Audio

Okayafrica's Top 15 Songs of 2015

We list the Top 15 Songs of the year, including tracks that made a big impact & lesser-known Okayafrica favorites we felt earned a mention.


As much of the world shifts to music streaming, the importance of the single continues to overshadow the album. Even in places that streaming hasn’t reached, it’s an artist’s most popular song that gets downloaded on cellphones and blasted from taxi cabs. 2015 saw many African acts, both new and established, continue to make their mark through these focused single releases.

The story of the year was a stack of West African collaborations with high profile American acts—Davido and Meek Mill, Don Jazzy and Jay Electronica, Sarkodie and Ace Hood, and, of course, Wizkid and Drake—which brought popular African music to American audiences and beyond. Other music scenes also struck gold, with Cameroonian club anthems rocking crowds worldwide and the South African underground continuing to break genre boundaries. All said, it's been 12 months of non-stop tunes.

The following is a list of tracks that have made a big impact this year, alongside lesser-known Okayafrica favorites we felt earned a mention. Read ahead for our Top Songs Of 2015 list, presented in no particular order.

Top Albums of the Year | Top 15 Music Videos of the Year | 20 Best South African Hip-Hop Songs of 2015

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Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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