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10 most streamed Nigerian EPs of last year

Seyi Shay

The average Nigerian music consumer is buying less CDs and streaming more. These days, there’s no better reflection of how well an EP has performed in the marketplace than examining the streaming data. We, therefore, combed through data from 20+ EPs released in 2018. Comparing their numbers on streaming platforms like Music+, Boomplay, YouTube and Spotify to compile a list of the top 10 most streamed Nigerian EPs of 2018. Here they are:

Boogey & CHx — Never Enough
Released: Nov 9, 2018 / Record Label: Timeless Music
Rapper Boogey has a catalogue filled with critically acclaimed projects and must be itching to now have some reach commercial success. The CHx-produced Never Enough highlights Boogey’s career-long struggle. Even though he had one of the most streamed projects of 2018, I’m pretty sure the wordsmith is under no illusion that the struggle is over.

Ice Prince — C.O.L.D
Released: Jun 29, 2018 / Record Label: Super Cool Cats
Ice Prince is currently rebuilding his career, one project at a time. He released an EP last year, which served as a reintroduction, and followed it up with a book in 2019. C.O.L.D wasn’t in most conversations for best EP of 2018, but the fact that it was among the most streamed is an indication that Ice Prince is still potentially one hit song away from making a full comeback.

Funbi — Serenade
Released: Nov 4, 2018 / Record Label: Fatherland
Collectiv3 alumni, Funbi, released his debut project last year. The R&B heartthrob might have committed the cardinal sin of excluding a LadiPoe guest feature, but Serenade still managed to live up to the expectations of most fans, and find its way on this list.

Ajebutter22 × BOJ — Make E No Cause Fight
Released: May 18, 2018 / Record Label: Jungle Records
When the Headies nominations came out last year, and the organizers didn’t recognize any of Ajebutter’s music, the rapper let everyone on Twitter know how he felt. But BOJ, Butter’s friend and frequent collaborator, advised: “Baba, Headies no go put money for pocket, make e no cause fight”. The duo then came together to flip Ajebutter’s protest into a whole body of work and went straight to the consumer to decide whether or not it was good enough.

YCee × Bella — Late Night Vibration
Released: Jan 29, 2018 / Record Label: Tinny Entertainment
One of the saddest stories of the last few years is the rise and fall of Tinny Entertainment. Tinny was building a formidable roster. Ycee was the marquee artist who brought attention to the team but Bella Alubo, an alumna of the alté music scene, was an inspired addition. Sadly, both of those artists are now pushing their own careers by themselves. The project that their brief union produced, Late Night Vibration, is a good indication of what could have been.

Praiz — 2 Mins
Released: Jan 24, 2018 / Record Label: X3M Music
Praiz has perfected the balance of doing enough pop songs to stay relevant but also supplying quality R&B music for his core fans to remain satisfied. 2 Mins is the exact type of project most artists of Praiz’ talent level are afraid to allow leave the studio because of the belief that there’s no place for pure R&B music in Nigeria. But, if the streaming numbers of 2 Mins are anything to go by, then Praiz seems to have poked a big, beautiful hole in that argument.

Seyi Shay — Electric Package (Vol 1)
Released: May 11, 2018 / Record Label: Stargul
Seyi Shay turned her publicly-humiliating lemons into music lemonade last year. During a now infamous interview, the singer mistook EP to mean “Electric Package” and was roasted online for it. But she dusted herself up and released an actual EP of the same title. The indie project has racked up a healthy number of streams. So, in the final analysis, Seyi might have actually had the last laugh.

Flavour × Umu Ogbiligbo — Awele
Released: Dec 1, 2018 / Record Label: 2Nite Music Group
Flavour released 2 EPs last year to hold fans over till his next studio album and to experiment with new sounds. He also used the projects as an opportunity to give a couple of 2Nite affiliates exposure. Awele was put together with the help of Igbo highlife duo Umu Ogbiligbo, who’ll now be hoping to establish themselves after such a well-received project.

Flavour × Semah — Divine
Released: Mar 12, 2018 / Record Label: 2Nite Music Group
One of the most shocking things that happened last year was Flavour releasing a successful gospel project. Yes, that Flavour. Since their meeting in 2017, Flavour’s visually-impaired mentee, Semah, seems to have had a profound effect on not just Flavour the man, but also on Flavour the swashbuckling pop star. The Divine EP is proof of that.

Maleek Berry — First Daze of Winter
Released: Jan 11, 2018 / Record Label: Berry’s Room
Carrying on with the seasonal themes of his music, Maleek Berry released First Daze of Winter last year. Empowered by a huge Spotify following, where he was ranked #4 in the most listened to Nigerian artist last year, the producer-turned-singer is establishing himself as a streaming phenomenon in Nigerian pop music, even though he actually doesn’t live here.

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