*A new generation of Afrobeat artists is set to conquer the global stage.
These young artists are introducing exciting music and bringing fresh energy to the genre. If you don’t feel some type of rhythm, or urge to nod your head, then you are not human. You just can’t be still!
Here are the top ten rising Afrobeat stars ready for a global takeover:
Ladipoe Eso (Poe)
Ladipo Eso, a Nigerian rapper and musician, is well-known as Ladipoe (or Poe).
His rise to stardom began when he was featured in “Feel Alright” by SDC “Show Dem Camp.”
His 2021 single “Feeling” featuring BNXN, which did well and played in South African clubs, shot to number one on the TurnTable Top 50 chart, and appears to be the current most popular African song on the internet. Poe performed “Feeling” on the season 6 premiere of “Big Brother Naija.”
He has received many awards and nominations, among them Headies Awards for “Know You” and “Feeling.”
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He used to be known as Buju, a name that the search engines usually auto-complete as “Buju Banton.” To avoid confusion, this Nigerian Afro-fusion singer, songwriter and record producer officially changed his name to BNXN in 2022.
On December 2021, BNXN staged his first sold-out concert in Lagos at the Balmoral Convention center. He collaborated with Pheelz in March 2022 for the single “Finesse,” which peaked at number 52 on the UK’s Official Singles Chart. In July 2022, BNXN and British rapper Dave featured on the Jae5 song “Propeller.” The song became BNXN’s first Top 40 single in the United Kingdom, charting at number 38.
BNXN is undoubtedly a person to watch in the music industry, thanks to his unique sound and style.
Born Jacqueline Acheampong into a family of musicians, Gyakie is a Ghanaian R&B and afro-fusion singer. She began joining her father in the studio when she was only eight.
Her claim to fame started when she released a five-track EP titled “Seed” in August 2020. It included the track “Forever,” which dominated airplay and topped charts in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The following year, she released a remix of “Forever,” featuring Nigerian singer Omah Lay.
Born Chukwuka Ekweani, Ckay is a Nigerian singer-songwriter and record producer currently signed to Warner Music South Africa and Atlantic Records. Ckay was formerly signed to Chocolate City.
He released his single “Love Nwantiti” in 2019 and it quickly became an international hit, topping the charts. The song debuted at number one on the Billboard Afrobeats chart on March 29, 2022. It went on to become the first African song to surpass one billion streams on Spotify on May 9, 2022. In 2021, Ckay became the first African artist to hit 20 million Spotify listeners.
He released the hit single “Emiliana” in 2022. It entered charts across Europe and Africa, reaching No. 9 in France. It also earned him his first top 5 ranking on the Nigeria TurnTable Top 50 chart.
Born in Cotonou, Benin, Ayra Starr is now a singer/songwriter out of Nigeria. She posted her first original song on Instagram in December 2019. She immediately caught the attention of record executive Don Jazzy and was soon signed to Mavin Records.
She gained mainstream recognition in early 2021 with her eponymous debut extended play, and its hit track “Away.” The song spent two consecutive weeks at number four on Nigeria’s TurnTable Top 50 and went to number 17 on US Billboard Top Triller Global.
Ayra Starr is destined for greatness, thanks to her talent, drive and ability to create hit songs.
King Promise is steadily rising in the music industry. His ability to seamlessly blend together boybands, reggae and Ghanaian highlife continues to captivate audiences worldwide.
His “Slow Down” hit with Headie One pushed him forward, earning him widespread acclaim. In 2021, he was nominated for Best African Music Act in the MOBO Awards. His other song, “Tokyo,” has also received generous airplay around the world.
Omah Lay (born Stanley Omah Didia) is an award-winning artist from Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Lay was born into a musical family and his passion for music took root when he was still young. His unique blend of Afrobeat and R&B has propelled him to fame.
He first grabbed attention in the industry with the 2019 release of his self-produced single “Bad Influence,” which quickly went viral on social media and ushered him into the spotlight. His five-track debut EP, “Get Layd,” also established him as an artist to watch in the Afrobeat scene.
Lay won the Next Rated award at the 2020 Headies Awards. The world is watching him closely, as his fame rises steadily, thanks to his ability to create music that is both relatable and catchy.
Born Lekan Osifeso Jnr., Lojay is a musician, singer, songwriter and performing artist from Nigeria. His hit song “Monalisa” featuring Chris Brown and Sarz gained him valuable widespread recognition. The song reached No. 8 on the Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart. It was also the most-played Afrobeats song on Shazam, according to Cool FM Nigeria and NotJustOk.
In 2022, Lojay received a Headies Award nomination for “Next Rated Artiste.”
Ruger is a Nigerian Afrobeat singer and songwriter. Born Michael Adebayo Olayinka, his fame came in 2021 after he signed a record deal with D’Prince’s Jonzing World record label and a publishing/distribution deal with Columbia Records and Sony Music Entertainment, UK division.
The singer has received several nominations and awards. He was nominated for the 2021 AFRIMMA award for “Best Newcomer.” He was also nominated for the 2021 AFRIMA award for “Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African Reggae, Ragga or Dancehall.”
Vogue Magazine UK also listed him among “22 Musicians Set to Rule 2022.”
Singer, songwriter and record producer 1da Banton was born and raised in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. He has unusual talent, drive, and ability to create hit songs, so it’s clear that he is destined for success. He was studying for his civil engineering degree before dropping out to concentrate on music. After signing a deal with Adasa Cookey’s Squareball Entertainment, 1da Banton relocated to Lagos in 2014.
He has worked hard to create a name for himself in the Afrobeats genre, but it was the release of “No Wahala” in 2021 that pulled him to the spotlight. The song, one of the tracks on his album “Original Vibe Machine,” helped to increase his visibility in the industry when US Secretary of State Antony Blinken listed it among his 2021 Spotify playlist favorite songs of the year.
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