We present our picks for the top categories at the Headies. Who deserves to win and who will be robbed? The extended review bracket period makes this year’s nominations quite exhausting but here’s to hoping that this year, justice delayed wouldn’t be justice denied.
We start with the non-voting categories.
Period under review is July 2016 to December 2017.
The 12th edition of The Headies will hold on May 5, 2018 at Eko Hotel & Suites.
Best Recording of the Year
A non-voting category for the best recording (that meets the judges requirements of excellence; songwriting, production, rendition) by an artiste or group in the year under review.
- Butterflies – Omawumi
- Halleluyah – Funbi
- Ponmile – Reminisce
- Heaven – Banky W
- Joromi – Simi
Who should win: The sole qualification for Banky W’s love letter to his newly wedded wife would be its sentimental value. Plus any chance for the Headies team to get the superstars into the building would be exploited. Omawumi’s Butterflies is a stately entry but if we are being honest, is far from the best recording on her Timeless album. Funbi made a big splash with the strategic familiarity of Halleluyah. But if there is any song most deserving in this category, it would be Simi’s utterly sweet and wholesome, Joromi.
Who will win: The Headies loves to reward superstars and Reminisce had one of the year’s best songs with Ponmile. Yes, he is singing but has any singing rapper ever sounded better in a long time?
Best Vocal Performance (Female)
A non-voting category for the single female artiste with the most outstanding vocal performances on a single song or album.
- In the Air – Waje
- Gone for Good – Simi
- Jowo – Aramide
- Saro – Niniola
- Where’s the Love – Niyola ft. Adekunle Gold
- Butterflies – Omawumi
Who should win: This one is quite competitive as all the nominees are credible winners. Waje was dependably brilliant in the feel good In the Air, so was Aramide in Jowo. Both are former winners and could easily take this one. Niyola has also hit the podium in the past to accept a Headies trophy but Where’s the Love did not quite get enough traction. Niniola did brilliant work on her debut album, This is Me and Saro is a career highlight. In a just world, she would emerge champion.
Who will win: Simi had the year’s biggest album with Simisola. Here would be as good a place as any to reward her. If anyone could stop her, it will be Omawumi riding a less commercial wave with the quiet storm, Butterflies.
Best vocal performance(male)
A non-voting category for the single male artiste with the most outstanding vocal performance on a single song or album.
- Perfect Woman – faze
- Folashade – Praiz
- Romeo & Juliet – Johnny Drille
- Tonight – Nonso Amadi
- Love you Baby – Banky W
Who should win: Much respect to elders Faze, Praiz and Banky W, but this one belongs to the new generation. Nonso Amadi’s Tonight is more technically accomplished and would be a shoo in.
Who will win: If anyone has the potential to halt Amadi’s rise to the podium, it would be Mavin 3.0 singer, Johnny Drille’s sickly sweet Romeo & Juliet. Drille would be banking on some good fortune, his rising profile and the Mavin machine’s ability to score at times like this.
Best Rap Album
A non-voting category for the best album by a rap artiste or group in year under review.
- 27 – Falz
- Trip to the South – Erigga
- El Hadj – Reminisce
- The Playmaker – Phyno
- The Glory – Olamide
- Rose – AQ
Who should win: AQ’s Rose scored perhaps the widest critical acclaim of the nominees even if not many people beyond pure rap heads eventually listened to it and this makes it ultimately deserving. Should anyone have the power to piss on AQ’s parade, expect it to be Olamide whose The Glory is widely considered his finest album in a long, long time. Erigga’s Trip to the South has its moments of brilliance but isn’t likely to get enough support.
Who will win: Phyno’s The Playmaker has the kind of acceptability and crossover appeal that could see it emerge victorious here. Falz’s 27 isn’t as rich as his previous work but could also alongside Reminisce’s El Hadj, make for commercial spoilers.