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Joeboy in "All For You." (Youtube)

BBC Radio's DJ Edu Picks His 10 Artists to Watch in 2020

DJ Edu, the host of BBC's new show This Is Africa, selects his 2020 artists to watch featuring Rema, Simba Tagz, Kabza De Small, Sheebah Joeboy, Innoss B and more.

DJ Edu has launched a new weekly show This Is Africa on BBC World Services.

The Kenyan-born, London-based DJ Edu will look to cover the best music from all corners of the African continent with spotlights on new artists and rising talent as well as the classics.

"It encapsulates everything I love about African music," DJ Edu mentions. "I'm really looking forward to, showcasing and sharing the great stories, music & culture coming out of young Africa with a new and existing audiences."

We asked DJ Edu to give us his picks for 10 Artists to Watch in 2020.

Check out his selections below.


Rema

"Rema was one of the most talked about young talents from Nigeria last year," says DJ Edu. "His diverse musical style makes him unique. One of his songs even appeared on Barack Obama's 2019 playlist."

Simba Tagz

Zimbabwe's Simba is a producer who has been making hit records for afrobeats superstars, while mixing and mastering their sounds too," DJ Edu memtions. "He's now adding being an artist himself to that list."

Sheebah

"Sheebah, from Uganda, is fiery and energetic with ambition to be great. She started as a dancer, performing for many of the popular Ugandan acts but is now ready to take centre stage and be counted," says Edu.

Joeboy

"Joeboy is gathering pace and already has two big anthems—'Baby' and 'Beginning'—under his belt, as well as a new EP. He's doing shows all over Africa so early in his career under the wing of Mr Eazi," DJ Edu mentions.

Kwesi Arthur

"From releasing his first song in 2015 to two EPs in 2017 & 2019, Kwesi Arthur has become one of Ghana's most popular young artists," states Edu. "His music and lyrics really connect with the youth."

Kabza De Small

"Kabza De Small is part of the amapiano movement from Jozi, South Africa and an understudy of legendary producer and self-proclaimed hit maker DJ Maphorisa," DJ Edu tells us.

Sho Madjozi

"Sho Madjozi is a rapper, singer, and poet who is into pushing the Tsonga culture through her music," explains DJ Edu. "She recently won Best New International Act at the BET Awards."

Vanessa Mdee

"Vanessa Mdee is already a household name already in Tanzania and the rest of Africa. She's now also dating Power star Rotimi, which could only help enhance her music reach further," says Edu.

Innoss B

"Innoss B is a dancer and singer from DR Congo who fuses Congolese music with popular genres," DJ Edu mentions. "He's also a skilled djembe player. Innoss B won a national singing competition and has already been on tour with Akon."

Tems

"Tems is a Nigerian singer-songwriter with a powerful voice quite similar to Tracy Chapman. She joined the ensemble in secondary school & recorded tunes each day with her senior sibling. There is where she got her drive," Edu states.


Tune in to DJ Edu's This Is Africa here

Interview

Interview: Adekunle Gold Channels Refreshing Truths Into Afropop

Adekunle Gold achieves an artistic freedom that most mainstream artists don't have through a smooth balance of introspection and club bangers.

A few years ago, Adekunle Gold broke out into the scene with a refreshing way of carrying himself, presenting his art and speaking his truth with music. His debut single "Sade" started this journey of chart topping releases, sold out shows, and the constantly evolving sound that graces African airwaves. Gold's self assurance made him stand out from the very beginning, as his sound was delivered with intent, compassion, and stuffed with personal truths.

Not many artists are willing to try new things with their music, and in order to maintain mainstream success, some cling to one sound, one image and direction often crafted from fragments of their first hit. These artists get stuck trying to recreate a capsule in time, while true artists are open to the dynamic of change, and the necessity of renewal.

Adekunle Gold is one of a handful in his profession who draws on a spectrum of experiences to make honest music which is consistent with the self-revelations of a growing man. This has become his biggest strength, allowing him to craft contemplative songs like "Sade" and "Oreke" and still create afropop magic like "Something Different"

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