- WIzkid – Fever (Tiwa Savage)
In a year that has seen the country grapple with topical issues like the abduction of Leah Sharibu, the Twitter-fuelled #EndSARS campaign and, most recently, the Buhari vs Jubril saga that has made its way into American late-night comedy, this pepper-dem music video will go down as one that made tongues sizzle.
In it, Wizkid and Tiwa Savage cuddle up and caress, expressing an intense, understated chemistry. The video came out weeks after Tiwa’s ex-husband and former manager, Teebillz’s now infamous (and deleted) Instagram rant about rumours of a potential relationship brewing between Wizkid and Tiwa Savage.
A sly response it was to Teebillz, don’t you think?
- Adekunle Gold – Damn, Delilah (Seyi Shay)
Same as much of the tracks off his sophomore album “About 30”, Damn, Delilah is a departure from the easy-going, boy-next-door personae Adekunle Gold had carefully curated for himself with his debut album, “Gold”. Musically, “About 30” finds Adekunle contemplating weightier issues like lost love and the realization that fame isn’t a ticket to peace of mind.
In Damn, Delilah, Adekunle Gold curses out the aforementioned female for making mincemeat of the feelings he invested in their relationship. For the video, he employs vocal powerhouse Seyi Shay to bring the message of the song to life with their choreography. The video is dark and intense, a testament to an artiste unafraid to show his welts and scars.
- Weird Mc – Jehovah (Yinka Davies)
The year was 2010 and Nigerian music was edging toward newer grounds with the emergence of the MIs and Wizkids. Fours year before that, Weird Mc’s Ijoya had been a massive hit, and then poof, she disappeared.
But with the same abruptness she had disappeared she returned to the music scene with three singles to promote an album, “Broken Silence”. Featuring DJ Switch (then a member of the winning band Da Pulse at the 2009 Star Quest), the video to Jehovah, one of the trio of singles, had cameos from comedians Gbenga Adeyinka & Koffi, and singer, dancer and judge of Nigerian Idol, Yinka Davies.
‘Jehovah’ is a sonic supplication to God, and it’s ferried on the back of two qualities of winning formula: hard work and its reward in monetary terms. How could it not have done well?
- Retta – Kolo for you (Peter Okoye)
In 2010, Port Harcourt-bred Retta released Kolo for you without fanfare and raised quite a storm. The music is mellifluous, piercing; the lyrics employ a matter-of-fact approach that is hard to turn away from. Retta sang of deep-seated longing for a better half on the other side of a barricade built on distance, and it connected with listeners because sometimes distance isn’t restricted to geography.
For the video, she had Peter Okoye, one-half of the now defunct pop duo P-Square, play the role of the singer’s male interest. Peter Okoye’s contemplative gaze is spot on, capturing the yearning that underlines the music.
- Praiz – Folashade (Toni Tones)
Folashade is a dark song, and the video lends credence to that with its minimal use of bright lights and somber scenes. It’s a song about realizing you could have done more for a lover – only after they have passed away.
The role of Praiz’s love interest in the video is expertly played by Toni Tones. She’s an afflicted woman stuck with her demons who finds escape, sadly, through suicide. Although there are no snippets into what this affliction might be, it’s clear it succeeded dragging her down the hole of depression.
Praiz’s powerful voice and Toni Tones’ skillful acting never struggle for spotlight; they both complement each other, and leave a lasting impression.
- Chidinma – Kedike (Dammy Krane)
After winning the third season of Project Fame West Africa in 2010, a nascent Chidinma Ekile released Kedike in 2011 and planted herself firmly in the consciousness of Nigerians, Africans and the rest of the world.
Its video, featuring a love-interest role from Afro-Pop artist Dammy Krane, was released in 2012 and delivered what would become public knowledge: Chidinma’s music can be playful, exhilarating and meaningful.
The love-struck antics of Dammy Krane is a winner, and Chidinmna’s bright smiles and soaring voice is the needed icing on the cake.