Ranking the Rhythms: Nigeria’s Place in the Global Music Industry of 2021

Nigeria has undeniably become a force to reckon with in the global music industry. The country has produced some of the world’s most celebrated artists, including Fela Kuti, Burna Boy, Davido, Wizkid, and Tiwa Savage, among others. Nigerian music has also become increasingly popular globally, particularly in the United States and Europe.

In this article, we will explore Nigeria’s place in the global music industry of 2021, ranking the rhythms that define the country’s music scene.

Afrobeats takes the lead

Afrobeats is a genre that has gained significant popularity worldwide, with Nigeria at the forefront of its rise. The genre borrows heavily from African rhythms, with a fusion of hip-hop, R&B, and pop. It is characterized by uplifting beats and catchy melodies that get listeners grooving.

Afrobeats has become so popular that it has sparked collaborations between Nigerian artists and their counterparts from other parts of the world. For example, Wizkid’s collaboration with Drake on the hit song “One Dance” topped charts globally. Similarly, Burna Boy’s “Ye” became a favorite in the UK, with its popularity spreading to the US.

Traditional music still holds significance

Despite the rise of Afrobeats, traditional Nigerian music still holds a significant place in the country’s music industry. Traditional music includes styles such as Juju, Highlife, and Fuji, among others.

Juju is a genre that originated from the Yoruba people of Nigeria and is characterized by the use of traditional percussion instruments such as the talking drum, bata, and shekere. Juju music has evolved over the years, with modern instrumentation added to give it a more contemporary feel.

Highlife, on the other hand, originated from Ghana but has gained popularity in Nigeria. It is characterized by a fusion of jazz and African rhythms and typically features the guitar, trumpet, and saxophone.

Fuji is a genre that is unique to Nigeria, originating from the western part of the country. The genre is characterized by the use of the talking drum and other percussion instruments, giving it a distinct sound.

Hip-hop and R&B have a place too

Hip-hop and R&B have also gained popularity in Nigeria, particularly among the younger generation. Nigerian artists like MI Abaga, Falz, and Yemi Alade have all made significant contributions to the growth of hip-hop and R&B in the country.

Hip-hop and R&B have also become popular globally, with Nigerian artists collaborating with their counterparts from other parts of the world. For example, Tems, a Nigerian artist, collaborated with American artist Wiz Khalifa on the hit song “So High.”


In conclusion, Nigeria’s place in the global music industry of 2021 is significant, with the country producing some of the world’s most celebrated artists and genres. Afrobeats has taken the lead, with traditional music holding its own and hip-hop and R&B gaining popularity. Nigerian music is here to stay, and we can expect more exciting developments in the industry in the coming years.

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