Afrobeats has grown to become one of the most eclectic genres in contemporary music. The coinage of Afrobeats (with an s) is similar to the Afrobeat music popularized by Fela Kuti in the 1970s, but is distinct in its more modern origin and flavor. Afrobeats isn’t a style per se. It is a mélange of anything from highlife, hip-hop, R&B, rap, and everything in-between. Here are 10 Afrobeats artists in 2022 making waves and leaving indelible impression on the African continent and the world at large with their music and art. To have a feel of their craft after reading, each one has a music video that follows.
Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, popularly known as Wizkid or Big Wiz is arguably one of the most popular musicians in the world right now. In 2011, he recorded his debut studio album as a solo artist, under his record label, Empire Mates Entertainment (EME). It wasn’t until 2016 that he gained widespread international recognition, after he collaborated with Drake on the single “One Dance“. This single went on to occupy the Number 1 spot in 15 countries, including the US Billboard Hot 100. More than a decade later, Wizkid has gone ahead to work with many other superstars, including Beyonce on ‘Brown Skin Girl’ which went on to win a Grammy for Best Music Video at the 63rd Grammy Awards. “Essence” is off the “Made In Lagos” album released in 2020.
Ebunoluwa Damini Ogulu, who prefers to go by the moniker, ‘Afrofusionist,” as regards his style of music, is another artist who has contributed immensely to the advancement of afrobeats and the music scene globally. Burna Boy’s 4th studio album, “African Giant” was nominated in 2019 for the Best World Music Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. Last year, Burna Boy won a Grammy award for Global Music Album with his album, “Twice as Tall” at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. His new album, “Love, Damini” is topping the charts and making the airwaves, just a few days after its release. “Last Last” is track 7 of Burna’s new album.
David Adedeji Adeleke is an American-born songwriter, singer, and recording artist of Nigerian descent and one of the most famous afrobeats artists right now. The Afrobeats star has made music with superstars that include Meek Mill, Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj and Lil Baby. With many hit songs like “Dami Duro”, “Fall”, “Assurance”, and the most recent one, “Stand strong” with Ye’s Sunday Service Choir (The Sample) and many more to his credit, Davido doesn’t seem to be backing down soon from making back to back hit jamz.
In 2021, the world went agog as Ckay’s 2019 smash hit; “Love Nwantiti” boomeranged and began to make waves on the tik tok app. Almost everywhere you turned to, people all over the world were dancing and vibing to the song. The song became the most shazamed song in September 2021, ahead of Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber’s ‘Stay’ and Elton John’s remix of ‘Cold Heart’ ft. Dua Lipa. It has garnered over 15 billion views on tik tok since then.
Temitope Openiyi, although relatively new in the music scene, has proved to us all that it’s not how long that matters, but how well. After making her smash hit collaboration with Wizkid, and later on Justin Bieber and Future, Tems has continued to churn out nothing but incredible sounds to her fans across the globe. With her unique stark voice, she melds African, American and Caribbean sounds, and has carved a niche for herself in the Afrobeats genre. As a feather to her cap and a global recognition of her genius, she recently won the BET Award for Best International Act, BET Award for Best Collaboration and many more this year. Tems released her breakthrough song, “Try me” in 2019.
Fireboy is a talented musician with many incredibly amazing hit songs to his credit, we definitely won’t forget ‘Peru para’ and how it dominated the airwaves during the Yuletide season, and even stretching into the new year in a hurry. The smash, “Peru,” where he featured Ed Sheeran topped the UK charts for weeks and remained on the number one spot for weeks.
Tiwatope Savage’s career began as a backup singer for George Michael and Mary J. Blige after she moved to London from Nigeria with her parents. Inspired by the rise of Afrobeats, she has since found her place and carved her niche as a musician. Dubbed the Queen Of Afrobeats, Tiwatope Savage is one artist whose music has climbed up the ratings of various streaming platforms. Her albums, “Celia,” together with “Water and Garri” were, and are still a huge success.
If you are active on social media, especially TikTok, chances are high that you have come across people grooving to his smash hit, some way, somehow. Well, if you haven’t, then it’s high time we introduced you to the Buga crooner, Oluwatobiloba Daniel Akinugbe, popular known as Kizz Daniel or Kizz. He has many hit songs “Woju” and “Yeba”. His latest single, Buga is the most shazamed song in the world right now.
Mohammed Ismail Sherif Frempong, known professionally as Black Sherif is a Ghanaian afrobeats artist. He has moved from just being a viral sensation to planting his foot firmly in the music industry, pushing R&B Trap music to new heights. His song, Kwaku the Traveller was a smash hit, retaining the number one spot on major online streaming platforms.
Rema’s music has transcended the shores of Africa and has contributed to putting Afrobeats at the forefront of global discourse. Since he became a viral sensation in 2018, with his freestyle cover, “Gucci Gang,” he has produced many hit smashes like “Bad Commando,” “Calm down” and many more.
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