Today’s feature article on #MyGbeduList will be talking about Nigerian musicians who became successful as a result of music collaborations. This is what we refer to as the ‘collabo effect’.
In Nigeria, music collaborations between musicians has helped developed great talents and given some young artistes the confidence to remain in the game. The ‘collabo effect’ may come as an artiste’s debut or may be their major break after struggling for a while.
The ‘collabo effect’ is still strong in the industry and so many musicians, most especially upcoming artistes still believe in this strategy to blow. Some believe all they just need is a big star on their song and boom they are stars automatically. But this is not always the case. It works for some and doesn’t work for others.
Many of the musicians on this list are lucky to have hit it right the first time. Some may have tried it several times and failed. A lot of artistes today are still finding it difficult to find that right man or woman to put on their songs to make the song a hit.
However, when we talk of the ‘collabo effect’ it might not necessarily mean the artiste featured must be a big star or already known. It all depends on the song in question. Some musicians in recent times have done that, some did it alone, while some needed assistance from other musicians to hit it big.
THE COLLABO EFFECT: Top Nigerian Musicians Who Became Successful From Music Collaborations
The fact that you already know most of these artistes before the collabo doesn’t mean they are top notch already. Most of these musicians may have singles you already know or their songs have been trending before. But trust me after they released the songs on this list, it was a total turn around for their music careers.
Runtown – Gallardo Ft. Davido.
This artiste will be starting the list. I know you will agree with me when you see this.
Runtown has been doing music many years before Davido thought of doing music. Runtown has been doing music for a far as 2009, but much was not heard from him. In 2013, Runtown had a smashing single entitled “Party like its 1980”(Kinorbor). Though it was a big hit and so many of you danced to that song and even had it on repeat i guess. That was just Runtown trying to fix himself in your heart, I call that the introduction.
Fast forward to January 2014, when he dropped the monster hit “Gallardo” featuring Davido (OBO), I tell you the rest is history. The song went from just being your favorite to being a nationwide anthem. The song then i could say was bigger that Runtown because we all know his life was never the same after it.
“Gallardo” didn’t only give him a major breakthrough, but also gave him a life and a complete brand. The song gave him is first major award, winning 2014 best collaboration at the 2014 edition of the Nigeria Entertainment Awards. The fact that the song was the lead single from his debut studio album “Ghetto University” gave the album the strength to generate over N35 million on MTN Music Plus.
The song also gave Runtown the top 5 spot of the most streamed artiste in Nigeria. Rumors even had it that Runtown gave “Aye” to Davido, as a result of the massive success, he got from their collaboration. Although Runtown has since then been serving us with great tunes, but he will never forget the collabo effect of “Gallardo“.
Solidstar – One In A Million Ft, 2 Baba.
Not much to say about this artiste’s past, as he is one of those musicians who made it from their first music collaborations.
In 2010 Solidstar released his debut studio album “One In A Million” which his lead single “One in a million” was in. But we all got familiar with the “Skibo” crooner after he remixed the song with the legendary 2 Baba.
The remix of “One in a million” featuring 2 Baba, gave Solidstar the energy he needed to make his mark in the industry. In 2010, Solidstar won Best new artiste at the Nigeria Music Video Award (NMVA), with the help of the hit single “One in a million“.
Solidstar has been serving us with great songs and other great music collaborations. Songs like “Oluchi” featuring Flavour and “Wait” featuring Davido and the refix featuring Tiwa Savage and Patoranking. But the evergreen “One in a million” is still his biggest hit ever and all thanks to the ‘collabo effect’.
Lil kesh – Shoki Ft, Davido X Olamide.
This is another Davido’s ‘collabo effect’. In late 2013 – early 2014, Lil Kesh lyrical hit “Lyrically” was the only bragging right he had then. “Lyrically” was only accepted by hip hop and rap fans, the song was a big hit then at the University of Nigeria.
In 2014 when Kesh got officially signed to YBNL, he released a smashing single entitled “Shoki“. At the point when fans was still finding it difficult to accept the song, then boom OBO jumped on it. In 2014 when Davido and Lil kesh’s label boss Olamide jumped on the remix of the song everything changed for him.
“Shoki” remix became Lil Kesh’s biggest song even till date. In 2015, The song gave Lil Kesh a nomination as Best new act to watch at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. In the same year Lil Kesh won the Celebrity Award – Song Of The Year (Shoki rmx) at the Nigerian Teen Choice Awards. He also won the award for most Popular Song of the Year (Shoki rmx) at City People Entertainment Awards. Mtv Base Music Award Nominated Lil Kesh’s song as the most Popular Song of the Year (Shoki remix featuring Olamide & Davido).
Recall the controversy at The Headies 2015, where fans claimed Lil Kesh should have won the Next rated Award because of the hit single “Shoki“, Yeah!….Lil Kesh has been able to stay strong in the game ever since that music collaboration. Like people will call it the ‘collabo’ of life.
Phyno – Ghost Mode Ft, Olamide.
Although most you will disagree with this song but the truth is we can not do anything about it. Phyno to many of us was already made, no doubt before this song. Around 2010, Phyno released a smashing hit single “Multiply” featuring big names like Flavour, Mr Raw, Timaya and MI, yet only a few people knew Phyno then.
Fast Forward to September 2012, when he released the lead single “Ghost Mode” of his “No Gut No Glory” album, nothing was the same for Phyno after that.
“Ghost Mode” which featured Olamide gave Phyno the massive exposure he needed to push forward with his music career. The song became an open door for Phyno, as the song won Best Collabo at both the 2012 Headies Awards and 2013 Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
He also went on to bag several nominations from many award shows. After the release of the album “No Gut No Glory” he won the award for best Rap Artiste of the Year at the City People Entertainment Awards.
“Ghost Mode” and “Dope Money” inspired the “2 KING” album by Phyno and Olamide.
D’Banj– Tongolo Ft, Don Jazzy.
There is a saying that says; D’Banj is nothing without Don Jazzy, this may be true because these duo brought great sensation to the Nigerian music industry.
D Banj is one of the few stars to hit it right at first shot through music collaborations. With the release of his lead single “Tongolo” which featured Don Jazzy, gave him the major breakthrough he needed. The song was off his debut studio album “No Long Thing” released in 2005.
In 2006 he won the Best Newcomer award at the 2006 Channel O Music Video Awards for “Tongolo“, a song off his aforementioned album. In 2005, D’banj won the Most Promising Male Artist award at the 2005 Kora Awards.
He went on to win the Best Newcomer at the Fizz Award for his smashing single “Tongolo“. In the same year he won the Revelation of the Year at The Headies award.
Although D’Banj has been serving us with smashing hits, he will never forget the impact of the monster hit single “Tongolo“.
Ice Prince – Oleku Ft, Brymo.
This is another case of hitting it right at the first shot through music collaborations. Ice Prince rose to fame after releasing “Oleku“, one of Nigeria’s most remixed songs of all time.
Although Ice Prince has been around the industry for years with no notable single to relate with. In 2009 he won the Hennessy Artistry at the Hennessy Artistry Club Tour. This prompted the release of the monster single “Oleku” Featuring Brymo in 2010.
We all know what happened next after the release of the monster collaboration. First it became the song with the highest remix in Africa. It went on to bag several nominations and winning great awards like the Song of the Year at City People Entertainment Awards. The song also won Best Contemporary Afro Video at the Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA).
“Oleku” gave Ice Prince the award for Young Artiste of the Year at the Eko FM/ Radio Lagos Awards. The song gave him the award for Most Gifted Newcomer Video at the Channel O Music Video Awards in 2011. In the same year Ice Prince swept The Headies award, winning the Best Rap Single and Song of the Year, including Best Collabo.
This song paved the way for the rapper and till date, “Oleku” featuring Brymo off his “Everybody love Ice Prince” album is still his biggest song so far.
Yung6ix – Follow me Ft, Wizkid.
Many people sees Yung6ix as a self made musician, no doubt because his achievements are based on hard work. Yung6ix has been in the game officially since 2009, with little or nothing to put him out big. In 2009 Yung6ix released a rap single titled “I’m an African“, Although the song gave him the recognition to push him to the next step.
He got signed to 411 Entertainment, where he recorded great songs like “Oleku rmx“, after which he followed it up with “So far gone” of his Green Light Green mixtape. With all of these songs out, Yung6ix was still known by just a few people, especially rap music lovers.
In April 2011, Yung6ix’s label 411 Entertainment signed a joint deal with Storm Records. The deal became the beginning of big things for the young lad, as it gave him his breakthrough song “Follow Me” featuring Wizkid.
In 2011, when the audio and video of the song was released, Yung6ix was the accepted by all. “Follow me” with Wizkid gave him the major breakthrough he had always longed for. Although the song didn’t give him any major award, the song was the stepping stone he needed to become who he is today.
Tekno – Holiday Ft, Davido.
Tekno is one of the artistes that made it from the first shot through music collaborations.
He is also one of Davido’s ‘collabo effect’. In 2012, while Tekno was still in Abuja, he was spotted by renowned Nigerian comedian Julius Agwu.
This happened at an event after Tekno Miles received a standing ovation following the performance of a song titled “Onye Ne Kwu“, his remix of Ice Prince’s “Oleku“. That was the only only bragging right Tekno had then.
In 2013, Tekno released the smashing single “Holiday” featuring Davido and boom! everything changed for the young lad.
Although during the time when this song was released, Tekno was not under a reputable record label. The song was released under K Money Entertainment imprint. “Holiday” was the hit Tekno needed then to be able to fix himself in the industry.
The collabo brought a great relationship between him and Davido, this has led to so many successful projects between the both artistes. Although “Holiday” did not win any notable award for the artiste, that doesn’t mean he didn’t appreciate the change of status after that collabo.
MI – Safe Ft, Djinee.
MI officially kicked of his music career in 2004, but had no major hit to show for it. MI’s hit single “Crowd mentality” was the only bragging right he had then. Even with that, only few people knew about the star and it was more like a dark world for him.
In 2007, he released the most talked about rap song in the country. “Safe” featuring Djinee is a song which he parodied popular Nigerian songs in its lyrics. The song gathered impressive airplay by African radio and music video stations such as MTV Vibe. The hype surrounding the release of “Safe” led to the critical acclaim given to his first studio album titled Talk About It and was rated 8.5/10 by Oye Akideinde of 360nobs.
“Safe” gave MI the Musician of the Year at the Modemen Awards 2008, he went on to win the Best Use of Special Effects in a video at the NMVA 2009. He won the Best New Act of the Year 2009 at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards. He also won the Hip Hop Revelation 2009 at the Hip Hop World Awards. The song won, Best Mainstream Hip Hop Video at the NMVA 2009. In 2009 MI won Best New Act at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2009.
All these and many others were the successes MI recorded from the monster collabo.
Falz – Marry me Ft, Yemi Alade X Poe.
Falz is one of those artistes who has been hardworking from day one. In 2011, Falz introduced himself with a loud single titled “Wazup Guy“. In 2012, he dropped great songs like “123” (featuring Oyinkansola) and “Welcome To The Jungle“. These songs still didn’t get him the attention he needed.
In 2013, he dropped 2 smashing singles entitled, “High Class” and “Currency“, with his 2014 followed up songs “Jessica” and “Toyin Tomato“. Although these songs introduced Falz to many but he was still known by just a few.
In the same 2014, Falz released the monster collabo “Marry Me” which featured Yemi Alade and Poe. When this song was released, Yemi Alade was still known as an upcoming, with just Johnny as her hit single. At that time Poe was signed to Bhad Guyz Record, a label owned by Falz.
This meant Falz was bigger than both artistes featured on the song. Although “Marry Me” didn’t win an award, that did not stop it from bagging the artiste his first major award nomination. Falz was nominated in the Best Collaboration of The Year category at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards for his chart-topping single “Marry Me“.
The song was an official open door for the star. Falz has become a household name since the release of the song.
Reekado Banks – Dorobucci Ft. Mavin All Star.
In 2013, the name Reekado Banks may have sounded like nothing, yes that is what many people know. But the young star has been around since 2008, with nothing to show for it.
In February 2014, he debut his first official single titled, “Turn It Up” featuring Mavin first lady Tiwa Savage. But yet I can bet that most of you haven’t even heard that song till date.
In May 2014, Reekado banks was fully introduced with the chart topping single “Dorobucci“, a song which featured the complete Mavin all star. Although the song had all the Mavin stars on it, Reekado Banks was still the lead artiste on the track. He took the hook and a verse, which gave him all the required attentions he needed.
In the same year Reekado Banks led big collaborations like “Adaobi” Featuring Don Jazzy, Korede Bello and Di’Ja. He was also part of the smashing collabo “Looku Looku” featuring the Mavin all stars.
The “Dorobucci” collabo paved way for Reekado Banks, after winning Best Pop Single at the 2014 Headies award, the song was also nominated at the same Award for the Song of the Year. In 2015 “Dorobucci” won the Song of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards. Nigeria Entertainment Awards also nominated the song as Hottest Single of the Year 2015.
The song pushed Reekado Banks to winning the Rookie of the Year at The Headies 2014 and also winning Next Rated award at The Headies 2015.
There are many other musicians who have made it in the industry with the help of collaboration. Some of which made it with a featured song and some with their own songs. A lot of these other artistes are still upcoming and some still haven’t prove they will stay for long. So you don’t have to worry when some names is not here, but you free to suggest names on the comment session.