Top 10 Debut Albums that shook the Nigerian Music Industry

Debut Albums go a ridiculously long way in determining what direction an artist’s career pathway propels. They are special for numerous reasons, the biggest being the fact that the world is introduced to whatever style and impact your music has to offer.

You have your whole life to make your debut album, that’s why sophomore albums make artists nervous.


We’ve had artists fizzle out after releasing groundbreaking debut projects, finding it hard to live up to the very high standards of their debuts, while a lucky bunch have used it as a spring pedal — it just tells the story of how gravely important and special debut projects are.

The last couple of years have had a couple of significant debut releases on the Nigerian scene including Fireboy’s “Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps“, Chike’s “Boo Of the Booless“, DRB Lasgidi’s “Pioneers” and more recently Omah Lay’s “Get Layd” EP

Celebrating the power of debut projects, we take a look back at some of the best Debut projects the country has had in the past two decades. Here are ALBUM TALKS Top 10 Nigerian projects in the last two decades based on Album Quality and National Impact observed.

10.) New Era – Kizz Daniel

Release Date – 1 May, 2016

Genre Afro-Pop

G-Worldwide might have had a topsy-turvy timeline in the Nigerian musical industry but the highlight of the record label’s limelight period was their unveiling of then Kiss Daniel and Sugar Boy in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Kizz Daniel will end up outshining the latter on the long run but his rise to stardom all began with his amazing debut Album ‘New Era‘.

Lead single “Woju” drew people’s attention to the album and they were met with absolute satistfaction. The album included a handful of hit singles ‘Woju‘, ‘Jombo‘, ‘Laye‘, ‘Good Time‘ and ‘Duro‘. ‘New Era‘ debuted at #8 on the Billboard Worldwide Albums Chart which was a record peak at the time for a debut album. Kizz Daniel also became the first Nigerian act to win the Headies Album of the Year and Best RnB/Pop Album. Kizz Daniel owned the year with his first ever project.

9.) Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps – Fireboy DML

Release Date – 25 November, 2019

GenreAfro-Pop, Afro-Life

There might be mixed reactions to the inclusion of this project on the list of greats but “Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps” makes a solid claim and deserves to be in the conversation at the very least. LTG had one of the biggest first week sales digitally for a debut album; currently the highest streamed project by an african act of all-time on Audiomack – this isnt just a big deal, it is a massively incredible deal and even more impressive when it recrosses your mind that this is only a debut project.

Numbers could be deceiving, you say? Fireboy’s LTG offers a whole lot more than numbers with the album earning comparisons with Wizkids debut “Superstar” because of how sonically pleasing and pure it is. A true no-skips album with smash-hit singles “Jealous“, “Scatter“, “What if i say” and “Like I do“. Fireboy set a footmark on the history sands of time and he did it without features.

8.) Asa (Asha) – Asa

Release Date – 16 October, 2007

GenreAlternative, Acoustic, Ballad

The entire Asa story kickstarted with her career on probably her highest note ever – in terms of the impact and legacy she reaches with “Asa“. With lead singles taking the entire country by storm, “Jailer” is definitely one of the best written songs out of Nigeria in the past two decades. Asa’s pen game awesomeness was maintained all through the album with highly thoughtful and relatable songs.

What was it about Asa that really caught people’s attention? She offered an almost impossible blend of highlife, RnB and ballads while giving you a nostalgic feeling and lyrics to make you ponder. She was way beyond her years with her music and we all just had no option but to listen.

7.) No Guts No Glory – Phyno

Release Date – 20 March, 2014


Phyno came into the music game having colossal knowledge about manner in which it operates. His studious options and doings on his debut album proves this. Debuting as an indigenous rapper from the east is no easy feat but he conquered in flying colours. A few choices made this happen, from the guest features selection which is highly impressive for a debut project (Flavour, IllBliss, Runtown, M.I Abaga, Ice Prince, Timaya, Mr Raw, P-Square, Omawumi, Olamide, Stormrex and Efa) down to the production with includes a superb example in the smash hit song “Alobam” which experiments instrumentals that fuses Drake’s “Worst Behaviour” and Olamide’s “Sitting on the Throne“.

No Guts No Glory” earned Phyno his first and only Album of the year and Rap album of the year nominations ever. The album earned him a combined 24 nominations with 5 Award wins. His biggest and best by far as he’s struggled to keep up with the high standard he set with No Guts No Glory.

6.) True Story – Timaya

Release Date – 6 June, 2007

Genre – Afro-Pop, Afro-Dancehall

Timaya - True Story | Download MP3 Music » TrendyBeatz

A Wande Coal argument might rise, but Timaya is definitely one of the foremost Pioneers of the alternate Afro-pop sound. Like it’s name suggests, “True Story” was Timaya compressing his entire story in an album while prompting you to dance your shoes off — The Ghetto way.

This shook the physical CD market across the East, South and even to the West. Songs like ‘Timaya‘, ‘Dem Mama‘, ‘Ogologoma‘ and ‘True Story‘ is the definition of raw and unfiltered ghetto pop music. Till date, only Timaya’s third studio album “De Rebirth” has been able to measure up to the level “True Story” attained. A defining moment in the Nigerian Pop Culture.

5.) Talk About It – M.I. Abaga

Release Date – 1 December, 2008

Genre Rap/Hip-Hop

M.I Abaga's 'Talk About It' Album: A Captivating History By His First  Manager

The short black boy from J-town took the nation by surprise; who had such incredible technique that went with a flow as smooth as silk? Wait till you hear his debut project, a proper body of work, one strong enough to reduce the ever-widening gap between the hip-hop and pop culture – It impacted every corner of the Nation.

Consider it not to be a flare of exaggeration when i say “Talk About It” is still currently a better body of work than a whole bunch of new Rap releases. M.I Abaga spat fire, singles off TAI – including ‘Anoti‘, ‘Teaser‘, ‘Fast Money, Fast Cars(ft. Wizkid)‘ – only oozed the greatness that was to come and that which we experience it’s manifestation now. This is definitely one of the reasons M.I ranks as one of the Nigerian all-time greats, that and the consistency showed in his discography portfolio.

4.) Call My Name – Styl-Plus

Release Date – 1 January, 2003

Genre RnB/Soul

Call My Name by Styl-Plus on Amazon Music -

Ready to take a bet 70% of the western Nigerian homes owned a “Call My Name” CD at home. If you didn’t have a “Call My Name” CD or hadn’t heard about Styl-Plus, you lived under a rock. Styl-Plus indirectly paved the way for the mainstream wave of the Afro-RnB genre, they could well be referred to as pioneers if we are being honest.

Call My Name was such a perfect and futuristic project that it was re-released two times. Physical sales ran over and they still milked off the 2003 project in 2007, and it still stayed relevant across 5 years. It featured hit bangers ‘Call My Name‘, ‘Run Away‘ and the super classical hit ‘Olufunmi‘ – One of the greatest written Nigerian songs of all-time.

3.) Superstar – Wizkid

Release Date – 12 June, 2011

Genre Afro-Pop, Afro-RnB

DOWNLOAD FULL ALBUM: Wizkid – Superstar // Naijajam

Starboy – The one album that will be played and the entire country would chorus word for word from the start to the end. I feel there’s not much that can be said about the greatness of this album that you didn’t know already.

Often regarded as one of the greatest projects of all-time, with the release of Wizkid’s “Starboy“, you could just tell he would go on to be an important figure not just in Nigeria but in Africa as a whole, the robust fill of talent that busted out of Starboy was one that was extremely difficult to surmise. It wasn’t just the fine-boy antics, it was actually quality music under the best possible grooming at the time (Banky W – EME).

A non-arguable All-Hits album, the best of it’s decade.

2.) Mushin 2 Mo’Hits – Wande Coal

Release Date – 12 April, 2009

Genre Afro-Pop, Afro-RnB, Soul

Wande Coal - Mushin 2 Mohits Lyrics and Tracklist | Genius

Mo-Hits was popular for their consistent regeneration of hits, but Wande Coal did that and more – He made a classic album. Coming at the time of peak Don Jazzy production, Mushin 2 Mo’Hits was everything; it was futuristic, most of its songs would still gain significant relevance in the present Pop culture; it was diverse and displayed range, from ‘Ololufe‘ to ‘Who Born the Maga‘ to ‘Jehovah‘, probably the best diverse project ever by a Nigerian act.

Still suffering from his own success, Wande Coal has failed to top the level he attained eith his debut, regardless, He will forever be remembered for delivering this classic and one of the all-time greats. “Mushin 2 Mo’Hits” earned Wande Coal 3 awards.

1.) Face 2 Face – Tuface Idibia

Release Date – 15 May, 2004

Genre Afro-RnB, Afro-Pop, Alternative

Face 2 Face (2face Idibia album) - Wikipedia

Coming off solo after a spell as a member of the Plantashun Boys of which he was already a fan favourite, with a pen, paper and something to prove, Tuface Idibia (Now 2Baba) delivered the greatest debut Nigerian debut album of all-time and arguably one of the best albums ever!

This was arguably the start of a new dimension for Afro-Pop. Considered to be Afro-Pop predominantly but Face2Face contained a fair share of RnB tunes and slices of Hip-Hop/Rap. Tuface has one of the best musical careers in African history and it wouldn’t have been made possible without a debut solo project with such impeccable quality and maturity.

Songs like ‘Holy‘, ‘Ole‘, ‘U No Holy Pass‘ and the super generational hit bangerAfrican Queen‘ visioned an artist that was way ahead of his years. This Album birthed ‘African Queen‘, one of the greatest songs to come out of Africa. It also sold over an estimated 2 MILLION copies in its opening year. Enough Said.

D’Banj – No l

Would you make any change to this list?? Let us know what you think!! HIT THE COMMENTS


2 thoughts on “Top 10 Debut Albums that shook the Nigerian Music Industry

  1. Previously, you periodically published the report of the first 10 albums of the Billboard 200, will be updated in the coming days.

    Thanks You….

    El dom, 27 de dic. de 2020 a la(s) 11:20, Album Talks™ ( escribió:

    > Zhajj_ posted: ” Debut Albums go a ridiculously long way in determining > what direction an artist’s career pathway propels. They are special for > numerous reasons, the biggest being the fact that the world is introduced > to whatever style and impact your music has to of” >


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