Pan African musicians aren’t all that well known in South Africa. Go get this record

Pan African musicians aren’t all that well known in South Africa.

‘One Africa – African All Stars, Volume 1’

Tay Grin – ‘Focus Africa’

He is Malawi’s most famous rapper by far. At age 9, Limbani Kalilani aka TAY GRIN asserted he would be his own boss. At 14 he predicted two things; that he would own his own company and be a rap music sensation before he was 21. The first rap artist to make an impression on Tay Grin was Jay-z. To find his individual and distinctive rap voice however, Tay looked inwards at his African soul and found that the roots of his Chewa heritage and Malawian culture gave him his true and unique style that complemented the original American hip-hop template.

Banky W – ‘Do It Like This’

Born in the States to Nigerian parents, he moved to Nigeria, West Africa at the tender age of 5 where he learned to appreciate both the beauty and the sorrows of living in the motherland. There he heard the traditional African music and rhythms that are deeply rooted in his sound and faced the harsh realities of everyday life. Ever the entrepreneur, he started a record label, Empire Mate$ Entertainment with his buddies; recorded an EP ‘Undeniable’ and sold records out of the trunk of his car, at local barbershops and performed anywhere he could.

Ikechukwu – ‘Killz TY Mix’

The rap artiste, popularly known as Ikechukwu, was born Ikechukwu Ugonna Onunaku in Manassas, Virginia, USA to Nigerian parents but was flown back home to Nigeria

before his first birthday. After opening shows for Dela-Soul and Common in 2000 and steadily doing shows in New York, New Jersey and Maryland, Ikechukwu knew the time was right for a solo album. His debut effort, ‘Son Of The Soil’ was a resounding success and a wake up call to the budding hip hop scene in Nigeria. Ikechkwu is also accomplished in

the martial arts.

Sasha – ‘Adara’

She shares her birthday (21 May) with her father. She started off rapping with a group of male family friends and soon realised that her chosen stage name ‘Sasha’ was more than just a name when her friend’s Russian mom told her ‘Sasha’ meant ‘Victory’. In August 2004, Sasha added another feather to her hat by becoming West Africa’s first female rapper to represent Nigeria in the KORA West African preliminaries held in Ghana. Sasha has studied Law at the University of Lagos.

Gazza – ‘Sea Side’

Lazarus Karandu Shikumbu known by his stage name Gazza, is a Namibian musician from Oshakati. Gazza is a multi genre talented musician; he has shown influences from kwaito, hip hop, reggae and dancehall in his music. As a soccer lover, he nicknamed himself Gazza after famous English soccer player Paul Gascoigne. After completing his high school he went to study in South Africa where he fell in love with kwaito music. He’s one of the most commercially successful recording artists in Namibia.

Stagga Don Dada – ‘Pressure’

Stagga a.k.a Ralph was born to a Motswana (from Botswana) mother and a Jamaican father in the UK. After going through the drudgery of normal adult life, finishing college, getting married and all, he finally found his calling in music, albeit unplanned. In Botswana, Ralph made his presence felt by taking on local MC’s, on the popular youth radio station Yarona FM. For a man who has yet to release a full-length album, Stagga’s reputation so preceded him that based on the strength of his EP release alone he was invited to perform in Dubai, France and the US (N.Y), where he proved beyond measure that he is a true African MC.

Nneka – ‘Heartbeat’

Born Nneka Egbuna in Warri, Nigeria, in 1981, she emigrated at age 19 to Hamburg, Germany, with plans to study anthropology. Influenced by the towering legacies of Fela Kuti and Bob Marley as well as by contemporary urban American artists such as Mos Def and Lauryn Hill, she also pursued a career in music upon arriving in Germany. In time, she met and began working closely with DJ Farhot and made her recording debut in 2005 with ‘The Uncomfortable Truth’, an introductory five-song EP followed later in the year by the full-length album ‘Victim of Truth’.

Okyeame Kwame ft Richie – ‘Woso’

Born in 1976, this married graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology is undoubtedly one of Ghana’s finest rappers and also boasts a multitude of

awards and nominations, including Channel O and Ghana Music Awards. Okyeame is a former member of the Ghanaian rap group ‘Okyeame’ and to date, he has released 2 solo albums.

2 Face – ‘Feeling You’

Innocent Idibia is a Nigerian musician and songwriter. His major breakthrough was composing and singing the jingles in the famous radio show GB Fan Club in Enugu State Broadcasting Services (ESBS) in 1996. He later relocated to Lagos and joined up with his ex-IMT mate BlackFace to form Plantashun Boyz and started calling himself ‘2Face’ in 1996. His award winning hit track ‘African Queen’ was used as the sound track of the 2006 comedy film, Phat Girlz, making him even more recognized internationally. He has

also won the MOBO and MTV Best African Act award Artist: 2 Face, Song Title: ‘Feeling You’, over the years.

Nameless – ‘Sinzia’

Born David Mathenge in Nairobi Kenya, Nameless ventured into the world of music in 1999, while still a student at the University of Nairobi pursuing a degree in Architecture. He

won a freestyle battle and landed himself a recording stint with one of Kenya’s leading music producers Tedd Josiah. In 2006, Nameless got international recognition and was

nominated for the prestigious MTV Europe Awards, under best male artist, Africa.

Nakaaya – ‘Mr Politician’

Nakaaya Sumari (born September 3, 1982 in Arusha, Tanzania) is Tanzanian R&B-hip hop singer. She is the oldest of five children. Her younger sister, Nancy Sumari, was Miss Tanzania 2005 and Miss World Africa. In February 2008 she released her debut album, ‘Nervous Conditions’. The album did well on radio, but the follow up single, ‘Mr. Politician’ was a huge hit across east Africa. The video enjoyed wide rotation and made Nakaaya hugely popular. She has also worked as a goodwill Ambassador for the East African

Community and is now based in Kenya.

Wax – ‘Miss Real, Mr Regular’

Born in Cameroon and based in South Africa, 28-year-old Wax aka Nde Ndifonka, has made his mark across the continent as one of Africa’s most influential

youngsters, excelling as a social activist, humanitarian, renaissance writer and world-class musician. As a performer of relevance, he carries his messages of

love and compassion throughout the world. His first single ‘Miss Real, Mr. Regular’ is gaining wide recognition on commercial radio and TV stations across Africa.

Blu 3 – ‘Where You Are’

BLU 3 stands for Beautiful Ladies of Uganda and is East Africa’s hottest all-girl group made up of Mya Baganda, Jackie Chandiru and Lilian Mbabazi. The trio recently released their third album called ‘Be Free’. BLU 3 seamlessly blends English, Luganda and Swahili lyrics together into a melodic journey through various genres of music including R&B, Pop, Dancehall, Hip Hop, House and Afro Beat. With numerous chart topping hits and awards under their belts, these girls are headed for international stardom.

Nox – ‘Wandinoda’

Enock Guni a.k.a NOX was born on 6 September 1983 in Masvingo in Zimbabwe. He started singing at a very early age and he first got recognition in the mid 2000’s with a single called ‘Maria’. Nox is one of Zimbabwe’s most popular urban musicians and is also known for his flamboyant videos and high energy live performances. To date, he has recorded 4

albums and he is working on the 5th one. He also has an honors degree in marketing.

Redsan – ‘Yule Pale’

Redsan whose real name is Swabri Mohamed was born and bred in Kenya. He is the first African artist to introduce the new generation of dancehall reggae in Africa. He has performed with artistes like Sean Paul, Shaggy, Beenie Man, Brick and Lace, Keri Hillson just to mention a few. Redsan is the new era of dancehall reggae with international

cross over hits like ‘Yule Pale’, ‘Touch’, ‘Desire’, and ‘Wanipa Raha’. Redsan continues to put Africa in the light with his musical artistry

Dude Miyaki – ‘Format’

He was born to Nigerian parents in 1977 in Akoko South. At the age of 10 his father bought him a piano which was his first musical instrument. He has not looked back ever since.

Dudu studied broadcasting at the New York film academy. In 2008 he returned to South Africa and he linked up with an old friend who led him to a record label that was looking for a

Nigerian artist. Since then he made such an impression that he has become the glory of that label to date. Dudu, like his late father, also sings with his church choir.

About Martin Myers
Music Supervisor / Artist and Talent Manager / Publicist / Music Exchange Founder / Owner Triple M Entertainment

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