Here are the 23 best East African Songs of the year featuring Diamond Platnumz, Harmonize, Sauti Sol, Blinky Bill, Sheebah, Navy Kenzo and more.
For East African music, 2018 has been all about pushing boundaries in sound, and boosting the number of Pan-African collaborations.
The year kicked off with major album releases like Diamond Platnumz's A Boy From Tandale and Vanessa Mdee's Money Mondays. With a number of high-profile features from the likes of Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage and Nyashinski, Kenya's top band Sauti Sol continued the roll-out of their long-awaited Afrikan Sauce album. This peaked with the release of "Short & Sweet," which infected the region like a plague.
Diamond Platnumz' WCB Wasafi imprint reigned supreme over the scene this year. The company boasts a roster of the most popular artists in the region like Harmonize, Rich Mavoko, Queen Darlene, Lava Lava, Mbosso and Rayvanny. Their dominance in this part of the continent is undeniable, and with every new chart-topping single released, this impressive ensemble continues to revolutionize the face of East African music.
2018 also saw some exciting offerings from the new wave with club starters from rising artists like Brian Simba, Fik Fameica and Vinka. The year rounded off with noteworthy releases like Wanja Wohoro's afro-feminist Matriarch album and Blinky Bill's Everyone's Just Winging it & Other Fly Tales.
Overall it's been a year full of versatile and forward-looking releases and we can only expect it to get better in 2019.
Below are our picks for the Best EastAfrican Songs of the year. Listed in no particular order.