African music, especially Afrobeats from West Africa and Amapiano from South Africa, has taken the world by storm. Increasingly, notable American musicians like Selena Gomez, Chris Brown, and Kelly Rowland have been collaborating with African musicians in a bid to jump on the irresistible bandwagon of African music.
Apart from the already-established heavyweights like Burna Boy, Davido, and Diamond, there’s a younger breed of musicians propelling African music to the world stage. This article lists 10 of the best.
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Famously known for his hit single “Calm Down” featuring American songbird Selena Gomez, Rema is a Nigerian singer, rapper, and songwriter. He first gained widespread attention in 2019 with his self-titled debut EP “Rema”, which featured hit songs such as “Dumebi” and “Iron Man”. He was signed to Mavin Records, a prominent Nigerian record label, after his freestyle cover of D’Prince’s “Gucci Gang” went viral on Instagram.
Rema is known for his unique sound, which combines elements of Afrobeats, trap, and pop music. He has been recognized for his talent and has won several awards, including the Headies Award for Next Rated Artist in 2019 and the Soundcity MVP Award for Best New Artist in 2020.
His latest song “Calm down” featuring Selena Gomez sits at number 6 on the Billboard top 100.
Rapcha, a child prodigy, began impressing audiences with his rap verses at the tender age of 11. Following the release of “Lissa,” a single from his debut album “Wanangu 99,” which received critical acclaim in 2021, the Tanzanian rapper’s career skyrocketed.
His music is imbued with an endearing consciousness that reverberates through his lyrics and melodies, making him a talented and dynamic performer. As part of a new wave of voices revitalizing the Tanzanian music scene, Rapcha’s talent adds to the fresh and exciting energy of the industry.
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3. Sho Madjozi
She is a popular South African rapper, singer, songwriter, and actress. Sho Madjozi first gained recognition for her hit single “Huku” in 2018, which earned her a nomination for Best New International Act at the 2019 BET Awards.
She has since released several successful projects, including her debut album “Limpopo Champions League” in 2018, which won the Best Female Artist and Newcomer of the Year awards at the South African Music Awards (SAMAs) in 2019.
In addition to her music career, Sho Madjozi has acted in several popular TV shows in South Africa, including the telenovela “Mzansi Magic’s Isithembiso.” She is known for her unique fashion style, which incorporates colorful traditional clothing from her Tsonga heritage.
4. Nikita Kering’
Nikita Kering’ is a sensational Kenyan musician who has bagged award after award on the continental stage, including:
- AFRIMA Award for Revelation of the African Continent in 2019.
- AFRIMA Award for Best RnB and Soul Artist in 2021.
- AFRIMA Award for Best Female Artist in East Africa in 2019 and 2021.
Aged just 21 years old, the singer has been making waves on the continent since she was in her teens. Her powerful vocals and relatable lyrics mesmerize fans worldwide, and her music has topped Spotify charts and garnered millions of views on YouTube.
Temilade Openiyi, better known as Tems, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and record producer currently regarded as one of the hottest musical talents in Africa. Her exceptional vocals and musical style have garnered attention from top American artists, including Future, who were left in awe after collaborating with her.
Last year, Tems collaborated with Drake on the hit song “Fountains,” which debuted in the US Top 40 entries on the Billboard Hot 100. She also collaborated with Wizkid on the song “Essence,” which earned her multiple award nominations, including a Grammy nomination for Best Global Music Performance after entering the Billboard Hot 100.
Tems is undoubtedly one of the hottest female sensations in Africa, thanks to her exceptional vocal range, unique style, and delivery, which have established her as one of the best African female artists of 2022.
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6. Fally Ipupa
Fally Ipupa N’simba, popularly known by his stage name Fally Ipupa, is a Congolese singer-songwriter, guitarist, dancer, producer, and philanthropist. He first gained prominence in the late 1990s as an orchestra conductor in the band “Quartier Latin International.”
In 2006, he departed from the band and launched his solo career with the release of his debut album, “Droit Chemin.” Three years later, he released his second album, “Arsenal De Belles Melodies,” featuring renowned artists such as 50 Cent and Olivia of G-Unit, which brought him wider recognition across Africa and beyond.
7. Nasty C
Nasty C is a South African rapper, songwriter, and record producer who gained recognition after releasing his debut mixtape “One Kid a Thousand Coffins” in 2012. His music style is a fusion of hip-hop, trap, and Afrobeat, and he often raps in English.
Some of his popular songs include “Juice Back,” “SMA,” “Eazy,” “Strings and Bling,” and “Zulu Man.” He has collaborated with several notable African and international artists, including T.I, Ari Lennox, and Davido.
Makhadzi is a popular South African singer, songwriter, and dancer known for her unique style of music that blends traditional Venda rhythms with contemporary sounds. She rose to fame with her hit song “Matorokisi” in 2019 and has since become a household name in South Africa, with several chart-topping hits to her credit.
Elaine is a talented South African singer and songwriter known for her soulful R&B sound. She gained popularity in 2019 with the release of her debut EP “Elements,” which received critical acclaim and spawned the hit single “You’re the One”. She has since become one of the most promising new talents in the South African music industry.
9. Ami Faku
Ami Faku, also known as Ami, is a South African singer and songwriter. She gained fame after appearing on the South African version of The Voice in 2017. Her music style is a fusion of pop, soul, and gospel, and she often sings in Xhosa, English, and isiZulu.
Some of her popular songs include “Ubuhle Bakho,” “Imali,” “Inde Lendlela,” “Love Drunk,” and “Lala Ngoxolo.” She has collaborated with several notable South African artists, including Blaq Diamond, Sun-El Musician, and Simmy.
Magixx is a rising Nigerian musician and songwriter who has been making waves with his unique afro-pop sound. He rose to fame with his hit single “Problem” which received massive airplay across Nigeria and Africa. He has since released several other hit songs and collaborated with top Nigerian artists.
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