10 East African Artists To Look Out For In 2020
East Africa is oozing with talent. The music scene is currently facing major positive growth with artists from different genres bursting through the airwaves to take East Africa's music scene to higher levels. Every year, a fresh wave of new artists captures our attention with their undeniable musical talent. We put together a compilation of such artists who you need to keep an eye on this 2020.
Tanzanian singer; Zuchu rose to fame when she signed to Diamond Platnumz' record label; Wasafi Records in early April. Her signature sound borrows influence from Taarab music with a stronghold in Bongo Flava.
The singer who is also the daughter of famous Taarab singer; Khadija Kopa, burst into the scene causing major waves on the internet with her debut single Wana. She has then since released her debut EP "I Am Zuchu" which is still topping charts across the East African region.
The artist specifically stated to expect the absolute best after signing to Wasafi Records and we are here for it.
Rowland Kaiza, famously known as Big Trill captured the attention of a large international audience with his party anthem Parte After Parte which he dropped late last year.
When explaining his creative process for his club starter; Big Trill explained "I was in studio making a song when I came across a 2011 video clip where Pastor Martin Sempa was complaining about how Ugandan youth like to [“party after party…!”] I got it and that’s how I turned it into a song."
The rapper started out his music career doing battle raps when he got signed to Baboon Forest Entertainment before later moving to XFM where he began to make the hits. Big Trill describes his sound as a new element in hip hop because he raps so fast and slow at the same time, can do a mixture of English and Luganda and writes melodies as well.
During the buzz of Parte After Parte, Big Trill was sure to announce “It is not my biggest song ever, my biggest song will win Uganda it’s first Grammy.”
Xenia Manasseh is an RnB singer based between Nairobi and a few states in the US. The quickly rising star moved back to her hometown in Nairobi last year where she released her successful debut EP "Falling Apart" which has opened major doors for her.
The Berklee College of Music alumni describes her sound as primarily RnB and Neo Soul and has already been signed as a songwriter to UpperClassmen Music Group.
Xenia has had a very bright start to her music career; from opening for Rema in Nairobi, to sharing the Blankets and Wine stage with major international acts such as Goldlink, to being handpicked by Mr. Eazi for the 2020 emPawa Africa mentorship program, the sky is the limit for this talented songbird.
Media personality turned musician broke out into the music scene early last year when she debuted "Radio" with Barak Jacuzzi. She quickly rose to fame when she launched her debut project the "Donatella EP".
Tanasha is famously known for her romantic relationship with Bongo Flava king; Diamond Platnumz with whom she released hit track "Gere" which quickly took over the charts across East Africa when it banked over a million views in 14 hours.
We cannot wait to see what else the singer has in store for us.
Tanzanian RnB singer; Ibraah is stealing the hearts of many with his undeniable vocal talent. Ibraah had been doing song covers before gaining status when Harmonize took him under his wing and signed him to Konde Music Worldwide.
Soon after, the talented singer started dropping hits starting with his debut track Nimekubali where he shows out his impressive vocal range and the RnB vibe which is quickly growing in the Tanzanian scene.
Ibraah is set to release his debut EP "Steps" which features great African stars such as Skibii, Joeboy and his mentor, Harmonize.
This Bongo Flava sensation has been in the music scene for a while now but it wasn't until Ali Kiba signed him to Kings Music Records that he caught the attention of many.
The singer recently dropped his debut under Ali Kiba's label titled Omukwano in which he proves that he is made for greatness.
Though he has not released too many projects, Tommy Flavour let the fans know that he has already recorded songs under his new label set for release soon.
Nviiri The Storyteller
Nviiri Sande alias Nviiri The Storyteller is currently one of Kenya's biggest Afrosoul artists. Nviiri broke into the scene in early 2019 with his hit single Pombe Sigara which quickly took the Kenyan music scene by storm.
The songwriter made a name for himself by writing for Sauti Sol on their successful record titled Melanin. He is now signed Sol Generation; Sauti Sol's record label which is the home to many of Kenya's soul birds including Bensoul and Kaskazini.
Since his successful debut, Nviiri has released many other hot tracks including Fore (Forever) and most recently Kesi Baadaye. The singer has also had the chance to grace the Blankets and Wine stage alongside international acts; Koffee and Sun El Musician.
We are excited to watch as Nviiri continues to have a piece of the Kenyan music scene.
Another artist making their mark in the East African scene is Chris Kaiga who has been in the scene for close to a decade observing and industry while he perfects his craft.
Early last year, Chris Kaiga dropped the visual for his hit single Zimenice which rapidly became a fan favorite. He has since then dropped hits like Hizi Bundas and Chain Chain which have all been at the top of the Kenyan charts.
The artist also has a unique creative style when it comes to visual direction which stray far from the norm; describing his style as a mixture of Sheng, uptown beats and conceptual videos.
With his elevated sound and his amazing ability to tell stories with his unmatched flow, Chris Kaiga is definitely one to watch in the near future.
Betty Atsedu aka Bey T is yet another young star paving her way through the East African scene. The Kenyan based singer and rapper is rising to stardom quickly with her stupendous rhymes and funky flow.
Bey T popped into the scene when her single If They Dunno took the streets by storm. Bey T also dropped her debut EP 'Concept; Vol 1' where she also shows off her writing abilities as well as her stupendous flow.
She has since then gained the recognition of many including Mr Eazi with whom she took the Empawa Masterclass last year in South Africa.
At only 20 years of age, Bey T is one of East Africa's youngest talents who's future in music is looking promising.
Ruby Githui ,known professionally as Le Rú , is a singer, songwriter, producer based in Nairobi, Kenya. The rising songstress first gained recognition after releasing her debut single “Why” in 2016 which was produced by popular beat maker and artist, Blinky Bill.
Self described as the “Sweet and Spicy Hummingbird” , she finds freedom of expression when she sings, raps and writes her music. Her sound can be described as jazz and R&B with an African feel or simply afro-soul/afro-jazz.
Le Rú continues to steadily rise in fame; releasing tunes such as 'forbidden fruit' and 'sick ah' which carry her sultry and groovy vibes, making her one to look out for in the new class of RnB.
For these are more on your favorite East African artists, connect with us through our socials @Notjustok
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