I was thinking about all the Top lists people would be compiling in the run up to the new year and decided I didn’t want to go down the list of top 10 hottest artists. Partly because it will have been done a million times over, partly because I’m too lazy to write a list of 10 and also because the “hottest” artists of the year will probably be artists who don’t need anyone championing their cause. So I’ve decided to do a Top 3 of independent artists of African origin who I feel are on the up and up (being of African origin myself I couldn’t resist the opportunity to show some support).
He’s been making music for almost a decade and he’s only 23! His sound has evolved from grime to a more mainstream sound, though he does offer up the odd grime track every now and again to show that he still has love for his original sound. ‘Star’ which features Fola , is a club friendly track with its dance fee, though my favourite of his singles this year is without a shadow of a doubt ‘The Quest’. It has a grime feel which keeps building and seems to develop a dubstep feel by the end. Its a great track, and content wise, if you hadn’t heard of DDark before now, you’ll know all you need to after he takes you through his ‘quest ‘ of the music industry so far!
Juliyaa is at number 2!
She recently won a Ghana UK Based Award (GUBA) for her music, which she describes as ‘Rythmic Soul’. I actually had the pleasure of seeing her perform at Flava Live’s end of year special, and my oh my did she perform. Her band were awesome one of the best on the night. Her single is rather befittingly titled ‘The Rhythm’ and it is packed abundantly with it. If someone dared you to stand perfectly still throughout this track you would most definitely be needing to do a forfeit. The drums are simple but effective, the lyrics what you’d expect but it all fits together to create a great track.
The top spot goes to the artist who is my favourite discovery of the year AKS!
His music has an old school hip hop vibe about it that is thoroughly refreshing and unlike the majority of rappers nowadays his content is actually thought provoking. ‘House Called Home’ really hones in on his sense of identity as a British born African, while ‘The Monologue’ takes you through his thoughts dreams and expectations.
Again I’ve been fortunate enough to see AKS perform live and he and his band were incredible. The fact that he even performs with a live band as opposed to simply using a backing track sets him out as different in itself. So when you couple that with the fact that the band is pretty damn awesome, and it isn’t very difficult to see why he made the top of my list!
He released ‘The Bus Stop EP’ earlier on in the year and I would seriously advise you to meet him at the bus stop because he’ll take you on a musical journey you shouldn’t miss.