12 Nigerian Musicians Who Studied Abroad (Photos)
Nigerian musicians are doing well in their fields. We are constantly thrilled by their scintillating songs, music videos, stage performances and more. They are making the country proud both home and abroad. Apart from their unfeigned flairs for music, some of them do have stints for education as well. Some of them have, to their best interests, acquired their educational qualifications from home or abroad.
However, in this article, I will be sharing with you 12 of these musicians who studied abroad, although some did not complete their studies:
Davido is the youngest child among five siblings and also the second born to his father.
Mr. Adedeji Adeleke and late mother Mrs. Vero Adeleke are the parents of Davido.
He attended the British International School in Lagos, and moved to Alabama (USA) at the age of 16 to study Business Administration at Oalawood University.
At the university, Davido started making beats after he bought his first musical instrument. He then collaborated with his cousins (B-Red and Sina Rambo) to form the music act KB International.
He later dropped out of university to pursue full time music, and relocated to London where he worked properly on his vocals.
In 2012, after the release of his second single ‘Dami Duro’ after ‘Back When,’ which featured Naeto C, he became a household name in Nigeria which eventually gave birth to his first studio album ‘Omo Baba Olowo,” which made him won the next rated award at the headies.
Along the line in 2013 and 2015, he released hit singles like ‘Gobe’, ‘One Of A Kind’, ‘Skelewu’, ”Aye”, ‘The Money” and ”The Sound.”
In 2015, Davido fulfilled his promise to his father as he graduated school at Babcock University.
In January 2016, Davido signed a record deal with Sony Music and a few months later founded the record label Davido Music Worldwide (DMW), to which acts Dremo, Mayorkun, Yonda and Peruzzi are currently signed. In July 2016, Davido signed a record deal with Sony’s RCA Records. In October 2016, he released the 5-track EP Son of Mercy, which was supported by the singles “Gbagbe Oshi”, “How Long” and “Coolest Kid in Africa”. In April 2017, Davido re-negotiated his contract with Sony due to creative control issues and later that year he released five singles including “If” and “Fall”. “If” generated worldwide social media activity while “Fall” became the longest-charting Nigerian pop song in Billboard history.
Davido released his second studio album A Good Time in November 2019. It was supported by the previously released singles “If”, “Fall”, “Assurance”, “Blow My Mind” and “Risky”.
In January 2019, Davido sold out The O2 Arena in London, becoming the first solo African artist to do so.
#2. Naira Marley
Azeez Adeshina Fashola, born 10 May 1991, known professionally as Naira Marley, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. He is known as the president of his controversial fan base, "Marlians."
Naira Marley was born in Agege, Lagos State , Nigeria. At the age of 11, he moved to Peckham , South London , England. He studied at Porlock Hall before attending Walworth School, where he obtained his General Certificate of Secondary Education . Naira Marley graduated with a distinction in business from Peckham Academy, in the London Borough of Southwark . He also studied business law at Crossways College (now Christ the King Sixth Form College ).
#3. Tiwa Savage
Tiwatope Savage-Balogun, known as Tiwa Savage, arrived in the early 2010s with a hybrid form of dance-pop that that synthesizes Afropop, reggae, and contemporary R&B.
Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, the singer and songwriter moved with her family to England when she was 11 years old. During the latter half of the '90s, she established herself as a background vocalist, and opted to leave the accounting world when she was sought by Mary J. Blige . Though she had a business administration degree from Kent University, she furthered her music career by attending Berklee College of Music on scholarship. Prior to her graduation, she competed on The X Factor (U.K.) during series three and made it to the final 24. During the next couple years, Savage raised her stock with additional background work and the landing of songwriting credits on a handful of albums, including Fantasia 's Grammy-nominated Back to Me. Savage made a name for herself as a solo artist in 2010 with "Kele Kele Love," a self-released single produced by Harmony Samuels . In 2013, signed to Don Jazzy 's Mavin label, she released her debut album, Once Upon a Time, and received her first MOBO Award nomination in the category of Best African Act. Second album R.E.D. appeared in late 2015 with the majority of the production work handled by Jazzy.
Damilola Afolabi, born April 10, 1993, known professionally as L.A.X is a Nigerian recording artist . L.A.X started out as a rapper and was part of a three-man group called Flyboiz while he was still in high school. On August 20, 2013, L.A.X signed a major-label deal with Starboy Entertainment moments after releasing the critically acclaimed song titled "Caro" which won him the "Diaspora Artiste of The Year" at the 2014 edition of the Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
He had his secondary school education at Nigerian Turkish International College, Lagos where he formed a music group called Flyboiz, releasing a single titled "Busy Body". With the view of furthering his education, L.A.X left the group to study in the United Kingdom where he started recording songs and shot few videos.
Folarin Falana popularly known by his stage name Falz, is a Nigerian rapper, songwriter and actor. He was born on October 27 1990. He began his career while in secondary school after forming a group called “The School Boys” with his friend, before his professional career as a music artist began in 2009. Falz became more popular after his song “Marry Me” featuring vocals from Poe and Yemi Alade. He currently owns an independent record label called Bahd Guys Records, He released his debut album Wazup Guy in 2014. His second album “Stories That Touch” was released in 2015. He released 27 as his third studio album in 2017. On January 15, 2019, he released his fourth studio album Moral Instruction.
Falz was born in the mushin local government area of Lagos, to renowned lawyers and human right activists Femi and Funmi Falana. He was called to the bar in 2012 after graduating from the Nigeria Law School in Abuja.
On January 2, 2014, Falz was listed in tooXclusive’s “Artistes To Watch in 2014”. On 30 May 2014, Falz released his debut studio album titled Wazup Guy, which was critically acclaimed by music critics.
In 2015, Falz was nominated in the “Best Collaboration of The Year” category at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards for his chart-topping single “Marry Me”. It won him a nomination in the “Best Collaboration of The Year” category at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. He was also nominated for the “Best Rap Act of The Year” and “Best New Act to Watch” categories respectively. On 31 January 2015, he released a single titled “Ello Bae”, which won him a nomination in the “Best Street Hop Artiste of The Year” category at The 2015 Headies awards.
Falz completed his primary and secondary school education at St. Leo’s Catholic Primary School, Ikeja and Olashore International School, Osun State respectively, he is an alumni of the University of Reading England, having graduated with an LLB honors degree in Law.
Tobechukwu Victor Okoh, born 5 December 1989, also known as Peruzzi is a Nigerian singer and songwriter.
Peruzzi's 2018 single Majesty, off his Heartwork EP featured 2018 Big Brother Naija runner up Cee-c. Prior to the release of Majesty, the singer had been maligned by many social media users in Nigeria, who claimed the singer only shines on featured songs. He featured on Tu-Face's hit song "Amaka."
After completing his secondary school education, Peruzzi gained admission to study Medicine and Surgery in Odessa National Medical University in Ukraine, but he however dropped out from school to pursue a career in music.
#7. Seyi Shay
Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua, born Oluwaseyi Odedere on 21 December 1985, professionally known as Seyi Shay is a Nigerian-based singer, songwriter and actress. She wrote and produced three songs for the soundtrack to Konami 's video game Crime Life: Gang Wars (2005). She also wrote "You Will See", a song that was included on Melanie C 's third studio album Beautiful Intentions (2005). Shay wrote "White Lies", a song from Chip 's Transition album. In 2008, she became the lead singer for the now defunct pop girl group From Above. The group signed a recording deal with Sony 's Columbia Records and was managed by Mathew Knowles ' Music World Entertainment company. In November 2013, Shay signed an endorsement deal with telecommunications service provider Etisalat.
In July 2015, she signed a record deal with Island Records. Shay released her debut studio album Seyi or Shay in November 2015. It was supported by the promotional singles "Irawo", "Ragga Ragga", and "Chairman".
She studied music at a local UK college and went on to study business management at the University of East London.
#8. Banky W
Olubankole Wellington known with his stage name Banky W is a singer, song writer, actor and an entrepreneur. He is an accomplished artiste and built a music empire that produced internationally acclaimed artiste like Wizkid.
Banky W was born on the 27th of March, 1981 in United State to the family of George Bankole Wellington but his family moved to Lagos, Nigeria when he was 5 years old. He started singing in his church choir at a tender age.
Banky W completed his primary and secondary education in Nigeria. After secondary school, Banky W moved to United States of America for his tertiary education. He studied Industrial Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York on scholarship. While in college, he started his record label E.M.E and even featured and won numerous musical competitions in college.
Teniola Apata , better known as Teni , is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and entertainer.
Teni released her debut single "Amen" while signed to Shizzi's Magic Fingers Records. She left the record label and signed with Dr. Dolor Entertainment in 2017. Teni started gaining prominence after releasing the single " Fargin" in September 2017. She made her breakthrough after releasing the hit singles "Askamaya", " Case" and "Uyo Meyo ". "Askamaya" was ranked 15th on MTV Base 's year-end list of the Top 20 Hottest Naija Tracks of 2018.
Teni won Rookie of the Year at the 2018 Headies Awards , and Most Promising Act to Watch at the 2018 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. She also won Best New Artist at the 2018 Soundcity MVP Awards Festival.
NotJustOk ranked her eighth on its list of the 10 Hottest Artists In Nigeria. She was listed on Premium Times ' list of the Six Nigerian breakout stars, viral sensations of 2018.
On 20 February 2019, Teni was featured on YouTube Music 's Trending Artist on the Rise. On May 3, 2019, she released the video for "Sugar Mummy". On June 14, 2019, she released a new single titled "Power Rangers".
Teni is the younger sister of Nigerian singer Niniola. She attended Apata Memorial High School and has a degree in business administration from American InterContinental University, Schaumburg , Illinois , US.
#10. M.I Abaga
Jude (M.I) Abaga, was born on October 4, 1981, in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. He is originally from Taraba State as his parents, Pastor and Mrs. Abaga are both from Takum. Growing up in Jos with his two brothers – Jesse (Jagz) and Jason Abaga, M.I attended Baptist High School, Jos. As a teenager, his interest in music was piqued after his mother purchased basic music notations and 7-key mini piano for him.
Furthering his tertiary education at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S. in the 1990s, M.I would listen to tracks from famous rappers like DMX, Lauryn Hill, Jay-Z, and others. While majoring in Business and Economics at Calvin College, Michigan, he delved into poetry and would often perform at the school’s hip-hop shows and concerts.
With his active participation and rapping prowess, Mr Incredible, as he is fondly called, made it to the third-place at the college show themed ‘HipHopera’ in 2003. It was the only rap show the school ever had. M.I also tried his hands on stand up comedy but a few flops made him stick to what his first love – music.
He took off with his music career in Nigeria after he returned in 2003. M.I started producing mixtapes with his friend, Djinee and it wasn’t long before he released his first mixtape titled PYERIBOY . His single Safe gained impressive airplay in African radio and music video stations such as MTV Vibe. Not only did Nigerians loved it, the track earned him awards at the Nigerian Music Video Awards.
The subsequent release of his first studio album title Talk About It cinched his career success and popularity. M.I was rated 8.5/10 by Oye Akideinde of 360nobs and won the City People Awards for Best Hip Hop Artist and Musician of the Year 2008.
Motivated by his mounting fame, M.I dropped a sample mixtape in 2009 and 2012 titled: Illegal Music I and II . He later teamed up with several music artists Lindsay, Ice Prince , including to brother Jesse Jagz, and others to establish Loopy Music – a company that is currently merged with Chocolate City.
After he got signed by Chocolate City, M.I moved from Jos to Abuja. From there onwards, his recognition ricochet across Nigeria to South Africa and the US where he was acknowledged by MTVbase Awards, Channel O Music Award as well as American BET Awards.
#11. Onyeka Onwenu
Onyeka Onwenu, born 31 January 1952, is a Nigerian singer/songwriter, actress, human right activist, social activist, journalist, politician, and former X Factor series judge. Dubbed the "Elegant Stallion" by the Nigerian press, she is a former chairperson of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture. In 2013 she was appointed the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre for Women Development.
Onwenu possess a BA in International Relations and Communication from Wellesley College ,Massachusetts , and an MA in Media Studies from The New School for Social Research , New York.
#12. Dice Ailes
Shasha Damilola Alesh better known by his stage name Dice Ailes , is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and rapper. In July 2014, he signed a record deal with Chocolate City. He was nominated for Rookie of the Year at The Headies 2016. In 2016, TooXclusive ranked his breakthrough single "Miracle" third on its list of the "Top 10 Songs for the month of October". In 2017, tooXclusive named him as "one of the sixteen artists you need to know.
He schooled in Nigeria , Republic of Benin, and Ghana then relocated to Canada where he studied at York University and also started his musical career before relocating back to Nigeria after his record deal with Chocolate City in 2014.
Source: Opera News