Stage names are not just titles artists go by, they are brands in their entirety and is a method of identification for these musicians.
Changing these monikers or stage name is not something common among artists, but lately have become more and more common, especially in the music industry which most of the time comes after they make their big hit and have gone by the names for years.
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Despite the years of identifying with these monikers some of the biggest artists in the Nigerian entertainment space have gone on to change their names sometimes for personal reasons like growth, age and legal contract issues, while for some it’s for copyright infringements.
This article highlights some Nigerian artists that changed their stage names.
- Wizkid (Starboy):
Wizkid has gone through many names in the course of his career. Before he became popular in the industry, Wizkid used to go by the name Lil Prince.When he started music officially, he changed his name to Wizkid. After signing his mega-deal with Sony in 2016, Wizkid has been cautious with the songs released under the “Wizkid” moniker, using the ‘Starboy” moniker, a name that also represents his label instead369. The Starboy name was contested with the Afrobeat crooner by American singer “The Weeknd”, who laid claim to the moniker.
In 2021, he surprised fans after he changed his name on Instagram to Big Wiz. Although this name change isn’t official, fans have already started calling him by that name.
- 2face (2baba):
In 2016, Nigerian musician 2face Idibia declared that he had changed his stage name. He announced his new moniker, 2baba, on social media.He added that the name change was not shocking because many people had been calling him “2Baba” for a long time, and that it was only natural for him to alter his name to 2Baba because he is now a father “Baba” and a chief (Tafidan Kudandan in Kaduna).
- Santi (Cruel Santino):
The Nigerian alte music singer Cruel Santino had taken to his social media page to announce that he had to change his stage moniker from Santi to Cruel Santino due to copyright infringement with a particular Spain-based singer.He detailed how competing copyright issues with ‘one man in Spain’ led to the eventual decision to let his former moniker, ‘Santi’ go.
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- Poe (Ladipoe):
Mavins Record signee Ladipoe is another artiste who had to change his stage moniker same as Santi due to copyright claims. Ladipoe’s record boss Don Jazzy was the one who revealed this saying the rapper started out with the moniker Poe, but had to change it to Ladipoe after the label was slammed with a copyright lawsuit.
- Kiss Daniel (Kizz Daniel):
In May 2018, Kiss Daniel through his manager announced that he had changed his name to “Kizz Daniel”.Formerly known as Kiss Daniel, the singer was involved in a high-profile contract dispute with his former record label, G Worldwide, which resulted in a legal battle. The legal contract dispute led to the reason why the artist had to split ways with the record label G Worldwide and went ahead to start his own record label, Flyboy Inc.
During the legal issue, his ex-label claimed they owned and trademarked the name ‘Kiss Daniel’, after this public statement the singer had to come out with a change in his name and started going by Kizz Daniel, a name that quickly reflected on his social media sites.
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- Buju (BNXN):One of Nigeria’s hottest musical properties, the fast-rising singer, Buju had earlier today in a tweet announced the official change of his stage name from Buju to “BNXN” to be pronounced “Benson”. The singer is believed to have made the move to change his name to avoid copyright infringement with the foremost Nigerian singer, Buju Banton.
- Sauce Kid (Sinzu SMG):
On Friday, July 20, 2012, Babalola Falemi, a well-known Nigerian singer and songwriter, announced the change of his stage name, Sauce Kid, to ‘Sinzu SMG,’ via his official Twitter profile, which he changed from @oluwasaucekibaba to @SinzuSMG.Sinzu is a brilliant Nigerian rapper whose distinct voice, style of music, swags, and talents earned him street recognition and notoriety with the release of his first single, ‘Omoge,’ which featured popular vocalist Mike Okri.
However, the rapper/singer spent two years in jail after he was apprehended for involving in deceitful activities. Sinzu was then signed by the Nigerian afrobeat ace, Davido to his DMW record label through which he released the song titled ‘Zu Levu‘.
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