New Kids On The Block: Omah Lay, Laycon, Bella Shmurda And Other Artistes Who Made Waves In 2020

The year 2020 is coming to an end and to the relief of many, simply because this year ushered in some unpleasant and unprecedented events globally.

This year was rocked with the storm of COVID-19, the #EndSars protests, as well as the abduction of the students from the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Kastina State by armed assailants, among others.

Despite the ugly events that reared its head this year, there are some Nigerian entertainers who would be forever grateful for the blessings this year brought them.

These few young stars shone very brightly this year and became household names in the midst of other people’s clamour and frustration. The PUNCH highlights these talents what would forever etch the year 2020 in the hearts.

Omah Lay

It is not every day a legend like 2face will hail a newbie. After listening to his song, an impressed Tubaba took to his Twitter account to hail the young singer.

He tweeted, “Abi una just dey pretend say una no know, Omah Lay too bad!!! Na my junior brothers Charles and Franky introduce him music 2 me. I don dey STAN am.!!!”

Omah Lay’s fanbase grew like wildfire from the shores of Nigeria to the United Kingdom and Germany where it caught the attention of Borussia Dortmund star, Jadon Sancho, who then introduced the song to his English friends as he tweeted about it.

It seems the singer is also shocked about his rise to stardom as he took to his Twitter account in November to express that he is shocked about his fast rise to fame, especially with his project, Get Lay’d.

He tweeted, “This time last year, I was holed up in my room singing my guts out, not knowing if people would ever hear or even appreciate these songs. Fast forward few months later, those songs came together to become an EP titled ‘Get Layd’ and it changed my life. I see myself everywhere, hear myself everywhere, feels great! Everything I ever wished for.”

The EP, Get Lay’d, held the number two position on iTunes chart in Nigeria, while it held the number one position on Apple Music chart in Canada. The project ranks number 13 on Apple Music in Nigeria while it holds the number 94 spot on iTunes in the country, top-charts.com reports.

Born Omah Stanley Didia, the 23-year-old warmed himself into the hearts of Nigerians when his song, You, went viral in 2020.

Omah Lay was first signed to a record label called KeyQaad in June 2019. He then left Port Harcourt for Lagos for the first time and got signed to the Dvpper Music record label. He began working on Get Layd in August 2019, and the first song he recorded on the EP was Bad Influence.
On his YouTube channel, he has over 180,000 subscribers with millions of views to his credit.
Despite being arrested by the Uganda Police Force for breaching COVID-19 guidelines, the singer had a lovely year.


Before the 2020 edition of the reality television show, Big Brother Naija, Olamilekan Moshood Agbeleshe was just another struggling artiste trying to make a name and carve a niche for himself in the entertainment industry.

Thanks to the reality television show where he emerged winner, he has now become a household name.

The self-acclaimed leader of the Icons ― a name given to his die-hard fans ― boasted of about 4,000 followers on his unverified Instagram account with lesser figures on his twitter and other social media pages before the show.

After spending about three months in the Big Brother Naija Lockdown house, the 27-year-old gained over a million followers on Instagram alone.

So far, he boasts of 2.6 million followers on his now verified Instagram account and over 500,000 followers on Twitter.

While he was getting into the BBNaija house, he noted that he decided to be a contestant on the show to promote his EP ― Who is Laycon? ― which was just released at that time.
As reported by top-charts.com, the EP held the number four position on Apple Music as of July 26, 2020, and by November 29, 2020, the project ranked 84 in Nigeria.

Asides the N85m prize he won as the winner of the reality television show, the graduate of Philosophy from the University of Lagos also received a car and two houses; one from the organizers of the show and another from the Ogun state government; his hometown. The Ogun State government also gave him a token of N5m.

The rapper now has a reality television show in the works and has announced that he will release his debut album in 2021. Be sure that Icons will stream it en masse.

Bella Shmurda

When the street anthem, Cash App, sang by Bella Shmurda featuring Zlatan Ibile and Lincoln was released, it became somewhat of an anthem among revellers. Thus the question on everyone’s lips; Who is Bella Shmurda?

The Headies awards nominee is a 400 level student of the Lagos State University.
He came into limelight with his hit song, Vision 2020, which was a hit in his school and soon after, in Lagos. The song became a commercial success after he featured the ‘king of the streets’ ― Olamide ― in its remix, which was produced by the legendary ID Cabasa.

In an interview, the young lad said that the song was born out of his set goals for the year 2020.
He said, “2020 is not just 2020; to me, I have set a certain goal for myself and I have to make it.”
So far, the budding artiste has a prestigious Headies award nomination to his name, his songs are topping charts as well as enjoying massive airplay. Most important is the fact that he seems to be a favourite for features among established artistes.

For instance, in Davido’s much-talked-about album ― A Better Time ― where the FEM singer featured some of the hottest American artistes, Bella Shmurda was one of the four Nigerian talents on the album.

He was also featured in Olamide’s 11th solo album, Carpe Diem. The singer was featured in ace beatmaker, MasterKraft’s song, Hallelu, alongside Zlatan Ibile.

As of October, his Cash App song was on the top ten playlist for weeks on Apple music’s Top 100 Nigeria chart.

According to Billboard.com, as of October 24, 2020, the song peaked at number four and stayed on the chart for about six weeks.

Jamo Pyper

You may not be familiar with the name Jamo Pyper, but you mostly dance to his song, If No Be You.
The 25-year-old is also a Headies award nominee and he is signed to ‘street hip-hop’ singer, Zlatan Ibile’s record label.

The song, Of Lala by Rahman Jago, Jamo Pyper and Zlatan Ibile had over two million views on YouTube since it had been posted in April 2020.

The youngster teamed up with iconic singer, Mayorkun, for the remix of his smashing hit song, If No Be You. The video has garnered about 1.2 million views on YouTube. The song became a phenomenon that a dance challenge was birthed, #IfNoBeYou dance challenge.
According to kworb.net, his hit song, If No Be You, has not done badly since its release months ago. On iTunes, it ranks number 17 in Ukraine while it ranks number 21 in Nigeria. On the YouTube platform, the song ranks number 72 in Nigeria while on Apple Music the songs rank number 64 in Nigeria

Having featured in songs with Olamide, Zlatan, Naira Marley, among others, the Oyo State-born singer is rated as one of the most promising acts of 2020.

With the success he has recorded this year, the artiste noted that he sees himself chilling with Jay-Z, Beyonce, and other international top shots in the next five years.

Bad Boy Timz

Born Olorunyomi Oloruntimilehin, Bad Boy Timz, is an Afro singer and songwriter.
He became a favourite among thrill seekers with his hit song, MJ.
With the success of the song, he made a remix and featured sensational singer, Mayorkun, and together they made magic.

Latching on the success of the song, the young man teamed up with sonorous singer, Teni, to make another version of the song; again, it became a commercial success and all versions of the record have a long-lasting stay on charts.

Timz started getting a viral buzz when he started posting freestyles and covers on social media. One of the videos caught the eye of British rapper, J-Hus. Shortly after his viral skits started going viral, Timz signed his first record deal. He signed with Anonymous Music in 2019.
The 400 level Computer Engineering student of Bells University caught the attention of rap king, Olamide, who featured him on his most recent project, Carpe Diem. Together they went into the booth to create the monster hit song, Loading, which is a favourite among fun seekers and partygoers.

Although his pseudonym might be Bad Boy Timz, ironically, the singer began his career in a church at a very tender age.

According to Billboard.com, the song, Loading, had a peak position as number 13 on the chart where it stayed for about two weeks. On YouTube, the video of the song has over two million views.


Born Oyiyide Azeez, the singer is also a songwriter and record producer. In 2019, Zinoleesky was a social media sensation, thanks to a viral video that showed him and his pal, Lil Frosh, rapping.

However, towards the end of 2019, Lil Frosh got signed to Davido’s label, DMW.

It was rumoured that Zinoleesky rejected an opportunity to be signed to DMW. In December 2019, he signed to Naira Marley’s record label, Marlian Music, alongside four other artists.

Ever since the young man released the song, Ma Pariwo’, a sex-themed Afro-pop single, it became one of Nigeria’s hits of 2020. The song shot him to stardom.

Riding on the waves of the song’s success, he featured Mayorkun for the remix of the hit song.
The video of the song, which was released in July 2020, has already garnered 1.7 million viewers on YouTube. The singer recently released his EP, Chrome, which is also making waves.

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