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African music is an integral part of the African culture, and it has always been unique since the time of our forefathers. It has evolved over the past years and is now topping charts globally. In commemoration of Black music month, this blog celebrates the top 15 African artists contributing massively to the music industry home and abroad.
Black Music Month 2022: Celebrating These Top 15 African Artist
Salatiel Livenja Bessong is a Cameroonian singer, performer, and producer. He sings in English and French with trending songs across all streaming platforms like Good Girl, released earlier in 2021. His most notable collaboration is with Pharrell Williams on the song Water on Beyoncé’s The Lion King album in 2020.
Salatiel was brought to the limelight when he won the MTN Make the Music contest in 2014. He went on to win Best Producer at the 2018 Urban Jamz Awards at AFRIMA.
David Adedeji Adeleke, better known by his stage name Davido, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and producer who blends afrobeat and mainstream pop into his music. He founded his record label, Davido Music Worldwide, in 2016, and it presently has some of the biggest black music acts in the Nigerian music industry signed to its name.
Davido has won several local and international awards, including The Headies’ 2018 Artiste of the Year and BET Awards for Best International Act: Africa 2014. He is also a philanthropist known for donating money to humanitarian organizations and making stars out of upcoming artists with his now-famous slogan, “We Rise by Lifting Others.”
Focalistic, South Africa
Lethabo Sebetso, with the stage name Focalistic, is a South African rapper that sings in Sepitori, a Pretorian language comprised of many South African languages. His most well-known songs, 16 Days No Sleep and Ke Star, are evidence of his mastery of the Amapiano sub-genre.
In true black music month style, he won Best Male Southern Africa and Best Collaboration at AFRIMMA 2021.
Burna Boy, Nigeria
Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, professionally called Burna Boy, is a Nigerian Afrobeat singer. He has a unique style of African music as he performs in English, Yoruba and Pidgin. His top-charting songs include Kilometre and Way Too Big.
Burna Boy put African music on the map when he bagged a Grammy Award for Best Global Music Album (Twice as Tall), 2021. He recently sold out Madison Square Garden in New York for his One Night in Space Concert in April 2022, becoming the first Nigerian and African artist to achieve the feat.
He set up a relief fund for victims of police brutality during the #EndSars movement in Nigeria in 2020.
Black Sheriff, Ghana
Mohammed Ismail Sherif Kwaku Frimpong is a Ghanaian recording and performing artist. He sings in English mostly but also includes some rhymes in Twi, his native Ghanaian language.
Black Sheriff’s Kwaku the Traveller and Second Sermon continue to trend across all platforms. He won Entertainment Personality of the Year and Hip hop Song of the Year at the Entertainment Achievement Awards 2022.
Youssou N’Dour, Senegal
Youssou N’Dour is a Senegalese singer, songwriter, businessman, and politician. One of his biggest hits is 7 Seconds which featured Neneh Cherry. He wrote and performed La Cour des Grands, the 1998 FIFA World Cup anthem with Axelle Red. He also bagged a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album in 2004.
Youssou N’Dour supports UNICEF and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s work in the battle for food security.
Wizkid, whose real name is Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. He sings in Yoruba, English, and Pidgin, and his music is a mix of global pop and Nigerian rhythms. His recent and most popular songs include Essence and his feature in Beyoncé’s Brown Skin Girl.
Wizkid has won the MTV Europe Music Award for Best African Act, 2022, and Grammy Award for Best Music Video, 2021.
Zuhura Othman Soud (Zuchu) is a Tanzanian musical act that predominantly sings in Swahili. She bagged the Silver Plaque Button by YouTube for hitting 100,000 subscribers within a week, becoming the first East African female artist to reach that milestone within a week. Her trending songs include Sukari and Mtasubiri.
Nviiri The Storyteller, Kenya
Nviiri Sande is a Kenyan singer, songwriter, guitarist, and video editor. His music is a blend of Afro-Pop and Afro-Soul, with Swahili as the primary language.
Nviiri has bagged New Artist of the Year at the Pulse Music Video Awards 2019 for his hit record Pombe Sigara.
Fally Ipupa, Congo
Fally Ipupa N’simba is a Congolese singer, songwriter, and dancer. He is a multi-award winner, having won the BET Awards for Best International Act: Male in 2018 and the MTV Africa Music Awards for Video of the Year in 2010. His most successful songs include Yakuza and Esengo.
Fally Ipupa has worked with UNICEF since 2017 to fight against malnutrition. He exemplifies what it means to be a successful black artist, which we’re honoring during Black Music Month.
Mounira Mitchala, Chad
Mounira Mitchala is a Chadian singer, songwriter, composer, and actress. As an African artist, she is recognized internationally for her hit songs, Talou Lena and Independance (Chili Houritki). She was honored With the RFI’s Discoveries Award in 2007.
Mounira uses her platform to speak out against AIDS prejudice and excision and advocate for an end to the Chadian civil war.
Sandra Esparon, Seychelles
Sandra Esparon is a Seychellois singer and performer. Some of her hit songs are Laisse Li and Pa abandon mon Leker. She won Best female artist at the 2012 Airtel Music Awards and Best Duet at the 2014 Airtel Music Awards.
Mulatu Astatke, Ethiopia
Mulatu Astatke is an Ethiopian musician and composer regarded as the father of Ethio-jazz. He performs in the Ethiopian language Amharic and has a fine mastery of instruments such as percussion, conga drums, and piano.
José Adelino Barceló de Carvalho, popularly known as Bonga, is a singer and performer from Angola who sings and performs in Portuguese and traditional Angolan languages, as is customary in the country’s music industry. His top songs include Mona Ki Nga Xica and Ti Zuela.
In a ceremony held in Angola on December 10, 2014, José was honored with the distinction of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the Ministry of Culture of France.
Nahom Yohannes, Eritrea
Nahom was a recipient of the Lye TV Music Awards in 2017.