Each year, the most talented freshmen emerge in the ever competitive music industry, and this year is no different.
In no particular order, here’s a short list of five African newcomers who did exceptionally well, getting TV and radio airplay, stealing the spotlight and even picking up a few awards on the way.
Falz shot to fame in 2015 after his hit song titled "Marry Me" featuring Poe and Yemi Alade. The song won him a nomination in the "Best Collaboration of The Year" category at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. In his short career, Falz has received 13 nominations. In 2016 he was nominated for awards a whopping eight times, and he scooped four awards, including the coveted Viewers’ Choice Best New International Act at the BET Awards.
Nasty C (South Africa)
At just 19, this young rapper has achieved what most artists could only dream of. He has worked with huge artists such as South Africa’s Cassper Nyovest and Nigeria’s Davido. He recently worked with American actor/musician Omari Hardwick. Nasty C was also approached by Jay Z’s record company but the deal fall through, all this before he could even release his first album. He was the youngest recipient at the 2015 South African Hip Hop Awards, for the Best Freshman Award. The rapper was also nominated for the Best New Act at the 2016 MAMAs, where he shared a stage with US rapper Future.
Cameroonian rapper Franko has been hustling for year but he got his big break last year when he released the smash hit titled “Coller La petite”. The song put Franko on the international spot, earning him a number of nominations in the biggest music awards. His video for “Coller La petite”, which was uploaded on YouTube in March, has been viewed over 20 million times. Franko was nominated for a number of awards including Best Male Central Africa at the AFRIMA and Best New Act at the MTV Africa Music Award.
Babes Wodumo (South Africa)
Talk about an overnight sensation! The queen of Gqom took over South Africa with her smash hit “Wololo”. Babes became so big that she was nicknamed as South Africa’s “National Treasure”. The newcomer was nominated in two categories, for Best Breakthrough Act and for Song of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Award.
Add in your favourite newcomer and let us know why they rocked 2016!