Happy New Year Guys , we kickstart this new year by presenting to you the African Muzik Magazine Top 16 West African Artists of 2016. West Africa arguably houses some of Africa’s biggest talents and making any kind of list is a tough nut to crack. However, after careful review and research on artists progress in the region the past year, we bring you the following artists as our Top 16 for the year.
16. Sidiki Diabate – Mali
Malian star Sidibi Diakite comes in at number 16 after an impressive yrar which his tock rose continentally. Sidibe has been quietly making waves in French Francophone countries for a while now but in 206 even the anglophone took notice of his impressive numbers. With his Youtube views hitting double digits, international recognitions followed suit.
15. Kiss Daniel – Nigeria
The New King as he calls himself strode into 2016 on top of the charts with his monster hit singles ‘Woju’, ‘Raba’ etc and did not rest on his oars. He dropped his debut album ‘New Era’ which in a year of weak albums earned critical acclaim from far and wide. As ususal, with his unique sounds, Kiss Danniel captured our minds with hits like ‘Mama’, Jombo etc and maintained his place as one of the Top artists of West African origin.
14. Efya – Ghana
Sweet voiced Ghanaian songbird Efya Nokturnal probably has one of the best voices on the African music scene. Her vocals resonates in your heart when you hear her sing and 2016 was a good year for the talented woman. Her massive collaboration with Mr. Eazi ‘Skin Tight’ is one of the songs of the year 2016 and she topped it with signing unto Wizkid’s Starboy Worldwide label as well as bagging AFRIMMA 2016 Best Female West Africa Award.
13. Dj Arafat – Ivory Coast
Ivorian music legend Dj Arafat comes in at number 13, the veteran hitmaker has been a consistent face on the Ivorien music scene and despite the influx of new entrants.Dj Arafat recorded one of the biggest songs of 2016 with Kiff No Beats “Approchez Regardez’ and he once again proved that form may be temporary but class in permanent. Dj Arafat is a recurring decimal on the West AFrican Music Scene.
12. Yemi Alade – Nigeria
Effizy Music superstar and AFRIMMA 2015 Best Female West Africa solidified her standing as one of Africa’s topmost acts in 2016. The ‘Tumbum’ crooner followed up her continental and national domiantion by spreading her wings on the global scene. 2016 saw performances by Yemi Alade in Brazil and other parts of the world as part of her evolution as a global brand. Her song ‘AFrica’ featuring Sautio Sol has become a reference song for Africa and the ‘Johhny’ crooner is set to continue grabbing the headlines in 2017 with her scheduled world tour.
11. Tiwa Savage – Nigeria
Mavin first lady Tiwa Savage comes up at number 11 after a remarkable year in which she made her comeback form childbirth. Its no mean feat to be off the radar for a little over 9 months then come back to grab your spot. Wonder woman Tiwa Savage managed both feats , shooting to the top of the game after her absence. Her messy split from husband Tee Billz regardless, Tiwa Savage held her own and continued to shine musically despite the odds. 2016 is surely a remarkable year in the career of Tiwa Savage and she had very successful US Tour during the year.
10.Serge Beynaud- Ivory Coast
Serge Beynaud comes in at number 10 with Ivorien serial hitmaker enjoying another fabulous year which was crowned by him walking down the aisle with his boo .Guy Serge Beynaud as he was named is one of the most talented Ivorian singers, songwriter and music producer, associated with styles such as Coupé-décalé. Beynaud was born in Yopougon, Côte d’Ivoire and it is safe to describe him as a “West African sensation” and a “heavyweight act”
9. Stonebwoy & Bisa Kdei – Ghana
At number 9 we had to go for the Ghanaian duo of Stonebwoy and ‘Mansa’ crooner Bisa Kdei . Call it a twin strike partnership. Stonebwoy continued where he left off in 2015 after winning BET AND AFRIMMA awards to become a bigger brand in the continent. SOld out shows as well as hits after hits further endeared Stonwbwoy to a teeming fan base.
Bis Kdei is the Ghanaian revelation of the year, after consistently creating buzz in Ghana, Bisa Kdei’s stock rose on the continent and with songs like “Brother Brother’ and ‘Mansa’ , Bisa soon became a household in Africa and he won numerous awards durig 2016 including AFRIMMA 2016 Video of The YEar for ‘Brother Brother’.
8. Sarkodie – Ghana
Ghana’s rap King and Africa’s Rap Lord Sarkodie has probably exhausted all superlatives. It is testament to his consistency that his name is continually mentioned when the topic veers to Africa’s best rapper. Sarkodie would probably go down in AFrican music annals as one of the best rappers of all time. Obidi Pon Bidi as he fondly refers to himself still got the heavy bars and only a few rappers can match his wordplay even on the international scene. Sarkodie deservedly earns his place on this list for his consistency .
7. Davido – Nigeria
One thing that defines Omo Baba Olowo Davido is his ability to keep defying the odds even when they are heavily stacked against him. After suffering criticism at the begining of the year, Davido bounced back with a mouthwatering Sony Music deal making him one of the first AFrican artists to get such a deal. He followed that up by making the rest of the year a very busy one as he was one of the busiest AFrican artists of the previous years. He also dropped the Son Of Mercy EP and despite critics quick to pick on him, Davido replies by achieving new feats musically.
6. Mr Eazi – Nigeria
Call 2016 the year of Eazi and you wont be too far off the mark as Mr Eazi became the new wave across the continent. His husky voice became a fixture on major AFrican airwaves and his sounds were refreshing. Mr Eazi burst onto continental consciousness in the year 2016 and has stayed as one of Africa’s most sough after artists. Mr Eazi filled up the biggest show venues across the continent and it was almost like every song he dropped was a hit. His cool unassuming mien is at odds with his maverick talent but you would admit your 2016 was not complete without a Mr Eazi song.
5. Phyno – Nigeria
Igbo speaking indigenous rapping genius Phyno would go down as one of the top acts of 2016 in AFrica. He followed up a previously slightly quiet 2016 by storming out of the blocks with hits after hits in 2016 and ended it with his album “Playmaker’. The song ‘Fada Fada’ featuring lifelong homie Olamide was one of the hottest songs of 2016 and Phyno crowned his year with sold out shows on his American tour throughout every city. Phyno also showed diversity with his talents in 2017 as he brought out his singing part more and fans appreciated his depth.
4 . Olamide – Nigeria
The man with endless aliases and undoubted King of the Streets, Olamide comes up at number 4 after consolidating on a dominant 2015. Olamide dropped hits after hits as we have become accostumed to and his viral ‘WHo You Epp’ song is one of defining features of 2016. He also dropped his 6th consecutive album ‘The Glory’, an unprecedented feat in the industry. Olamide was one of the most engaged artists on the African music scene in 2016 and therefore earns his place on this list.
3. Tekno – Nigeria
Alhaji Tekino, You can’t help but accept the coming of age of the brand Tekno in 2016. The Triple MG star blew up big time in 2016 and his trajectory can only be described as explosive. ‘Dance’ the monster hit was thought to be his peak but he churned out ‘Duro, ‘Where’, ‘Maria’ and more fans could not get enough. The came the ground breaking hit ‘Pana’ and Tekno went international , signing a SOny music deal on the back of it and filing up stadiums across Africa. Perhaps Tekno is right now the hottest music star on the AFrican scene and his star doesn’t show any signs of abating soon as the massively talented star has got many aces up his sleeves in 2017.
2. Flavour – Nigeria
The Flavour of Africa as he is fondly called is unarguably one of the Top African music stars of this generation. His fan base cuts across ethnic or geographical divides. Flavour had perhaps one of the busiest years of his amazing career in 2016 as he practically touched all corners of the year performing. Flavour with his signature band is reputed for providing pure music on his set and never would you catch him lipsyncing over his cd as his attention to details is unmatched. Flavour crowned the year by emerging AFRIMMA 2016 Artist of The Year as well performing at most of the major continental events like CAF Awards etc that held in 2016. Ijele could as well been named number 1 but was usurped slightly by the international feats of Wizkid.
1. Wizkid – Nigeria
The Star boy Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun aka Wizkid earns our nod for the number 1 position after a simply amazing year. If Wizkid was the undoubted star of AFrican music, then 2016 confirmed his status as one of the genuine superstars of AFrican music. His collaboration with Drake “One Dance’ became an international hit and was the most streamed songs of 2016 with close to 1 Billion streams worldwide. He also ended the year with a grammy nomination as a producer on Drake’s widely acclaimed album. One notable feature of Wizkid’s year is the fact that he has penetrated the American market. He perforemd alongside Chris Brown on his One Hell of a Nite Tour and he has become the reference point for AFrican music especially for non-AFricans. Wizkid also signed a ten figure mouth watering deal with Sony to round off what is simply an astonishing year for Daddy Yo’