9 musicians who make Africa proud, according to Global Citizens

There is no place like Africa. It is a fierce continent that has shared so much beauty, talent and creation with the world. It awakens all human senses: its diverse cultures and natural wonders are a sight to behold; its assorted cuisines a pleasure to taste; and its biodiverse flora and fauna are a delight to smell.

The last two senses — hearing and feeling — that Africa can offer you wherever you are in the world, thanks to the talent of its daughters and sons. That’s why, on this Africa Day, we celebrate the sounds that Africa has brought to the world.

African music is not only charismatic and easy to love, it also comes in a wide range of genres and offers the best of its different cultures. So you need to feel something or move on the dance floor – just what you want from your daily playlist, right?

This Africa Day, however, we are not just celebrating music. We also applaud some of the continent’s musicians who are the pride of Africa today and continue to put the continent on the map. In fact, while you are reading this article, you can dive into our Africa Day Spotify playlist and let it play in the background or make you dance wherever you are.

For too long, Africa has been defined by the poverty it has known, with the compassionate eyes of the world turning to the continent as people globally forget that Africa is so much more than the poverty it faces. is confronted.

In fact, many global trends in fashion, art, music, design, etc., have come from Africa. The continent abounds in talent, intellect and creative potential that must be nurtured and hailed; because it is the investment in these qualities that will help stimulate the development of the African continent.

To create our Africa Day 2022 playlist, we asked Global Citizens to share their favorite artists, along with a few colleagues from Global Citizen Africa and an industry expert at Sowetan S Magazine – so read the follow to find out which artists we’re celebrating this Africa Day, and what those who recommended them had to say about their music.

1. Ricky Rick

Recommended by the Global Citizen Africa team and Global Citizens

This year, South Africa and the world lost a music icon whose talent not only shone on music playlists and radio charts, but transcended the worlds of fashion, art and design. This Africa Day will mark three months since the death of rapper Riky Rick, and in light of the shine he brought to the world, we wanted to kick off this list by remembering and saluting him.

He was a respected and beloved artist across the country, and was never afraid to show the world exactly what he was made of.

2. Sino Msolo

Emmanuel Tjiya, editor-in-chief of Sowetan S magazine

In particular, De Mthuda’s song “Jola”, which features Sino Msolo and Da Muziqal Chef.

Written and performed by the masterful Sino Msolo, the lyrics explore the romantic feelings of an innocent young man, bragging to his friends that he has finally found love. As someone who grew up in the township we all know that a guy (as an adult) was unlucky in love then when they finally find someone they brag all over the place street.

This amapiano song is not only representative of kasi (local South African township) power, but it also serves as a true testament to Gen Z and Millennials moving from toxic masculinity to positive masculinity by being vulnerable and authentic about their emotions. This is something Africa should celebrate on Africa Day. It also lends itself well to Msolo singing it in a soft, simple register, which makes it look effortlessly cool. The haunting rhythm gives it that little bit more swagger.

3. Msaki

Thato Noinyane, Senior Digital Campaigns Manager, Global Citizen

I’m really surprised how difficult it was to answer this question because there are so many ass-kicking musicians on our continent!

I mean there are Grammy Award winners, international collaborations, artists that are bringing our genres to the world… so much talent. However, I would like to highlight Msaki. “Indie” singer-songwriter, multi-disciplinary artist and a versatile black woman, who not only has the most incredible voice, but uses her music to express what I have certainly struggled to express myself: tragedy complete which is our country at the moment (South Africa).

She has popular house and amapiano hits that we’ve all played on, but I love that she uses music to fight injustice and to fight for her music in a country that doesn’t value artists and their artistic talent. In a country that has an amazing constitution but is littered with so many things that shouldn’t be happening.

4. Lordkez

Khanyi Mlaba, Editor and Content Manager, Global Citizen

Scrolling through the list of artists that Global Citizens recommended to add to our playlist for this year, I felt for a moment that I had nothing more to add – and that’s a testament to the excellent musical taste of our Global Citizens!

That’s why I wanted to spotlight an up-and-coming artist whose voice and lyrics define what it means to be an independent woman living freely and who doesn’t need (or want) the approval of others. Lordkez is ramping up, and I feel like his sound is exactly what the continent and the world need right now.

5. Burnaboy

Voted by citizens of the world

Of course, we would never let Burna Boy off this list, are you kidding? His name is one Global Citizens has shared multiple times to add him to this list, and we’re more than happy to oblige.

Not only is he a Grammy-winning artist, but he’s the first Nigerian artist not only to make the headlines, but also to have a sold-out concert at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden. He has also taken to the Global Citizen stage a few times to perform at One World: Together at Home and Citizen of the World Live in 2021, and clearly, we just can’t get enough of him.

6. Uncle Waffles

Voted by citizens of the world

If you want to move on the dance floor, Waffles is what you need. She gradually became a household name in South Africa with her energetic performances and dynamic sounds. She also attracted a lot of international attention after being shouted by artists like Drake.

Waffles is a DJ whose music has rocked South Africa through various lockdowns, and is now booking venues across the continent and around the world.

7. Wiz Kid

Voted by citizens of the world

We don’t know exactly how ready the world was for WizKid in 2021, as the artist came to knock us down, ignite playlists everywhere, and remind the world what Nigeria is made of. Sell ​​London O2 Arena twiceand being nominated for a Grammy Award, WizKid definitely deserves a spot on this list.

Not to mention, we couldn’t go a day in 2021 without hearing his song “Essence” playing on the radio, in the background of social media videos, or just as the welcome earworm we didn’t know we were. were singing in the middle of the working day.

8. Black coffee

Voted by citizens of the world

South Africa was on its feet as DJ Black Coffee received his very first Grammy Award in 2022, the victory played out all day on social media and the country couldn’t hide its pride. In fact, he is the first African to win a Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Album.

During his career he has not only collaborated with some of the finest musicians Africa has to offer including WizKid, Bucie and Shekhinah but he has also worked with world renowned musicians such as Drake, Pharrell Williams, Usher and David Guetta.

9. Time

Voted by citizens of the world

You wouldn’t believe Tems is defined as a breakout star with the way she’s taken the world by storm. She’s a new artist whose voice helped make WizKid’s “Essence” the hit it has become.

Her own music is making waves and this month she became the first African woman to have a song sitting at number one on the Billboard charts. There’s no doubt she has so much more in store and we can’t wait to hear all she has to give.