Africa’s alive and bursting with clever and impactful music that is boldly pioneering a new sound, a collection of new genres: Multi-lingual, unique and distinctly African. This week we focused on the talent in Nigeria and list a couple of the artists that are carving out these new sounds – Words: Bianca Agenbag 

 

BANKY W

Olubankole Wellington better known as Banky W, Nigeria’s king of R&B, is an award-winning singer-songwriter, producer and the owner of record label, Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E.). He has had many hit singles such as Lagos Party, Yes/No and All I Want is You and has also released three successful albums – Mr Capable, W Experience and R&BW. With his smooth demeanour and velvet-voice he is one of the most influential African artists of his time and an eligible bachelor at that. We can’t wait to see what the king of the Lagos party is up to next.

 

DON JAZZY

Don Jazzy is multi-talented record producer and musician with plenty awards under his belt. He has revolutionised the African music industry and has forever changed the way Nigerians listen to music. Jazzy has produced with artists such as Dr SID, Wande Coal, D’Prince and Darey to name a few, but the highlight of his career was when Kanye West signed him as a producer on his G.O.O.D music label. He has also collaborated with Jay-Z and Kanye on the production of the song Lift Off ft. Beyonce. Jazzy was recently listed by Forbes magazine as the 36th most powerful celebrity in Africa, which goes to show that this musical pioneering is far from done. His aim is to further raise the bar for African music by turning his record label Mavin records into the “power house of African music.”

 

D’BANJ

D’Banj is a multi-award winning singer-songwriter that brought Afrobeat into the 21st century. This superstar’s career took off when he started a record label with legendary producer Don Jazzy and later signed with to Kanye West’s label, G.O.O.D Music.  His long list of achievements includes albums No long thingRundown/Funk you upThe Entertainer and Mr Endowed, which played on almost every radio station in Africa. He has also recorded with artists like Ruggedman, SID and JJC and performed alongside international artists like Jay-Z, Beyonce, Missy Elliot, Snoop dog, Tinie Tempah and much more. D’Banj draws inspiration for his music from his own life, documenting the struggles of an African turning his dreams into reality. This man’s talent and good looks took Africa by storm and we are still in awe.

 

TIWA SAVAGE 

This R&B singer-songwriter’s career kicked off in the UK while on tour as a backup singer for a diverse group of artists, from 50 Cent and Eminem to The Black Eyed Peas and the infamous Spice Girls. In 2010 she entered the African music industry and her soulful voice and electric dance moves quickly saw her rise to the top. Her debut album Once Upon a Time was a big hit but she didn’t stop there. She went on to write many award winning singles and collaborations which lead to a Grammy nomination in 2010 for her contribution to Fantasia Barrino’s song Collard Greens and Cornbread. This soulful diva has captured the hearts of Africa and we can’t get enough.

 

YEMI ALADE

Meet the Afro-pop singer dubbed the ‘King of all Queens.’ Her debut single Fimisile got over ten thousand hits on YouTube in less than a month and her most acclaimed single, Johnny, gained over 800,000 views in just two months, becoming an international chart-topping hit and anthem in countries all over Africa and the United Kingdom. Yemi has performed all over the word alongside artists such as M.I, Wizkid and Becca to name a few. She has also worked with some of the biggest producers in the African music industry such as OJB Jezreel, ELDee and E. Kelly.

 

REEKADO BANKS

Guess how this guy got his break as singer, rapper and songwriter? He signed to Mavin Records after his brother submitted his songs to the label as part of a talent search. Now that’s love! Ever since, he has worked with industry giants such as Don Jazzy, Tiwa Savage, Olamide Korede Bello and much more, adding many hit songs to his name along the way, making him one of the most promising artists in the African music sector.  However, he didn’t always have it easy. After he decided to pursue a career in music he had to hawk blenders in traffic and work as a manual labourer in order to earn money to support his dream. His success goes to show that hard work pays off.

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