This year, very few things were hotter than Nigerian music. Like Icarus, we– the music industry, flew close to the sun but unlike him, the musicians remained unscathed while the music charts themselves became engulfed with one hot song after another, eventually advancing past Nigeria to neighbouring countries and up up and away to shores beyond, from America to the UK and even Asia-bound India. To earmark the awesome year that Afropop, more widely known as Afrobeats has had, members of staff of Notjustok, exercised their franchise as discerning authorities in music, to eke out 22 of the hottest Nigerian songs in 2022 using online and physical relevance; on Nigerian charts, clubs, the streets of Nigeria and parties all over, down to radio and music channels, as well as replay value and chart staying power as parameters.
Here’s Notjustok list of the 22 hottest songs in Nigeria for 2022:
22. Baddest Boy- Skiibii, Davido
Collaboration would forever remain the bedrock of the music industry, birthing iconic record after another. In 2022, Skiibii’s “Baddest Boy” remix is a top-notch instance whicg simultaneously gave the singer his flowers for consistently putting out bops while highlighting the Davido effect that took the original song from a great song to an even greater one.
21. Dada- Young Jonn ft Davido
We’d first known him as the wicked producer, but it still left no one prepared for his music-making abilities which had peaked incredibly on the original version of “Dada”. Young Jonn’s emergence then doubled down with the Davido-featured remix as it shot straight to the top of the charts, even making a debut on the Billboard charts.
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20. Soweto- Victony ft Tempoe
When Victony dropped his Outlaw EP, it had been to substantial buzz, fans and music enthusiasts had taken note and that was it. The singer had however some months down the line, emerged like the Pied Piper, arresting everyone’s attention with the Tempoe-produced “Soweto”. Hypnotic and irresistible with a sparkling mellow feel and flute riffs, “Soweto” not only rocked the charts but social media as well, bringing with it an exciting dance challenge that went global.
19. Dior- Ruger
Dior may be a French luxury company, but thanks to Ruger’s track named likewise, the brand became a household name in the country from the latter part of 2021 down to the first quarter of 2022 as it became a hot commodity on the Nigerian airwaves and music charts. For the singer who’s also had a hot year on the Twitter trend tables, it also served as one of his many talking points of his star power and hitmaking abilities.
18. No Wahala Remix- 1Da Banton, Kizz Daniel, Tiwa Savage
In 2021, the original “No Wahala” record had grown from a sleeper track to a smash hit and had continued to get decent plays even after. But for the remix which has Kizz Daniel and Tiwa Savage on board, it had caught on like wildfire, giving the track new life and lovers of the record, new lines on the mantra-like record.
17. Ku Lo Sa- Oxlade
If you hear Oxlade say it, “Ku Lo Sa”, wasn’t intended to be a song and was originally just a performance record on music platform, Colours Show. The song had however done the unprecedented, for a Nigerian song and a Colors Studio performance, taking off on its own to morph into a global sensation that also sprouted strong roots back home in Nigeria. Presently, the Colors Show performance video of “Ku Lo Sa” has 55 million views while on TikTok, the challenge itself has almost half a billion videos and with a corresponding filter too.
16. Rush- Ayra Starr
According to Ayra Starr, she’d written “Rush”while in a mental slump as a reminder to herself of who she truly was. Well, not only had she gotten the memo, the entire music industry and the Nigerian music listening populace had as well and the song soon became number one in no time after its release.
15. Overloading (Overdose)- Mavins, Crayon, Ayra Starr, LadiPoe, Magixx, Boy Spyce
The era of music bands are over but Mavins brought back the feel first with their star studded collab track “Overloading (Overdose)”. Spotting some of the most talented recording artistes in the game, “Overloading” not only has catchy and brilliant verses from start to finish but also boasts brilliant arrangements, with each star shining just as brightly as the next and making it near impossible for music lovers to have just one favourite verse.
14. Joha- Asake
When Asake released his debut album Mr Money With The Vibe, for everyone that listened, “Joha” had been an instant favourite and we all agreed that it was only a matter of time before it climbed the charts and asserted dominance. Indeed, “Joha”had climbed the charts and with a trending dance challenge to boot. Interestingly, the song is a remade version of the original which Asake made about 6 years ago while schooling in OAU.
13. Girlfriend- Ruger
There are not too many things that define a hit beyond massive radio and TV airplay, charting power and general approval from the music scene. But when your music finds resonance with the people it’s targeted against in the way Ruger’s “Girlfriend” became an anthem for girls despite being about infidelity to your girlfriend, that’s clear indicator that a track has surpassed sentiments to become a straight hit. Then again, set against Ruger’s smooth and harmonious lines on the Kuk Beatz-produced track, coupled with his perfect waist-breaking movement; Umlando, the music charts and the girls didn’t stand a chance.
12. Organise- Asake
Whenever Asake’s “Organise” comes on, the air is instantly charged with the heady and frantic energy that was fused into the Magic Sticks-created instrumentals. Asake’s lamba-rich verses however take the cake, compelling music lovers to not only move to the beats, but stay for the melodies. Backed by a first-of-its-kind run, Asake’s “Organise” had similarly lorded it over the music charts in the country for several weeks.
11. Sometimes Remix- T.I Blaze ft Olamide
Did T.I Blaze give Canadian loud free promo or was it the other way round? We’ll never know but one thing for sure, his “Sometimes” remix with Olamide much unlike food which doesn’t always give joy, never ceased to bring energy and joy to every scene at which it’s played. The record had in fact catapulted into a hit so widespread, lines of it became online mantra and unfortunately for the singer himself, an NDLEA target. Additionally, “Sometimes”, also proved to be the opening T.I Blaze needed to get his foot in the industry as it gave the singer fans and substantial presence to capitalise his subsequent releases on.
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10. Holy Father- Mayorkun, Victony
You can never go wrong with worshipping or acknowledging God, even if it’s to allude to the allure of your lover. For this, Mayorkun and Victony’s collab is proof, with the record possessing so much “Holy Father” ordained staying power, it remained a hit from October 2021 when it was released till 2022.
9. Calm Down- Rema
Rema’s “Calm Down” will take its place in history as the biggest Afrobeats song of 2022. However, this achievement wasn’t attained by the Selena Gomez-featured remix alone but the original song as well, which had jetted through the local charts, out of the country and into shores beyond.
8. Terminator- Asake
When Asake previewed “Terminator”, there had been uproar on the internet-sphere. Not because people hated the song but because no had been expecting to get another Asake banger that soon. Despite the fact that Asake never took his foot off the gas pedal, consistently churning out music all year long, “Terminator” was felt differently, even surviving a leak and a tweaked second verse to become one of the top singles from Asake’s debut album, Mr Money With The Vibe.
7. Peru- Fireboy DML
Wherever two or more music power players are gathered and a discussion on how difficult it is to replicate virality ensues, Fireboy DML’s “Peru” will always serve as a quintessential example. This is because it had gone from being a freestyle to gaining several international music certifications and has now outlasted most songs in its age bracket– 2021, to make a repeat appearance on this list of hottest Nigerian songs in 2022.
6. Bandana- Fireboy DML, Asake
In an interview with Ebro Darden on Apple Music 1, Fireboy DML had admitted that he’d initially been at a loss regarding completing the record that eventually became “Bandana” and that the Asake feature had been a suggestion from Olamide. Ironically, Fireboy shared that he had been sceptical about featuring anyone but the chemistry between the two acts begs to differ, birthing what is arguably the best collab of the year.
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5. Kweku The Traveller
The odd-one-out on the list, it took melodious yet haunting Twi-rendered drill for Black Sherif to break past the borders of neighbouring country, Ghana, and into Nigeria where despite the language barrier, it became the first-ever song from the Gold Coast to occupy the number one spot on Nigeria’s Apple Music charts.
4. Sungba Remix- Asake ft Burna Boy
By itself, “Sungba” the original was an instant earworm, upheld by Asake’s self-assured, well-paced lines and a fusion of Neo-fuji and Amapiano elements, all which make it an irresistible record. And then much like the gift that keeps on giving, the remix had featured an absolute killer verse from Burna Boy, with an arrangement and suave feel no one had seen coming, complete with visuals that complemented it to the T.
3. Finesse- Pheelz, BNXN fka Buju
Following the progression of one-of-a-kind hits on this list, for “Finesse”, it is the one song that was already a hit even prior to its release. And when music critics and observers had predicted it being just a fad, Pheelz’s recording artiste debut had continued to hold on to a spot on the charts, several month after its release with each artiste’s verse soon becoming the Afrobeats Holy Grail wherever it was played.
2. Last Last- Burna Boy
In August, when Jack Harlow’s “First Class” had won the MTV VMAs for Song Of The Summer, Nigeria’s very own African Giant, Burna Boy, despite not being nominated, had been confident enough to question that decision with backing from a viral video of the mammoth crowd at the Nottinghill Carnival singing along to his Toni Braxton-sampled smash hit “Last Last”. Interestingly and unlike most Nigerian hits that find fertile ground in abroad soil, “Last Last”– despite heavy censorship by the Nigerian media of the infectious “I need Igbo and shayo” chorus,– took very solid roots on local grounds, blossoming to become a veritable anthem in the country.
1. Buga- Kizz Daniel
Not a lot of cross-generational songs exist, and most of the ones that do were made years even before the concept of Afrobeats or Afropop was conceived. Kizz Daniel’s “Buga” however serves as one of the few generation-defying records, making even our no-nonsense parents and happy-go-lucky siblings and baby cousins not only sing along, but “go low low low” on cue. At the international front, “Buga” also became the most Shazamed song in the world, holding the position for several weeks while asserting dominance as the number one song in as much as ten countries.
For these reasons, Buga is the number one hottest Nigerian song in 2022 for Notjustok.