The landscape of the Nigerian music industry has completely evolved from what it was in 2003.
During that period streaming platforms were almost non-existent,and it was difficult for musicians to get their music to consumers.Inspite of that a good number of Nigerian music stars remained undeterred and continued churning out hit after hit.
Like they say ‘how time flies’,when you realize that in 2023,some songs that were released in 2003, will be turning 20. Though these songs were released 20 years ago,they have remained evergreen. Generation to generation have continued to groove to them.
This piece spotlights 10 hit Nigerian songs that are turning 20 in 2023.
1. Olufunmi – Styl-plus
Styl Plus was formed in 1997 as a gospel group but later they moved into R&b.They group gave us wonderful songs that rocked the nation for a long time. The song ‘Olufunmi’, is clearly the stand out song from their rich catalogue.The song became a ‘national anthem’,and was in constant rotation on radio stations across Nigeria.Till date anytime the song is played listeners are caught in nostalgia as they vibe to the song.
2. P-Square “Senorita”
“Senorita“, the debut single from P-Square is off their 2003 debut album, “Last Nite“, Senorita” is one of the major singles and received the most airplay from the album. Their elder brother, Jude Engees Okoye produced the song alongside with the talented duo.
3. Tony Tetuila x Tic Tac “FeFe Ne Fe”
2003, Tony Tetuila(Tetuila*) had serious skin in the game. He had already dropped two albums and had hit songs like “My Car.” Ever the pioneer, for the second single from his third album, he linked up with Ghanaian artist, Tic Tac, to create “Fen fen ne fe.” This was the first Nigerian/Ghanaian collab in modern times to see commercial success.
4. Danfo Driver – Mountain Black, Mad Melon
The duo of Mountain Black and Mad Melon (real names Jimoh Olotu and Omeofa Oghene respectively) are better known by hit single ‘I am a Danfo Driver, Suo’
As youngsters growing up in the slums of Ajegunle, Lagos they were exposed to the conventional music of the Ajegunle called Galala music and indulged in it in their leisure time.They drove a commercial bus to make ends meat until they were discovered by Cornerstone Music and the rest as they say is history.
The single released in 2003 was such a big hit nationwide, that it became an anthem of sorts and set on the neon tracks of the spotlight.
5. Sunny Neji “Oruka”
Oruka by Sunny Neji is one of the widely played songs in Nigerian wedding parties from its time of release to date.The evergreen wedding song is one of the singles included in Sunny Neji’s fourth album, “Unchained”, which was released in 2003 via O’Jez Music. The song Oruka by Sunny Neji will forever be featured in Nigerian wedding scenes and love stories
6. Jazzman Olofin Ft Adewale Ayuba “Raise The Roof”
Defunct X-Appeal member, Jazzman Olofin featured Fuji star Adewale Ayuba on this massive tune titled Raise The roof. It was indeed a national anthem and instant party starter.
7. D’Banj “Mobolowowon”
The record “Mobolowowon” was one of the lead singles off D’Banj’s debut album “No Long Thing” which was released by Mo’Hits Records. “Mobolowowon” was released officially as his debut single before he linked up with Don Jazzy and created what was one of Nigeria’s biggest labels in the mid-2000s, Mo’hits.
8. Let’s Live Together- Kush
KUSH was a group made up of three women, (Lara George, TY Bello and Emem Ema) and a man (Dapo Torimiro).
K.U.S.H released their hit song “Let us Live Together” as part of their album The Experience in 2003. The video for this well-liked song featured a combination of black, white, grey, and sepia.
In between shots of TY Bello and Lara George doing their thing, were short clips of wartime scenes. The theme was devastation, death, and destruction, and Kush played it to the greatest effect with everything from a starving child to a woman promising to kill another woman and an image of a dead body on burnt soil.
9. Sola Allyson “Eji Owuro”
In 2003, a fresh-faced Sola Allyson burst onto the scene with the track “Eji Owuro” which acted as the soundtrack to a film of the same name. Her haunting voice as she sings about love is what made this track so special.
10. Ehen by Ruggedman feat. Nomoreloss
Nigerian rap icon Rugged man tapped the late singer Nomoreloss for this revolutionary rap diss track.Rugged man was in fine form and displayed top notch lyricism,as he named drop a couple of rappers at that time whom he felt were not representing the genre well.This song was hugely popular among hip hop fans,and kept a lot of rappers on their toes.
1st picture is Sunny Neji,
2nd picture is Style Plus,
3rd picture is Kush,
4th picture is Jazzman Olofin,
5th picture is D’banj,
6th picture is Sola Allyson,
7th picture is Tony Tetuila,
8th picture is Rugged Man,
9th picture is Danfo Drivers,
last picture is Psquare.
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