There’s no denying it. African music is where it’s at and, alongside homegrown talent on the continent, there’s a new wave of Africans across the diaspora producing, writing and making some pretty spectacular music. So, here’s a compilation of the rising stars from the diaspora to switch your ears on to.
Kwesi Darko (better known as Blue Daisy) is an experimental MC and producer blending trip hop, electronica and hip hop infused together with a dark, melancholic bass.
One for collaborating with guest vocalists (have a listen to the track below featuring Connie Constance), the London-based musician released his second album Darker Than Blue on R&S Records. Blue Daisy has even opened for hip-hop heavyweights Public Enemy.
The North Londoner is an enchanting vocalist. Little Simz (Simbi Ajikawo) has been flexing her skills with her mixtape series AGE 101. She’s caught attention from across the pond with Kendrick Lamar shouting out to the artist.
She’s a founding member of the Space Age collective and her debut album A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons dropped in September. Simz is also a trained actor who performed as Meleka in the E4 series Youngers. A women of many talents!
Arguably the most talented young producer in rap and hip hop, Canadian Ebony ‘Wondagurl’ Oshunrinde has been making beats since the age of 9.
Self-taught on a digital diet of YouTube, the Brampton native is only 19 and has already produced tracks for Jay-Z, Travis Scott, SZA and most recently, Drake on triple-platinum mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. She sent the beat for Used To to Drake via Instagram’s direct-messaging feature.
Grammy-nominated Dacoury Natche found his way into production after DJing at college and has produced killer tracks for some of hip hop’s biggest names.
The Los Angeles producer is in demand for his versatile ear and fresh approach to beats in the urban and pop realm. He has crafted a bed of beats for Kendrick Lamar, Drake and even Madonna. He received the ultimate West Coast compliment when he was asked to co-produce three tracks with Dr. Dre on his recent and long-awaited Compton album.
Hannah Faith is a DJ whose mixes quickly garnered the attention of forward-thinking musical label Soulection.
She’s been developing her talents playing sold-out shows across Europe and the US. Hannah is also a gifted photographer with ambitions to art direct campaigns with brands in the near future.
He earned his stripes co-producing two tracks on John Legend’s hit album Love In The Future. Nana – aka Chiefy Chiefy – is firmly entrenched in Janelle Monáe’s gifted Wondaland collective as a key composer.
The Ghanaian beatmaker produced summer banger Classic Man by Jidenna and Janelle Monáe’s Yoga. Nana is the founder of OneBlood, an organisation created in remembrance of his younger brother Kwame which promotes public awareness and fundraising for sickle-cell disease.
Spoken-word artist Kojey Radical has a unique voice in both the visual and traditional sense. East Londoner Kojey Radical is definitely someone who is anything but conventional.
Having released his debut EP DEAR DAISY:OPIUM to critical acclaim last year, his soulful sonics and storytelling recently led to a sell-out headline show. Kojey is an original member of the ORPHGANG artistic movement and also the creative director of network collective PUSH CRAYONS.
There you have it. Let us know using #TRUEAfrica if there’s anyone we missed!