Jos and Other Unsung Nigerian Cities That Groomed and Nurtured Outstanding Music Talents

Jos and Other Unsung Nigerian Cities That Groomed and Nurtured Outstanding Music Talents

Lagos is widely perceived as the hub that incubates most of the country's groundbreaking musical talents, but is it truly the only city that has nurtured most of the country's musical legends?

Unlock the best of on Pinterest! Subscribe now and get your daily inspiration! has detailed other cities that have gone unnoticed despite being responsible for incredible talents like 2Baba, MI, Burna Boy, Psquare, and more, who have shaped Nigeria's culture. As we appreciate their international acclaim, let us remember where they began their journey to fame.

MI Abaga, Burna Boy, Rema
MI Abaga, Burna Boy and Rema started from different cities in Nigeria. Credit: @miabaga, @burnaboygram, @heisrema
Source: Instagram

Port Harcourt- Burna Boy, Omah Lay, Mr. 2Kay, Mercy Chinwo

Port Harcourt, the capital city of Rivers state, situated in southern Nigeria, features a vibrant music scene with African and global influences. It hosts many radio stations and some of the country's liveliest music clubs.

This animated city is the home of many locally and internationally admired musicians, including Duncan Mighty, Timaya, the Grammy-winning star Burna Boy, Omah Lay, Mr. 2Kay, gospel diva Mercy Chinwo, Ajebo Hustlers, and more.

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Enugu- the melting pot of Igbo highlife music genre

Enugu emerged as the leading centre for Igbo-dominated highlife music in Nigeria in the 1950s.

Notable musicians originating from Enugu include rapper Phyno, highlife musician Flavour N'abania, contemporary gospel singer Frank Edwards, and sensational Afropop duo Bracket, who ruled the early 2000s. Another notable musician who partly grew up in Enugu is the Afropop legend 2Baba.

2Baba studied business administration and management at the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu. Idibia (then Lord Elly) performed at school parties and regional schools, including the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Enugu State University of Science & Technology, while at IMT. His singing career led him to drop out of school.

Benin City, Edo- richly influenced by the traditional Edo funk genre

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This is another state known for its rich cultural representation in the country. The ace record producer Sarz was born and brought up in Benin.

Nigerian Afrosoul songstress Waje grew up in Benin City following her parents' relocation from Ondo state, where she was born.

The Mavin's hotshot, Rema, was born and bred in Benin City, Edo state. He attended his primary and secondary school education at Ighile Group of Schools, Edo state, where he started to nurture his vocal skills until he got spotted on Instagram by D'Prince.

The new music wave Shallipopi, popularly known for his hit single Elon Musk, is also an indigene of this state. Some of his songs are richly influenced by the traditional Edo funk genre.

Jos- comprises a large piece of Nigeria's sonic diversity

The capital city of Jos, situated in Plateau state, is known to have incubated most of the unique percussions that brought healthy competitive dynamics to the Nigerian hip-hop and Afrobeats scene.

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Known for its tranquil scenery, lush mountains, and idyllic weather, J-town, as it is fondly called, has brewed talents that make up a large piece of the country's sonic diversity, from MI, Psquare, 2Baba, Ice Price, Jesse Jagz, Cobhams Asuquo, veteran gospel singer Jeremiah Gyang, and the upcoming singer Bloody Civilian, who was soundtracked in the 2022 Black Panther.

As Afrobeats and its cohorts continue to gain global recognition, we must not fail to recognise some of the country's minor and major cities that have added to the undeniable movement.

American rapper Joe Budden names Burna Boy world's best singer

Nigerian music sensation Burna Boy was recently highly praised on an episode of the Joe Budden Network podcast.

However, Budden did not hold back in expressing his displeasure with Burna Boy's decision to secure the rights to the well-known classic "Talibans" by Jamaican vocalist Byron Messia after he was featured in the remix.

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Budden claimed he vehemently opposed similar behaviour when American hip-hop icon Kanye West did it a few years ago.

"I never remember that going right for somebody. Designer and Kanye [West], I was vehemently against it," he said.


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