Oyenike Laoye-Oturu, professionally known as Nikki Laoye, is a Nigerian recording artist, singer, songwriter and dancer, renowned for her eclectic musical expressions and captivating stage performances. As a recording artist, Laoye’s music has earned her several awards including The Headies Award in 2013 for Best Female Vocal Performance and the All African Music Awards (AFRIMA) in 2014 for Best Female Artiste in African Inspirational Music.
Her passion for humanitarian activities attracted the attention of the Nigerian National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), who unveiled her as the celebrity ‘Voice of Refugees’ in Southwest Nigeria in 2013.
Her musical style is an urban contemporary sound with the fusion of alternative rock, R&B, hip hop, pop, soul, funk, jazz and Gospel.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Laoye hails from the musical lineage of the talking drum legend – Late Oba Adetoyese Laoye (from Ede, Osun State-Nigeria), The singer, fondly called, the small one with the big voice, rose to fame in 2006 with the hit single, “Never Felt This Way Before” from her debut studio album, Angel 4 Life (2008), which also featured other notable singles, including the Hip-Hop collaboration with Rooftop Mcs and her brother, Rap2Sai – “Taka Sufe”; the love ballad “Someone to Love” with R&B crooner Jeremiah Gyangamongst others.
The release of the single “Never Felt This Way Before” brought a fresh urban Christian contemporary sound to the Nigerian music industry. This seven-time award nominated song, (2009 Hip Hop World Awards- Best Vocal Performance (Female) and HipHop World Revelation (Best New Artist); Kora Awards-Best Spiritual Artist and Best Arrangement; 2009 City People Entertainment Awards-Musician of the Year (Female); the 2009 Nigerian Entertainment Awards in the US -Gospel Artist of the Year & 2009 SoundCity Music Video Awards-Best Female Video), received major accolades and gave Laoye the rating as the 3rd Best Performance at the 2009 HipHop World Awards in Nigeria (Darey Art Alade and Tuface coming 1st and 2nd respectively, out of the 10 performances at the awards).
Laoye was the only female contender alongside top male Nigerian Artists – M.I, Banky W. and Naeto C for the HipHop World Revelation (Best New Artist) category of the 2009 HipHop World Awards.
In 2009, Laoye performed alongside Kirk Franklin, CeCe Winans, Donnie McClurkin to an audience of 500,000 at The Experience Concert in Lagos.
Laoye’s music has gained critical acclaim beyond Africa, as she was one of the first three Nigerian artists ever to be interviewed and recognized on American entertainment channel, BET in 2009 and she was one of the preliminary judges for BET’s Sunday BestAuditions which held in Lagos, Nigeria in December 2009. In 2011, Laoye’s life and career were showcased in a special feature segment on BET, tagged “BET Spotlight – Nikki Laoye”.
In 2013, the singer made a comeback into the music scene after being on a hiatus following the loss of her father in 2011.
Laoye was commissioned to record her own version of the Nigerian National Anthem for Nigerian TV Producer, Mo Abudu’s Ebony Life Television in June 2013. The video is renowned as the first official music video for the Nigerian Anthem. Since its release in June 2013, Laoye has been invited to perform the anthem for the Presidency in Aso Rock, Abuja and at other official functions. As at 2013, she released the singles “No Be Beans” with Yoruba Hip Hop artist Base One; the dance single “1-2-3”; and the Rotimi Keys produced ballad “Only You”, a song dedicated to the memory of her late father, for which she won an award for the Best Vocal Performance (Female) at the 2013 Headies Awards in Lagos, Nigeria.