The average Nigerian music consumer is streaming more and there’s no better reflection of how well an album has performed in the marketplace than examining the streaming data. After combing through data from 30+ albums released in 2018 and comparing their numbers on streaming platforms like Music+, Boomplay, YouTube and Spotify, these is a list of the top 10 most streamed Nigerian albums of 2018. Here they are:
10. Mr 2Kay — Elevated
Released: Feb 9, 2018 / Record Label: Grafton Records
Prior to 2018, Mr. 2Kay was an artist who was more in the news for his personal life than for his music, and that was even if he was in the news at all. The surprise success of his sophomore album Elevated was, therefore, a reminder of the Grafton artist’s early promise.
9. Dremo — Codename (Vol 1)
Released: Jul 20, 2018 / Record Label: Davido Music Worldwide
Dremo might be a small rap fish inside Davido’s pop music pond but in 2018, he still managed to make a significant splash. The rapper released his debut project Codename (Vol.1). The LP was helped by features from some of the most sought-after artists of 2018, a handful of which also happen to be Dremo’s label mates.
8. DJ Neptune — Greatness
Released: May 25, 2018 / Record Label: Neptune Records
Veteran DJ, DJ Neptune finally released his first full body of work: Greatness. Neptune says his aim was to make an album of 15 unskippable tracks. A couple of those songs lit up the charts in 2018, and made the Greatness album not only one of the best projects of the year, but also one of the most streamed.
7. Adekunle Gold — About 30
Released: May 25, 2018 / Record Label: Afro Urban Records / EMPIRE
Adekunle Gold survived the dreaded sophomore slump but it was a close call. Critics were divided about the quality of the singer’s second offering. There was also a significant difference between the quantity of streams of albums 1 and 2. That said, Adekunle Gold deserves credit for remaining a bankable artist in 2018, even without the support of a local label and the collateral of hit singles.
6. YBNL — YBNL Mafia Family
Released: Dec 14, 2018 / Record Label: YBNL Nation
Speaking of Adekunle’s former label, Olamide revamped YBNL in 2018. He added a couple of new faces to a roster that, since Adekunle Gold and Lil Kesh left, has failed to produce another star act. Olamide sacrificed his customary solo-album-every-year to present the YBNL recruits with fresh opportunities to shine, but he didn’t give up his place at the top end of the charts.
5. DJ Spinall — Iyanu
Released: Oct 26, 2018 / Record Label: The CAP Music
DJ Spinall is arguably the #1 DJ in the country right now. The ‘fearless’ DJ has now released 4 albums in 4 years. And those albums have produced at least one of the highest-charting songs in the respective years they were released. That’s why DJ Spinall’s star-studded albums are now practically a shoo-in for the most streamed projects every year.
4. Kizz Daniel — No Bad Songz
Released: Nov 30, 2018 / Record Label: Flyboy Inc
Last year, Kizz Daniel managed to escape what seemed to be a personally successful but creatively restrictive environment at G Worldwide Entertainment. Free to work with whomever he pleased and free from having to shout-out Emperor Geezy on every track, the pop star produced some of the biggest songs of the year. But he still managed to save enough firepower for his sophomore project.
3. Burna Boy — Outside
Released: Jan 26, 2018 / Record Label: Spaceship Entertainment/Atlantic
Burna Boy is one of the last artists to get a big Alaba pay day; he reportedly received N10m in 2013 for his debut album L.I.F.E. With the success of his third album Outside however, the singer is showing his value in the streaming era too. This longevity is probably one of the reasons why Burna now sees himself as an “African Giant” whose name must be written in big fonts at all times.
2. Mayorkun — The Mayor of Lagos
Released: Nov 16, 2018 / Record Label: Davido Music Worldwide
Davido didn’t release an album in 2018, allowing his lieutenant, Mayorkun, ample space to shine. The DMW singer released his debut album TMoL late last year. However, in the 2 years prior, he had already built a discography off of smash hits. Those hit singles not only masked the artistic shortcomings of TMoL but allowed the album to land so high on the streaming charts.
1. Mr Eazi — Life Is Eazi; Lagos To London (Volume 2)
Released: Nov 9, 2018 / Record Label: Banku Music
Last year, Mr Eazi declared that his music catalogue was now worth a whopping $1m. At the time, it seemed like an empty boast. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that, in the new frontier of music streaming, Mr Eazi is head and shoulders above his peers. Not only did he have the most streamed project last year, he was also the most listened to Nigerian on Spotify; all this without a smash hit in 2018.