If asked to describe 2021, we will say it’s that year when the Nigerian music industry gained the most international recognition and the year when the underdogs took over.

From Tems to Goya Menor and most recently, Portable, hits and club bangers were never in short supply in 2021 .

In compiling this list, we examined several indicators such as the virality of the song, popularity of the artiste, streaming numbers and airplay.

PREMIUM TIMES presents our list of top 25 songs Nigerians couldn’t stop listening to in 2021.

Wizkid & Tems – Essence ft Justin Bieber Released: April 2021

This song, which was released on August 13, 2021, further established 26- years-old, Temilade Openiyi, Tems, as a bonafide star. The track bagged a nomination ahead of 2022 Grammy Awards.

2. Tiwa Savage – Somebody’s Son (feat. Brandy)

Released: October 2021

Tiwa Savage, enlisted her all-time music idol Brandy to deliver an introspective number that now resonates with many, ‘Somebody’s son’. The song hit No12 on the Billboard chart, a week after it’s release.

3. Fireboy DML – Peru ft Ed Sheeran

Released: December 2021

‘Peru’ was originally released in July by Nigerian singer, Adedamola Adefolahan , popular as Fireboy. Grammy winning singer Ed Sheeran featured on the remix which was released in December.

4. Joeboy – Sip (Alcohol)

Released: October 2021

Nigerian singer and songwriter Joseph Akinfenwa-Donus aka Joe Boy dropped this track in the last quarter of the year to the delight of Tiktokers around the world.

5. Lojay & Sarz – Monalisa

Released: September 2021

Lojay is recognized as one of the break-out stars of 2021.The song “Monalisa” describes the beauty of Monalisa and the affection he has developed for her image. This song is mostly used by couples, especially at wedding ceremonies.

6. Ayra Starr – Bloody Samaritan

Released: August 2021

Proving her breakout is no fluke, Ayra Starr scored major points with “Bloody Samaritan”, the lead single off her debut album 19 & Dangerous.

7. Reekado Banks – Ozumba Mbadiwe

Released: October 2021,


The ex-Mavin Record Label star, Reekado Banks dished out this club banger labeled as one of the greatest songs of the year 2021.

8. Ayra Starr – Away

Released: January 2021

Ayra Starr‘s self-titled debut EP’s lead track “Away” had people talking. Away shot the 19-year-old singer to limelight earlier in the year.

9. Tems – Crazy Things

Released: September 2021

‘Crazy things’ Is the lead single of Tem’s sophomore project. Following high profile collaborations with Drake, Wizkid and signing to RCA records, with “Crazy Things”, Tems clearly levelled up and called the shots.

10. Adekunle Gold – High ft Davido

Released: September 2021

‘High’ was Adekunle Gold’s third song of 2021 featuring one of Africa’s biggest Afrobeat stars, Davido.

11. Olamide – Rock

Released: May 2021

Legendary Nigerian music artiste, Olamide Adedeji released ‘Rock’ which was a single from “UY Scuti”, Olamide‘s new 10-track album named after one of Nigeria’s most famous red stars, features the relaxing and flirty.

12. Buju – Never Stopped

Released: October 2021

“Never Stopped” by break-out star, Buju, claimed its spot as one of Nigeria’s biggest hits of the year 2021.

13. Teni – Hustle

Released: March 2021

Teniola Apata, popular as Teni released the song ‘hustle’, which is from a recent project, titled ‘Wondaland’. The video, which was shot in Lagos, inspired people to continue to strive for their daily bread against the odds.

14. CKay- Emiliana

Released: December 2021

After his massive success from Love ‘Nwantiti’ which was released in 2019, Chukwu Ekweani, aka C Kay, dropped ‘Emiliana’ in 2021 and won even more fans for himself.

15. Fave – Baby Riddim

Released: October 2021

Fave’s ‘Baby Riddim’ is beautiful and soothing to the heart. Olamide also enlisted Fave on his album “UY Scuti ”.

16. Joeboy- Focus

Released: February 2021.

The song is off Joeboy’s album, ‘somewhere between beauty & magic’ which consists of 14 track songs. The song became popular with a dance that accompanies it on TikTok.

17. Omah Lay – Understand

Released: July 2021

‘Understand’ is Omah Lay’s first solo release of 2021. In 2020, Omah Lay was cited by Apple Music and Audiomack as one of Africa’s most exciting new voices.

18. Ruger – Dior

Released: November 2021

“Dior” is one of the hits from Ruger’s recently released extended play “Second Wave ”. The new face of Mavin record rose to prominence after his hit song ‘Bounce’ caught the attention of Nigerian music fans.

19. Flavour – Levels

Released: October 2021

Nigerian High life king, Flavour stormed the music scene in 2021 with a hit song, ‘Levels’, The song depicted the wealth that was displayed in Oba in July that became the talk of the town.

20. Larry Gaga Ft Phyno, Flavour And Theresa Onuorah – Egedege

Released: October 2021

“Egedege” is a collaboration of the finest musicians from the east. The name Egedege stems from a local slang for richness and bravery which explains why the dance is considered a cultural classic.

21. Portable – Zazu Zeh ft Olamide and Poco Lee

Released: December 2021

‘Zazu Zeh’ is a street buzz that shot Habeeb Okikiola, popular as Portable to stardom. The song which was released a few days ago has already been performed on big stages of highly billed concerts like Tiwa Savage, Wizkid amongst others.

22. Naira Marley – First Time In America

Released: November 2021

“First Time In America” was pulled off from Naira Marley’s forthcoming album “GTTB”. The song, which gradually became a trend on social media, inspired a tik tok challenge named after the song.

23. Goya Menor & DJ Neptunez – Ameno amapiano remix

Released: June 2021

Ameno Amapiano remix by Goya featuring Nektunez garnered over one million views on YouTube in six months. The song went viral in December and has topped charts on Apple play and ITunes in most African countries.

24. Mayorkun- Holy father

Released: October 2021.

‘Holy Father’ was released by Adewale Mayowa professionally as Mayorkun. The song became popular on social media because of it’s danceable beat.

25. 1da Baton – No wahala

Released: November 2021

Fast rising musician Godson Ominibie popular as 1da Baton released the song ‘No Wahala’ which was produced by Blaise Beatz record. The song serves as his first output for the year 2021.

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