Featuring Burna Boy, Asake, Ayra Starr, Wizkid, Kelvyn Boy, Oxlade and many more.
Afrobeats had another huge year as it made waves across both sides of the Atlantic ocean and beyond, always expanding its reach and influence.
This year, the sound further stamped itself into global markets as Billboard & Afro Nation launched the first-ever U.S. afrobeats chart, following last year's launch of the UK's own afrobeats chart. The American Music Awards launched its inaugural Favorite Afrobeats Artist category this year, which Wizkid took home. And it was even reported the the Grammy Awards were considering an afrobeats category.
Below, see our picks for The Best Afrobeats Songs of 2022, listed in no particular order.
Wizkid "Bad To Me"
"Bad To Me" was the lead single and highlight from Starboy Wizkid's new album More Love, Less Ego. The song P2J and Sammy Soso-produced song takes off with heavy underscores of amapiano influences blended with Wizkid's own afrobeats sound. Read our review of More Love, Less Ego here.
Burna Boy "Last Last"
African Giant Burna Boy took over airwaves across the world with "Last Last," a song that sample's American R&B singer Toni Braxton's hit single "He Wasn't Man Enough For Me." He also made his directorial debut with the single. Read our review of Burna Boy's Love, Damini here.
Asake had an incredible year. The Lagos-born star released his debut album Mr. Money with The Vibe got his major break with a number of hot singles like "Omo Ope," "Joha," and this one—"Organise"—cementing his sound and beginning his domination of 2022 in Nigerian music. Check our features on The Unquestionable Rise of Asake and 2022 Was the Year of Asake.
Kelvyn Boy "Down Flat"
Ghanaian singer Kelvyn Boy dropped a massive afrobeats hit right at the top of the year with "Down Flat," a sleek afrobeats and highlife fusion that performed madly worldwide.
Oxlade "KU LO SA"
Oxlade put his stamp on 2022 with the viral hit "Ku Lo Sa." The addictive afrobeats-tinged track was the Nigerian act's offering in collaboration COLORS Studios. For Oxlade this was all unplanned, but he was grateful that it all came about that way, he told us in an exclusive interview.
Rema "Calm Down"
Rema's "Calm Down" became a huge hit this year with its original single release—and later its Selena Gomez Remix. "Calm Down" is a guitar-led mid-tempo tune produced by Andre Vibez and London. “Calm down is about the events that led me to finding love at the time," Rema mentions. "It started at a party where I saw a girl who stood out from other girls so I felt like shooting my shot."
Mavins, Crayon, Ayra Starr, LADIPOE, Magixx & Boy Spyce "Overloading (OVERDOSE)"
Produced by Don Jazzy, the Mavin Records posse song, "Overloading (Overdose)," shines light on the individual talents of their roster as Crayon, Ayra Starr, Ladipoe, Magixx and Boy Spyce drop their own verses, while also showing collective team effort to bring the project to life.
Pheelz "Finesse" ft. BNXN
Pheelz had a breakout single with “Finesse,” which features BNXN (formerly known as Buju). He announced his signing to Warner Records with this single and its accompanying music video, shot by Director K. The song charted across the world and made it onto the Billboard Global 200.
Ayra Starr "Rush"
Ayra Starr's video for "Rush" is a fusion of vibrant hues, balanced with a mix of monochrome schemes. The music video showcases Starr's vast palette for fashion, and even highlights some signature Y2K looks that the singer has become known for.
Crayon "Ijo (Laba Laba)"
“’Ijo [Laba Laba]’ is a song intended to drive you to dance - regardless of your current predicament," Mavin Records artist Crayon explains about his massive single this year. "As colourful and bubbly as a butterfly, this is a song that lifts your spirit and soul. You should also appreciate the multicultural vibe by singing in multiple languages. This is music that soundtracks a carnival.”
Fireboy DML & Asake "Bandana"
Fireboy DML and Asake's "Bandana" is an inspirational tune in which Fireboy counts his blessings over a guitar riff and afrobeats percussion. It was the second single off Fireboy DML's 2022 album, Playboy.
Davido "Stand Strong" ft. Sunday Service Choir
Davido's "Stand Strong" is a soulful and gospel leaning single built on afrobeats percussion, for which he connected with Sunday Service Choir. "It was just a different feeling, a different kind of record," Davido told Apple Music, "I don't think I've ever released a record like that. But funny enough, my earlier records, before afrobeats and stuff, that's the kind of music I was geared to, like R&B, slow, soulful type stuff."
King Promise "10 Toes" ft. Omah Lay
King Promise released his much-awaited album 5 Star this year. “10 Toes,” the final single to precede the full project, features Nigerian singer Omah Lay, and together the duo issue an easygoing and melodic afrobeats bop accompanied with a fun-filled, colorful music video.
Mr Eazi "Legalize"
The love song and music video for "Legalize" captured the intimacy of Mr Eazi proposing to his longtime girlfriend, Nigerian actress Temi Otedola. Producers Michael Brun,E Kelly, and Nonso Amadi, all helped Eazi channel his love into the song. The visuals are set in Venice, Italy, where the couple got engaged back in April.
BNXN & Wande Coal "Kenkele"
BNXN (formerly known as Buju) connected with Nigerian heavyweight Wande Coal for the bouncy "Kenkele," the first taste we got off his upcoming project Bad Since 97. The uplifting SAK PASE-produced song is all about living the best life and follows both acts to a full spa day.
Ghana's Gyakie came through and broke a brief hiatus with "Something," one of the lead singles off her My Diary EP. “Something” sees her delivering sultry smooth vocals over mellow afro-fusion beat produced by Nigerian hitmaker P.Priime.
K.O "SETE" ft. Young Stunna, Blxckie
Veteran South African rapper K.O linked up with Young Stunna and Blxckie for "SETE," taken off his album SR3. The mid-tempo afrobeats-inflected track was produced by Nigerian producer Calliemajik Beats. "SETE" became one of the best-performing tracks in South Africa this year.
Patoranking "Kolo Kolo" ft. Diamond Platnumz
Nigeria and Tazania linked-up as Patoranking and Diamond Platinumz connected for "Kolo Kolo," an afrobeats head-nodder produced by Yung Willis. The song's Dar-es-Salaam-shot music video features Nigerian actress Nancy Isime as the love interest who has Patoranking going crazy.
Tekno's“JINJA" is buildt on a steady afro-fusion rhythm that pulsates as he goes in with his seductive croons. The accompanying video finds Tekno appreciating the fine and expensive things in life.
Nandy X Oxlade "Napona"
Tanzania’s Nandy teamed up with Nigeria’s Oxlade for an afrobeats-inspired single titled “Napona.” Nandy tries out a more pop-R&B sound with this track which talks about how her partner’s love literally “heals” her. Oxlade’s vocals compliment her delivery beautifully in this show-stopping East to West collaboration.
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