Africa has continued to churn out exquisite talents in the entertainment industry and music has continued to enjoy wide publicity and popularity. ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM writes on 10 top African artistes making wave at home and abroad.
Today, Africans are commanding respect in the field of music, having proven to the world that they too are a force to reckon with. All over the continent, musicians are bringing honour to themselves and their motherland with the quality of their work in the different genres of music.
From Nigeria to South Africa and Ghana through to Senegal, it is irresistible rhythmic tunes and dance steps. The hottest African acts making wave across the globe comprise those that have won lots of accolades with their music and the upcoming ones who have endeared themselves in the hearts of many fans across the world.
According to Mike Sound, Africans are the rave of the moment and they will soon be the best in the world. “We are the African dream and we will soon become the centre of attraction which is what we have started to experience,” he said.
These are some of the top artistes in Africa right now:
AKA, South Africa
This South African hiphop act has shown that Africa and Africans have come a long way in positioning the genre in the music industry. His hardcore style has endeared him not just in Nigeria but all over the world. He was once quoted as saying he feels more at home in Nigeria. He has worked with notable artistes in the music industry across Africa and beyond like Ice Prince, Burna Boy etc. He is well respected right now as his songs are making waves across the globe. The Sony Music/AKA partnership is the key catalyst to change the business and face of music across Africa, especially in the key areas of quality, distribution and content management. AKA is a multi-award winning artist, who recently climbed the iTunes singles chart with ‘Congratulate’ and ‘Run Jozi’, both singles released from the album ‘Levels’.
This petit lady will never stop impressing and amazing her fans with hit songs. Her latest release has kept lots of people in awe. The multi-instrumentalist has proven that women are also on the verge of exploding in the music scene in Africa and she has kept that by churning out classics that are undoubtedly magnificent.
‘Bed of Stone’ is the third studio album by Nigerian-French recording artiste Asa. It was released on August 25, 2014 on Naive Records. Recorded in the East-Sussex area in the UK, the album was co-written and produced by Blair MacKichan, a British producer that has already worked with Siaand Lily Allen. Bed of Stone is, according to the label company, an album that goes “right to the heart”. It features a folk sound similar to her previous albums Beautiful Imperfection and Asa. Its lead single, Dead Again was released in May, 2014, while a clip video was broadcast the same day. The song is the opening track of the record, it is a piano ballad that deals with a bitter love. The album was acclaimed by critics.
Many would want to say he’s not supposed to be on this list but to clear the air, Akon is one of Africa’s best representatives in the world. Though many see him more like an American artiste, the convict music maestro is sure a good ambassador of Africa. He’s just one of those men who have made Africans proud and also not ashamed of their root.
Olubowale Victor Akintimehin is signed to Maybach Music Group and associated with Rick Ross, Meek Mill Black Cobain, Mark Ronson, Chrisette Michele J. Cole and Wizkid.
The artistes is a good Mc (Hiphop) and that’s why he’s certainly under one of the best record labels in the world.
In an interview with Flavorwire, Wale said he incorporates elements of go-go in his music. Cyril Cordor of allmusic described go-go as “a more raw, percussion-driven offshoot of disco” that originated in the Washington DC area.
Wale’s early singles that were played primarily in his local metropolitan area heavily sampled 1990s go-go records.
Reviewing Attention Deficit, David Jeffries of allmusic remarked that Wale had a “post-Kanye, post-Lil Wayne, alternative-meets-hardcore style” and commented that Wale’s single “Chillin’”, which featured Lady Gaga “crafts an instant floor-filler out of a sample from the ’70s hit ‘Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye’”.
Michael Owusu Addo, known by his stage name Sarkodie, is a Ghanaian hip hop and hiplife recording artiste from Tema. This Ghanaian Mc is crazy when it comes to busting into rhymes and non-stop rapping. If allowed in any song he kills it and makes it look like nothing. The artiste who said his second home is Nigeria has worked with the likes of Ice Prince, Banky W etc.
Sarkodie was born and raised in Tema to his mother Emma Maame Aggrey, a single parent.
Sarkodie often raps in his native language Twi, and is considered a “multifaceted rapper” due to the various musical styles he possesses. Many Ghanaians recognise him as one of the leading hip hop and hiplife artistes in the country. He is considered one of the major proponents of the Azonto genre and dance. In 2010, he received many awards and nominations ranging from “Artist of the Year” to “Album of the Year”.
He won the Best International Act: Africa category at the 2012 BET Awards, and was nominated in the same category at the 2014 BET Awards. His sophomore album, Rapperholic, was the recipient of 3 Ghana Music Awards from 12 nominations. He was ranked 8th on Forbes and Channel O’s 2013 list of the Top 10 Richest/Bankable African Artistes. He is the first Ghanaian to win the BET Awards for “Best International Act Africa”. Sarkodie has had the privilege of performing on the same stage with international musicians such as T-Pain, Miguel, Movado, Trey Songz and Ludacris. He has a large fan base in Africa, and is considered one of the most celebrated musical icons to hail from Ghana.
Yemi Alade, Nigeria
Since the release of her ‘Johnny’ hit, the artiste has never looked back. The remix of her song…in French has continued to receive lots of reviews at home and abroad.
Yemi Alade has just won the award for “Best West African Act” at the 2015 Kunde … for the latest single, “Kissing (French Remix)” which features Afro-Caribbean music star Marvin.
Stonebwoy is the stage name of Livingstone Etse Satekla, a Ghanaian afro pop, dancehall and reggae artiste and is the CEO of Burniton Music Group. He won the Artiste of the Year in the 2015 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards. Many Ghanaians recognize him as one of the leading reggae and dancehall artistes in the country and Africa. Burniton Music Group dropped a brand new afro-dancehall tune from Stonebwoy. He calls this one Baafira which simply means less talk do more. The song features multi-award winning recording artist, Sarkodie and was produced by Beatz Dakay.
Mafikizolo, South Africa
Mafikizolo, the South African duo are currently “tensioning” the continent with their massive club anthem “Khona”, they also teamed up with Nigeria’s very own Mr May D on their effort Happiness. The South African music group, and Nigeria’s very own Davido teamed up on the track titled “Tchelete”, produced by Shizzi and Oskido. The song is a banger!
Youssou N’dour, Senegal
N’dour helped to develop a style of popular Senegalese music known in the Serer language as mbalax, which derives from the conservative Serer music tradition of “Njuup”. He is the subject of the award-winning films ‘Return to Goree’ directed by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud and ‘Youssou N’dour: I Bring What I Love’ directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, which were released around the world.
In April 2012, it was announced that N’dour has been appointed tourism and culture minister in the cabinet of new Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye.
J Martins known for his extraordinary skills of blending conscious with beats that make fans nod their heads and tap their feet, released the video to – Time Is Now, featuring the Senegalese international singer –Youssou N’dour.
The album on everyone’s lips right now is “Ayo” by Wizkid, which took the industry by surprise as it dropped ahead of schedule. While it’s still too early to judge the album as a whole, my first impression is very positive. Loads and loads of bangers from start to finish. That said, my 2 stand-out tracks, and possible fan favourites, are “Ojuelegba” and “Kind Love“. Two different kinds of tracks, but you’re guaranteed to love both.