Friday, April 15, 2011

My Top 10 Favorite AFRICAN Musicians!

1. Oliver N'Goma - Born in Gabon and lived from 1959 to 2010 when he unfortunately succumbed to renal failure. N'Goma is the reason why I love listening to Afro-Zouk today. It is my one of my favorite genres of music, especially on the African continent. May he rest in peace.

2. M'Bilia Bel - Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1959 and dubbed the Queen of Congolese Rhumba, this magnificent artist and others are why I love Congolese music the way I do today.

3. Monique Seka - This beautiful artist is from the West African country of Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast). She has been active as a musician since the mid-1990's, although she is fairly young. She is my second favorite Afro-Zouk aritst after Oliver N'Goma and not only is she beautiful, but so is her voice. She is undoubtedly the best female Zouk artist in the world, in my opinion.

4. Koffi Olomide - This very influential Soukos legend was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1956 and continues to make music to this day. Several African artists have been inspired and influenced by Koffi Olomide's music, and there's no wonder why. He is simply excellent at what he does.

5. Sade - Born Helen Folasade Adu in 1959 in Nigeria, Sade is of mixed European and African descent, with her mother being British and her father being Nigerian. When Sade was 4 years old, she moved with her mother and brother to England, where she lived for the rest of her life. This still-beautiful woman is a legend when it comes to music in general. I love her because she is different, and her jazzy-smooth style cannot be duplicated by nobody, for she owns her style.

6. Lucky Dube - Born in South Africa in 1964 and lived till 2007, he was violently killed during a carjacking in Johannesburg. Lucky Dube is a legend when it comes to "revolutionary" music, for he sang about the injustices of the Apartheid government in South Africa. His style was Reggae and he always sang in English, but the lyrics were powerful. This is why he gained international notoriety, giving him much-deserved fame. May he rest in peace.

7. Lady Jay Dee - Born in Tanzania, Lady Jay Dee is one of the most popular singers today in East Africa. Not only has her soulful voice soothed our ears in Tanzania, but she has collaborated with musicians from Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa. I love her music because she sings about real issues and she uses very wise lyrics in some of her songs. She is also known for singing in multiple languages at a time.

8. K'Naan - Born in Somalia in 1978, this talented Somali-Canadian artist is a poet, singer, and a rapper. He has proved himself to be an excellent lyricist and is known for rapping and singing about real issues in the world, including child soldiers in Somalia and what they go through.

9. Miriam Makeba - Born in South Africa in 1932 and lived till 2008, when she suffered a fatal heart attack after performing her last song. She was a legend not just in music, but in the fight for human rights in Apartheid South Africa. As a result, her public stance against the Apartheid regime got her exiled to several different countries, including the United States. Her voice was exquisite, soulful, and poetic. She knew how to create beautiful music out of nothing. She is another reason I love South African music. May she rest in peace!

10. Salif Keita - Born in Mali in 1949, this magnificent vocalist has gone through a lot of barriers to get to where he is. First of all, he was born an albino on a continent which is known for treating albinos as second-class citizens. His magnificent style of singing and playing the guitar is what makes his music pure and untainted by technology. As a result, his music and style is known around the world.