It is fair to say, 2018 has so far been an explosive year and one largely belonging to the established acts, but there are others who have done considerably well and made music worth our attention.
The first half of 2018 is gone and Pulse Music is proud to present the list of new artists who are climbing their way to the top and emerging as the future of Nigerian music.
Our definition of Freshman Class represents a group of artistes who have been able to make an impression on the mainstream sound within the period under review.
The artist must have delivered a song that qualifies as a hit, even if it is mild, and has grown the name on the scene, or is armed with a sound and content, capable of transforming the talent into a really known name in the coming year.
Here is a list of new talents who are shaping up to become the leaders of the new school.
When the books of Nigerian music in 2018 is revisited at the end of the year, the influence of the ”Shaku Shaku” vibe will be well documented as a key determinant in the success attained.
And one artist whose name is synonymous with Shaku Shaku is Mr Real.
With the release of his single, Legbegbe at the end of 2017, and backed by a video shot early in the year, Mr Real rolled a major storm that helped break his name through the industry doors.
The singer who was nominated for Best Street Hop at the Headies and also delivered a standout performance on the night has featured on a number of tracks and held his own comfortably amongst the ranks.
Listen to: Legbegbe, Issa Banger by Dbanj ft Mr Real, Overload by Mr Eazi ft Mr Real
Sometime in 2017, Slimcase featured on the song, Oshozondi, by DJ Sidez, it was on that joint that he served the first warning of what was to come, but there were many who failed to give him his right due.
Then in December, he jumped on Idowest‘s ”Omo Shepeteri” and it was at that point that many realized he was the real deal, Slimcase owned both songs so artistically that many actually attribute their ownership to him.
He carries the street flag proudly with his staggered voice and slangs on every song he features, and when he jumped on the controversial song,‘Diet”, which paraded bigger names like Reminisce and Tiwa Savage, Slimcase was again the star of the song as his unique style of delivery.
In 2018, Slimcase has worked with Wizkid, D’banj, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, DJ Neptune and Danny Young, now tell me if that is not huge.
Listen to: Guccisnake by Wizkid feat. Slimcase, Diet by DJ Enimoney
Easily one of the most promising talents out of the DMW camp.
Peruzzi, who caught the eye of Davido with his 2017 single, ”For Your Pocket”, which led to him getting signed on the label is a delightful singer and one who is making an impact in 2018.
Delivering stellar verses on the collaborative hit records, ‘Mind’ and ‘Aje’, Peruzzi has a distinct style and melody that sticks out from the crowd and wears its own appeal.
He followed it up with his solo effort, ‘Mata’ and recently solidified his place as a force to reckon with on 2face‘s new single, ‘Amaka‘.
With DMW’s collaborative album due before the end of the year, Peruzzi’s impressive stock is expected to continue to enjoy a vertical rise.
Listen to: Mind, Amaka
2016 was the year when Teni made her debut on the scene, 2017 was the year that Teni put in the Lord’s work and slowly but surely, she is reaping the benefits in 2018.
Following a fairly successful year, which saw her elevate from the pages of an Instagram post or video to being regarded as a breathe of fresh air with her unique style that is a collaboration of Fuji and other genres.
Teni gained praises with her single, ‘Fargin’ and ended 2017 penning a deal with Dr Dolor Entertainment and credited as the writer of Davido’s hit song, ‘Like That’.
The turn of the year has however promised better fortunes as she bagged the award for 2018 Headies Rookie of the year, has shot several videos including ‘Pareke’ and ‘Askamaya’, with a successful single in ‘Fake Jersey’ (freestyle), inspired by the Super Eagles World Cup jersey controversy, which caught fire online and earned her the right buzz.
Listen to: Fake Jersey, Askamaya
Many will be quick to scream that this talented young act does not have what you can call a commercial hit record to her name just yet, but anyone who attended most of the end of the year events in 2017 will boldly declare that she is building a decent cult following off the back of her warmly accepted single, ‘‘Ice Cream”, which features Tomi Thomas.
Donli stands out from the crop of talents who have emerged from the gateway that online streaming platform, Soundcloud has provided for budding rising talents.
This year alone, Lady Donli has featured on Terry tha Rapman and Boogey‘s albums, she has been seen in the studio working with Mr Eazi, released the EP, Letters To Her, a new single, ‘Games’, and recently announced her first headline show in Toronto, Canada.
Donli is not the finished article just yet, but her steps over the past 12 months feels like a build-up to something special, and if bets are been placed on who among her contemporaries may be the first to attain some measure of mainstream glory, then the odds are heavily stacked in favour of Lady Donli.
Listen to: Letters To Her EP, Ice Cream, Poison