The yearly AMM countdown returns and this time we bring you the top 16 artists from each region on the continent. Today we begin with East Africa , these guys have been at the top of their game and held it down for East Africa on the continent and on the world stage wth chart bursting singles and sold out shows and performances. Ladies and Gentlemen, sit back, relax and enjoy the exclusive African Muzik Magazine Top 16 East African Artists of 2016…
16. Knowles Butera – Rwanda
The AFRIMMA nominated songstress pops up as number 16 on our East African list maintaining a steady rising profile from the previous year. Taking her stage name from American R&B vocalist Beyoncé Knowles. Butera writes many of her own songs and is known as a strong entertainer, famous for her dancing and beauty. Her songs touch on such themes as romantic relationships, societal issues and daily life.
15. Rich Mavoko – Tanzania
Wasafi records signee Rich Mavoko makes our shortlist at number 15 with an increasingly growing musical presence across East Africa. After a string of catchy hits , he teamed up with label boss Diamond Platnumz on the infectious ‘Kokoro’ that has been ruling East African airwaves.
14. Octopizzo – Kenya
At number 14 we have the Kenyan rapping sensation Octopizzo who kept up consistency by releasing a string of tunes with his signature bars.The hip hop artist from Kibera, the largest slum in Africa and the Founder of the C.B.O. and youth group Y.G.B. (Young, Gifted, and Black), consisting of talented rappers, poets, graffiti artists, graphic artists, and dancers.
13. Juma Jux – Tanzania
Juma Mussa, is a Tanzanian R&B singer that records under the mononym JUX was born on September 1 1989 and grew up in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Jux started doing music in 2005 by the age of 16 doing a rap kind of music. The fashionable Swahili R&B crooner has been on a steady rise in 2016 and deservedly earns his place at number 13 on our list.
12. King Kaka Sungura – Kenya
Formerly known as rabbit , name change has not affected the proficiency of Kenyan rap star King Kaka. The year 2016 saw the artist status elevated with international recognition following suit. Kaka’s efforts in 2016 were enough to earn him two AFRIMMA nominations and the dark skinned star is not resting on his oars with his current musical form.
11. Harmonize – Tanzania
Young hitmaker and Diamond Platnumz protege Harmonize has carved a niche of his own in the industry. Not content to stay in the shadows as understudy, Harmonize has grasped the opportunity presented by Wasafi records to show he is no flash in the pan. Songs like Matatizo earned multiple million views on youtube and crowning the year as AFRIMMA 2016 Best Newcomer.
10. Bebe Cool – Uganda
Bebe Cool has been an ever present on the Ugandan musical charts. The multi award winning crooner has shown a consistency that has dazzled the entire region over the years.Bebe Cool is a top African reggae and ragga musician from Uganda. He started his career around 1997 in Nairobi, Kenya, but a few years later he moved back to his native country. He also earned an AFRIMMA nomination in the outgoing year.
9. Radio and Weasel & MC Norman – Uganda
At number 9 we have a tie between Radio and Weasel as well as reggea star MC Norman all from Uganda. Radio Weasel provided a string of consistent hits this year and massive collaborations with Wizkid only set their stock higher culminating in an AFRIMMA nomination for Best African group.
Same can be said for MC Norman whose stock has also been on the rise and he ensured a productive 2016 by dishing out materials through out the year and in the process bagging his 3rd AFRIMMA nomination.
8. Victoria Kimani – Kenyan
Kenyan sultry star and Choc City singer Victoria Kimani occupies the number 8 spot after an impressive 2016 that threw up her debut album ‘Safari’. If Victoria Kimani had been showing potentials before, then 2016 was the year she took the game by the gruff of the neck bagging numerous collaborations and awards as well as sold out performances.
7. J Chameleone – Uganda
Yet another Ugandan superstar as we continue our countdown. Legendary East African star J Chameleone is an epitome of consistency in East African Music. Sitting atop the game even with an influx of tale nt is no mean feat and the veteran impressively held his own as one of the stand out stars of East African music in 2016. J Chameleone topped the charts and drew multitudes to his shows showing he is well and alive as well as one of the best from the East.
6 . Akothee – Kenya
One noticeable thing about the East African music scene in the outgoing year is the fact that the females are giving the men a run for their money. Akothee AFRIMMA 2016 Best Female East Africa comes up at number 6 ,the ‘Alhaji’ crooner has had a very impressive year with collaborations with top acts like Flavour and Diamond Platnumz as well as crowning it with the AFRIMMA award in Dallas. She ended the year on a high by dropping the highly anticipated single ‘Benefactor’ along with the visuals.
5. Eddy kenzo – Uganda
Eddy kenzo the sitya loss crooner is crowd dazzler any day and he seems to only be getting better with the years. Since bursting on to the scene internationally he has maintained an impressive profile as one of the most sought after East African artists. Eddy is without any doubts one of the top performers in the continent and deservesly comes in at number 5 of AMM Top 16 East African ARtists of 2016.
4. Vanessa Mdee – Tanzania
East Africa’s sonorous voiced nightingale Vanessa Mdee affectionately called Vee Money is without a doubt one of the top draws of female East African musicians. After dominating in 2015, she further consolidated in 2016 and is one of the genuine superstars of East African music. The petite star combines beauty with a dazzling voice that keeps the ear glued to her sounds.
3. Ali Kiba – Tanzania
Sony signed Ali Kiba perhaps had one of the most stunning in years in African music in 2016. Few years in doldrums was topped by a record breaking return that included a clean sweep of Kilimanjaro awards. Not content with that he took his game to the international level bagging a deal with Sony music . His song ‘Aje’ is arguably one of the hottest East African songs of 2016.
2. Diamond Platnumz – Tanzania
Diamond Platnumz the golden boy of East African music is our number 2 on the list for 2016 and could easily have been number one. No East African artists commaneds as much attention as Diamond Platnumz and he has built a head of steam as one of Africa’s premiere artsist. 2016 was no different , hit singles, sold out shows, world tours as well as shiny awards. Diamond Platnumz reign is not ending any time soon that much we can tell from what he provided in 2016.
1. Sauti Sol – Kenya
Top of the pile we have Sauti Sol from Kenya. Kenya’s favourite boy band serenaded the whole continent with their smooth vibes and delivery during the outgoing year. Songs like ‘Kuliko Jana’, ‘Unconditional Bae’ beacme a permanent fixture on the minds and lips of many. Sauti Sol ended the year as AFRIMMA 2016 Best African Group as well as MAMA’s 2016 Best African Group which is no mean feat considering the illustrious names they beat to the award.