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    Top 10 Nigerian EPs of 2023

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    Here are the top 10 Nigerian EPs of 2023.

    Between December 1, 2022 and November 30, 2022, numerous EPs were released across all genres as emerging and up-and-coming artists, and even superstars are embracing short-form projects.

    2023 has delivered an extravagant collection of EPs. From conceptual projects that show the limitless sonic possibilities that abound in Nigerian music to impressive bodies of work that introduce the next generation of music stars, Nigerian artists have shined on short-term projects.

    Pulse Music Desk has selected 10 EPs that stand out for their quality, impact, and success.

    NOTE: A minimum of 5 tracks is stipulated for all EPs that were considered for this list.

    Here are the top 10 Nigerian EPs of 2023.

    1. Bloody Civilian – Anger Management

    Bloody Civilian’s debut EP Anger Management exemplifies her impressively expansive approach to music as she combines refreshing elements that stretch the creative boundaries of Nigerian mainstream music.

    From the experimental production that combines electronic elements with Amapiano, Afrobeats, and Dancehall down to her vocals and melodies that cut across R&B, Pop, Soul, and Hip Hop, Bloody Civilian floats at a whole different level.

    2. Rema – RAVAGE

    If his early avant-garde approach to Afrobeats came in the form of Trap music marked by mumbling flows and Indian melodic interpolations, this mindset to continue reinventing the wheel remains very much the same with his latest EP RAVAGE released 5 years later.

    RAVAGE is driven by rage both in the themes and in sonics. From the chest-thumping lines to the aggressively passionate larger-than-life approach in delivery, Rema makes his case as a strong Afrobeats voice.

    3. Mohbad – Blessed

    Mohbad’s efforts to find his voice after the infamous split from his former imprint culminated in the release of two singles, Ask About Me where he reiterated his place in the scheme of things, and Pariwo with close collaborator, Bella Shmurda where he reminded listeners of his hitmaking credentials.

    Having found his voice, Mohbad put out his sophomore EP Blessed which captures his resilience, gratitude, and positive mindset forging into the future.

    The major theme of Blessed EP is a celebration of triumph and a show of gratitude that comes together to make for a quintessential street gospel that uplifts, inspires, and delights listeners.

    4. Shallipopi – Planet Pluto

    The entrance of Benin-born rapper, Shallipopi, generated excitement from many but mixed reactions from others who were stunned by his variant of Hip Hop.

    At a time when Afrobeats seemed to have dived even deeper in its exploration of the South African sound, Amapiano, Shallipopi emerged with another domestication of Hip Hop that rocketed him to mainstream success.

    Heavily laden with the Benin sensibility, his chatty raps, and insistence to narrate his inner-city experiences in a manner that leaves little to the imagination, Shallipopi immediately became the latest polarising figure in the Nigerian music industry, the same that birthed Burna Boy, Portable and Charly Boy.

    His debut EP, the six-track Planet Pluto churned out four hits, an output that comprehensively shows his music was accepted by the mass market irrespective of the fact that its sonic properties don’t confer to what many consider acceptable mainstream standards and the thematic preoccupations border on topics many frown at.

    5. Lojay – Gangster Romantic

    A recurring theme in Lojay’s music is a romantic side that appears to be locked in an interminable battle for triumph with his villain side.

    He comes across as a tender-hearted character with so much love to give, a side that’s in constant juxtaposition with his playboy side that has him with one leg on the street. This duality continues in his EP where he attempts to merge them into a single persona – Gangster Romantic.

    6. Pheelz – Pheelz Good

    After making a name for himself as a producer, Pheelz embarked on the bold journey of cashing in on his talent, experience, and profile in the hope of doing for himself what he had done for other artists. He succeeded.

    His debut EP Pheelz Good came off the back of a string of hit releases where he tapped suitable stars that delivered on Finesse and Electricity. Having received a lift from Davido and BNXN, Pheelz set out to not only build on these gains but also to prove there’s more to him than pairing up with tested and trusted artists.

    7. Dwin, The Stoic and Rhaffy – Love Lane

    Dwin’s music draws in listeners and allows them to share in his emotions. It’s this emotion that runs palpably through Love Lane where he shares a relentless yearning for companionship. This yearning is coherent, honest, and driven by realisation.

    With resonating vocals and beautifully moulded melodies, Dwin & Rhaffy smoothly combine R&B, Folk, Pop, and Afrobeats for a refined project that retains a unifying thematic preoccupation.

    Love Lane comes together to capture a yearning for love through compositions that make listeners feel the music. The production combined with Dwin’s versatility allows for a rich incorporation of multiple genres within five tracks while also retaining significant African markers.

    8. Qing Madi – Qing Madi

    Her self-titled debut EP Qing Madis a bold announcement of her desire to carve a niche for herself.

    While her most striking feature is her vocals, which she effortlessly deploy to mould R&B melodies, it doesn’t take long for listeners to be drawn to her ability to express herself in the chic and vibrant manner that has become emblematic of a Gen Z R&B act.

    For a teenager, Qing Madi comes almost fully made, with her dexterity on full display on the EP. As one might expect of a teenage music star, she explores the familiar subject of ambitions and desires from a teenage perspective that creates originality and relatability amongst the young audience who will form her consumer base.

    9. YBK – Yusful Music

    On his sophomore EP, Yusful Music YKB showcases the preliminary years of a Popstar intending to play in the big leagues.

    Yusful Music takes on a more rounded approach that captures YKB’s artistic growth in the past two years. Perhaps what’s most impressive about his music is his ability to balance his Western and indigenous influences which he doesn’t hesitate to infuse even in subtle ways. Like in the sensual R&B record Bo Card which he richly sprinkles with Yoruba while also showcasing his street ties.In Komplete Rhythm, he showcases his ability to combine Afrobeats and indigenous Nigerian music.

    Yusful Music provides an easy listen to grow YKB’s audience while raising his artistry through good music that retains his essence.

    10. Kold AF & BGRZ – KOLLIDE

    A marker of a talented artist is their ability to adjust to the requirements of every song, and Kold embodies this important quality.

    In partnership with producer BGRZ, Kold showcases her genre-bending ability that shares the spotlight with her impressive songwriting.

    Through an exploration of Pop and R&B underlined by a Dancehall technique, Kold is bringing her uniqueness to Nigerian music. While her talent is being meticulously onboarded, she’s already shown glimpses of someone capable of disrupting the scene.

    Notable mentions

    Brum3h Typewrit3R Vol. 1 EP

    Bahd Man Niko Off The Planet

    Kola Williams & Moti Cakes Redtape EP

    Runda Beautiful Lies EP

    RybeenaRybeena EP

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