A recent fascination of many artistes in the Nigerian music scene is the grandiose display of wealth on Instagram. In a few years from now, only a few popular Nigerian songs might remain relevant. While the likes of 2face and P Square manage to churn out hit after hit, others courted fame with just one track and then drifted off the limelight.
A few who dared to stage a comeback failed to produce major hits. In this piece, PREMIUM TIMES revisits some of the notable “one hit wonders” as well as the artistes behind them.
Jazman Olofin ft. Adewale Ayuba –Raise Tha Roof
Jazzman Olofin emerged in the Nigerian music scene in the late 1990s along with singer Lexy Doo in the group X-Appeal. After parting ways, he released his debut album, ‘Boiling Point’, then signed on with Storm Records. The 43-year-old artiste released his greatest hit, Raise Tha Roof, 15 years ago. It was everyone’s favourite song and a national anthem of some sort at that time. The track earned him rave reviews and saw him perform at sold-out concerts nationwide. Although he has dropped several hits afterwards, none of them could match the appeal that Raise Tha Roof garnered. His most recent track titled “Shade” didn’t pull much weight either.
Soul E- Soul E Baba Dey
Soul E bagged his first record deal with “Colossal Entertainment” at age 21. Soul E Baba Dey, a track off his debut album titled Naija is Blessed, shot him into limelight. So promising was the baby-faced singer, whose real name is Emmanuel Okose, that at the time he was tipped to become the next 2face Idibia. But, alas, he fell off the radar before he attained super stardom. At the height of his reign, he was romantically linked with Queen Ure who was a banker at the time. He, however, vehemently denied that he was ever married to her even after their divorce was made public. Now a prophet, he is popular for his controversial prophecies and social media posts.
DeeBee, born Adebayo Durojaiye, announced his arrival on the Nigerian music scene with his first single, Collabo, in 2008. The track shot him into limelight and earned him the moniker “collabo master”. He released his debut album in 2009 and has been off the scene ever since. The then promising singer has been doing music underground but is yet to produce a major hit.
Konga was born Lawal Olumo in Ebute Metta Lagos. He was a young and promising music act who found fame in 2008 after the release of his hit, Baby Konga. Even though his witty lyrics were laced with a lot of vulgar anecdotes, he remained in hot demand. After the song was banned in 2008, he struggled to reclaim that ‘star’ position he once occupied. He also featured on a number of notable collaborations at the time, including X-Project’s Lori Le before fading of the scene.
Remember him? Bigiano was a dance hall musician that rocked the airwaves in 2008 with his track, Shayo. His debut single, Shayo, was a massive hit which fetched him awards at the SoundCity Music Video Awards and a nomination at the MTV Africa Music Awards in 2009. Almost a decade after, very little or nothing has been heard about him. He announced his comeback in 2013 but that was never to be.
Marvelous Benji — Brand New Dance
Kennis Music was the label behind dance hall crooner Marvelous Benji’s success. The artiste was one of the biggest breakout stars out of Ajegunle. Back in the days when Suo, Konto and Galala were ‘it’ dance moves in Nigeria, Marvellous Benji, whose real name is Benjamin Ukueje, also reigned supreme with Brand New Dance. But his popularity dwindled in no time. When the artiste felt it was time to move on, he burned bridges with his breakout record label. He tried to re-launch himself into the music industry in 2012 with two singles, Iwo Ni Mofe and My Life, but his efforts fell short of his first hit.
Original Stereoman – (E Dey Pain Me)
Jungle musician, Sunday Osakuni, aka Original Stereoman Ekwe, was a promising dance-hall artiste. His hit track, E dey Pain Me, was a street anthem. But just as fans geared up for the release of more singles, he was accused of killing the mother of his child, Rekia Idris.
According to the artiste, his ordeal began after homicide detectives, Force CID Panti, Yaba, Lagos invited him upon allegations that he strangled and killed Rekia in her Honda Civic car, in April 2012. Following the scandal, Stereoman, who says he is a fashion designer with a passion for music, failed to worm his way back into the heart of music fans.
Zule Zoo -Kerewa
Remember Zule Zoo of Kerewa fame? Their acrobatic dance steps and the originality of their songs were some of the unique features that once made this group a household name. Kerewa was however banned in Nigeria for its obscene video and lewd lyrics. Ibrahim Hassan and Michael (the duo that made up the group) have since gone solo.
Baba Fryo-Dem Go Dey Pose
Baba Fryo’s Dem Go Dey Pose was a massive hit in the mid-1990s and it made him a household name. He held sway from 1999 to 2003 before he vanished into thin air. The last time anything was heard of him was on August 23, 2012, when policemen reportedly beat him, handcuffed and dragged him to Isashi Police Station, along the Badagry Expressway. The singer still insists that there was no time he ever left music.