All Posts

12 Port Harcourt artists running the country’s mainstream sound

Music is universal, and it’s produced by people from all ethnic groups and nationalities. But, in Nigeria, there seems to be an interesting trend being set; many A-list artists are coming from Rivers State! Its capital—Port Harcourt—has birthed dozens of superstars who are making waves and breaking national and global music records.

We all know Port Harcourt to be the chief oil-refining city in Nigeria. But, for a long time now, Port Harcourt has been able to boast of a vibrant music industry with lots of talent! Today, amazing talent—both old and young— have emerged from this highly industrious city and are responsible for producing some of the most body-moving bangers in the world!

Strap in and get comfy, because I’m about to list 10 artists from Port Harcourt in no particular order and why we think they’re superstars! 

1: Omah Lay

If you’re familiar with the term “Afro-depression,” you should know Omah lay, lol. He’s one of the hottest stars right now, and, unsurprisingly, he got massive recognition the same year he made his debut with his single  “You” in 2020. He’s released EPs and Albums since then and has only gotten better and better. Read a review of his deluxe album. A Boy Alone, here

Since his debut, he’s received international recognition and has gone on to perform concerts in various countries around the world. 

2: Burna Boy

Damini Ogulu, professionally called Burna Boy, has killed it on the international stage time and time again! Although he debuted earlier than most artists on this list and it took him some time to get on the international scene, he’s become one of the greats in respect to Nigeria’s music industry. 

Since his debut song ‘Wombolombo Something’ in 2011, he’s released several EPs and Albums, and has featured alongside the likes of Sia, Major Lazer, Dave, Ed Sheeran, and other global sensations! He even won a Grammy for Best Global Album in 2021.

3. Ajebo Hustlers

Ajebo Hustlers have come a long way since 2014. Since their debut, they’ve quickly become one of the biggest duos in Nigerian music history! Comprised of ‘Piego’ and ‘Knowledge,” Ajebo Hustlers have conquered the music scene at home, and are now beginning to target the global market.

4. Ric Hasani

All fans of Ric Hassani know that he makes soothing music for lovebirds and for people that love the intricacies of life. Nicknamed after his debut album, the African Gentleman has appealed to a wide audience from the get go. 

Interestingly enough, his former alias was ‘Rico Slim’ before he changed it to the name we all know and love today. 

5. Rex Lawson

Rex Lawson is the oldest artist on this list. Gen Z’s (plus me) couldn’t experience his music, but the real ones know lol. Active in the Late 1950s to Early 1970s, he was one of the greatest Highlife artists to ever exist in Nigeria. His signature instruments were the Saxophone and Trumpet. 

Although he started off as a band boy for Lord Eddyson’s Starlight Melody Orchestra, he finished his music career on a high note by achieving so much success as the leader of the Majors Band (they were also called the Rivers Men later).

6. Mr. Eazi

We bet you didn’t see this one coming. Although technically he only lived in Port Harcourt for four years, he was born there and moved with his family when he was 4 years old. 

By pushing bangers out back to back since 2013, Mr Eazi has deservedly become a global sensation. He’s also a philanthropist and has impacted the music industry so much through his emPawa Africa initiative. 

7. 1Da Banton

I can’t lie, ‘African Woman’ gets me off my seat to this day! 1Da Banton is an amazing Port Harcourt act who has been steadily growing his fan base by producing bangers. Before his debut in 2015, 1Da Banton said that he produced songs and performed at several gigs in Port Harcourt since his mom passed away in 2008.


He’s featured amazing stars like Tiwa Savage, Seyi Shay, and Kizz Daniel in his songs, and is most popularly known for his song ‘No Wahala.

8. Timaya

What’s a Port Harcourt list without Timaya? The veteran artist has been in the music scene for a while. His fans know that the general theme of his songs revolves around politics and politically motivated violence that has afflicted the South-South for years. 

Nowadays, he has a knack for creating dancehall bangers that will get your whole body moving before you can say Papi Chulo.

9. Wizard Chan

Wizard Chan is a nationwide sensation that also happens to be from Port Harcourt. He has a massive fan base called Chans who love all the music he puts out, as well as his down-to-earth, humble personality.  According to the PH talent, he makes music according to how he feels, rather than following trends. 

Despite the fact that he only debuted with his song ‘Halo Halo’ in 2020, it feels like he’s been in the music game for much, much longer. If his released music is anything to go by, he’s on his way to revolutionize Afrobeats and make a real impact!

10. Nissi

People often write off Nissi because she’s Burna Boy’s sister, but I advise that you don’t do the same. Since she made her Debut in 2016 with her single ‘Criminal,’ she’s made her mark in a unique way. Her music system comprises a mixture of several types of genres like Soul, RnB, Funk, and Jazz.

Through her guts and talent, she’s been able to amass a huge number of fans (who call themselves NissiNation) who love all the music she puts out.

Aside from music, the 26-year-old singer is also highly skilled in animation and design—She designs cars and has worked on several African-themed animation projects. 

11. Dan Dizzy

Tuotamuno Daniel Darius, professionally called Dan Dizzy, is another Port Harcourt-born music sensation. He became mainstream in 2009 and has since collaborated with other amazing artists like Blaqbones, Ajebo Hustlers, and Dr Barz. 

Not surprisingly, he’s had a passion for music for a long time— when he was younger, he constantly freestyled some bars to entertain his family members and friends in primary and secondary school.

Today, he’s competing with other rap greats in Nigeria like M.I Abaga and Vector. He’s even won several awards including the best rap single and best artiste of the year at the Galaxy Music Awards in 2018 as a testament to his rapping prowess!

12. Kemuel

Kemuel is one of the “newest” artists on this list, debuting with his hit single ‘Champagne Girl’ in 2022. But don’t let that fool you; his bars and melodious tunes are good enough for him to be mentioned in the conversation about PH greats.

 He has a knack for creating feel-good music that is hard to get enough of. In an interview with Vanguard, he mentioned how he got inspiration to delve into the arts from his father, who studies fine arts and design in school. Like many other passionate artists, his musical journey started by sticking close to, practicing with, and learning from choristers and other choir members in his church when he was little.

Aside from music, Kemuel is also passionate about creating abstract drawings, paintings, and other forms of art. 

Share this post?

Join Our Community

Do you want to promote your music or brand? We’ve got you covered at The Upper Entertainment

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates directly to your inbox

Related Posts