The Headies Award 2022 nominees were announced on the 24th of May 2022. The Headies is one of the biggest music awards shows in Nigeria ??. While the nominations were not as controversial as the past years, I can say the headies were spot on with their nominees, save for a few omissions. For the first time since the inception of the prestigious award, the ceremony will not be held in Nigeria but will take place in the United States of America.
It comes as no surprise to lovers of Nigerian music especially the afrobeats genre that Grammy-nominated artist Wizkid has the most nominations for this year’s headies. His Made in Lagos Deluxe project still remains one of the best projects in the year under review.
On the other side, music lovers were surprised to find out that newcomer Ayraa Starr has the second-highest nominations for the award. The sensational artist released what I believe is one of the most amazing albums of the year 2021. Her album 19 & Dangerous stood toe to toe amongst other projects in the male-dominated industry and did amazing numbers.
Also for the first time since its inception, The Headies are considering music projects that are regarded as Extended Plays (EP) and not just full-length albums. This has allowed projects like Tiwa Savage's Water and Garri to receive a deserved nomination.
In this article, I will be talking about my favorite categories and I will be giving my opinion on who I think will be taking home the award.
The album of the year category recognizes the best albums released in the year under review, it should be noted that this is not a voting category and the winner will be decided by a team of Judges that have been set up by the Headies committee. The nominated albums include;
Wizkid- Made in Lagos (Deluxe)
Brymo - Esan
Ayra Starr- 19 & Dangerous
Olamide- Carpe Diem
Femi & Made Kuti- Legacy+
This is perhaps one of the least competitive categories in this year’s set of nominations however, while many people will instantly pick Wizkid as the winner of this category, I believe Brymo’s Esan stands a very good chance.
The nine-track album sung in The Yoruba language is one of the best works of songwriting any Nigerian musician has released in a long time.
This category recognizes the best-recorded single in the year under review and pays homage to the recording, production and sound engineering of the song. The nominees are;
Meji Meji- Brymo
Celebrate Me- Patoranking
Loving is harder- Johnny Drille
Essence- Wizkid ft Tems
Somebody’s Son- Tiwa Savage ft Brandy
In terms of sonic excellence, this is a very difficult category as there is no clear cut winner. In my opinion, I believe everyone nominated in this category deserves the award.
This category honours the best R&B performance for the year under review. This is a very interesting category by all definitions as the nominated songs are some of the most beautiful records released in the past year. Fave’s Baby Riddim became a major hit due to its popularity on the social media platform TikTok and saw the artist doing major streaming numbers on various streaming platforms.
In the same vein, Ayra Starr’s beautiful collaboration with Emo Afropop singer Ckay is another song worthy of the award while Niniola’s Promise saw the singer deliver an amazing vocal performance.
“Baby Riddim” – Fave
“Beggie Beggie” – Ayra Starr Feat. Ckay
“Essence” – Wizkid Feat. Tems
“Running (To You)” – Chike Feat. Simi
“Promise” – Niniola
“Sinner” – Adekunle Gold Feat. Luck Daye
The category recognizes the individual or individuals responsible for producing the hottest songs of the year. Critically acclaimed producer and winner of the award in the previous edition Pheelz is nominated again for his work on one of the hottest December jams of 2021.
Hip-hop producer, Beats by Jayy get a posthumous nomination for his work on AQ’s Golden, sadly the producer passed on due to covid complications last year.
Beats By Jayy – “Golden” (A-Q)
Blaise Beatz – “Sinner” (Adekunle Gold Feat. Lucky Daye)
Niphkeys – “Feel Good” (Mohbad)
P Priime – “Ozumba Mbadiwe” (Reekado Banks)
Pheelz – “High” (Adekunle Gold Feat. Davido)
Best Vocal Performance (Female): This category crowns this year’s vocal queen. Niniola would be defending her crown as the most powerful vocalist in the music industry with her nomination for the R&b ballad 6th Heaven. In my opinion, she is the strongest contender in the category as no other nominated artist matches her vocal dexterity and performance.
Ayra Starr – “Toxic”
Liya – “Alari”
Niniola – “6th Heaven”
Simi – “Running (To You)”
Tems – “Essence”
Waje – “Last Time”
Best Rap Single Headies Award 2022 Nominees
This is a voting category that honours the best rap single for the year under review. Music lovers are in charge of deciding their favorite rap single of the year. This is a popularity contest, so the rapper with the best campaign will take home this award.
1. “Breathe” – A-Q Feat. Chike
2. “Crown of Clay” – Vector & MI Abaga Feat. Pheelz
3. “Early Momo” – Vector Feat. Goodgirl LA
4. “Feeling” – Ladipoe Feat. BNXN
5. “Tycoon” – Show Dem Camp Feat. Reminisce & Mojo
6. “Loading” – Olamide feat. Bad Boy Timz
The best alternative song category is a voting category that recognizes musicians whose songs do not fall under the category of mainstream or popular music. Favourites to take home this award are Brymo's Meji Meji and The Cavemen’s Selense.
1. “Doings” – Flavour
2. “Free Your Mind” – Made Kuti
3. “Gonto” – Ibejii
4. “Hustle” – Basketmouth, The Cavemen, Bez, Dice Ailes
5. “Meji Meji” – Brymo
6. “Selense” – The Cavemen
This is a non-voting category for the male artiste with the most outstanding vocal performance on a single song or album. Favorites to win this category is Ric Hassani for his vocal performance on “When I’m gone” and Oxlade for the afropop hit “Ojuju”
1. Brymo – “Meji Meji”
2. Johnny Drille – “Loving is HARDER”
3. Oxlade – “Ojuju”
4. Ric Hassani – “When I'm Gone”
5. Tay Iwar – “Peaking”
This is a non-voting category that lauds the penmanship of the artist under review. The winner of this award will be decided by judges, they will be considering songwriting, composition and musical arrangement. A very obvious choice for this category is Brymo’s “Meji Meji”
1. Adekunle Gold – “Sinner”
2. Ajebo Hustlers – “Loyalty”
3. Brymo – “Meji Meji”
4. Falana – “Joy”
5. Fireboy DML – “Peru”
This is a non-voting category that awards the best lyricist in the year under review. This is my favorite category in the award show and one of the most competitive categories. I also believe the Headies committee left out a notable rapper during the selection. I consider it an abomination that M.I Abaga's verse on the 98 bulls collaboration was left out of the nominations. In my opinion, I believe that A-Q has this award in the bag.
1. A-Q – “The Last Cypher”
2. Blaqbones – “The Last Cypher”
3. Jesse Jagz – “Vipers”
4. Ladipoe – “Providence”
5. Payper Corleone – “In Don We Trust”
6. Vector – “Crown of Clay”
This is a voting category that honours the best street music artist for the year under review. This category sees breakout street artist Portable receiving his first major award nomination and is definitely a strong contender for the award.
Portable published a video demanding the award on his Instagram page. The video was badly received by the Headies committee who threatened to have the singer arrested if he causes any ruckus at the award show.
1. Bella Shmurda – “Cash App” feat. Zlatan & Lincoin
2. Rexxie & Mohbad – “KPK”
3. Mohbad – “Feel Good”
4. Naira Marley – “Koleyewon”
5. Nektunez & Goya Menor – “Ameno Amapaino (Remix)”
6. Poco Lee & Portable featuring Olamide – “Zazoo Zehh”
: This is a voting category and is one of the most coveted awards at the ceremony. This category honours musicians who are considered to be the next big thing in the music industry. The winner also goes home with a brand new car. I believe there is no one more deserving of this award than Ayra Starr.
The Headies Awards 2022 ceremony is set to take place on the 4th of September 2022 in Atlanta Georgia, United States. To check out the full list of nominations and vote for your favorite artist, you can check the Headies website.
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