popular
Photo: Kartson Tannis.

100 Women: A Playlist of Our Favorite Female Artists & Anthems

Featuring Teni, Amaarae, Calypso Rose, Oumou Sangaré, Solange and many more.

The month of March marks OkayAfrica's annual celebration of African women with our 100 Women list.

The list is our effort to acknowledge and uplift African women, not only as a resource that has and will continue to enrich the world we live in, but as a group that deserves to be recognized, reinforced and treasured on a global scale.

These women are disrupting the status quo socially, economically, and politically. They are creating safe spaces for African women globally, driving technological and scientific advancements, pushing for inclusivity in television, film, art and media and steering us toward a more sustainable way of living.

SEE THE ENTIRE 100 WOMEN 2O19 LIST HERE

Following that spirit, the ladies from the OkayAfrica staff—and, by the way, we are mostly women—decided to select some of our favorite songs that represent women making an impact across the globe for a special new playlist. We'll also tell you why.

Our selections span from newer names like Amaarae and Summer Walker to classic songs from the likes of Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill, and Calypso Rose. There's also plenty of Teni in there.

Check it out below.

FOLLOW OUR NEW 100 WOMEN PLAYLIST ON SPOTIFY HERE AND APPLE MUSIC HERE.


Les Amazones de Guinée "P.D.G"

Les Amazones de Guinée is Guinea's first all-female band and one of the country's longest running groups. Their sound is simply impeccable and raw. I try to make a point to lend my ears to African women musicians of the past who, in their small way, paved a path for the women musicians today. —Antoinette Isama

Lauryn Hill "Everything Is Everything"

"Everything Is Everything" off her seminal 1998 album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill fuses different black genres – soul, R&B, gospel, hip-hop — in a way that mirrors just how all-encompassing Lauryn Hill is; from her music to her cultural significance to her look. Hill has a pan-African aesthetic; she could pass for a black person from any region of the world—West Africa, East Africa, the Caribbean, America, and her music resonates across these regions and generations. "Everything Is Everything" is about welcoming change and growth; a message that speaks to and for black women and girls, everywhere. —Ivie Ani

Teni "Askamaya"

This was my favorite Naija pop song of last year. It's a genre in which women don't get nearly enough recognition, but it's hard to deny the glittering appeal of this song and Teni's infectious energy. Plus, what better way to start a song than with a nod to the magnificent Anita Baker? — Damola Durosomo

Read: Teni the Entertainer Was the Breakout Star of 2018

TeaMarr "One Job"

It's the perfect anthem to dispel your belief in a (useless) man. Just when you need to remind yourself who you really are. And the visuals are amazing. —Oyinkan Olojede

Oumou Sangaré "Kamelemba"

Oumou Sangaré lyrics are always lessons and this song is no different. It's an ode to never give up but to also protect your heart from the riff raffs out here. —Sinat Giwa

Summer Walker 'Girls Need Love'

Highly obsessed with R&B newcomer, Summer Walker. "Girls Need Love" takes us back (but in a good way), to the classic contemporary R&B sounds we all know and love. Looking forward to seeing Summer flourish in her music career. —Olabisi Famakinwa

Little Simz "Offence"

I really appreciate the shit-talking on this song. Little Simz's lyrical dexterity is on full display here. It's the type of track you listen to when it's time to remind yourself who tf you are—we all need that sometimes! —Damola Durosomo

Queen Latifah "U.N.I.T.Y."

Queen Latifah broke rules with her 1993 track, "U.N.I.T.Y." Because of the song's positive and progressive message, back then, many radio and TV stations would play it without censoring the words "bitch" and "hoes." Touching on street harassment, domestic violence, both hip-hop's culture and society's mistreatment of women, the song asserted that black women and girls have autonomy, authority, and agency over their bodies, relationships, and lives. A message that resounds as clear today as it did two decades ago. —Ivie Ani

Amaarae "Fluid"

I'm a big fan of Amaarae's originality—she's such a vibe. A member of the buzzing alté music scene, I feel her music is a response to what the industry's expectation of a female artist should look and sound like. —Antoinette Isama

Solange "Binz"

I like that Solange's latest album "When I Get Home," encourages listeners to celebrate the unique places that define us, through the singer's own championing of her hometown of Houston. I enjoy her flow on 'Binz' and the line "I just want to wake up on CP Time" expresses one of my biggest life aspirations. — Damola Durosomo

Read: Solange's New Album Is a Portal Into the Spaces That Define Us

Calypso Rose "Leave Me Alone"

Calypso Rose's legacy alone speaks volumes. This vibrant melody has a smooth mixture of both old school calypso and the new age soca. The gist of the message: Let me free up!!! Simple as that. —Jasmine Michel

Niniola "Bana"

Niniola is one of my favorite artists and I'm pretty much obsessed with her sound. "Bana" is a bop. —Oyinkan Olojede

Rico Nasty "Countin Up"

Excuse the expletives, but Rico Nasty says it plain and I'm here for it. Her energy and focus to secure bags while ignoring the haters is #goals. —Antoinette Isama

Teni "Case"

"Case" is the cheesy afrobeats love song that I can get behind. It's been such a pleasure to watch Teni's growing success. —Oyinkan Olojede

Tiwa Savage "Ma Lo"

As soon as the beat drops, you can't help but dance. This song gives me mid-summer chill vibes. Definitely a classic. Tiwa Savage shows us once again why she's the reigning Afro Pop Queen. —Olabisi Famakinwa

Lauryn Hill "I Find It Hard To Say (Rebel)" (Unplugged)

A classic from Lauryn Hill. The whole album is very vulnerable and raw which makes it so beautiful. —Jasmine Michel

Teni "Fargin"

Teni is that chick. Her voice is so smooth and melodic on this track. The visuals and messaging for this song are awesome too. She's a breath of fresh air in the male-dominated afrobeats music scene. Teni's got next! —Olabisi Famakinwa

Seinabo Sey "I Owe You Nothing"

Behold! A mantra and a mood. —Sinat Giwa


Follow our new 100 Women playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


News Brief

Angelica Nwandu Is Launching 3 New Original Series on The Shade Room

The premier Instagram-driven platform covering all things black celebrity gossip is venturing into original programming.

Angelica Nwandu is set to take the impact of her platform The Shade Room to another level with new original programming, Variety reports.

The Nigerian-American founder and media mogul of the premier Instagram-driven publication covering all things black culture and celebrity gossip will be launching three new original series on the platform later this year.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

In Photos: A Sultry Evening Celebrating OkayAfrica's 100 Women at NYC's Top of the Standard

Here's what went down at our evening of community and celebration in this photo story.

OkayAfrica recently took over New York City's Top of the Standard to praise this year's 100 Women honorees for a sultry evening of community and celebration.

Over 350 VIPs and past honorees including Flaviana Matata, Maria Borges, Abrima Erwiah, Jojo Abot and Susy Oludele gathered for delicious bites and custom Courvoisier cocktails—like the Courvoisier French 75 (Courvoisier VS, lemon juice, simple syrup, Brut champagne, and garnished with a lemon twist).

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Davido's Fiancé, Chioma Rowland, Tests Positive For Coronavirus

The Nigerian musician made the announcement via a heartfelt Instagram post on Friday.

Chioma Rowland, the fiancé of star Nigerian musician Davido, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The artist shared the news via Instagram on Friday, writing that he and 31 people on his team decided to get tested after returning back to Lagos from abroad. While he and the rest of his team received negative results, Rowland's test came back positive.

"Unfortunately, my fiancé's results came back positive while all 31 others tested have come back negative including our baby," wrote Davido. He added that they both showed no systems, but would be self-isolating as a safety measure.

"We are however doing perfectly fine and she is even still yet to show any symptoms whatsoever. She is now being quarantined and I have also gone into full self isolation for the minimum 14 days," he added. "I want to use this opportunity to thank you all for your endless love and prayers in advance and to urge everyone to please stay at home as we control the spread of this virus! Together we can beat this!"

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Juls Drops New Music Video for 'Soweto Blues' Featuring Busiswa and Jaz Karis

The Ghanaian-British producer heads to South Africa for the music video for the amapiano-inspired track.

Heavyweight Ghanaian-British producer Juls shares his first offering of 2020, and it does not disappoint.

The producer enlists South African music star Busiswa and London's Jaz Karis for the jazz-inflected "Soweto Blues," which also boasts elements of South Africa's dominant electronic sound, Amapiano. The slow-burner features airy vocals from Karis who features prominently on the 3-minute track, while Busiswa delivers a standout bridge in her signature high-energy tone.

"The song dubbed "Soweto Blues" is a song depicting the love, sadness and fun times that Soweto tends to offer its people," read the song's YouTube description. The video premiered earlier today on The Fader. "The energy is amazing, the people are lovely and I've found a second home — especially the vibrancy of Soweto," the producer told The Fader about his trip to Soweto for the making of the video "Jaz Karis is singing a love song, which is symbolic of my new love of Soweto and I'm honoured to have worked with Busiswa whom I have been a fan of for a long time."

Fittingly, the music video sees Juls traveling through the township, taking in its sights and energy. The video, directed by Nigel Stöckl, features striking shots of the popular area and its skilled pantsula dancers.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.