actress. She became famous after winning the MTN Project Fame competition in West Africa.
Before participating in the competition, she was a chorister at the Foursquare Gospel Church.
While she now focuses on singing gospel songs, she used to be a well-known hip-hop singer in Nigeria.
In 2021, Chidinma Ekile made a public announcement that she was transitioning from secular to gospel music. She collaborated on a few projects with Tim Godfrey at Fearless and Frank Edwards. As a result, she was signed by Eezee Tee under Eezee Concept.
She released a song called “Jehovah Overdo” and an EP titled “New Covenant.”
Aituaje Iruobe, professionally known as Waje, is a Nigerian singer. When she was young, she showed great talent as a singer and performed at her church.
Archbishop Benson Idahosa of Word of Faith Church in Benin recognized her potential and supported her throughout her secondary school years.
Waje gained fame by featuring on the remake of P-Square’s “Omoge Mi” and their hit track “Do Me” in 2008.
She also provided vocals for Banky W’s “Thief My Kele” and M.I’s “One Naira”.
In 2016, Waje served as one of the judges on the first season of The Voice Nigeria.
In 2018, she had a recurring role in the final season of the Africa Magic telenovela, Battleground.
Simisola Ogunleye, popularly known as Simi, began her music journey in Nigeria. Initially, she was a gospel singer and actively participated in her church choir. At the tender age of 10, Simi showcased her talent by penning her very first song.
Taking a leap forward, she ventured into the world of secular music and embraced a different artistic path.
Simi started her career as an R&B and soul singer but has fearlessly explored the world of Afrobeats and highlife music.
With her velvety vocals and heartfelt lyrics, she has won the hearts of fans across different genres, solidifying her position as a versatile artist.
Simi’s exceptional musical prowess led her to release numerous hit songs, including ‘Joromi,’ ‘Selense,’ and ‘Jamb Question.’
These tracks, along with her other secular albums, played a significant role in catapulting her to fame and immense success.
Omawumi Megbele, who goes by the stage name Omawumi, is a Nigerian singer-songwriter and actress. She belongs to the Itsekiri ethnic group.
When she was young, she sang as the main singer in the children’s choir of Foursquare Gospel Church in Warri. She started when she was just 8 years old.
Omawumi is an ambassador for Globacom, Konga.com, and Malta Guinness. She is also involved in the “Rise with the Energy of Africa” campaign.
5. Mercy Chinwo
Popular Nigerian gospel singer and songwriter, Mercy Chinwo used to perform secular music under the stage name ‘Mecindo’ before becoming a well-known gospel singer.
Mercy Chinwo started her musical journey in secular music, where she practiced and experimented with various genres. Over time, she felt a strong urge to express herself differently through her music.
Driven by a deep longing to connect with her spirituality, Mercy Chinwo made the decision to shift from secular music to a more heartfelt and meaningful singing style.
This decision marked a pivotal moment in her career and enabled her to wholeheartedly embrace her authentic musical identity.
6. Saint Janet
Nigerian singer Janet Oluwatoyosi Ajilore Iyun, known as Saint Janet is one of the Nigerian artists that switch genres.
She began her musical journey as a chorister in the Cherubim and Seraphim (C&S) Church. She later transitioned to a fusion of secular and gospel music genres.
Saint Janet was initially a gospel singer who was deeply committed. However, she made a decision to change her music genre and transitioned from gospel to erotic music.
Despite this shift, she remained self-assured and unashamed of her chosen musical style. Instead of abandoning her raunchy music, she decided to continue embracing it.
Timaya, a well-known hip-hop artist from Bayelsa, began his musical journey in the church. He then spent three years as a backup vocalist for Eedris Abdulkareem before venturing into solo music in 2006. Timaya gained recognition with his hit single, ‘Dem Mama’.
Timaya, whose real name is Inetimi Timaya Odon, is a well-known Nigerian singer and songwriter.
He has received numerous awards for his talent. Timaya gained immense popularity in Nigeria by blending Nigerian pop music with dancehall, hip-hop, and soca influences.
Rema, a well-known Nigerian musician, and rapper, originally began his career in the church. He was part of a gospel rap group named 7 Dimension.
His breakthrough into fame came with the release of his song “Dumebi”. In 2019, he inked a record contract with Jonzing World, which is a branch of Mavin Records.
9. Wande Coal
Wande Coal, whose real name is Oluwatobi Wande Ojosipe, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. He began his musical journey as a chorister in the teenage choir at his church.
Later, he entered the Nigerian entertainment industry as a dancer and gained his first big opportunity when he was signed to Don Jazzy’s Mo’ Hits Records in 2006.
He collaborated with D’banj on songs like “Loke,” “Tonosibe,” and “Why Me” for the Rundown/Funk You Up album.
10. Seyi Shay
Seyi Shay, whose real name is Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and actress. She began singing in the choir at the age of 6 and later joined her secondary school’s choir. In 2008, she became the lead singer of the pop girl group From Above, which is no longer active.
In conclusion, These Nigerian artists have successfully embraced new genres, pushing boundaries, and evolving their musical styles.
Their fearless exploration serves as an inspiration to aspiring musicians and reinforces Nigeria’s position as a hub of diverse musical talent.
Top 10 Nigerian Artist That Switch Genre