Afrobeat is a popular music genre that originated in Africa, specifically Nigeria, during the 2000s. The impact of Afrobeat extends beyond the music industry. It has contributed to the growth of African tourism, as music lovers from around the world visit Africa to experience the vibrant music scene.
moreover, afrobeat has witnessed the emergence of sub-genres and variations within the broader category. Artists have incorporated elements from different African regions. It has also provided a platform for female artists to express themselves and share their perspectives. Historically, African music industries have been male-dominated, but Afrobeat has played a role in breaking down this barrier.
Today, we see an increasing number of female afrobeat artists who are gaining recognition and using their music to advocate for gender equality. This genre has seen a surge of talented female artists making their mark in recent years. Here are ten notable female afrobeat artists who have gained recognition both nationally and internationally for their contributions to the genre.
Tiwatope Savage, popularly known as Tiwa Savage is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and actress who is often called the ‘Queen of Afrobeat’. Tiwa Savage has achieved international success with her soulful vocals and energetic performances. She has collaborated with numerous renowned artists and has consistently delivered chart topping hits like ‘All over’ and Ma Lo’.
Yemi Eberechi Alade is a Nigerian Afropop singer, songwriter and activist. She sings in English, Igbo, Pidgin, and Yoruba. Yemi Alade is known for her melodious vocals and colorful performances. Her music has been of influence in many African countries and the world as she acclaims the title “Mama Africa” for her versatility in using different African attires in her music videos. Her popular songs include ‘Johnny’,’ Tumbum’, and ‘Oh my Gosh’.
Simisola Bolatito Kososko, better known by her stage name Simi is Nigerian singer and songwriter. Although Simi’s music spans across multiple genres, her afrobeat hits like ‘Joromi’ and ‘Duduke’ have garnered her a large fanbase and critical acclaim.
Omawumi Megbele known professionally as Omawumi is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and actress of Itsekiri ethnicity. She gained attention as the 2007 runner-up on West Africa Idols Tv show. Her second album, “The Lasso of Truth” was reported to be a commercial success in Nigeria. Omawumi’s unique voice has won her a solid fanbase and a mark in the music industry. Her popular songs include ‘If You Ask Me’ and ‘Bottom Belle’.
Niniola Apata, popularly known as Niniola is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. She participated in the sixth season of Project Fame West Africa in 2013. After releasing her debut single ‘Ibadi’, she was nominated for most promising act to watch out for at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. Niniola has an outstanding voice and a distinct Afro-house sound.
Temilade Openiyi known professionally as Tems is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. She rose to prominence after being featured on Wizkid’s 2020 single ‘Essence’ which peaked on no.9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She has gained recognition nationally and internationally as she was in attendance of the Met Gala 2023. Some of her notable songs include ‘Try Me’ and ‘Mr. Rebel’.
Jane Affia Awindor, better known by her stage name Efya, is a Ghanaian singer and songwriter from Kumasi. She has been praised for her powerful vocals and soulful style. She has collaborated with top afrobeat artists like Wizkid, and has gained fame and recognition globally.
Aituje Iruobe, professionally known as Waje which is the first letter from each word from the phrase ” Words aren’t just enough”. She is a Nigerian singer who has been in the music industry for many years. She first gained recognition after being featured on the remake of Psquare’s ‘Omoge Mi’, she was also featured on the duo’s 2008 hit track ‘Do Me’. Waje was one of the four judges in the inaugural season of The Voice Nigeria in 2018. She released several popular songs and has collaborated with other top artists.
Also known as Vee Money, Vanessa Mdee is a Tanzanian singer, songwriter and former radio host. While she is not primarily known as an afrobeat artist, she has released songs that incorporate elements of afrobeat. Vanessa Mdee gained popularity in East Africa with her debut single ‘Closer’, and went on to release several successful tracks. She is known for her energetic stage presence and performance.
Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua, known professionally as Seyi Shay is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and actress. In 2008, she became the lead singer for the now defunct pop girl group “From Above”. Seyi Shay has been active in the music industry for years and has released a string of successful afrobeat songs like ‘Irawo’ and ‘Right Now’. She is known for her versatility, combining elements of R&B, Afropop, and afrobeat in her music.
These artists have made significant contributions to the afrobeat genre, either through their solo careers or collaborations with other artists. Each artist brings their own unique style and sound to the vibrant world of afrobeat music.
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