Afrobeats Fresh Picks: Wizkid, Tyla, PsychoYP, Seyi Vibez, Kizz Daniel & More

Afrobeats Fresh Picks: Wizkid, Tyla, PsychoYP, Seyi Vibez, Kizz Daniel & More

 

Plus, Billboard reporters share their top African songs

 

By  yungsea

Wizkid photographed on Oct. 5, 2021 at Poppy in Los Angeles.Flo Ngala

 

It’s been a year of incredible growth in the world of African music.

Music from every corner of the African continent, from West Africa’s contemporary, vibrant Afrobeats supergenre to South Africa’s groovy, bubbling amapiano scene, has continued expanding its reach across the globe, while further embedding itself in the U.S. pop market. Rema & Selena Gomez‘s “Calm Down” and Tyla‘s “Water” both became top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. The Grammys, MTV Video Music Awards and American Music Awards added new categories honoring African music. And Uncle Waffles became the first amapiano act to perform at Coachella, while Burna Boy became the first Nigerian act to headline a U.S. stadium during his stint at NYC’s Citi Field.

And we wanted to honor the breadth of work by the continent’s established and emerging stars this year by sharing our individual favorite African songs (with an accompanying Spotify playlist) and albums of 2023, which can be found below.

 

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Heran’s Favorite African Songs of 2023

 

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Tyla, “Water”

 

Davido feat. Musa Keys, “Unavailable”

 

Libianca, “People”

 

Amaarae, “Princess Going Digital”

 

Teni, “No Days Off”

 

Adekunle Gold with Zinoleesky, “Party No Dey Stop”

 

Crayon & Ayra Starr, “Ngozi”

 

Victor Thompson & Ehis “D” Greatest, “THIS YEAR (Blessings)”

 

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After blessing listeners with his and Ehis ‘D’ Greatest’s viral, inspirational anthem “THIS YEAR (Blessings),” the Nigerian gospel singer gives thanks to the One who’s given him the strength to conquer this year with his debut album Blessed. On its opening track “Stallion,” Thompson delivers a message of resilience over a buoyant beat that can inspire listeners to bounce back from any hardships they might be enduring. “I’m a stallion/ And I ride on like a champion/ ‘Cause my Father, He has won it all/ And I no fit fall,” he croons with grace.

PsychoYP feat. ECEE, Rhoma BTW & Zaylevelten, “LEAN!”

 

From the deluxe version of his Osapa London album, the Nigerian alternative rapper talks his shit on the electrifying cut “LEAN!” Over menacing horns and a punchy bassline that could start mosh pits all over the continent and beyond, PsychoYP flexes that he has “forty mil in four different accounts” and other luxuries that make him untouchable, while up-and-comers ECEE, Rhoma BTW and Zaylevelten show off their distinctive flows that all seamlessly blend into the stimulating sonics of “LEAN!”

Libianca, Oxlade & Chlöe, “Mistaken”

 

Following the success of her breakout hit “People,” Libianca continues using her stirring, soul-baring vocals to unload the “baggage that I’ve been carrying for my whole life,” she said in a press statement, with her debut EP Walk Away. On the highlight track “Mistaken,” the Cameroonian American singer-songwriter is pondering whether the man she’s preoccupied with is truly worth her time, with Oxlade playing the man in question, taunting her for being so obsessed with him. But Chlöe reforms from her old ways of being desperate for love from a man who never deserved her, ending “Mistaken” on a high note of resilience.

Wizkid feat. Wande Coal, “Ololufe”

 

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