The 10 best African songs of 2024 so far


African music is leaving a mark that cannot be erased from the world map.

While Afrobeats has been the pillar of African music for many years, the contemporary music scene is energised by Amapiano, a subgenre of Kwaito and house music that emerged in South Africa in the mid-2010s. 

Afrobeats is a diverse, upbeat genre of Nigerian music that incorporates the sounds of West African music, highlife, various subgenres of music, dancehall, and more.

The meteoric rise of South African Amapiano has influenced Afrobeats artists to incorporate its unique sound, giving birth to a new subgenre popularly known as "Afropiano."

For the first half of 2024, Afrobeats, Amapiano, and Afropiano have dominated the African music landscape. Here, we present the 10 best African songs released in 2024 so far:

10. Instagram - Muyeez & Seyi Vibez

The melodious street-pop single Instagram by Muyeez, in collaboration with Seyi Vibez, dropped on April 30, 2024, and has dominated the music scene ever since. Produced by Murderer, Instagram features Muyeez, who released it after signing to Seyi Vibez’s record label, Vibez Inc., following a freestyle video that captured Seyi Vibez’s attention.

Instagram has been played over 11 million times on Spotify, proving its immense popularity amongst the audience. This song is also included in the Vibez Inc. album Vibez Incorporation Mixtape, Vol. 1, released on May 10, 2024. The track remained on the Turntable Charts for nine weeks and reached the No. 1 position, demonstrating its influence. Besides, Instagram lays the groundwork for Muyeez’s career in the music industry and highlights the thriving partnership between the young singer and Seyi Vibez. This collaboration bodes well for more successful work for Muyeez under the Vibez Inc. label.

9. Ogechi (Remix) - BoyPee, Hyce & Brown Joel ft.  Davido 

The song Ogechi (Remix) by BoyPee, Hyce, and Brown Joel, with a guest performance by Davido, immediately received love since its release on June 26, 2024. This remix, also produced by Davie, has a special theme dedicated to Davido's wife, Chioma, who he married just a day before the song's release. The original track Ogechi by Brown Joel, BoyPee, and Hyce, initially released on May 10, 2024, had already been setting the pace, but the remix with Davido’s lyrics and emotions adds different levels to the song.

The song has had an incredible impact, trending in seven nations on the Apple Music Playlists and featuring on Apple Music Top Charts in over 20 countries, including Nigeria and Ghana. Although it only reached number three on the Turntable Charts, it reiterated its strong sales and popularity. Ogechi (Remix) is a soulful song that emphasises that God’s timing is the best timing, embodied through great lyrics and wonderful music. The collaboration of BoyPee, Hyce, Brown Joel, and the production by Davie has resulted in a beautiful masterpiece that inspires people and remains on the charts.

8. Rodo - Adekunle Gold

Without a doubt, Adekunle Gold’s recent song Rodo, which was released on April 26, 2024, has quickly become a hit, reaching No. 8 on the Turntable charts. Afrobeats, amapiano, and electronic sound components masterfully blended into music by Chillz, highlighting the best of Gold. Furthermore, the song has an energy supported by unique production techniques, distinguishing it in today’s music landscape.

Adekunle Gold’s rich vocal performance and emotional lyricism are endlessly engaging as he croons about how for his love interest he would gladly jump over the moon, comparing her allure to 'Dodo' (pepper) in Yoruba. Rodo showcases the versatility that Adekunle Gold possesses and can incorporate into his music as the industry evolves. This blend of genres creates something new and intriguing for listeners worldwide, solidifying Gold's place on the global music map.

Incorporating impressive drumming and relatable lyrics, Rodo not only pays homage to Adekunle Gold but also showcases Chillz's prowess as a music producer. 

7. Love Me Jeje - Tems

Tems' track Love Me Jeje, featured as the 5th song on her debut album Born In The Wild, released on April 25, 2024, has quickly made waves across the global music scene. Produced by the dynamic duo GuiltyBeatz and Spax, the song ingeniously samples Seyi Sodomu’s 1997 hit Love Me Jeje, infusing it with a contemporary flair that resonates deeply with listeners.

Love Me Jeje has achieved remarkable success, charting in over 30 countries on Apple Music, including prominent markets like South Africa, Kenya, and the United Kingdom. The song's title, "Jeje," loosely translated to "gentle" or "softly" in Nigerian parlance, perfectly encapsulates its essence. Tems' soulful vocals glide effortlessly over a sunny guitar groove, expressing the bliss of being cherished and loved unconditionally. Her poignant lyrics, such as "If not you, then I don’t wanna know," reflect a yearning for genuine affection, making the track both relatable and emotionally resonant.

The song's impact is underscored by its chart achievements, reaching No. 1 on the UK's Official Afrobeats Chart and peaking at No. 14 on the Turntable Charts, solidifying Tems' status as a rising star in the global music landscape. Love Me Jeje not only showcases Tems' exceptional talent but also highlights the production finesse of GuiltyBeatz and Spax, setting a new standard for contemporary Afrobeats music.

6. Romeo Must Die (RMD) - Ruger & BNXN

When released on February 29th, 2024, Ruger and BNXN’s Romeo Must Die (RMD) off their R&B EP received much attention. The song was created by Kukbeats and is a perfect combination of mesmerizing vocals and a fascinating beat, which made this track exceptional. Romeo Must Die (RMD) rose quickly to the No. 4 spot on the Turntable Chart and stayed on for 14 weeks, showing its fan base and appeal. 

It is also important to note that the song ranked high on the Shazam charts with over 210,000 tags, which are evident of the catchy tune and choruses. This not only established both Ruger and BNXN solo performances but also their compatibility as partners. Certainly, their work on the album, particularly in the track Romeo Must Die (RMD), remains evidence of their ability to provide quality music with soulful vocals in a modern context, placing them at the forefront of the modern music scene.

5. Bad Vibes - Ayra Starr ft Seyi Vibez

Ayra Starr's collaboration with Seyi Vibez on Bad Vibes, featured on her sophomore album The Year I Turned 21, has become a standout hit since its release on May 9, 2024. Produced by Mystro and Ikenna Ohaeri, the track combines Ayra Starr's distinctive style with Seyi Vibez's emotive vocals, creating a compelling narrative against a backdrop of infectious beats.

Bad Vibes made an immediate impact, peaking at No. 2 on the TurnTable Charts and maintaining a strong presence for several weeks. Its international appeal is evident with chart placements in 19 countries on Apple Music, including Nigeria, Gambia, and Kenya. Additionally, the song reached No. 6 on the UK's Official Afrobeats Charts, underscoring its global resonance and popularity.

The collaboration between Ayra Starr and Seyi Vibez shines brightly on Bad Vibes, as they deliver heartfelt performances that resonate with listeners. The lyrics reflect a desire to distance themselves from negativity, instead focusing on prosperity and positive energy. This track not only showcases their vocal prowess but also highlights their ability to create music that speaks to universal themes, making Bad Vibes a defining moment in contemporary Afrobeats.

4. Jump - Tyla ft Gunna & Skillibeng

Tyla's debut album, Tyla features the dynamic single Jump, released on March 22, 2024. Produced by the acclaimed Sammy Soso, known for his work on Wizkid’s Bad To Me, Kali Uchis' Diosa, and Tyla’s global hit Water, this track is a masterful blend of Afrobeats, dancehall, and hip hop. Jump showcases the collaborative efforts of Tyla, Mocha, Believve, Gunna, Skillibeng, and Sammy Soso, resulting in a groovy and infectious tune that captivates from the first note.

The song features standout contributions from Gunna and Skillibeng, adding layers of depth and diversity to the already rich musical tapestry. Tyla’s opening line, “They never had a pretty girl from Joburg / See me now, and that's what they prefer,” is a catchy and memorable hook that sets the tone for the track. With its genre-fusing sound and irresistible rhythm, Jump is a testament to Tyla's rising star power and the seamless synergy between her, Gunna, and Skillibeng. This track not only highlights Tyla’s unique style and vocal prowess but also cements her place in the global music scene as an artist to watch.

3. Big Big Things - Young Jonn ft. Kizz Daniel & Seyi Vibez

Young Jonn's Big Big Things, a standout track from his debut album Jiggy Forever, has quickly become a favourite since its release on February 23, 2024. Produced by the talented Yung Willis, the song features the dynamic vocals of Kizz Daniel and Seyi Vibez, creating a powerful collaboration that resonates deeply with listeners. The fusion of afrobeats and amapiano results in an infectious party anthem that's perfect for any celebration.

Big Big Things has achieved significant success, peaking at No. 4 on the TurnTable Charts and remaining on the chart for an impressive 18 weeks. The track's popularity is further evidenced by its over 9 million streams on Spotify, highlighting its widespread appeal and replay value. With its groovy beats and energetic performances, Big Big Things showcases Young Jonn's knack for crafting hits and solidifies his place in the music industry as a rising star.

2. Tshwala Bam - TiTom & Yuppe ft Burna Boy & S.N E

Since its release on May 13, 2024, TiTom and Yuppe’s Tshwala Bam, which also included Burna Boy and S. N E, has caused waves across the music sphere. Following the success of the previous version and the Tshwala Bam signature dance, the highly anticipated remix with Burna Boy garnered over 40 million streams within the first month, making it a truly massive hit. Originally composed by Thato Seth Mathobela and Bongani Kenneth Sibanyoni, Tshwala Bam is one of the most upbeat songs in the genre and is beloved for its rhythms and beats. 

The track can be considered a chart success as it reached the TurnTable Charts No. 1 and remained at the top for 18 weeks. Its popularity is evident because it tops the Shazam charts in 14 countries such as the UAE, UK, and France. Still, Tshwala Bam not only emphasises the creative chemistry between TiTom, Yuppe, Burna Boy, and S. N E but also stresses the potential of Mathobela and Sibanyoni as producers. This song can be considered a defining moment in amapiano genre history and solidifies the artists’ ability to make music that can climb the charts globally.

1. Showa - Kizz Daniel

Kizz Daniel's hit song Showa was released on March 11, 2024, from the TZA EP. Produced by AyZed, the catchy afrobeats track has gained over 11 million streams on Spotify, proving its popularity. An instrument heard clearly is the Yoruba talking drum, which adds an authentic feel to Showa's distinct and effective beat. The success of the song can be evidenced by the TurnTable Charts, where it was able to rank first and has been on the charts for 16 weeks. 

Kizz Daniel performs exceptionally on the song with silk-like vocals and quite the stage presence, while AyZed’s production sets the perfect tone for a modern afrobeats record. This fact, coupled with the song’s catchy beat and its association with Japanese culture, means that Showa remains a popular choice for music selection and dancing. Without a doubt, it is one of the best African songs to hit the market in 2024.