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10 Grammy-Nominated Nigerian Songs You Should Add To Your Playlist

A new week unfolds with radiant sunshine, fresh challenges, and the afterglow of the Grammy weekend – the pinnacle of musical nights. Yes, the 66th annual Grammy Awards dazzled with the brightest stars from around the globe converging to honor greatness. The grand event featured a spectacular show, and amidst the excitement, numerous Nigerians stood poised to potentially claim some of the prestigious Grammy Awards, especially with the addition of the new Best African Music/Album Performance category this year.

However, despite several nominations for hit songs by some renowned Nigerian artists, none emerged victorious in their categories at last night’s ceremony. As we reflect on this outcome, let’s journey back through time with our weekly playlist and reminisce 10 iconic Nigerian songs that have been nominated for the esteemed Grammy Awards.

“Unavailable” – Davido ft. Musa Keys

Davido experienced a surge of excitement when he received a nomination for the 66th Grammy Awards in November of last year. The Nigerian artist was in high spirits, anticipating a victorious night and the chance to bask in the glory of a Grammy win. Unfortunately, his chart-topping song, “Unavailable featuring Musa Keys“, faced stiff competition and was surpassed by the remarkable global hit “Water” by South African rising star Tyla.

Despite Davido’s extensive collection of awards, the prestigious Grammy remained a coveted addition to his accolades. Nevertheless, the talented Afrobeats sensation proudly joins the exclusive roster of Grammy-nominated artists, thanks to his track “Unavailable” featuring Musa Keys from the album “Timeless,” which also secured a nomination in the “Best African Music Album” category.

“Unavailable” remains an iconic hit, celebrated for its captivating dance beats that resonate in clubs, parties, and the comfort of homes. This Amapiano-Afrobeats fusion is a must-add to your playlist, offering a beautiful and infectious rhythm for everyone to enjoy.

“Essence” – Wizkid ft. Tems

“Essence” is a captivating song by Nigerian artist Wizkid, featuring the talented Tems. Unveiled on October 30, 2020, as the fourth single from Wizkid’s fourth studio album, “Made in Lagos,” the track was skillfully produced by P2J and Legendury Beatz. This “sensual” composition delves into the expression of mutual desire between the two vocalists.

Accompanying the song is a visually enticing music video, released on April 9, 2021, and shot in the scenic backdrop of Accra, Ghana. Notably, “Essence” etched its place in history as the first Nigerian song to make an impact on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard Global 200 charts. This achievement underlines the song’s international resonance and appeal. Further adding to its accolades, “Essence” earned a well-deserved nomination at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards in the category of Best Global Music Performance. The track’s fusion of artistry and global recognition solidifies its status as a remarkable contribution to the musical scene.

Certainly, the 2021 summer anthem remains a favorite for many, and even in the current month of February, a season traditionally associated with love, anticipation is high for enthusiasts to infuse their playlists with the RnB-inspired Afrobeats love duet from Wizkid and Tems. The timeless charm of this musical collaboration continues to resonate, ensuring that it remains a go-to track for those seeking to set the mood with soulful melodies and heartfelt lyrics.

“Alone” – Burna Boy

Burna Boy has garnered multiple Grammy nominations for various songs, and while “Alone” may not be the pinnacle, its significance lies in the iconic moment it represents. The song serves as a poignant tribute, adorned with heartfelt words and inspiring lyrics, earning Burna Boy four well-deserved recognitions at this year’s Grammy Awards. Notably, the Afro-Fusion maestro achieved another milestone by being the first Nigerian artist to grace the Grammy Awards stage with a performance.

“Alone,” featured in the Blank Panther music collection, stands out as a symbol of celebration for the prestigious Grammy theme. Beyond its Grammy association, the song’s beauty and iconic status make it a compelling addition to your playlist. Its uplifting melodies and timeless message serve as a musical companion to navigate through challenging times, offering solace and motivation throughout the year.

“Pa Pa Pa” – Femi Kuti

Renowned Nigerian Afrobeat singer Femi Kuti presents “Pa Pa Pa,” a compelling track that revolves around the challenges Nigerian citizens encounter with the government, urging them not to endure time wastage. Femi Kuti goes further to advocate for proactive measures, advising citizens to vote out underperforming elected politicians incapable of providing at least the basic necessities of life for the people.

“Pa Pa Pa” is a noteworthy inclusion in Femi Kuti’s album, aptly titled Legacy + Album, reflecting the artist’s commitment to addressing social and political issues through his music. The track resonates with a call for accountability and civic engagement, encouraging listeners to actively participate in shaping a better future for their communities.

The song “Pa Pa Pa” achieved elite recognition with a Grammy nomination in 2020. Its resonant message, particularly poignant during times of economic challenges, makes it a valuable addition to any playlist. Beyond its prestigious accolade, the track boasts a top-tier melody that further enhances its appeal, providing listeners with both musical excellence and a powerful commentary on societal issues. Including “Pa Pa Pa” in your playlist is not just a musical choice; it’s an opportunity to engage with a socially relevant and Grammy-acknowledged piece that transcends the boundaries of entertainment.

“Brown Skin Girl” – Beyoncé ft. Wizkid

Wizkid achieved a remarkable milestone by winning the Best Music Video award for “Brown Skin Girl” alongside Beyoncé and Blue Ivy at the Premiere Ceremony of the 63rd GRAMMY Awards. This prestigious award recognizes not only the artist, WizKid but also the video director and video producer involved in the creation of the outstanding music video. Notably, the inclusion of Blue Ivy in the accolade makes her one of the youngest artists to secure a GRAMMY win, adding a special and historic dimension to their collective achievement. “Brown Skin Girl” not only captivated audiences with its musical excellence but also stood out visually, earning recognition from the Grammys for its artistic and cinematic qualities.

“Brown Skin Girl,” produced by P2J and Beyoncé, is a track featured on the 2019 soundtrack album “The Lion King: The Gift.” Released as the second single from the album, the song made its debut on Top 40/Rhythmic radio on July 23, 2019. The track garnered widespread critical acclaim and earned several prestigious awards, including the Soul Train Music Award for The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award and the BET HER Award, highlighting its impact and significance within the music industry.

Beyoncé showcased the music video for “Brown Skin Girl” in her 2020 film “Black Is King” and released it separately on August 24, 2020. Directed by Beyoncé and Jenn Nkiru, the video serves as a powerful celebration and affirmation of the beauty of dark-skinned women, contributing to the broader narrative of empowerment and inclusivity

“Rush” – Ayra Starr

Ayra Starr‘s Grammy nomination holds a unique distinction as “Rush” earned a spot in the inaugural Best African Music Performance category. What makes this recognition even more exceptional is that ‘Rush’ received the nomination despite not being released within the standard eligibility timeframe – an unusual exception in the Grammys.

This recognition not only underscores the exceptional quality of Ayra Starr’s work but also highlights the evolving nature of Grammy considerations, making room for outstanding contributions that may fall outside traditional eligibility constraints. The inclusion of ‘Rush’ in the Best African Music Performance category showcases the Grammys’ adaptability to acknowledge noteworthy music that transcends conventional timelines. Rush is indeed a superb banger and everyone can’t get enough of the hit song by Ayra Starr. You should add the beautifully woven Afrobeats song to your playlist this week.

“Amapiano” – Asake ft. Olamide

Everyone enjoys an Amapiano sound, however, Asake and Olamide took this to another level as they got their first nomination at the 2024 Grammy Awards. It was a historic moment for Nigerian artists Olamide and Asake as they both received their debut Grammy nominations for their collaborative track “Amapiano” in the category of Best African Music Performance. This marks the first-ever Grammy recognition for both Olamide and Asake, underscoring their growing influence on the global music scene.

The collaboration on “Amapiano” proved to be a resounding success, topping charts and becoming a widely celebrated anthem not only in Nigeria but also across various African countries. This Grammy nomination is a testament to their artistic prowess and the impact of their collaborative efforts, solidifying their places on the international stage.

“Last Last” – Burna Boy

Burna Boy has been bagging nominations non-stop now since his first nomination with the “African Giant” album back in 2020 in the “Best World Music Album” category. The brilliant genius achieved this feat again in 2022 with his album, “Love, Damini” and also got nominated for the “Best World Music Performance” category with the 2022 summer anthem “Last Last”.

The Grammy-nominated track, “Last Last”, by Nigerian singer Burna Boy, marks the first single from his sixth studio album, “Love, Damini” released on May 13, 2022, through Atlantic Records, the song is built on a sample from American singer Toni Braxton’s 2000 single “He Wasn’t Man Enough”. The writers of the original track, LaShawn Daniels, Harvey Mason Jr., Fred Jerkins III, and Darkchild, are duly credited on “Last Last”.

Burna Boy collaborated with producers Off & Out (Mikael and Samuel Haataja), Chopstix, MdS, and Ruuben in co-writing the song. Notably, Burna Boy showcased a live performance of “Last Last” at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards just two days after its release. Notably, the official music video for “Last Last,” directed by Burna Boy himself, was simultaneously released with the song on May 13, 2022, adding a visual dimension to the music experience.

“Wait For U” – Future ft. Drake & Tems

With this beautiful song, “Wait for U”, Future, Drake, and Tems secured a victory at the 2023 Grammy Awards, clinching the Best Melodic Rap Performance for their collaborative track. The 2022 hit triumphed over strong contenders such as Jack Harlow’s “First Class,” Kendrick Lamar’s “Die Hard,” Latto’s “Big Energy (Live),” and DJ Khaled’s “Beautiful.” Notably, none of the artists were present at the Grammys to accept the award.

In addition to his success in the Best Melodic Rap Performance category, Future received another nomination for Best Rap Album with “I Never Liked You”. Meanwhile, Tems garnered recognition for Album of the Year for her contributions to Beyoncé’s “Renaissance.” The multiple nominations underscored the diverse talents and impactful collaborations that these artists brought to the forefront of the music industry.

It’s a perfect week to take a trip down memory lane and savor the incredible music that is “Wait For U” by Future, Drake, and Tems. This collaborative track brought together the talents of these renowned artists, creating a memorable and undoubtedly enjoyable piece of music. So, indulge in the nostalgia and let the captivating sounds of “Wait For U” by Future, Drake, and Tems fill your week with musical delight.

“One Dance” – Drake ft. Wizkid

Wizkid was really iconic on this one. “One Dance” is a song by Canadian rapper and singer Drake, featured on his fourth studio album, Views, released in 2016. This dancehall and Afrobeats fusion feature guest vocals from Nigerian artist WizKid and British singer Kyla. The collaborative effort of these artists, along with co-producers Nineteen85 and Noah “40” Shebib, resulted in a chart-topping hit.

The widespread success of “One Dance” is evident in its number-one chart positions in 15 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Notably, it topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for 10 non-consecutive weeks, and in the UK, it held the record for the longest-running top 10 single of the 2010s decade, spending 15 consecutive weeks at the summit. The featured artist, WizKid, made history as the first Nigerian artist to top the US Billboard Hot 100. “One Dance” joined Rihanna’s “Work” as the second dancehall song of 2016 to achieve this feat.

The post 10 Grammy-Nominated Nigerian Songs You Should Add To Your Playlist appeared first on tooXclusive.

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