Nigerian artist Demola isn’t afraid to do things differently and to mix it up when it comes to his music. Although his usual style is Afrobeat, for his latest single, ‘Light Up’, the unmistakeable sound of a violin turns up mere seconds into the track. It shouldn’t work: the rhythm is a full on bounce, buoyant and packed full of sunshine; the violin is breezy, and cool – like a walk through a forest. It shouldn’t work – but somehow – it does.
In 2015 Rocky Dawuni became the first Ghanaian to be nominated for a GRAMMY Award, for his electrifying sixth album, ‘Branches Of The Same Tree’, in the Best Reggae Album category. Dawuni isn’t strictly a Reggae artist; he encorporates the style into his music, but it’s part of an amalgam of styles, including Afrobeat, Highlife, traditional Ghanaian folk, dancehall, jazz, North American soul, RnB, and electropop. He calls his sound Afro Roots: there’s nothing else quite like it.
Angelique Kidjo has been travelling the world since 1982 on a mission to get Afro-pop the mainstream recognition it deserves and her efforts have resulted in huge success. She has now released her take on the Talking Heads’ album, ‘Remain In Light’, including the classic single, ‘Once In A Lifetime’.
UK based singer songwriter and rapper DR SNIZZ has big plans not just for his personal music but also for the industry altogether. An actual doctor, he’s created a label, SNIZZ Records and a music career, alongside his medical practice. DR SNIZZ combines R&B style with rap, and Afro-pop elements, influenced by his Nigerian heritage. The result is an original sound flooded with positivity.
Back in their native Ghana Reginald Ainooson and Ishmael Hamid, now known as Reggie n’ Bollie, achieved popularity performing as solo artists. They moved to the UK and tried to break into the very difficult music industry but had no luck until they joined forces as ‘Menn On Point’, and auditioned for X Factor, in 2015. They wowed the judges and audiences, and after finishing in second place, were signed to Simon Cowell’s label, Syco Music, through which they released their debut single, ‘New Girl’, followed by ‘Link Up’. The partnership with Syco ended in February this year, but the duo weren’t about to let this setback destroy them, and they set up their own label, F.R.O.D Music, and have gone on to release the singles, ‘All The Way Up’, and ‘This Is The Life’. The former appears on their debut album, ‘Uncommon Favours’, which was released yesterday.