Afrobeats is an African music genre that’s come a long way in the past decade.
It started a relatively small genre exclusive to Africa and parts of Europe (like France and the United Kingdom).
However, it has mushroomed to become one of the defining genres in global music; everyone knows Burna Boy, for instance.
Female Afrobeats artists have contributed significantly to this genre and deserve mention.
So, below are the essential female Afrobeats you should listen to today.
Tems, or Temitope Openiyi, is not a seasoned musician; she rose to fame in 2020 after featuring in Wizkid’s single “Essence.”
However, her career had a meteoric rise since then.
The 27-year-old Nigerian singer released two EPs and a slate of singles.
Her career highlight is her work on the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” soundtrack.
Tems covered Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” for the movie and co-wrote Rihanna’s song, “Lift Me Up;” the latter earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song.
The singer also became the first African musician to debut on the Billboard Top 100.
Her music blends Caribbean, American, and African influences to make a distinct sound.
Unlike Tems, Tiwa Savage is among the most seasoned female Afrobeats artists.
She released her debut album, “Once Upon A Time,” in 2013.
Her songs were so successful that Savage soon drew the attention of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.
In 2016, Savage signed a publishing and management deal with the entertainment agency.
Since then, she’s released two EPs and two studio albums, collaborating with international stars like Sam Smith, Brandy, and Stefflon Don.
Her music blends Afrobeats with pop, hip-hop, and R&B.
Savage’s moniker, The Queen of Afrobeats, is well-earned.
Yemi Alade is among the most prominent female Afrobeats artists you might not have heard of.
She is a superstar in Africa because she incorporates different African languages into her music, from Swahili to Portuguese, Yoruba, French, Igbo, English, and Pidgin.
Alade isn’t called Mama Africa for nothing.
She rose to fame in 2014 after her song “Johnny” became a hit.
Since then, she’s released three EPs and five albums.
Alade is also among the most critically-acclaimed female Afrobeats artists.
Her awards include:
- The Headies Award for Best Performer
- MTV African Music Award for Best Female Artist
- Independent Music Award for Best Album—World Beat
The influential singer also became the first female and second Afrobeats artist to reach 100 million YouTube views for “Johnny.”
20-year-old Arya Starr is similar to Tems in that they both rose to fame during the pandemic.
In Starr’s case, she achieved mainstream recognition in early 2021 for her debut EP.
Her lead single from the album, “Away,” reached number 17 on the Billboard Top Triller Global.
Starr’s music blends R&B with Afropop, and she sings in English, Yoruba, and Pidgin English.
She also sounds like Tems, though Tems’ sound is more alternative while Starr leans more towards an African sound.
Born Jacqueline Acheampong, Gyakie is a Ghanaian Afrobeats star.
She released her first song in 2019, “Love is Pretty.”
In 2020, the singer’s EP finally came out, and the lead single, “Forever,” was a hit in several African countries like Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana.
After the success of her EP, Gyakie signed with Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Music Africa, and RCA Records UK.
She released her second EP in 2022.
Gyakie might not have enjoyed the same highs as the previous artists, but she is among the female Afrobeats artists you should have your eyes on.
Nigerian-born Simi started her career by singing gospel, with her debut album, “Ogaju,” coming out in 2008.
However, she became famous in 2014 after releasing her single, “Tiff.”
The song received nominations and awards in Nigeria, and she signed with a local record label soon after.
Her music blends hip-hop, soul, and R&B.
Simi is also a multitalented woman; besides being an acclaimed singer-songwriter, she is also a professional sound engineer.
Tune In To The Biggest Female Afrobeats Artists
These female artists will add flavor to your playlist and have you dancing for hours.
They’ve flourished in a male-dominated genre and given us timeless hits.
Give the artists a try; you won’t regret it!