Top 10 African Musicians 2014

March 6, 2015

Afro-Pop refers to a genre of popular music produced in Sub Saharan Africa. One of the unique aspects of Afro-Pop is the creation of unique blend of genres that define Afro-Pop depending on the region.Africa isn’t just about mind blowing landscapes and wildlife. Have you ever wonder what African music really is? Well, I have been sampling music from East, West and South of the continent. Over the years, Africa has produced some of the best musicians on the international scene, remember Youssou n’dour, Manu Dibango, Mory Kante,Miriam Makeba, Fela Kuti, Johnny Clegg, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Oliver Mtukudzi, Hugh Masekela, Baaba Maal, Franco Makiadi and has not stopped yet.Since pre independence days, African artistes have stood the taste of time.

The success of many young artist emerging on the continental scene and are already bringing their talent to the rest of the world including but not limited to talented Diamond Platnumz – Tanzania, Mafikizolo – South Africa, Sauti Sol – Kenya, Chameleone – Uganda and Nigerian stars like Omawumi, Waje, Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage, Davido, 2Face Indiba, Yemi Alade, Seyi Shay, WizKid, Don Jazzy, D’Banj, P-Square among others. After listening to the continent new and old generation music, I think some of the best African musicians still have more to come.I love their music because there are great quality and it doesn’t matter if you are dancing to Bongo, Lingala or Kwaito music out at there in the outback or urban areas because you’ll be listening to some of the greatest musicians from the African continent.Here is Contador Harrison list for Africa’s ten best singers in 2014.

10. Tiwa Savage – Nigeria

Getting plenty of people plenty excited, Tiwa Savage is slowly breaking across the international market. This weekend will see “Eminado” hit singer take forward a powerful mix of Nigerian Pop catchy pop to Uganda for the Airtel Women’s day celebrations. Also interesting is her ability to mix things up. Whilst gaining regular time on radio, songs like “My Darling” and “Without my heart” have a different sound to the deeper tracks on the album “Once upon Time.”

9. Diamond Platnumz – United Republic of Tanzania

Diamond has been everywhere in 2014, and you can expect him to list multiple times this year. Let’s be honest, he’ll probably win more awards after his triumph in 2014 Channel O’ Music awards in South Africa. Number one plays like a modernized Afro soundtrack and hist latest hit single “Ntampata wapi” is receiving plenty of air time on the radio in East African region.Also of note is the subtle and amazing African tunes that seems to carry on throughout his songs, reminding me that it’s there only every so often.He is such a great, great singer and so great you’d probably already have listened to some of his songs.

8. Sauti Sol – Kenya

Sauti Sol’s Live and Die in Africa third studio album is currently enjoying considerable coverage largely because of ridiculously catchy and clever “Nishike.” The Kenyan band has been semi-renowned in Africa for songs but their new album may see them crash into the international market in a massive way. It’s important to note that Live and Die in Africa doesn’t confine itself to pop hits, though, with guitar riffs throughout, and group’s voice changing from the blasting chorus in “Nishike” to the skatty “Sura Yako.”

7. Chameleone – Uganda

Arguably Uganda’s most popular singer of the last decade, Chameleone released “Wale Wale” in 2014, an awesome single mixing together the smooth vocals in Swahili and Luganda with disco-electronic beats.That’s how a lot of people have probably come to know the Afro-Beat singer. Last week he signed a one-year endorsement deal with an international mobile gadgets manufacturer, iDroid USA.His popularity outside Uganda in unmatched by other Ugandan musicians.

6. Davido – Nigeria

Only slightly similar to fellow Nigerian singer’s style, Davido’s “Tchelete” featuring South Africa’s Mafikizolo lends itself moreso to it’s crazy, wild, and super fun.
Davido mostly made his name in 2014 when he was nominated and won Best International Act for Africa at the BET awards and also won the prestigious MTV Africa music award’s Best Male Artist of the Year.

5. Mafikizolo – South Africa

The Mafikizolo, South African duo consist of Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza say it best when they declare: “Back with a vengeance, back with a song, all you haters got it wrong,” on their interview with a South African online radio station few years back. After seven long years embroiled in creative differences with their former label, The Mafikizolo returned in 2014 with one of the strongest pop albums of the year, cementing themselves as one of Africa’s biggest forces to be reckoned with among the new generation of African musicians.Six Mabone is a fresh album that mixes the pop, afro sounds and familiar elements of Kwaito, hip hop beats and everything in between.

4. Mi Casa – South Africa

Mi Casa must be sick of all the comparison to international singers they get but it’s an easy comparison to make at first listen. Both have a frontman man with a low, drawling voice who isn’t afraid to get heavy duty with his lyrics and since 2011 when their debut album went gold and won them several awards and nominations at the SA Music Awards Mi Casa seem to get any attention and recognition as they really should. Mi Casa seem to step more into an ’90s inspired, rhythmic tone at times, and a dark, thrashing Afro-beats at others. Their album is a great listen to from start to finish without shuffle but it does take a few listens to get into the zone. Once you’re there though, it’s worth it.

3. P-Square – Nigeria

P-Square is just so great and comparisons have been made to several international singers, but they are only similar in vocal sound, P-Square experiments more with instrumentals and sampling layering their voice on occasion and achieving a dreamy, wonderful album filled with folktronic jams. The twin brothers hit songs like “Personally”, “Chop My Money”, and “Alingo” have remained popular but the the wait, though, has led to a maturing in her sophomore album, something many artists struggle with and P-Square created an album Double Trouble released in 2014 that demonstrated their wide range of talent.

2. WizKid – Nigeria

WizKid’s 2014 album-titled Ayo was released and won the 2014 Channel O’s music award for the Most Gifted Ragga Dancehall in Africa, and it bodes well for the new year. Electronic, blues and pop come together, as WizKid manages to continue to remind people that “Pull Over” collaboration was just beginning of his meteoric rise to stardom as an individual singer and collaborator.There is a large presence of Nigerian musicians in Africa breaking through and listening to WizKid music, there is no doubt he is heading for the global charts.

1. D’Banj – Nigeria

When D’Banj released his hit song “Oliver Twist” it was certainly a banger that made me take note of the talented Nigerian singer. My early views on him was that what makes this guy get nominated for awards all over the place? and if he can achieve that much with two songs dating back to 2013 “Finally” and “Top of the World”, 2015 should be a very, very big year. D’Banj isn’t afraid to experiment with effects and his voice like in his 2014 single ”Bother You” and is a great listen with his changing in both tone and tempo. Nigerian singer is way ahead of the rest of the continent. No doubt D’banj, is a global super star and is easily one of Africa’s biggest names of all time especially after he won the Best-selling African Artist at the 2014 World Music Awards in Monaco.

Undoubtedly, Africa isn’t just famous for Safari and wildlife, it has produced and continues to have some of the greatest musicians the industry has ever had. From Jazz, Pop, Afro-pop, Folk, Hip-Hop, Rap, Rhythm and Blues all the way to a little bit of Soul, you name the style and Africa has it.

Contador Harrison