Here's a list of 10 talented acts that we predict will have a great 2022.
Ghanian drill pastor Black Sherif burst onto the scene last year with the release of “First Sermon”, an energetic record retailing the realities of the hood. It’s however his follow-up, “Second Sermon”, that quickly moved him into the green rooms of the mainstream, positioning him as one of the brightest young talents on the face of the continent. “Second Sermon” went ahead to get a spirited remake with the African Giant Burna Boy and further spread the 20-year-old’s flaming gospel. The Kumasi-native has been spotted in the studio with different exciting acts and with rumours of his debut project coming sooner rather than later, there’s every cause to believe he’s going to have a big year.
Since his debut a couple of years ago, Azanti has been one to keep an eye on. His exciting and slightly unique take on Afropop and R&B, one which he fully displays on his self-titled debut project earmarked him as one for the future. The future might however be much closer than we think. In the last quarter of the previous year, the legendary producer Sarz put out a call on social media, asking artists to freestyle one of his unreleased beat to get a chance to work with him. A couple of days and several entries later, Sarz selected Azanti’s entry as his favourite and this earned the young singer an opportunity of a lifetime. While it isn’t clear if they’re working on a song or a body of work, whatever it is is enough cause for excitement and we can’t wait to see the next phase of an artist who has shown so much promise.
T.I Blaze’s year couldn’t have started in a much better fashion. “Sometimes”, his Tiktok viral hit got a massive upgrade a few days into the year when ace rapper Olamide jumped on the record, making it ー and consequently him ー instantly ubiquitous. His next showing, a splendid display on Panache’s “Pay Me” further gave the enigmatic singer a lot of momentum and much-needed attention which has set him up nicely for a very exciting year.
Just like T.I Blaze, Portable’s career was properly jump-started by an Olamide co-sign. Even though he had been gaining increasing traction on social media from his quick-fire freestyles, the Baddo-assisted “Zazoo Zehh” was what brought him to the consciousness of many. Since the release of the boisterous record, he hasn’t put his foot off the gas, releasing a new single almost every other week. The rapper and singer is definitely one of the more interesting success stories of the past few years and with his seemingly non-stop drive alongside his zany character, he looks to a great year ahead.
Just a couple of weeks ago no one knew much Khaid. That’s until he appeared next to SydneyTalker, one of the country’s biggest comics, who unveiled him as the first signing to his newborn label Neville Records. While not much is still known about the dreadhead singer, his latest single “With You” has created a fair buzz around him. The bouncy saccharine record is a strong statement from the Neville Records signee and it quietly positions him as one of the young, emerging acts looking to take the industry by storm once again.
If you have never heard about Tomilola, perhaps a good place to start is her 2021 single “Mo Yato”. The feel-good record sees the singer toot her own horn, telling everyone who cares to listen that’s she’s unique. And why not. Even though she’s had a fleeting presence up until this point, with just a couple of singles to her name, her silky smooth voice and ー most especially ー charismatic live performances definitely sets her apart. She performed in a handful of shows late last year ー The Cavemen, Show Dem Camp, Deji Abduls ー expertly working the audience and slowly announcing herself. Hopefully, she carries the momentum into this year and stamps her presence even more on a scene desperately pleading for something fresh.
Fave’s rise to fame has been well documented. The young singer started out with a number of DIY style video freestyles, garnering sizeable attention with her alluring voice. Several months and a couple of singles later, she earned a much-coveted spot on Olamide’s twelfth studio album UY Scuti. Ever since, her stock has massively risen, earning much-deserved attention and finally releasing her hit single “Baby Riddim” at the tail end of last year. She’s not taken her foot off the pedal since and she’s already released her debut project, just a couple of weeks ago, Riddim 5, a collection of warm Afropop and R&B-inspired records that have set her up nicely for a very thrilling year.
Victony is arguably the most popular face on this list. He had a fairly good year last year, all things considered. He finally got his big break with his incredible showing on Mayorkun’s hit single “Holy Father”. He also performed in just about every show last December, earning the plaudits and esteem that his unquestionable talents deserve. With the whirlwind of momentum he has managed to whip up, he looks prime to cement his place as a stalwart of the scene. Think of Buju’s 2021, that’s what he looks like he could have. And with rumours of a record with Burna Boy and an upcoming project, the sky is the limit for Victony in the coming months.
Ghanian neo-soul singer Ria Boss is one of Ghana’s best-kept secrets. The London-born artist has been releasing music since 2017 and has over 11 projects and a handful of singles to her name. Her soothing blend of ambient, R&B, pop and house music has evolved over the years and has positioned her as one of the more forward-thinking musicians around these parts. Her song titled “Intro” was featured on Michaela Coel’s HBO show “I May Destroy You” and her music has been gaining even more attention since then. She’s set to release her debut album “Remember” in the coming weeks and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the year would look like for the talented singer.
While Lagos is generally recognized as the hub of entertainment in the country, producing a good number of mainstream musicians around, Portharcourt over the last few years has had a growing reputation for also producing some of the country’s finest talents: Burna Boy, Omah Lay and Ajebo Hustlers. Another artist looking to burst out of the Portharcourt music pipeline is Novemba, a young and dynamic Afrofusion singer. The 20-year-old released his stunning debut project Novian Universe early last year. The 5-tracker packs a punch, mostly highlighting Novemba’s diversity and dynamism. He followed up the project months later with “Where You Dey”, another impressive showing that clearly shows his nifty ability and earmarks him as one to definitely look out for.