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Burna Boy performs at SSE Arena Wembley on November 3, 2019 in London, England.

Here are the 2021 Global Music Awards Africa Winners

Burna Boy, Stonebwoy, Bella Shmurda, and more African artists have secured wins at the first ever Global Music Awards Africa.

Burna Boy, Stonebwoy, Bella Shmurda, and more musical artists from across Africa have bagged wins at the first ever Global Music Awards Africa (GMAAs). This follows after the GMAAs reportedly took place this past weekend in Accra, Ghana. The GMAAs debut took place virtually due to COVID-19 regulations and was broadcasted live with live performances from Sherifa Gunu, S3fa, Epixode, Star Zee and the Levites Band.


Read: Did South Africa's Anatii Win a Grammy For 'Brown Skin Girl'?

According to Music in Africa, Burna Boy who recently won a Grammy award for his album Twice as Tall received a GMMA for "Global Artist of the Year". Bella Shmurda was the popular winner of the night collecting two awards for his viral hit single "CashApp". He walked away with "Global Collaboration of the Year" and "Global Most Popular Song of the Year". Nigerian singer Teni won "Global Act of the Year". The win comes just after she dropped her albumWONDALAND.

Ghana is known for its dancehall artists and the category was heavily contested. Stonebwoy snatched the "Global Reggae- Dancehall Song of the Year" for his song "Journery" while "Dancehall Artist of the Year" went to Shatta Wale. Ghana's 25-year-old afro-pop artist, Awoskey, bagged the most coveted trophy, the "Global Afrobeats Song of the Year" for his single "Mama Prayer" which dropped late last year.

The awards celebrate Africa's best musicians while showcasing artists from the West African region. This year 20 artists from across Africa were nominated including Davido, Wizkid, Diamond Platnumz and Master KG.

Here is the full list of the 2021 GMAAs winners along with the nominees.

Global Hip Hop Song of the Year

"La Hustle" – Medikal ft. Joey B and Cris Waddle (Ghana)
"Madina" – Teflon Flexx (Ghana)
"Love from 233" – Kwesi Arthur (Ghana)
"Big Money" – Star Zee (Sierra Leone)
"Camuflaje" – D-Soulja (Equatorial Guinea)

Global Reggae/ Dancehall Song of the Year

"Big Money" – Star Zee (Sierra Leone)
"Journey" – Stonebwoy (Ghana)
"Dolla Bill' – Heph B (Nigeria)
"Shaming Enemies" – Buffalo Souljah (Zimbabwe)
"Choppings" – Shatta Wale (Ghana)

Global Reggae/ Dancehall Artist of the Year

Shatta Wale (Ghana)
Star Zee (Sierra Leone)
Buffalo Souljah (Zimbabwe)
Burna Boy (Nigeria)
Stonebwoy (Ghana)
Heph B (Nigeria)

Global Afrobeats Song of the Year

"Vibe" – Flo-Eazy (Ghana)
"Best Friend" – Kelvyn Boy (Ghana)
"Agbemator" – De Gate Zion (Ghana)
"All Access" – Terror- D ft. Emmerson (Sierra Leone)
"Mama Prayer" – Awoskey (Nigeria)

Global Afrobeats Artist of the Year

Flo-Eazy (Ghana)
Kelvyn Boy (Ghana)
Terror-D (Sierra Leone)
Awoskey (Nigeria)

Global Best Video of the Year

''Here For You'' – Vanilla Karr (Equatorial Guinea)
''Waa' Santrinos'' – Raphael ft. Zeynab (Togo)
''Tevunya'' – Sheeba Karungi (Uganda)
''Big Money'' – Star Zee (Sierra Leone)
''Without You'' – Awoskey (Nigeria)
''Whatsapp'' – Nick Mba (Equatorial Guinea)
''On God'' – D'Tee (Nigeria)
''Camuflaje'' – D- Soulja (Equatorial Guinea)
''Goddess'' – Tiisha (Goddess)
''Wildin'' – Mmzy (Nigeria)
''Favour'' – Nanky ft. Sarkodie (Ghana)
''Litty Lit'' – Cuppy ft. Teni (Nigeria)

Songwriter of the Year

Mr Leo (Cameroon)
Leczy (Nigeria)
Master KG (South Africa)
DobleJota NM (Senegal)
Nedy (Tanzania)
Betty G (Ethiopia)
Buju (Nigeria)
Jerry Jeyco (Tanzania)

Producer of the Year

Mr Jassiq (South Africa)
KillBeatz (Ghana)
Scarfboy (Nigeria)
MOG Beatz (Ghana)
Dave Da Music Box (Ghana)
Ivan Beatz (Ghana)
Spon Key (Ghana)
Vinny Kay (Ghana)

Record of the Year

''All Access'' – Terror- D ft. Emmerson (Sierra Leone)
''Idol'' – Leczy (Nigeria)
''Duduke'' – Simi (Nigeria)
''Ya Disponible'' – Obote Oberadaboo (Equatorial Guinea)
''Jerusalema'' – Master KG (South Africa)
''Amen'' – Neny (Tanzania)
''Amégan'' – Afia Mala (Togo)

Hiplife/ Hip Hop Artist of the Year

Leczy (Nigeria)
Nick Mba (Equatorial Guinea)
Minks (Cameroon)
King Gizee (Nigeria)
Nanky (Ghana)

Global Male Vocalist of the Year

Phantom Steeze (South Africa)
Leczy (Nigeria)
Bella Shmurda (Nigeria)
Fistong (Equatorial Guinea)
KiDi (Ghana)
Paul Fortune (Kenya)
Reynolds The Gentleman (Ghana)
Chike (Nigeria)
Famaso (Equatorial Guinea)

Global Female Vocalist of the Year

Vanilla Karr (Equatorial Guinea)
Sheebah Richer (Uganda)
Simi (Nigeria)
Efya (Ghana)
Teni (Nigeria)
Nana Ama (Ghana)
Cuppy (Nigeria)
Betty G (Ethiopia)
Midje La Mia (Equatorial Guinea)

Global Female Act of the Year

Teni (Nigeria)
Cuppy (Nigeria)
Betty G (Ethiopia)
Afia Mala (Togo)
Midje La Mia (Equatorial Guinea)

Global Male Act of the Year

Eddy Kenzo (Uganda)
Bella Shmurda (Nigeria)
Mr Leo (Cameroon)
Kuami Eugene (Ghana)
Leczy (Nigeria)

Global Best Group of the Year

DopeNation (Ghana)
Sauti Sol (Kenya)
Ethic Entertainment (Kenya)
Masar Egbari (Egypt)

Global Rapper of the Year

Yaa Pono (Ghana)
Terror-D (Sierra Leone)
Strongman (Ghana)
Medikal (Ghana)
Flowking Stone (Ghana)

Global Collaboration of the Year

''Chameleone'' – Slick Stuart ft. DJ Roga (Uganda)
''Dwe'' – Mr Drew, Krymi, Sarkodie (Ghana)
''Monica'' – Santrinos Raphael ft. Stonebwoy (Togo/Ghana)
''Cash App'' – Bella Shmurda, Zlatan and Lincoln (Nigeria)
''Tugende Mu Church'' – Lexvivone ft. Daddy Andre (Uganda)
''Ulazi'' – Mr Jazziq ft. 9umba (South Africa)

Global Most Popular Song of the Year

''Putuu'' – Stonebwoy (Ghana)
''Jerusalema'' – Master KG (Southafrica)
''Open Gate'' – Kuami Eugene (Ghana)
''Cash App'' – Bella Shmurda, Zlatan and Lincoln (Nigeria)
''Say Cheese'' – KiDi (Ghana)

Album of the Year

Thug Diaries – Yaa Pono (Ghana)
Son of Africa – Kuami Eugene (Ghana)
Twice As Tall – Burna Boy (Nigeria)
Boo of the Booless – Chike (Nigeria)
Unity – Buffalo Souljah (Zimbabwe)

Global Artist of the Year

Burna Boy (Nigeria)
Kuami Eugene (Ghana)
Shatta Wale (Ghana)
Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)
Davido (Nigeria)
Wizkid (Nigeria)
Sarkodie (Ghana)
Nasty C (South Africa)
Master KG (South Africa)
Vanessa Mdee (Tanzania)
Nutty Neithan (Uganda)
Stonebwoy (Ghana)
Simi (Nigeria)
Eddy Kenzo (Uganda)

Ghanaian Act of the Year (Male)

Flo-Eazy
Kiaani
Nabil Forever
Epixode
Zack GH
Maccasio

Ghanaian Act of the Year (Female)

Fantana
Cocotrey
Akiyana
Jayana
Tiisha
Queen Haziel
S3fa
Kanea
Yaa Jackson

Most Influential Ghanaian Act of the Year

Mr Drew
Amerado
Black Sheriff
Fameye
Abena Serwaa Ophelia
Kweku Flick
Yaw Tog

Emerging Ghanaian Artist of the Year

De Gate Zion
Zeezy
Tiatan
Bruno Kay
Klarah Kay
Reggie
Street Xervice
Kay Stagger
Lxrd Xoey
Mighty

Ghanaian Discovery Artist of the Year

YT Soldier
Bruno Kay
King Prinz
Freddy X
Bekey Mills
Donsam
Kryspaddy
Chobo Waguan
Greatnexx Music

Young Ghanaian Artist of the Year

Righteous Vandyke
Khojo Chavse
Chobo Waguan
Pappy Kubi
Kofi Wysi
Eric Oppong
CZ
Wiz Papiz
Plexzo

Best International Act

Leflyyy (Ghana/ Switzerland)
Beenie Man (Jamaica)
Spice (Jamaica)
Gramps Morgan (Jamaica)

Special Recognition Awards

Bice Osei Kuffour (Ghana)
Reggie Rockstone (Ghana)
Nana Ama (Ghana)
Daniel Kofi Amoateng (Ghana)

Global Gospel Song of the Year

''Celebrate'' – Levixone (Uganda)
''God Alone'' – Joe Praize (Nigeria)
''W'asem'' – Diana Hamilton (Ghana)
''Revival'' – Minister Michael Mahendere (Zimbabwe)
''Jesus Over Do'' – Empress Gifty Osei (Ghana)
''Worthy to be Praised'' – Prospa Ochimana (Nigeria)

Gospel Artist of the Year

Levixone (Uganda)
Diana Hamilton (Ghana)
Joe Praize (Nigeria)
Minister Michael Mahendere (Zimbabwe)
Empress Gifty Osei (Ghana)
Prospa Ochimana (Nigeria)

Interview

Interview: Ajebo Hustlers Are Port Harcourt’s Latest Cherished Export

We talk to the rising duo about breaking into the Nigerian mainstream with hit tracks like "Symbiosis," "Barawo," and "Loyalty," and their upcoming project, Bad Boy Etiquette 101.

It’s easy to forget the dark realities that still plague most African countries when looking through the lens of their rising global stars. The fame of artists like Wizkid, Kizz Daniel, and Olamide, is also said to cloud the economic, social, religious, and civil problems that affect everyday citizens and their harsh realities.

Artists emerging from these harsh realities bring a different essence to how they create, crafting their stories with vivid detail, eager to share with the world what they’ve been through and why they should be heard. Their talent is being fueled by a rage to escape what they’ve seen. Coming from a nation that produced one of the most radical speakers of his time, Fela Kuti, it's not hard to understand why music as a form of protest easily runs in the blood of the country’s music veins.

This is why when an artist breaks out from this system, much is to be celebrated especially when you come from heavily exploited regions like Port Harcourt. Indigenes of Nigeria’s infamous home of crude oil often rue the mineral’s presence because of its impact on their land and people. Thick black smoke billows into the sky on a daily basis, polluting the entire ecosystem, and making the Port Harcourt dream to rise above these fumes.

Like phoenixes rising from the ashes, the duo of Piego and Knowledge, known as Ajebo Hustlers, represent hope for a generation of creators from this region. Making music that seeks to probe your awareness of their realities, accompanied with the right rhythms to beckon listeners to move their bodies. They found their sound and stuck to it, following the footsteps of other Port Harcourt stars like Timaya and Burna Boy, who have similar approaches, and have ascended to the famed halls of Nigerian music stardom.

We spoke to Ajebo Hustlers about their come-up, how growing up in Port Harcourt shaped their lives and music, breaking into mainstream Nigeria with hit tracks like "Symbiosis," "Barawo," "Loyalty," and their upcoming project.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Interview

Fireboy DML On Embracing His Inner 'Playboy,' Stepping Outside & Learning to Let Go

On Playboy, Fireboy moves further away from his previous records and embraces the mainstream afrobeats sound hinted in recent hits like "Peru" and "Bandana." We sit down with the Nigerian star to talk about his new album.

“I would like to discuss my forthcoming album only, nothing else. That is where my headspace right now.”

Nigerian superstar Fireboy DML draws up the rules of engagement as soon as we get on a Zoom call. The notoriously reticent singer, fresh from enjoying the biggest year of his musical career, powered by the international breakthrough of his single "Peru," is checking in from London. The city has become somewhat of a second home for him of late and it is here that Fireboy is ensconced while getting ready to kick off promotional activities for his third studio album, Playboy, which arrived last Friday.

The 14-track album comes almost two years after Fireboy’s last pop effort, Apollo ,which in turn was released about nine months after his stellar debut, Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps. On Playboy, Fireboy moves further away from his previous records and embraces the mainstream afrobeats sound hinted in recent hits like "Peru" and "Bandana," with newbie Asake.

He tells OkayAfrica about putting the album together below.

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Photo Credit: Mous Lamrabat

Mous Lamrabat’s New Exhibition Captures the Necessity Of Peace, Women’s Rights and Humor

The Moroccan-Belgian photographer uses his new exhibition to express thoughts he has always wanted to express

Belgian-Moroccan photographer Mous Lamrabat is a world builder. In his new exhibition, Lamrabat found solace in a perfect place in his head where he calls his very own “Mousganistan,”

The exhibit, titled “Blessing from Mousganistan”, opened in the Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam (Foam) in June and will run until October 16. The exhibit expresses contrasting vibrant color, obscure symbols and bold utopia. For Lamrabat, aligning creativity with his identity has always been his greatest signature. And not because he’s keen on highlighting the innermost Moroccan part of himself, which can be viewed from a myopic lens. But he’s more than just Moroccan, African and Muslim. In the last couple of years, Lamrabat has been one of the prominent photographers bringing his culture to the forefront of fashion editorials including Vogue, GQ and Fucking Young. His ideas are simply refreshing, new and audacious.

In this new exhibition, Lamrabat reels people into his world and past experiences — both stereotypes he has always wanted to deconstruct and stories he has always wanted to share. Lamrabat invites viewers into past experiences of growing up in Belgium and watching the reactions of people towards his mother and sisters because they wore hijabs. He also captures that melancholic pain but from a triumphant narrative.

OkayAfrica had a phone call with the photographer and he spoke about the exhibition, what it meant to him, working in the fashion industry and building an audience.

Mous Lamrabat headshot

Photo Credit: Dimitri Bekaert

You are one of the prominent photographers from Northern Africa, how did your journey as a visual artist emerge?

I feel my journey as an artist is still starting. I studied interior design at the KASK & Conservatorium / School of Arts Gent, Belgium. My father was a creative person and that's why I wanted to enter the academy and do something creative but when I arrived at the academy, I realized that I wasn’t actually as creative as the other kids who grew up having their parents take them to the museum and who were in touch with their innate creativity at an early age. I didn’t have that kind of opportunity because my parents were first generation immigrants. They didn’t go to museums or even know what art actually was.

When I went to school there, I felt at home because there were kids in the hallway painting. There were some people playing music and I really felt like I belonged there and I really wanted to prove that I belonged there. I learnt very fast how to be creative and how to become the expectation of my teachers. It felt like I was infected with the creative virus, I wanted it to be so good. When I finished my study, I was asked by an architectural company to come join their team, but I didn’t do that because I wanted to be creative every day. Architecture is a little bit of creativity and the rest is technical and I didn’t want that for myself. So I declined all the job offers and I went to assist a local photographer as an assistant

Your work revolves around stories of identity, especially life as a Moroccan. Can you say more?

Growing up Moroccan, African, and muslim in Belgium, I wanted to belong and be part of a group. Every person in the Western world has this crisis with sticking to their roots or joining mass of people, that feeling of leaving behind heritage. For me , I didn’t have to choose between these things because it’s like society tells us the truth but we basically don’t have to choose. That’s why I started doing my own thing within photography, showing who I am as a person, what my interests are, and how I grew up. I mean I am African, I am Moroccan, I am Muslim but I also grew up in a world where I use to love playing basket ball, listening to hip-hop — all these things made me who I am and the total of it made me strong. Inside the house, we were Moroccan, we took off our shoes, the house looked Moroccan but outside was Belgium.

Mous Lamrabat

Photo Credit: Mous Lamrabat

What was the inspiration behind “Blessings from Mousganistan”?

"Mousganitan" started off as a bit of a joke. I always felt like if you wanted to do something different from everybody else and not be judged, then you don’t necessarily need to share that idea because we all do have ideas. For me, when you tell people your ideas, people always have an opinion and you tend to adapt to what they say which affects your creativity. I feel like every creative person needs to have a made up place where they create raw ideas of what they want to do without being affected by the outside place. So my Mousganistan is a place I go to become creative because there are no opinions from people.

Mous Lamrabat photo durags

Photo Credit: Mous Lamrabat

In one of the portraits, a star sign can be seen on the muses’s head. Is there a meaning to this?

Everything I do is always personal and it also revolves around things happening in the world that bothers me and have an effect on me and my creative process. When there was a lot of unrest in the Middle East between Pakistan and Israel, it was really something that tore us apart. Jewish and Islamic people have always been brothers biblically because we are children of the book. This is why sometimes I put together things to have that message out. For me that photography was putting Judaism and Islam in one image to bring it back together and have conversations about it. I wanted people to see the unison between both religions and understand that photographic intent of promoting peace.

Was the series a means to emphasize on women’s rights?

When I talk about women’s rights, I mostly speak about my own experience. Experiences about my mother in the supermarket because my mother wears a hijab and how the people react to her is uncomfortable. It hurts me to see that people treat and see them as less and this is something I will always contribute my work to, to give people like my mother and sister a representation.

There is a portrait in this exhibition of two boys catching a grip of flowers. Was that your attempt to speak about masculinity and what it looks like in Morocco?

It’s not exactly like masculinity because the series was inspired by old paintings and I was looking through the inspiration of my past work and it gave me the aura of trying something new from the old. I never explain my work in exhibitions. Most of the time I hear a lot of people talk about my work and their interpretations, and I learn so much from them because I realize there is more to my work than I expect it to be. So that’s why I love that you interpreted the photo to be a view on masculinity. Maybe it resonates with you as a person or maybe it makes you think about masculinity.

Mous Lamrabat clown

Photo Credit: Mous Lamrabat

The collection had a portraiture of clowns, was this an inclination to capture humor.

I was always intrigued by clowns because I love emotions. Clowns have always been an inspiration because they exude happiness and joy. But I always found clowns sad sometimes but that’s not what they are invented for. I love playing with clown photos because there are so much emotions there. I always try to put humor in them because if you make someone feel something when they look at your photo, they would remember it because of the emotions in the photos. And my favorite one is humor because laughter is important, and I want to put messages inside my photos but I always try to do it on a positive note.

Mous Lamrabat mother

Photo Credit: Mous Lamrabat

Have you ever had to compromise or wrestle with toning down your Arabic imagery in your photography to please certain eyeballs?

I would be lying if I said no. I never took the audience as an issue. If I ever had a reaction, it has only been on social media because whenever I do exhibitions, the people that come have a certain intelligence to understand the scenery of my exhibition. It’s not just one photo that they see in an exhibition, it consists of the total. But on social media, when I post a photo, people always have something to say about my work or share their opinion. I didn’t compromise that much honestly because I felt my work was growing quite fast. I don’t want to compromise but if I don’t, I get these reactions that don't sit well with me because I’m kind of a soft person. When a person talks bad about my work, it feels like they talk bad about my children. I’m very passionate about what I do. I feel like I would compromise more but I hope I won’t.

Would you say the creative world has been more accepting of photographers like yourself or do you face certain barriers?

I think so, yes. The creative world is in need of inspiration and when you do something refreshing and new, people get attracted to it. If I see some people’s art which sometimes I love and sometimes I don’t but if it’s something super refreshing, I automatically respect it whether I like it or not. That’s also the part of the respect I get from the creative world because my work was something people never saw before and that’s why they respect me and want to exhibit me.


Music
Image by @signaturebyKam

Listen: Mádé Kuti Pleas For 'No More Wars' In Latest Single

The Grammy nominated singer-songwriter blends easy listening with a powerful message in his first drop of 2022 so far.

Nigerian musician Mádé Kuti has released his first single of the year, and it comes with an important message.

The latest of the Kuti dynasty to break into the music scene, Grammy-award nominated Mádé releases his new single "No More Wars," via Partisan Records. The groovy track is the first in a series of singles the singer will be releasing before the end of the year. It's the first time we've heard from Kuti since he joined his father, world-renowned Afrobeat ambassador Femi Kuti, on their joint venture, Legacy +.

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