(10 mins read)
Now that 2020 is over and done with. You cannot enter 2021 without having listened to African music. The African entertainment market has skyrocketed with the help of the internet with many people now realising the amazing sounds coming from Africa. Now millions of Africans worldwide can reconnect with their home countries through music. In this article, we will be sharing some popular African artists and music styles across the continent. Though most of these artists will be pop singers. there are still a plethora of talented artists across the diaspora creating music with a message. Find out about some here.
So without further ado here are Africa’s most popular artists in 2020;
Diamond Platnumz is a Tanzanian Artist who blew to fame in the late with hits like Kamwambie’ meaning Tell him. He has also had several hit songs including ‘Number One’ featuring Nigerian artist Davido and ‘Yope’ with Congolese artist Innoss’B.
Over the last 10 years, the award-winning musician has popularised “Bongo Flava” – a romantic style of singing layered with an urban beat influenced by traditional taarab music from the East African coast. It’s no surprise then that his audience are mainly Swahili-speaking. Diamond Platnumz is considered one of the most influential artists in Africa and is loved across East and Central Africa.
Chawki is a Morrocan singer who rose to fame in 2013 after his collaboration with Moroccan–Swedish producer RedOne in the international hit “Habibi (darling) I Love You” which also featured the American rapper, Pitbull. Chawki is very popular in French and Arabic speaking parts of Africa and the middle east.
Now taking it west. Nigerian Afrobeats and their stars are undoubtedly leading the African music industry to global heights. Afrobeat combines elements of West Africa’s fuji music and highlife styles with American funk and jazz. Modern Afrobeats also mixes elements of American hip hop sounds and Jamaican reggae (depending on the artist).
Some popular artists are;
Peter and Paul of P Square are said to be one of the OGs of the modern-day Afrobeats sound. With a melodic infusion of English, pidgin (a west African English dialect), and Yoruba along hypnotising beats in their songs. their history of hit-making dating back to the early 2000s with songs like ‘do me’, ‘e no easy o’, ‘no one like you’ and ‘chop my money’ ft. international Senegalese-American artist; Akon.
Over their on-going career, they have won many international music awards which have garnered them love across the continent.
Davido is an artist popular with the youth with his electric, bassy songs. Davido is often regarded as one of the biggest artists in Africa with international music awards for songs like; “Aye”, “The Money” “If”, “Fall”, “Fia” and “Assurance”. Songs like “Dami Duro”, Skelewu” which he released in 2011 catapulted him into fame.
Wizkid is another legend within modern Afrobeats and very internationally recognised due to his multiple collaborations with international artists such as Drake and Damien Marley. WizKid worked with Canadian rapper Drake back in 2016 on the song One Dance that now has been streamed more than 1.9 billion times. He initially rose to fame from his early songs like; “Don’t Dull”, “Pakurumo” and “Oluwa Lo Ni” and his latest songs such as ‘Soco’.
Burna Boy is the self-proclaimed African giant who has produced consecutive hits since his songs “Like to Party” and ‘Rockstar back in 2012. this Grammy-nominated star has continued to grow in popularity due to his unique blend of African sounds and bass over reggaed pidgin English and Yoruba. this sound is hard to replicate and explain so we suggest you Listen here to understand it.
Alongside Ghanian artists such as;
Angelique Kidjo is a singer, songwriter and activist from Benin. She is one of Africa’s most respected performers and has won three Grammy Awards in her wide-ranging career. She is fluent in five languages: Fon, French, Yorùbá, Gen (Mina), and English and he sings in all of them, and she also has her own personal language, which she sings in songs like “Batonga” and Agolo. “Malaika” is a song sung in the Swahili language. Miss Angelique often uses Benin’s traditional Zilin vocal technique and vocalese, her magic is recognised worldwide as timeless music.
Magic System from Ivory Coast. The group is particularly popular in French-speaking West Africa and France and known across the continent for their legendary hit Premier Gaou. this group is still making pop music with French and Moroccan artists such as Chawki.
Eddy Kenzo is a Ugandan singer who has also won numerous national and international awards. He was the first Ugandan artist to win the BET award in 2015. Eddy Kenzo has inspired many youths in Uganda with his uplifting songs such as ‘Sitya Loss’ which is sung in Lugandan.
C4 Pedro is Angola‘s pride and joy. The King of Kizomba has no problem packing stadiums around the world through his music is mainly sung in Portuguese. His sensual blend of Portuguese and traditional kizomba sounds is a unique experience for the ears.
Sauti Sol is a Kenyan afro-pop group that came into the limelight in 2006. They grew to fame with their song“Sura Yako” which was one of their most downloaded songs on iTunes. Fan salso created the Lipala dance which went viral on social media. Though mainly sing in Swahili they have collaborated with many African giants such as Nigeria’s Burna Boy (Afrikan Star) and Yemi Alade (Africa) and Angola’s C4 Pedro (Love Again).
South African house music is also taking the music scene by storm. with dances like Vosho and Gwara Gwara pushing the genre further into the global spotlight.
Sho Madjozi is a South African singer who has won the 2019 BET New International Act has a different take on South Africa’s gqom music which is usually an instrumental beat however Sho raps in several languages over the beats. Her song ‘John Cena’ has garnered millions of views on youtube.
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