The Big 5: Nigerian Music Legends Shaping Global Sounds

Let's look at these five Nigerian artists in terms of their influence, achievements, and impact on the music industry.

1. David Adeleke (Davido)

Influence: Davido is a significant figure in the Afrobeats scene. He's known for his high-energy performances and a string of hits that have topped charts globally.

Achievements: He has won numerous awards, including BET Awards, MTV Africa Music Awards, and has had several hits like “Fall,” “If,” and “FIA.”

Impact: Davido's international collaborations with artists like Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj have helped push African music into the global mainstream.

2. Wizkid

Influence: Wizkid is one of the most prominent Nigerian artists worldwide. He has a unique sound that blends Afrobeats with other genres.

Achievements: His collaboration with Drake on “One Dance” brought him international fame. He's won several awards, including Grammy Awards, and his album “Made in Lagos” has received global acclaim.

Impact: Wizkid has been pivotal in making Afrobeats a globally recognized genre. His influence extends beyond music into fashion and culture.

3. Burna Boy

Influence: Known as the “African Giant,” Burna Boy has a distinct style that mixes Afrobeats, dancehall, reggae, and American rap.

Achievements: He has won a Grammy Award for Best Global Music Album for “Twice as Tall” and has been nominated multiple times. His albums “African Giant” and “Twice as Tall” have received international acclaim.

Impact: Burna Boy's music addresses social and political issues, and he's known for his strong Pan-African stance, contributing to a broader awareness of African culture and issues.

4. Rema

Influence: Rema is a younger artist who has quickly risen to prominence with his unique sound and style.

Achievements: He has received several awards and nominations, including at the Headies Awards. His songs like “Dumebi” and “Iron Man” have gained international attention.

Impact: Rema represents the new generation of Afrobeats artists. His innovative approach and youthful energy are shaping the future of the genre.

5. Don Jazzy

Don Jazzy can certainly be considered a part of the “big 5” in the Nigerian music industry, though his role is somewhat different from the artists previously mentioned. Here's a look at Don Jazzy's influence and impact:

Influence: Don Jazzy is one of the most influential music producers and executives in Africa. He co-founded the iconic Mo'Hits Records, which launched the careers of several prominent artists, including D'Banj. After Mo'Hits dissolved, he founded Mavin Records, another powerhouse in the African music scene.

Achievements: Don Jazzy has been instrumental in producing numerous hit songs and albums. Under his leadership, Mavin Records has nurtured successful artists like Tiwa Savage, Rema, and Korede Bello. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to music production and entrepreneurship.

Impact: Don Jazzy's impact on the Nigerian music industry is profound. He has helped shape the sound of modern Afrobeats and has been a key figure in promoting Nigerian music globally. His work behind the scenes as a producer and label executive has been crucial in developing and popularizing many artists' careers.

Role: Unlike Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, and Rema, who are primarily known as performers, Don Jazzy is best known for his work as a producer and label executive. This makes his role somewhat unique but equally important in the industry.

Influence on Artists: Don Jazzy has been a mentor and producer for many artists, similar to how Banky W has influenced the careers of others. His work has directly contributed to the success of many artists who are now household names.

Industry Impact: His influence extends beyond just creating music; he has shaped the business side of the industry as well. Don Jazzy's ability to spot and nurture talent has had a lasting impact on the Nigerian and African music scenes.


Don Jazzy's contributions as a producer and label executive are significant enough to place him alongside the big names in Nigerian music. While his role differs from that of performing artists, his influence, achievements, and impact on the industry are undeniable. Therefore, categorizing Don Jazzy as part of the big 5 is well-justified, considering his foundational role in the growth and globalization of Afrobeats. The “big 5” in the Nigerian music industry are referred to as such because of their unparalleled contributions and influence. They have not only shaped the sound and direction of Nigerian music but have also played a crucial role in its global recognition. Their collective achievements, innovation, and ability to inspire make them standout figures worthy of this designation.

Last updated on July 11th, 2024 at 12:24 am

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