Happy Holidays! (We’re still allowed to say that, right?) I hope that you are having yourself a great time with your loved ones, appreciating all that 2017 has had to offer (both good and bad)- we’re still here! and embracing yourself to be even better in 2018. If you’re doing anything other than that, then child, I hate to judge, but I am going to anyway- GET YOUR LIFE TOGETHER.
I’m sorry I haven’t been posting as much recently, but I’m going to assume that you do understand the fact that this time should be immersed in family.
ION, It’s been an incredible year for the African Music Scene. I’m so proud of how far the industry has come and the potential that it continues to show. I can’t begin to imagine how much bigger and even better next year will be.
There are so many other songs that I thought would make it to my list. As I said, it was a good year and this was such a hard compilation to do. Either way, I had to. So here my top 10 hottest jams from Africa in 2017 are…..*drum rolls*
10. Shuga- Mimi Mars
What a way to make a debut into the music industry?! The second I heard this song, I knew that artists that had been in the game longer had been given a good run for their money. The energy on the song and vocal range displayed is everything that you would possibly want to listen to, when you’re feeling yourself or just in need of an instant mood uplift. I cannot wait to see and hear what more Mimi has to offer the music industry in 2018.
9. Mbozi Za Malwa- Bebe Cool & Sauti Sol
This was a collaboration that I least expected, but one that I thought was absolutely incredible. The unique blend of Afro- Dancehall and Afro- Soul still fascinates me. I might not be able to get all the “Beer Tales” (which is the literal translation) being told through the song, but I still get to thoroughly enjoy and dance along to it.
8. Umenikamata- Jux
I’ve always loved Jux. I have however loved him even more in 2017. Here’s why. Very few artists actually experience musical growth through their careers. It’s one thing to be a great artist, but it’s another to experiment with your sound and then when you finally master what works for you, using that to create your own signature music. And if you’re smart enough, you go the extra mile, tapping into other artists’ skills, combining their efforts with yours to recreate yourself. That has been Jux for us in 2017.
But let’s get back to the elements of this particular song!!!!! The audible guitar strokes, the saxophone, this is incredible live music that provides an extra- ordinary experience. And then Utaniua ?!! *Raises glass* Here’s to African Boy .
7. Phone- Ben Pol Ft. Mr. Eazi
This was that song that ushered me into 2017. I was so used to Ben Pol with slow mellow songs until I heard this and I was like, wait a minute….this is so different from what I am used to from him but such a pleasant surprise. Very relate-able and still so fresh.
6. Zilipendwa- WCB Family
They had me at the concept. (Side whisper) Although I was a bit skeptical about listening to a song as long as 5 minutes and 25 seconds. And not just that, with 7 different artists on it. Imagine if some nailed it and then one or two didn’t deliver on their parts. Then I have to sit here being all judgy and comparing them to their label mates for the rest of their musical careers, while wondering if at all they deserve to be a part of the WCB Family. Horrible, right?
But hey! They all delivered. Thankfully. Every single artist came as creative as they could be, maintaining the theme and adding their own individual sound and style of music to their bits. This is my perfect way of reminiscing about the good old days. Plus, the “young-ins” can learn a thing or two from it.
5. Come Closer- Wizkid/ Drake
If there’s an artist that has sold Africa to the world, it’s Wizkid. Because of him, we’re no longer known for just poverty and diseases but for our vibrant culture, music, beautiful women- there’s so much more about us that the world has gotten to know of us as a continent through Wizkid. He and Drake are becoming one of my favorite music duos together- a sure match made in heaven.
I like the music creatives’ combination on this one in particular. This was one explosive jam. I wish they had a female artist jump on it, (although I don’t know who would be my first choice to fit the song), but that would have been interesting to see. All the same, this was sick.
3. Davido- If
Kenyans might not have loved Tekno as much in 2017, but let’s give credit where it’s due and agree on the fact that he is one of the most talented music producers that we have from Africa. There’s something about him jumping on a beat that makes it a guaranteed instant hit song, like this one.
2. Ayo Jay- Want you
I was a bit late on discovering this song, but when I did, I fell madly in love with it. The African drums and smooth Island percussions are to die for. With Your Number being the smash that it was in 2016, it was a go hard or go home kind of situation for Ayo Jay, and I’m glad that he opted for the “go hard” . Now, I really want to listen to this song, all day, every day.
They did an official music video for this song, but nothing beats a live performance. Especially not this live performance. The entire fusion with the band gave this song so much life. People don’t give enough credit to him, but Shado Chris who produced this jam totally killed it with the beats. Nasty C and Runtown are definitely stars to watch out for in 2018.
What were your favorite African jams for 2017? Let me know via the comments section below.
Have a blessed New Year!