4 Nigerian Cover Versions Of 4 International Songs On Our AoTW Segment


According to stackexchange, a cover is simply one band/artist’s songs being performed by another. A cover usually refers to a reinterpretation.  It could be in the form of creating an acoustic version, a different arrangement, or even just taking the lyrics and coming up with an entirely new tune. Technically, another artist can recreate an original version taking the lyrics and coming up with an entirely new tune. But in general both the original and the cover are very similar.


It’s been a long time coming with cover versions/remixes as far as music is concerned. The term “cover” goes back to decades when cover version originally described a rival version of a tune recorded to compete with the original version. Back in the day when cover version was called revival/reworking, some artists made very successful careers of presenting revivals or re-workings of once-popular tunes, even out of doing contemporary cover versions.


But now, musicians play “cover versions” of songs as a tribute to the original performer or group.  Some songs come in multiple versions which is done by artists themselves even covered into another language, different style virtually indistinguishable from the original.  Some cover artists are very serious and careful about playing their covers as close as possible to the original actually.


No. 4 Adele – Hello: Omawumi (Adele won 2017 Grammys Album of the year, Record of the year, Song of the year, Best pop solo performance)

WhoHoo!  Omawonder deserves some accolades for such great attempt for Adele’s record breaking comeback song. Linx you know what it means to do a cover to such global hit and still nail it. If she had murdered that song through that cover, you know Nigerians would have called her out on that. Criticism left right and centre would have ensued all across the social platforms.

I mean she infuses her own style. There’s a slight beat change halfway through the song sort of infusing her own style. She maintained her vibe on a 100% confidence level. Omawunmi nailed it!

Apart from covers, quite a number of other terms used to label music: sure y’all have heard words like: remake, mashup, remix, refix, extended mix, radio edit, original mix etc. For instance Falz’s This is Nigeria is a remake of Childish Gambino’s This is America, not a cover. A Remake on the other hand is a reproduction playing the song the same way it was originally played


No 3 One Direction’s -Story of My Life: Adekunle GOLD ‘Sade’ (2014)

Sade- the 16th and the Last track off Adekunle Gold’s debut Album ‘GOLD one song AG never knew would be a hit according to him. We know AG sound is Urban-Highlife and a fusion of Pop, Folk and Highlife. Sade is not the typical Nigerian sound. Sade is a mix of Yoruba and pidgin with afrobeat influences with a fusion of international sound. Speaking in an interview on how he got signed on with YBNL, AG said when I  released Sade, Fuse and the rest of the YBNL crew listened to and fell in love with it. Fuse insisted Olamide signed me with the group. Up and coming artists this is an inspiration from AG.

Up and coming artists, you had better explore more of already cooked music, do some covers and head over www.fresherschart.com. We here are ready to push it for y’all.

No 2: Beyonce – Drunk In Love: Niyola (Info…). Beyonce’s Drunk In Love Feat. JayZ won best R&B song and Best R&B Performance at the 2015 Grammy Awards.

Music is sure a means of bringing people from all walks of life together apart from being food to the soul.  That’s one of the biggest exports coming out of Nigeria right now with Afrobeats stars such as Davido and Wizkid making it big on the international stage.

We’re not just the noisiest. The quality is also obvious. We’ve seen other Africa covers of Nigerian music that are as good as the original: Tanzanian singer, Alikiba nailed the cover of Patoranking’s 2015 single ‘My Woman, My Everything’. Nasty C’s version of Runtown’s C – Mad Over You. Sauti Sol -Kenyan music group, Sauti Sol cover of Chidinma’s Fallen In Love’. Rema Namakula –Ugandan singer, Rema Namakula version of 2Face Idibia’s ‘See Me So’. Nyanshinski : Kenya’s most celebrated rapper, singer and songwriter covers Yemi Alade’s hit song ‘Marry Me’.  Patoranking’s ‘Forever’ got a smooth rendition from Tanzanian superstar, Vanessa Mdee. Henok Mehari from Ethiopia version of Cynthia Morgan’s Don’t Break My Heart (In October 2017 during Coke Studio Africa – a television series) to the Asian cover of Wizkid- Don’t Dull by Abdul Aqib.


Dear up and coming artists out there pushing harder for your songs to be heard, why not leverage on doing covers for some of your favorite hit songs at least for the sake of being heard and more recognized. That wouldn’t make a bad idea. I am not too sure if there’s a need for a license to do a cover song but I do know for a fact that you may have to seek permission from the original owner of the song especially if you want to commercialize the song (as a record for download).

If such song is to be commercialized, the song’s copyright owner must give you a license which will enable you pay a royalty fee based on estimated revenue from your cover song. That way you can legally perform or distribute the song on YouTube and all. That makes cover songs more legal. I guess.     

Best thing that has happened to the world of music is the internet. Once you start getting that recognition and start churning out your own song, ensure you put out the song/video on all platforms. Go viral with your music. Get people to also do covers of your own song. You know music is huge in Nigeria, if you are not yet a celebrity you have to up your game so as to be heard and seen.

Sometimes you see fans recreate their own version of their favorite artists hit songs. Have you seen fans do their own version of Davido’s “IF”? You need to go check out, you will laugh till your ribs crack.


No1 Desiigner: Panda:  Uzi Kwendu/ Ycee ft. Olamide

Made Uzi return in 2016 (YCEE fuses elements of the original song and adds his usual easy feel to it )

Desiigner’s “Panda” The Best? A number of non-nigerian artists were also reported to have done best remixes and the American rapper Lupe Fiasco tops the chart while Lil Kim falls into the middle category on the list. Bils – the guy that featured Dammy Krane on the track #TURNT in his own cover version of Panda named “African Cover” also did justice to the original. To be honest African /Nigeria has the best Panda covers so far. Yoruba/Igbo/Hausa versions

The music industry is so dynamic such that you start off doing covers to another artist’s song and you even break into fame for that. You know the funny part is when you come across a cover to a song you possibly dislike and before you know, you realize that the new version (cover) of it makes you totally fall in love with the song.



In the history of modern pop (popular) music, cover songs have dared to dream beyond the boundaries of the original version that inspired it. Some are way better than the original. Some compliment perfectly.  Some are unique with bizarre twist. Some are completely different in their twist making it sound completely new

Do your thing and be as original as you can. Would most of our artists here have blown like they are at the moment if they have been singing the way foreign (the American) artists sing?

It’s a no brainer. Originality is key.

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