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Afrobeats proudly asserts itself as one of Africa’s most impactful cultural exports.
This genre has not only entrenched itself in the core of African pop culture and the entertainment sphere but has also emerged as a powerful tourism advertisement for the continent. The global stage has witnessed the undeniable impact of Afrobeats, from Rema’s electrifying performance at the World Cup final in Qatar in 2023 to Burna Boy’s unforgettable show at the UEFA Champions League final in the same year. Afrobeats has transcended geographical boundaries and is now positioned at the epicentre of the world’s entertainment stage.
As we step into 2024, it’s essential to keep an ear to the ground for the rising Afrobeats artists who are poised to make a significant impact. These talents are not only contributing to the genre’s growth but are also gearing up to take the reins and shape the future of Afrobeats on the global stage.
1. Qinq Madi (Nigeria)
Chimamanda Pearl Chukwuma, also known as Qing Madi, is a 17-year-old Nigerian singer, songwriter, and dancer. Social media platform Tiktok has been responsible for making songs viral overnight, and the same can be seen with Qing Madi’s See Finish. The young musician capitalised on this and released subsequent singles the following year. Her most recent song with BNXN Ole has 8.3 million views on YouTube.
2. YKB (Nigeria)
Born and raised in Ketu, Lagos, YKB is an Afropop singer with a mellow and harmonious voice. He started his musical journey in 2021 and dazzled music lovers with his hood-love song, San Siro. Apple Music Africa in May 2023 named him the Rising Artist. He has dropped his EP Yusful Music and will hopefully drop an entire album soon.
3. Bloody Civilian (Nigeria)
With her peculiar name, Blood Civilian (Emoseh Khamofu), she is one of the many Nigerian women setting a precedent on an international level. The 25-year-old set the world on fire with her afrobeat musical score, Wake Up featuring Rema, which was used in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Emoseh’s name is a callous term members of the Nigerian army use for the public. In 2023, she featured in Odumodublvck and Wale’s song Blood on the Dance.
4. Morravey (Nigeria)
Davido has proven time and time again that he is a hitmaker, so it is unsurprising that his latest signee, Daniela Daniel, is known as Morravey. She is the second female artist under Davido Music Worldwide. Her first-ever EP, titled Ravi, dropped in 2023 and consisted of five songs. Apple Music named her the latest Africa Rising Act. Morravey shares a similarity with Davido in that they both left school to pursue music.
5. Soundz (Nigeria)
Samuel Idowu Oluwadarasimi, recognised by his stage name Soundz, is a prominent Nigerian singer-songwriter and record producer affiliated with AfroNext Entertainment. Positioned as one of the standout Afrobeats artists to keep an eye on in 2024, Soundz has been making waves in the music industry.
His noteworthy contributions include the collaborative single with Chop Daily titled Down, which debuted in 2021, and the track Attentionfeatured in his 2022 project titled In The Rough. These releases showcase Soundz’s versatility and artistry, solidifying his status as an artist poised for significant recognition in the dynamic realm of Afrobeats.
6. Lifesize Teddy (Nigeria)
Don Jazzy, another megastar maker, unveiled his new signee, Lifesize Teddy. The River State artist released her debut EP, appropriately named Lifesize Teddy, which shows her flexibility and artistic skill. She opened for Ladipoe at one of his concerts, where she was spotted by Mavin Record executives. She was also trained at the new Mavin Academy.
7. Kojo Black (Ghana)
Under the banner of Encore Recordings, Ghanaian sensation Kojo Blak has solidified his status as a renowned singer and songwriter. His latest release, the captivating hit song Maja, has quickly gained widespread acclaim, resonating with a diverse audience. The song’s infectious beats and meaningful lyrics have made it a favourite choice among music enthusiasts throughout the nation, establishing Kojo Blak as a rising star in the Ghanaian music scene. He won Victony’s Jaga Jaga challenge in 2023.
8. Kemuel (Nigeria)
Kemuel Emmanuel makes his official debut in the industry with a single titled Champagne Girl. The song has a sultry soulful tune about infatuation and love. Kemuel received more breakthroughs when he featured on DJ Spinall’s song ‘Bunda’ with Olamide.
9. Tar1q (Nigeria)
Tariq Oluokun is a Chocolate City signee. Tar1q started as a songwriter. His debut EP Son Of The Moon, is a 5-tracker that spans topics and moods such as love and its complications, mental health and dealing with insecurities, becoming wealthy, and fame. Tar1q amassed over 1 million streams across all platforms and earned a spot on Audiomack’s Most Streamed New Albums.
10. AratheJay (Ghana)
Hailing from Ghana, the exceptionally gifted singer and songwriter AratheJay has etched his name in the music scene. After a stint in Kenya, this artist returned to Eastern Ghana, marking a pivotal moment in his musical journey. The highlight of his recent endeavours includes a collaboration with King Promise in the Sankofaremix, showcasing AratheJay’s versatile talent and regional influence.
11. Ninety (Nigeria)
Alabo Tuonims, also recognized as Ninety, emerges as a rising star in the Afrobeats genre during a transformative period led by late Millennials and Gen Z. As an upcoming singer-songwriter and producer, Ninety’s track Touch and Follow serves as a showcase of his outstanding talent, providing a glimpse into his distinctive musical style. Recent releases such as Diamond and Smoke and Chill further underscore Ninety’s ability to captivate audiences with his unique sound, solidifying his presence in the dynamic realm of Afrobeats.
12. Olivetheboy (Ghana)
Joel Ofori Bonsu, known by the stage name OliveTheBoy, is a Ghanaian Afrobeats singer. His breakthrough single ‘Goodsin’ now has 6 million streams on Spotify. Olivetheboy uses Nigerian-style beats. Capitalising on the huge success of Goodsin, Olivetheboy has remixed the song with Reekado Banks, Oxlade, and King Promise.
13. Llona (Nigeria)
Originating from Kogi State, Nigeria, Llona, also known by his real name Micheal Ajuma Attah, stands out as a young and swiftly ascending recording artist and songwriter. With a musical range that encompasses contemporary Afrobeats, R&B, and Dancehall, Llona draws inspiration from esteemed artists such as Olamide.
His collaboration with Bella Shmurda on the HBP Remix marked a significant milestone, introducing Llona to a broader audience and further solidifying his position as a promising talent in the music scene.
14. Winny (Nigeria)
Winifred Ohili Adanu is an afro-reggae singer who hails from Benue State. She uses Jamaican artists as well as Nigeria’s Starboy Wizkid as a source of influence in the making of her music. Her debut self-titled EP Winny, is a bold blend of dancehall-infused R&B.
15. Logos Olori (Nigeria)
Logos Olori, also recognised as Olamilekan Emeka Taiwo, the newest addition to Davido Music Worldwide, experienced a rather contentious introduction to the music scene. The young artist encountered religious controversy when his music video for Jaye Lostirred discontent among Muslims. Despite this early challenge, Logos Olori made his debut with the song Only You, produced by Magisticks, before catching the attention of DMW and securing a spot on their roster. The incident aside, Logos Olori’s musical journey has certainly garnered attention, marking the beginning of what could be a significant chapter in his career with Davido Music Worldwide.
16. TML Vibes (Nigeria)
Nigerian singer Timileyin Sulaimon, renowned by the stage name TML Vibes and signed to Vibez Inc, emerges as a recently unearthed rare gem in the world of Afrobeats. Exhibiting an undeniable flair on his debut project, Timileyin showcases the richness of his talent, establishing himself as a noteworthy addition to the vibrant landscape of contemporary African music. With an impressive debut, TML Vibes stands out as an artist poised for further recognition and success within the Afrobeats genre.
Adegunji Ajibola Abdul Malik, widely recognised by his stage name Gdzilla (pronounced Godzilla), is a noteworthy Nigerian singer signed to Jonzing World Entertainment. Emerging as a recently discovered gem in the vibrant Afrobeats scene, Gdzilla exhibits a rare and rich talent that has captured attention.
His debut project, aptly titled Gdzilla, features the standout track Chop Life, which serves as a testament to his musical prowess. Gdzilla’s distinct style and undeniable talent position him as an artist with immense potential, poised to make a lasting impact in the world of Afrobeats.
18. Zerrydl (Nigeria)
Divine Uzama, known by his stage name Zerry DL, has carved his path, following in the footsteps of his older brother, Shallipopi. The young artist made a significant entrance into the music scene with the viral hit Puff and Pass,which gained widespread popularity on TikTok. Recognizing his talent, Zerry DL was subsequently signed by his brother under Plutomania Records.
In a compelling move, Zerry DL released his debut EP titled Danger Zee, featuring five original tracks, including a noteworthy remix of ‘Puff and Pass’ with Shallipopi. This project not only showcases Zerry DL’s individuality as an artist but also solidifies his place in the music industry under the creative umbrella of Plutomania Records.
19. Yarden (Nigeria)
Okereke Blessed Jordan, widely recognised by his stage name Yarden, is an artist whose unique sound encapsulates a dark, groovy, and ominous vibe. Since making his foray into the music scene in 2019, Yarden has been dedicated to crafting his distinctive musical style and establishing himself as a professional in the industry. His artistry reflects a creative journey marked by an unconventional and captivating sonic atmosphere that sets him apart in the realm of contemporary music.
20. Nasboi (Nigeria)
Lawal Michael Nasiru Bolaji, born on March 13, 1992, is a well-known Nigerian multi-talent recognised by his stage name, Nasboi. Beyond his prowess as a comedian and skit maker, Nasboi has also made a mark as an actor and singer in the entertainment industry. Among his notable musical creations are popular songs like Lover Boy and the hit collaboration Umbrella featuring Wande Coal. Nasboi’s diverse skills contribute to his versatility, making him a prominent figure in Nigeria’s entertainment landscape.