artists you should know: music from africa you should be playing right now

May 25, 2021

Africa has continuously produced talent that has had an immense impact on today’s pop culture. We have seen the likes of Burna Boy, Wizkid, Moonchild Sanelly, and many more, take over the airwaves with enchanting songs that pack dance floors from Miami to London. Today we focus on five emerging artists that caught our attention this year.

Makhalanjalo: Hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, Makhalanjalo is an independent artist who got our attention with his song, “Thandi’zinto”. The wavy-laid back song has heavy kwaito influences and is all about having a good time with no worries for a change. So far this independent artist has had an incredible run, with many of his new fans starting challenges on tik-tok as a tribute to the song.

Bella Shmurda: Nigerian singer Bella Shmurda had an incredible run in 2020, contributing hooks to albums from Davido and Pawom man. His hit single “Vision 2020” was the launch of this 23 year old’s career,  getting attention from the likes of Olamide, who subsequently signed him to his label, YBNL.


William Last KRM: My introduction to William was through his comedy skits on social media and for the longest time that’s what he has been known for, but this changed when he put out his video for Tinto, which took the Southern region of the continent by storm. As a musician, William tackles topics such as fatherhood, dealing with unemployment, and the difficulties of trying to be a successful artist.

Ria Boss: One of the most exciting artists to watch is Ghanian-Burkinabe Ria Boss. I can’t recall where I heard her single Holding Hands from, but I was instantly hooked and wanted to find out more about the person behind the voice. She’s been putting out music for a while and finding her was one of those rare moments where you go down a rabbit hole of great music from an incredible artist, and the world should not be sleeping on her.

Joda Kgosi: Still in her teens and having just finished high-school, Joda Kgosi is showing a lot of promise to be a superstar coming out of Africa. Her single, Truth Is, has placed her as one of South Africa’s top R&B artists to watch.