Nigerian Music: 10 Of The Best Songs from the ’80s & Beyond

Listen to sounds from the early days of Nigerian music, running through the ’80s, 70s & beyond.

1. Shakara – Fela Kuti


Shakara is an album by Nigerian Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti recorded in 1972. Fela’s music is known to be diversified – with elements of funk/soul, jazz, and African music.

2. Eddie Quansa – Peacocks Guitar Band (Nigerian 70 Lagos Jump)

Eddie Quansa was a song of appeal to the highlife musician Eddie Quansa by his brothers. Producers used the Eddie Quansa track as a signature tune back then, and the song became very popular throughout Nigeria.

3. Under Pressure – Ras Kimono


Ras Kimono was one of the pioneers of Nigerian reggae music. This 1989 hit record “Under Pressure” touched on some of the ills in Nigeria and the world as a whole.

4. Seun Rere – Christy Essien-Igbokwe

Christy Uduak Essien-Igbokwe, known as Nigeria’s Lady of Songs, was a Nigerian musician and actress. She sang in Igbo, Ibibio, Efik, Hausa, Yoruba, and English. Essien’s fluency gave her an appeal across tribal lines. She was known widely for this song “Seun Rere.”

5. Time Na Money – Mike Okri

This Nigerian old school song reminds you of one of the crucial things in life – Time.

6. I Need Someone – Kris Okotie

This was a hit debut back then from Kris Okotie, now Reverend Chris Okotie.

7. Zombie – Fela Kuti

Zombie is another studio album by the Nigerian Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti released in 1977. The album was a criticism of the Nigerian government and the Nigerian military. It led to a brutal attack on the Kalakuta Republic, ending in severe beatings for him and the murder of his mother, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti.

8. Iyogogo – Onyeka Onwenu

Onyeka Onwenu is a Nig’erian singer/songwriter, actress, human rights activist, social activist, journalist, and politician. Iyogogo” is a track off her self-titled album – Onyeka! – released in 1984.

9. Osondi Owendi – Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe

‘Osondi owendi,’ meaning One man’s meat is another man’s poison, is a conventional aphorism in the Igbo language. But say it anywhere in Nigeria today, the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind is the highlife music maestro Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe.

10. KeteKete – Evang. Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi

Last but not least is the Nigerian jùjú musician, also known as Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey. The juju fusion veteran is known for the Christian spiritual themes in his music and a long list of album hits.






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