ANTICIPATION is at its highest as the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) is less than two weeks away and the battle is already thickening for the acclaimed ‘Album of the Year’ category, which would see 11 superstars across the continent jostle for the prize.
With hearts thumping from fans across the continent, the votes have already begun to reel in at AFRIMA’s voting platform at www.afrima.org. The volume of votes per the finalists would determine the winning spot for any of the 11 icons.
Past winners in this category are Olamide (Nigeria, 2014), Charlottee Dipanda (Cameroon, 2015), Ahmed Soultan (Morocco, 2016), Eddy Kenzo (Uganda, 2017), Betty G (Ethiopia, 2018) and Sauti Sol (Kenya, 2019).
With strong-packed albums up for the win, here are the top artistes in the contest for AFRIMA 2021 ‘Album of the Year’:
Iba One (Mon Eempire, Mali)
Within the Malian rap scene, Iba One stands tall as a maverick for miles. His latest work dubbed, ‘Mon Empire Vol. 2’ is a 17-track soundpiece that solidifies his position as a musical force out of Africa.
Wizkid (Made in Lagos, Nigeria)
Wizkid’s ‘Made in Lagos’ is not just a special album for Nigerians; but it is one for the whole of Africa. The 14-track album has become one of the most internationally acclaimed projects, peaking on Billboard World Music Album chart, as well as producing platinum-certified records and has also been submitted for possible consideration for the 2022 Grammy awards.
Aya Nakamura (Aya, Mali)
Since her 2017 debut dubbed, ‘Journal Intime’, Aya Nakamura has been a regular chart-topper within the French music scene. With her 2020 self-titled album, heavily stewed in love, life and self-liberation, the singer packs melodious groove, emotive lyricism, stellar features (including collaborations with Stormzy and Ms. Banks), to stand out as both a fan-favourite and an exceptional project.
Davido (A Better Time, Nigeria)
Another critically acclaimed project from 2020 is Davido’s ‘A Better Time’. The 17-tracker sophomore project from the award-winning singer is a powerful upbeat groovy soundpiece that flusters with heavy international collaborations from artistes like Lil Baby, Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, among others.
Fally Ipupa (Tookoos II, DRC)
Fally Ipupa’s latest album dubbed, ‘Tookoos II’, is arsenal of beautiful melodies. Across the African scene, the Kinshasha-born’s rumba rhythms have traversed diverse ears, even those of non-Congolese origins.
Tiwa Savage (Celia, Nigeria)
Apart from being one of the leading ladies of Afrobeats music, Tiwa Savage is an artiste par excellence. Her last album dubbed, ‘Celia’ was one standout piece that showcased her strength as a musician and music A&R. The 13-track record is woven with themes that encourage the feminine folk, as well as serving some heart-stirring love anthems, with a sprinkle of upbeat groove.
MHD (Mansa, Guinea)
Mohamed Sylla has carved a legacy for himself as one of Africa’s most vivacious rappers, under the moniker MHD. The French artiste of Guinean-Senegalese origins is best known for pioneering the Afro-Trap legacy, with his continentally-smashing hits. ‘Mansa’ effortlessly blends West African pop and dance music with western rap.
Olamide (Carpe Diem, Nigeria)
Popular rapper and music label executive, Olamide, came out in the middle of last year with an unforgettable album that heat up the African music scene for many months. The 12-track sound piece, which is also his 11th studio album, is dubbed ‘Carpe Diem’.
Tayc (Fleur Froide, Cameroon)
Cameroonian RnB superstar, Tayc, shook the African music scene, last year, with the release of his avant-garde album dubbed, ‘Fleur Froide’, which also translates to ‘Cold Flower.’ The 18-track album has been certified Platinum by the French-based Syndicat national de l’édition phonographique (SNEP).
Burna Boy (Twice as Tall, Nigeria)
Self-acclaimed Giant of Africa, Burna Boy, is an artiste with one of the most enigmatic discographies on the continent. His Afro-fusion album dubbed, ‘Twice as Tall’ is not just a Grammy-winning project; it is also one of the most exciting releases that sound-tracked the COVID-19 pandemic year.
Maitre Gims (Le Fleau, DRC)
After the Congolese heavyweight, Gims, released Le Fleau, aka, The Scourge last year, he went Platinum in record time. This indicates the vocal prowess of the young rap maverick, who blends French into one of the deepest hip-hop lyricism available in the entire DRC.
AFRIMA 2021 holds at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, Nigeria from Friday, November 19 – Sunday, November 21, 2021.Voting and ticket sales are ongoing on AFRIMA website www.afrima.org
AFRIMA has been regarded as the ultimate celebration and recognition of African talents and creatives globally since 2014.