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BBC names Kenya’s Brian Nadra and Sho Madjozi among 5 stars to look out for in 2020

BBC has named award winning South African rapper Sho Madjozi and fast rising Kenyan artist Brian Nadra among 5 African artists that the world should watch out for in the next year.


In an article written by Kenyan born BBC 1Xtra disc jockey DJ Edu, the list also features Uganda’s Sheebah Karungi, Nigeria’s JoeBoy and Innoss’B from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Here are five African stars to watch in 2020.

Sheebah Karungi (Uganda)
With a successful career in her home country Uganda, Sheebah’s music is now crossing boundaries. With a vibrant voice, Sheebah is an artist on a mission.

From collaborating with other African artists to dance, to her fashion style, she’s using her talent to take Ugandan music to the world.

JoeBoy (Nigeria)

Joeboy gathered major attention with his love song Baby, which has had 18 million views in nine months on YouTube.

With his soulful voice and passionate expressions in his own unique style, the Nigerian singer delivers his verses on Afrobeats and pop-infused tracks. His follow up single Beginning has equally been well received. Last month, the singer released an EP titled Love & Light.

He is shooting to fame rapidly – on the basis of just these two songs and the EP, he is getting bookings across Africa and has already performed in the UK.

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Brian Nadra (Kenya)

Brian Nadra released his debut single Leo in 2017. He describes his music as “an urban sound from a smartphone era cantered around a millennial culture”.

The Kenyan singer-songwriter with a sultry voice has established himself as an ambassador of East African pop culture – until now, Kenya has not had many internationally successful male singers.

Brian has a unique style – he sings, and raps as well, and has stepped outside his comfort zone in R&B, delving into other genres of music, including reggae on Cool Vibes and hip-hop on Bonge.

Innoss’B (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Pulling from traditional Congolese music, Innoss’B brings a modern and youthful sound to his music. With his unique style and dance moves, the 22-year-old is dancing to the beat of his own drum.

This year, the singer made waves with his single Yope – a collaboration with Tanzanian star Diamond Platnumz. In three months, the music video has received over 14 million views on YouTube.

Innoss’B has managed to combine the Democratic Republic of Congo’s famous rhumba sound with R&B and Afrobeats.

Sho Madjozi (South Africa)

There’s no stopping Sho Madjozi. Earlier this year, the South African hip-hop artist won BET Best New International Act.

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She has a different take on South Africa’s gqom music. This is usually instrumental but she raps – in several languages – over the gqom beat.

Many South African artists target their home market but she is managing to connect to people around the world.

Her song named after American wrestler John Cena has generated a lot of excitement and is one of the most popular hits of 2019.

Musicians such as Davido, Wizkid and Burna Boy are now established mainstream stars around the world, and global interest in African music has never been higher.

In 2019, Beyoncé hand-picked some of Africa’s biggest stars to appear on her Lion King-inspired album, while Mr Eazi and Burna Boy performing at the annual Coachella music festival in California.

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