While the Nigerian music industry can be too fixated on big artistes, there has been a wellspring of new, promising acts arriving on the scene over the years. Think the anti-pop or more colloquially the alté movement, and the unwavering legion of fans it has amassed. But it’s also important to highlight the footprint of these newcomers which is exactly what YNaija’s Next Rated does, a music vertical that gives a platform to new artistes especially those willing to explore sonic possibilities.
Next Rated started last year with an interview with 24-year-old rapper Reespect. And since then it has gone ahead to feature Canadian-based Nigerian artiste Nova, indie pop singer Efe Oraka, rapper Yazzavelli, trap wunderkind PsychoYP, multi-genre revelation Ogranya and so on.
For March, our inaugural round up showcases four new artistes whom we have already featured. Discover them all.
Merry-Lynn grew up listening to Erykah Badu, India Arie, Amy Winehouse and more, and in 2019 released her debut neosoul EP Petrichor where she puts down soaring vocals and addicting electric guitar loops. The result is magical, if not bewitching, turning Merry-Lynn into a talented discovery.
Merry-Lynn is currently working on her sophomore project Runaway. Read more about her here.
Before the release of his debut EP The Big Blue in 2019, Brum3h has been building a profile in Abuja, dropping singles and performing as supporting acts for huge concert headliners. Brum3h stays on the RnB-Soul sonic spectrum and knows how to render a mean ballad. The booming, go-for-broke chorus on Who Are You is still wickedly unforgettable. Here’s our interview with Brum3h and more on his upcoming project Typerwriter Vol. 1.
Phaemous’ sound is young, casual and headily flippant. His debut EP Phaeway Vol. 1 was released this month, with headlining single Violet featuring label mate Drayko in a song that youthfully skirts around emo and trap. Phaemous as a singer embraces resonating themes in love and sex, and has a growing catalogue of collaborations and features including PsychoYP and Blaqbonez. Discover Phaemous here.
Jarell’s guitar-flavoured songs make him perfect for small intimate concerts. Shuffling between Abuja and London where he’s done shows, Jarell’s bluesy vocals and honest songwriting have been consistent since arriving with his debut single Where Has It Gone in 2015.
He’s just released Stripped, an acoustic redux of previously released songs. Still led by searching narratives on desire, love and belonging, Jarell independently makes his own music and looks to fruitfully reconcile being a singer and animator. Get to know more about Jarell here.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies and reading comics and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.