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Harmonize, Diamond Platnumz, Burna Boy "Kainama" (Youtube)

The 20 Best East African Songs of 2019

Featuring tracks from Harmonize, Diamond Platnumz, Sauti Sol, Irene Ntale, Ethic, Vanessa Mdee and many more.

2019 was a year full of positive growth for East African music. It saw many artists from the region make the necessary strides to take East African music to the next level.

The launch of new independent imprints continued to develop a class of budding stars. Sauti Sol's new Sol Generation label, for example, boasts a stellar roster that includes artists like Bensoul and Nviiri the Storyteller, who have topped the charts this year. =Tanzanian bongo flava heavyweight Harmonize left Diamond Platnumz' WCB Wasafi records and set up his own independent imprint called Konde Gang Music Worldwide. This is a dramatic move from the bongo flava superstar but it's exciting to see what he and his new label will offer in the coming year.

Follow our East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Nasty C. Photo: Sabelo Mkhabela.

Burna Boy, Nasty C, Stonebwoy, Nadia Nakai & More Win 2019 AFRIMA Awards

Check out the full list of this year's winners.

The sixth annual All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) took place last night at the Eko Convention Centre in Lagos, Nigeria.

The yearly celebration—not to be confused with the Afrikan Musik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA) which took place in October in Dallas—recognizes African musical talent from various regions of the continent. Several big name artists took home awards during last nights ceremony, which was hosted by Pearl Thusi and Eddie Kadi. Many nominees also performed at the AFRIMA Music Village Festival which took place on ahead of the awards show.

Burna Boy had a major night, winning Artist of the year and Best Male Artist in West Africa, while Tiwa Savage won Best Female Artist in West Africa. Nigerian newcomer, Joe Boy won Best Artiste in African pop. Ghanaian artist Stonebwoy won in the "Best Artist in African Reggae, Ragga or Dancehall" category.

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