Nigeria: Musical Collaborations That Defined 2021

17 December 2021

The power of collaborations cannot be overemphasized, and this year is no different.

Through the decades, we've seen many artists team up to deliver a memorable hit that leaves fans swooning. For instance, from Lagbaja's 'Never Far Away' that features powerhouse singer Ego, Onyeka Onwenu's smashing duet 'Wait for Me' with King Sunny Ade, to 2020's popular hit 'Know You' that leverages the synergy between Ladipoe and Simi, these songs show the power of collaboration.

Here are some of the top collaborations that defined the year 2021.

'Coming' - Naira Marley, Busiswa Gqulu

Released in the first quarter of the year, Naira Marley extends his trail of controversial songs with unabashed lyrics, over-the-top braggadocio, and raunchy visuals with some silly special effects. Marley and Busiswa did not shy away from their sexual intentions. Though it may not be the go-to track on your playlist for obvious reasons, it reigns supreme in nightclubs.

'Early Momo' - Vector, GoodGirl LA

What 'Coming' lacks in conservative lyrics and lyricism, 'Early Momo makes up for in brilliantly penned double entendre. Vector's silky rap lines effortlessly fuse with Good Girl LA's raspy tone over dreamy guitar riffs and heart throbbing beats. It remains the official quiet storm on urban late-night radio.

'Running (To You)' - Chike, Simi

This collaboration affirms the adage 'two (good) heads are better than one.' The perfect standalone track of Chike gets the 'Simi' treatment, further expanding its listenership and breaking cultural boundaries for Chike.

'High' - Adekunle Gold, Davido

The good boy turned bad Adekunle Gold teams up with Davido to deliver a tribute to alcohol with reckless abandon. Taking the amapiano route, Gold retains relevance in the ever-shifting music landscape.

'Somebody's Son' - Tiwa Savage, Brandy

A twist on 'The Boy is Mine', Tiwa Savage teams up with American singer Brandy to deliver a female power anthem. Released amid sex tape controversy, Savage leverages her femininity to produce stunning visuals. The song has also inspired thousands of social media memes.

'Kolo' - Ice Prince, Oxlade

Reminiscent of collaborations between rappers and R'n'B singers in the early 2000s, Ice Prince extends his legacy by sharing the spotlight with Oxlade, who possesses all the skills of an OG. With the chorus rendered in pidgin, it has captured the attention of many music lovers, making it a staple on most playlists.

'Feeling' - Ladipoe, Buju

This one is hard to miss. Buju draws listeners in with his brief melismatic singing, which is later followed by Ladipoe's sleek rap bars. Generally a feel-good song, the visuals go a step further to exploit emotions.

'Love Nwantiti' - Ckay, Various artistes

The global phenomenon that bears the silky voice of Ckay has featured the likes of Joeboy, Kuami Eugene, and Moroccan rapper ElGrandeToto in different versions, The viral hit has slowly become a global anthem with thousands of covers in its honour.

'Monalisa' - Lojay, Sarz

Sometimes less is more. Creatively harnessing the song's title albeit repetitive, Lojay gives one of the catchiest choruses in recent times. Teaming with Sarz, the pair complement each other in ways words cannot describe.

'Essence' - Wizkid, Tems

Easily overlooked as part of the body of work that is 'Made in Lagos', the creative direction of the song becomes complete with accompanying visuals that portray WizKid and Tems as lovers. A global hit in its rights, Wizkid and 'star girl' Tems dominate global music.

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