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AFRO ANTHEMS RADAR:AFRICAN SONGS TO ADD TO YOUR DANCE PLAYLISTMUSICAuthor: Sijabulile NdlovuMusic has been a universal language since the beginning of time. Historically, music played a pivotal role in promoting peace and harmony across the globe. On the African continent, it is a social activity in which everyone participates during auspicious ceremonies such as weddings, births, as well as cultural festivals. It melodiously highlights African values and traditions, serving as a medium of expression for Africans across the diaspora. With the CAF Champions League, The Brazilians have had to travel extensively across the continent. This has exposed them to different cultures, traditions, and of course – music.
With the likes of local sonic geniuses such as Kabza De Small, Kelvin Momo, and Musa Keys, South Africans are spoilt for choice when it comes to good music. Going further afield, BET Award-winning artists such as Burna Boy and Wizkid have also pioneered African music on the global stage. In the spirit of celebrating Africanism through music, we have put together a list of some of the best Afro anthems to add to your playlist. DJ Maphorisa & Visca featuring 2woshort, Stompiiey, Shaunmusiq, Ftears & Madumane Ba Straata (South Africa) Born in South Africa and raised around the world, Amapiano has been reaching great heights globally. Acclaimed Mzansi hitmakers DJ Maphorisa and Visca teamed up with 2woshort, Stompiiey, Shaunmusiq, Ftears, and Madumane to drop a certified Amapiano banger called Ba Straata. The song is one of the more popular hits from the Banyana hitmaker's album Ba Straata which is a collaborative work with Visca. Ba Straata is a street anthem that sparked a viral Tik Tok dance challenge. Its upbeat rhythm is accentuated by blazing heavy basslines and hard-hitting percussion. Rema - Holiday (Nigeria) With his distinctive blend of Afrobeats and contemporary R&B, 22-year-old Nigerian musician Rema has become one of the most exciting new voices in African music. The artist's first music release for this year, Holiday cemented his place in the Afrobeats dynasty. Holiday is an upbeat track that showcases Rema’s infectious energy and playful lyricism. The song is a celebration of life, love, and good times, with a catchy chorus that is guaranteed to have you hooked. Libianca - People (Cameroon) Since its release on December 6th, 2022, People by renowned Cameroonian singer Libianca has garnered over a hundred million streams on Spotify. The mid-tempo rhythm strays into the path of Afropop with Libianca’s soulful vocals and emotions colouring the song. People is an open letter about mental health struggles that explores various coping mechanisms. Sonically, Mage the Producer offers Libianca a soundscape that captures the hopelessness that saturates the track. Written in both Pidgin and English, the Afrobeats song is sung on a simple percussion accompanied by melodic piano chords. Wingii, Lil Noby, Tommy, FL Lex & Husayn - Freedom Music: Scene Cypher 3 (Egypt) Drill, which is a subgenre of Hip-Hop music, has been on the rise in North Africa. Collaborating to create greatness, Egyptian rappers Wingii, Lil Noby, Tommy, FL EX, and Husyan joined forces to release Freedom Music: Scene Cypher 3. The rap song boasts poetic rhymes and battle freestyle flows. Sonically, the cypher adopts 808 instruments with a typical trap sound but mixes things up with a distinctive percussive bassline. The song is taken from the EP M-Town Mafia. Calema - Toca A Todos (São Tomé & Príncipe) Renowned music duo Calema has won the hearts of many music enthusiasts around the world through their Portuguese hit records. The duo performs a style of music that is derived from Angolan kizomba which is a slower and more dance-oriented version of the popular Angolan music genre called semba. Calema has been topping charts with their single, Toca A Todos. The electronic kizomba song boasts modern pop music, with hints of other contemporary genres such as R&B. K.O featuring Young Stunna & Blxckie - Sete (South Africa) Mr. Cashtime, better known as K.O teamed up with Amapiano sensation Young Stunna and superstar musician, Blxckie to give us what he described as an "African opulent lovers anthem." It has almost been a year since its release and the groovy song is still making waves across the continent. Sete is a colourful fusion of multi-genre sounds and talents. It justifies K.O.’s popular tagline, “Welcome to the Planet' by bringing together diverse sounds in the music universe. This is proven by the Caracara hitmaker's rap-sung cadence over an Afrobeat. Burna Boy - Last Last (Nigeria) Taken from his fourth studio album, Love, Damini – Nigerian popstar Burna Boy's single, Last Last has had Afrobeats enthusiasts on a chokehold since its release. The chart-topping record is an emboldening heartbreak song comprising earnest vocals and lyrics from Burna Boy. He melodiously reflects on a bygone lover. Paying homage to the 2000s era of music, the song is sampled from the iconic Toni Braxton’s single, He Wasn’t Man Enough for Me.