• Omah Lay: Nigeria's Unified Streaming Champion

Written by: Adeayo, Adebiyi

Omah Lay has the all-time No. 1 song on the four major streaming platforms in Nigeria

Recently, Apple Music released a list of the all-time most-streamed music on Apple Music Nigeria. The list comprised of the most-streamed single, the most streamed artiste, the most streamed album, amongst others on since the giant streaming platform entered the Nigerian music scene. As would be expected, the big names led most of the lists except for one – the most-streamed Nigerian single on Apple Music Nigeria. Sitting at the top of the list is monumental talent and Super Star, Omah Lay with his 2019 hit single “Bad Influence”.

For some, this might come as a surprise as Omah Lay might be considered a light heavyweight, and a list of this nature is ordinarily expected to be led by artistes punching at the highest heavyweight division. For many, the news wouldn’t come as a shock. More so, if you have been following Omah Lay’s chart exploit since he broke into the scene in 2020.

Omah Lay’s digital prowess transcends the elitist and cool kids club that’s Apple Music Nigeria. Evidence of his special talent, seamless ability, and streaming dominance can be found on BoomPlay NG, Audiomack NG, and YouTube NG, where like Apple Music NG, he has the enviable and sole privilege of having the most-streamed Nigerian song. “Infinity” with Omah Lay is the most-streamed Nigerian song on Audiomack NG recording over 41 million streams, while “Godly” is the most-streamed Nigerian song BoomPlay NG and YouTube NG recording over 20 million and over 4 million streams respectively.

With two singles released a year apart in two EPs and a featured song in between them, Omah Lay executes a clean sweep of streaming records on these four platforms. It’s crazy. It’s magical. It’s sensational. It’s Omah Lay.

Omah Lay is the biggest beneficiary of Nigeria’s growing streaming culture which was garnering momentum when his fresh talent hit the market. His talent blended perfectly with his charming looks, classy personality, and singing style sprinkled with street slangs and sexual innuendos to create a superstar that left his audience star-struck in the wake of his music.

As stellar as this record might be, it’s not lost on us that the figures are nowhere near the region they need to be for a country with a large population and a striving music market. The figures are a testament of the reality and a reminder of the job that needs to be done on consumer education and the provision of an enabling economic environment where a larger percentage of the population can afford subscription on music streaming platforms, and the platforms can engage in profitable business.

Music streaming in Nigeria is still in its formative years. However, stakeholders and music streaming platforms have made various efforts in promoting music streaming culture amongst Nigerian consumers. There’s an optimistic view that music streaming will continue to increase in Nigeria and this will create more revenue pipeline and opportunities for artistes. This growth will see different heavyweights come for Omah Lay’s title and the tussle for the belt is guaranteed to be an intriguing one. At any rate, artistes eyeing Omah Lay’s record have their work cut out for them because this is going to be a tough battle and Omah Lay is a hell of a defending champion. In typical Omah Lay fashion, he had the biggest song on streaming platform in 2020.

So far in 2021, Omah Lay has continued in his quintessential fashion by consolidating his position as a hitmaker and Nigeria’s Chart King. This year, Omah Lay has 4 singles to his credit all of which ascended to the Top 5 on Nigeria’s biggest music chart. 3 of these singles were collaborations – Ajebo Hustler’s “Pronto,” Justin Bieber’s “Peaches” Afrobeat remix, and Gyakie’s “Forever,” which reached the No. 1 spot. After much prodding by fans for new music, Omah Lay gave in and released his only single of the year “Understand” with which he recorded his second No. 1 song of 2021. This is impressive and special by any metric, but for Omah Lay, it’s just another day in the office. His quality has been proven times and times again by the wide acceptance his music enjoys across all streaming platforms. Thus placing him in a league of his own where the facts speak for themselves.

By achieving the monumental and ridiculous feat of having the most-streamed Nigerian song on four streaming platforms within two years of dropping two Eps, Omah Lay has proven that he’s one of the biggest music talents in Nigeria and Africa. And even as the international appeal for Afrobeat continues to increase, Omah Lay is surely one of the stars that will lead the global exportation of the genre.

For those who may be struggling to come to terms with the daring reality that a young man can come from the Southern city of Port-Harcourt, unceremoniously break into the industry with a 5-track EP, and become a fan favorite in a blink of an eye, It’s time to accept that it has happened. The time has come to erase any lingering thoughts that Omah Lay is the young star punching above his weight. As far as talent and an ability to create sensational songs with chart-topping and record-breaking figures are the criteria upon which entry is granted in the highest division, Omah Lay is right where he belongs. This is his division and he packs a powerful punch that has earned him the coveted title of Nigeria’s Unified Streaming Champion.

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