Spotify today released a mini-documentary to celebrate the 10th anniversary of YBNL, the culture-shifting Afrobeats label founded by Nigerian music icon, Olamide. Over the course of a decade, YBNL has developed a reputation for taking the sounds of the street to global ears through showcasing Afrobeats stars and producing definitive hits.
To celebrate 10 years of the legendary Nigerian label, Spotify took to the streets of Lagos to document its influence. You can follow the groundbreaking YBNL story through the voices of music lovers on the streets of Lagos.
Speaking on the label’s impact, Spotify’s Head of Music for Sub-Saharan Africa, Phiona Okumu said, “Over the last decade, YBNL has become a true Afrobeats success story. Spotify is glad to celebrate the growing legacy of its artists, their music and its influence in Nigeria, across Africa and globally”
Since 2012, Olamide has discovered, developed and exported some of Nigeria’s brightest music stars through YBNL. From inception to date, some of the talents signed or endorsed include Adekunle Gold, Lil Kesh, Fireboy, Asake, Pheelz, Young Jonn, DJ Enimoney, Zlatan, Naira Marley, T.I Blaze, Ycee, Viktoh, Chinko Ekun, and many more.
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Here are 10 defining moments in YBNL history that have held significance over the years:
- The release of Olamide’s second studio album, titled YBNL, marked the birth of his independent label.
- Ghost Mode, a 2012 rap collaboration between Olamide and rapper Phyno was a cultural phenomenon that inspired a joint album. It is remembered as one of the best Afrobeats collaborations.
- Led by Eleda Mi O and Durosoke, Baddest Guy Ever Liveth cemented the label’s A-list status. Pheelz, Olamide’s go-to producer, produced all tracks but one.
- The success of Shoki Remix, supported by two titans in Davido and Olamide, rapidly elevated the status of Lil Kesh, the first of many young artists signed to YBNL.
- Surrounded by signees and affiliates, Olamide made his fourth studio album, Street OT, into a YBNL showcase, giving platform to B Banks, Viktoh, Chinko Ekun and Lil Kesh.
- Following a successful 2014, Olamide held “Olamide Live In Concert” at Lagos’ Eko Hotel. It was a huge success and became a December staple.
- Released in 2018, the YBNL Mafia Family featured songs by all the label’s artists, including the hit Jealous and a certain Fireboy.
- In 2020, Olamide announced a joint deal with the international distribution company, EMPIRE, giving YBNL artists greater access to the global audience.
- Fireboy’s Peru was released as a freestyle and became one of the most viral Afrobeats songs of 2021. It inspired a remix with Ed Sheeran, which has over 100 million Spotify streams.
- With the release of Omo Ope (featuring Olamide), and Asake signing to the label in February 2022, YBNL entered its 10th chapter in style.
To turn back the years, enjoy 10 years worth of hit songs from YBNL, featuring past and present members here.