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Home > Articles > HEADIES AWARDS REVIEW: Who Wears The ‘Next Rated’ Crown Between Omah Lay, Tems, Bella Shmurda, Oxlade?

HEADIES AWARDS REVIEW: Who Wears The ‘Next Rated’ Crown Between Omah Lay, Tems, Bella Shmurda, Oxlade?


Damilola Olufemi and Tosin Ologun

According to Wikipedia, Headies (originally called the Hip Hop World Awards) is a music awards show established in 2006 by the Hip Hop World Magazine of Nigeria to recognize outstanding achievements in the Nigerian music industry.

The annual ceremony features performances by established and promising artists which is broadcast live on HipTV to viewers across.

Since the inception of the awards, it has always been held in Lagos where several media personalities in Nigeria have hosted the annual ceremony, including Darey Art Alade, D’banj, Dakore Egbuson, Banky W., Rita Dominic, M.I, Tiwa Savage and Dr SID, Kemi Adetiba, Rita Dominic, Eldee, Omawumi, Toke Makinwa, Basketmouth, Bovi, Kaffy, Adesua Wellington (formerly Adesua Etomi), Falz, Shey Shay; to the latest edition held last year and hosted by Reminisce, Nancy Isime.

This year, one of the most competitive and anticipating category just like it has been is the “Next Rated” category which have top and recognised acts who have been doing well in their genre music.

Nominees for this year’s Next Rated include are Tems, Omah Lay, Bella Shmurda and Oxlade.

No doubt, the four artistes shortlisted for the category have been doing extremely well between 2019 and the time of they being nominated.

But taking a look at their respective works and activities at which they were nominated won’t be bad, you know?.


Temilade Openiyi known as Tems, is a Nigerian R&B singer, songwriter born 1995 in Lagos, Nigeria.

She released her single, “Try Me” in August 2019, which became a hit and at now has more than 3.7 million views on YouTube.

She’s a singer and upcoming producer, single-handedly redefining the Nigerian music scene one musical note at a time. Tems brings an urban sound that is undeniably unique, embodying a fusion of alternative RnB and Neo soul genres.

In 2019, she was nominated for two categories at the Headies Awards – Best Vocal Performance (Female) along side GoodGirl LA; Waje; Teni; and Falana and BEST ‘ALTERNATIVE’ SONG category along side Lady Donli; Johnny Drille; Brymo; and Adekunle Gold. Although, she never won any of the categories. Both were won by Teni’s Uyo Me.

In 2020, She released her EP, “For Broken Ears”, having the following songs:

The Key

1.12M Listen
3.15K Like
3182.44K Shared With Audiomack followers

For Broken Ears

9.96M Listen
5.66K Like
1.42K Shared with audiomack followers


4.45M Listen
17.8K Like
2.52K Shared with audiomack followers
11.4K Playlist

These Days

1.86M Listen
7.52K Like
1.03K Shared with audiomack followers
7.42K Playlist

Try Me

6.39M Listen
21.4K Like
3.73K Shared with audiomack followers
20.9K Playlist

Looku Looku

1.39M Listen
4.59K Like
6085.64K Shared with audiomack followers

Mr Rebel

1.34M Listen
4.47K Like
6715.84K Shared with audiomack followers.


80,300+ followers on audiomack
286,000+ followers on Instagram
145,700+ followers on Twitter


Akinbiyi Abiola Ahmed (Bella Shmurda) is a fast-rising Nigerian musician born in Lagos, 1997. The young artist is 23 years old as of 2020 and he is already achieving feats in the music industry. He is known for a song in his debut EP, “Vision 2020” which featured YBNL boss, Olamide.

Popularly called Fine Boy Bella by his fans, Bella Shmurda is on an impressive upward trajectory with over 60 million streams from all his releases. He is referred to as the new voice of the streets in his home town, Lagos in Nigeria.

He gained recognition in March 2019, after the viral video to his “Vision 2020” song with sensational Dancer Poco Lee took the internet space by storm, a song Olamide eventually featured on. He has since then dropped singles ranging from Upgrade to One touch featuring Zlatan and Only You which already has DMW’s Davido on the waiting list to be featured on, he has also worked with the like of Runtown to mention a few.

Bella Shmurda dropped his first body of work in the place of an Extended Play (EP) titled High Tension consisting of seven (7) tracks including his hit single Upgrade and Olamide assisted Vision 2020 which was distributed by Canny Consults. He’s currently signed to OneWord Global Records, affiliated to YBNL.

His top tracks are: Cash App, Fade by Davido (feat. Bella Shmurda), Dangbana Orisa, Vision 2020 (feat. Olamide), Sho Mo Mi, Upgrade, Ginger, Me (Intro), Omnipotent, Liquor, Amope.

Below is some of his songs streams on audiomack

Vision 2020 Feat. Olamide

10.3M Listen
19.3K Like
3.98K Shared with audiomack followers
17.6K Playlist

Only You

3.39M Listen
6.08K Like
9934.66K Shared with Audiomack followers

Cash App Feat. Zlatan, Lincoln

12.1M Listen
38K Like
9.75K Shared with Audiomack followers
16.7K Playlist

Polongo (Freestyle)

1.33M Listen
2.62K Like
5341.18K Shared with audiomack followers


6.54M Listen
10K Like
1.26K Shared with audiomack followers
9.69K Playlist

• One Touch Feat. Zlatan

1.65M Listen
3.01K Like
4472.74K Shared with Audiomack followers.


Audiomack 218,100+
Twitter 143,100+
Instagram 953,000+

Meanwhile, Bella Shmurda has no nomination or Award added to his name except the current 2020 Headies Awards Next Rated Caterory, unlike Tems who had been nominated for two categories at the Headies last year.


Omah Stanley Didia professionally known as Omah Lay is a Nigerian Afro-Fusion singer that came into limelight in 2019.

The Port Harcourt born singer currently signed to KeyQaad record label released two Extended Plays (EPs) in 2020— ‘Get Layd’ and ‘What Have We Done’—which was highly accepted by music lovers.

Recently, Omah Lay had three of his track—Bad influence, You, Lo Lo—on Shazam ‘Naija Risers’ playlist on Apple Music.

Omah Lay’s EP, ‘Get Layd’ ranked number four on most streamed Nigerian projects on Spotify in 2020 with 10 Million streams.

Omah Lay has over 100 Million Streams on Audiomack. His ‘Get Layd’ EP was the number one streaming project on Audiomack when it was released. He is among the top five most searched ‘Afrobeats’ artiste on audiomack.

According to KeyQaad, the ‘Get Layd’ EP has over 120 million streams across all platforms.

Apart from the Next Rated nomination, Omah Lay also picked a nomination in the Headies viewer’s choice awards and Best R&B Single category.
Arguably, Omah Lay is one of the very few artistes with no bad songs. He got featured on Olamide’s ‘Infinity’ song on ‘Carpe Diem’ album.

Most popular songs are Bad influence, Lo Lo, You, Damn, Godly, Confession, Can’t relate.


Ikuforiji Abdulrahman Olaitan professionally known as Oxlade is a Nigerian Afro-fusion singer based in Lagos, Nigeria. He dabbles with a bit of country and soul.

After releasing his single ‘Sour’, he collaborated with Blaqbonez on the hit track ‘Mamiwota’. He later featured Firebyoy DML on his single ‘Sing’.
Arguably, Oxlade is among the most promising young singers in the country.

Oxlade got featured with AQ’s ‘You Must Feel Am’ on ‘God’s Engineering’ album. Ghanaian artiste, Sarkodie featured Oxlade on his ‘Overload’ track.

In March 2020, his ‘OXYGENE’ EP topped Nigerian albums on iTunes. The EP also gained multiple streams on other digital streaming stores.

Most popular songs are Away, Hold on, O2, Weakness, Tables Turn.

With the analysis and information, successes and weakneses of all the nominees, WHO WINS NEXT RATED OF HEADIES AWARDS? Time will tell as we look forward to the announcement of the winner by the Organiser.

Meanwhile, among the four, who do you think deserves the award?

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