Here are the 3 local music genres dominating Nigeria’s music scene

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Nigeria, often referred to as the “giant of Africa,” is well-known for both its thriving music scene and rich cultural legacy. Nigerian music has transformed over the last few decades from its traditional origins to become a worldwide force that affects popular culture much beyond the African continent. However, the country’s music scene remains firmly rooted in its history.

  • Spotify paid over $9 billion to musicians, with Nigeria accounting for $17.3 million in royalties
  • Indigenous genres like Igbo pop, Highlife, and Fuji saw significant increases in listenership
  • Top artists from local genres include K1 De Ultimate, Umu Obiligbo, and Phyno

According to the Loud and Clear report by the music streaming service, Spotify, there is more money for artists in streaming as the service paid over 9 billion to musicians in royalty for the year, the highest annual payment to the music industry from any single retailer.

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Of this income stream Nigeria accounted for $17.3 million (N25 billion). Artists from the country were also discovered by first-time listeners around 950 million times.

Indigenous genres did well during the year. Homegrown genres saw a significant increase in listenership with Igbo pop experiencing the highest rise in popularity. Igbo pop had an increase of 303%, Highlife was up by 224%, and Fuji saw an increase of 197%.

These figures represented an increase from Q1 2023 to Q1 2024. Highlife, Fuji, and Igbo Pop had their listenership increase in Q1 2024 growing by 240%, 175%, and 270% respectively from the same period under review in 2023.

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Additionally, the top artists from these local genres include K1 De Ultimate, Umu Obiligbo, and Phyno representing, Fuji, Highlife, and Igbo Pop, respectively.

During the year, Fuji got a contemporary twist with Adewale Ayuba’s Koloba Koloba, Highlife turned nostalgic with Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe’s Nwanem Ebezina, and KCee’s Ojapiano gave Igbo Pop a bright boost.

Men constituted the largest listeners of native music genres like Fuji (85%), Highlife (89%), and Igbo Pop (81%).

However, Gen Z (aged 18-24) is the dominating age group across all three genres, accounting for 32% of Fuji listeners, 31% of Highlife listeners, and 46% of Igbo Pop listeners.

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Additionally, Port Harcourt, Kastina, and Lagos all generated more listeners than any other city in the country.

The expansion of the Nigerian music industry reflects the country’s rich cultural legacy and the resourcefulness of its people. From its humble beginnings to its current status as a global force, Nigerian music has defied expectations and charmed fans worldwide.

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