The African music industry is without doubt one of the most exciting in the world. From Afro-Pop, Afrobeat, Rap, Raggae to the several contemporary music styles rising, the industry is asserting itself as one of Africa’s best exports. In recent times, artists like Angelique Kidjo (Benin Republic), Akon (Senegal),Wizkid, 2face and Psquare (Nigeria) as well as Fuse ODG (Ghana) have not only wowed the global audience with their songs, but also compete for and won top global musical accolades.
This year, the industry hasn’t failed in maintaining its status as a vibrant one. Super-talented new artists have come aboard with exciting releases, while renowned stars have remained consistent with super hits. From across the continent, we bring you some of the top African albums released this year we feel you should listen to. Check them out:
“New Era” by Kiss Daniel (Nigeria):
After breaking through last year with “Woju”, Nigerian Afro-pop sensation, Anidugbe Oluwatobiloba Daniel, popularly known as Kiss Daniel released his debut studio album “New Era” on May 14, 2016. The album fields previously 20 singles, including previously released hit singles such as “Woju”, “Laye” and “Good Time”. The highlight of the album is that Kiss featured only his record mate, Sugar Boy (three of the songs) and did the rest himself. Some of the picks from the album include “Mama”, “Nothing Dey” and “Jombo”. The album is in the race for the “Album of the Year” award at the Headies, A Nigerian music award later this year.
“After The Storm” by Shatta Wale (Ghana):
Popularly referred to as the “King of Dancehall” in Ghana, Shatta Wale launched his 22 track-album “After the Storm” on April 29, 2016. The album was launched at a concert held at the Black Star Square in front of more than 20,000 fans from within and outside Ghana. Notable among the songs on the album include” Kakai”,” Chop Kiss”, “Bie Gya”,” For the Money”, “Dancehall King” and “Kill Dem with Prayers”.
“Artifact” by Anatii (South Africa):
Anatii has been one of the most consistent artistes in the South African music industry ever since he broke out in 2014. The 22-year-old released his debut album “Artifact” on the 9th of September, 2016 and has been hailed by many as arguably the best album in the country in 2016. The Afro-beat crooner combined a mixture of English and isiXhosa to deliver 17 exciting tracks, which also featured African stars like Tiwa Savage, Nasty C, AKA, Cassper Nyovest and Uhuru. Top picks from the album include “Freedom”, “The Saga”, “Feeling on Me”, “Jump”’ “Hours” and “Tell Me”.
“Bad Hair” by Nasty C (South Africa):
After winning the 2015 South African Hip Hop Award for the Best Freshman, 19-year old Nsikayesizwe David Ngcobo, popularly known as Nasty C released his debut studio album “Bad Hair” on September 23, 2016. Bad Hair features 16 tracks, including an interlude. The album also includes guest appearances from Rick Rick, Cassper Nyovest, Erick Rush, Tshego, Omari, Tellaman and Rowlene. Some of the notable tracks on the album are “Inspiration” (featuring Cassper Nyovest and Sikour), “Don’t Do It featuring” (featuring Tellaman), “Pressure” and “A Star is Born featuring” (featuring Omari and Ricky Ricky).
“God Over Everything” by Patoranking (Nigeria):
After taking the continent by storm with singles such as “Alubarika”, “Girlie O”, “My Woman My Everything” and “Make Am”, Nigerian Reggae star, Patoranking released his debut studio album on the 1st of August this year. The 2014 Headies’ Next Rated Award winner featured Nigerian superstars such as Olamide, Phyno, Wizkid as well as Ghanaian rap star, Sarkodie on the 16 track album. The album features top tracks like “Money” (featuring Phyno), “This Kind Love” (featuring Wizkid), “No Kissing Baby” (featuring Sarkodie) and many other exciting singles.
“Keras Gar Negeger” by Sami Dan (Ethiopia):
Keras Gar Negeger, loosely translated to “Speaking with oneself” is Sami Dan’s debut album. The Ethiopian Reggae star has 13 songs on the album, few of which are composed in different genres. In the album, Sami sings about his journey, experiences and views of life as well as a wide range of societal topics. His efforts on the album have seen him rewarded with six nominations at the oncoming Ethiopian Leza awards.