The pandemic may have crippled entertainment activities last year but it showcased the talents of up-and-coming artists. Artists like Omah Lay, Tems, Ladipoe gained more prominence in 2020 as most people turned to entertainment to fight the ennui during the lockdown period.
The newly released All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) nomination list evidently showed the talents of these young ones who seemed poised to take the baton from the superstars.
While Wizkid is the most nominated Nigerian artist, with six nods, Omah Lay stands toe to toe with Patoranking and Davido with four nominations. He is nominated in the Best Male Artiste in Western Africa, Artiste of the Year, Best Artiste, Duo or Band in African Pop and Breakout Artiste of the Year.
The continental award for Artiste of the Year is one of the top honours in AFRIMA and it parades the best of African talents. For the 2021 awards, the category boasts 11 talents out of which Nigeria occupied four slots. Omah Lay faces big weights in the Nigerian music industry like Wizkid, Burna Boy and Davido in this category. The odds seemingly are against Omah Lay whose musical career is incomparable to his contenders. However, winning this category at the awards scheduled for November will solidify his name in the industry. The Port Harcourt singer and producer's popularity reached new heights in 2020 following the release of 'Bad Influence'. He was also featured in Olamide's 'Infinity'.
Similarly, the new female act on the music block Tems is facing known and established acts like Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade in the regional category Best Female Artiste in Western Africa. Tems, a 26-year-old singer, broke into the music scene with her catchy single 'Try Me' in 2019. She has since followed it up with other tracks and EPs. Her latest feature in Wizkid's song 'Essence' was highly lauded. Tems recently inked an international recording deal with RCA.
She is also nominated in the Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African R&B Soul, and Breakout Artiste of the Year.
Other up-and-coming acts vying for recognition at the AFRIMA awards include Cavemen and the Isomers.
It will be interesting to see how these artists fare at the awards. It may signal their journey to superstardom and mark the beginning of a new music era.
The AFRIMA nomination list, released on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 was from the over 8,880 songs submitted for adjudication. It features over 400 songs from artistes in the 30 continental and 10 regional categories cutting across African talents and creatives living on the continent and in the Diaspora.
AFRIMA in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC) will be broadcast live on 84 television stations in 109 countries from Lagos, Nigeria from November 19-21, 2021.