From Nigeria to South Africa, established or rising, African pop stars are making hits. But to stay relevant in this age of information overload you have to be engaged on social media. And so we bring you 10 hot African artists to follow on Twitter.
The Nigerian-Cameroonian pop singer recently made waves (in a bad way) for pushing a skin lightening cream called “Whitenlicious,” our sister site Madame Noire reports. On Twitter, however, the “True Love” singer talks about religion.
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all… http://t.co/FE722Ne6A4
— Dencia (@IamDencia) February 23, 2014
The 33-year-old Nigerian singer is on track to become one of Africa’s biggest names this year, attracting global attention for his beats and also for hanging out with the likes of Jay-Z and Kanye West, although his relationship with the latter is reportedly on the rocks after he removed Kayne’s G.O.O.D. music logo from his Twitter profile on Monday. It had been there since 2011, but you’ll notice in the above photo it is missing.
His full name is Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, but the 24-year-old goes by “Wizkid” and is a serious hit-maker in his home country of Nigeria. And with more than 1.01 million followers (more than anyone else on this list) his verified profile is also a legit Twitter hit. He shares the love, interacting with his fan base:
A Nigerian actress and U.N. Ambassador for the World Food Program, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde is one of Nollywood’s hottest stars, but she’s also a singer with two pop albums under her belt. Despite being a celebrity with some 362K Twitter followers, Ekeinde still lists her personal e-mail, seen in the above photo, on her verified profile!
Another rising star from Nigeria, Burna Boy is the grandson of Benson Idons, who managed Afro-beat-legend Fela Kuti. Burna Boy is famous for his “patois-influenced dancehall” hits.
Reunited after a break and the death of a bandmate, this South African pop duo recently released an album that has been nominated for multiple 2013 South African music awards. Overall their tweets tend to be a bit generic, mostly pertaining to their performances, but the band also responds to tweets and makes sure to let fans know how much they are appreciated:
AGAIN Thank you sooo much for everyone who voted, we love and appreciate you all. — Mafikizolo (@MafikizoloSA) December 4, 2013
Winner of the 2012 BET Award for Best International Act: Africa, this singer from Ghana is famous for mixing hip hop with pop and rapping in his native language. He’s also pretty prolific on Twitter, having sent some 17,000 tweets since joining. Many of his tweets include photos like this one:
— sarkodie (@sarkodie) February 22, 2014
This Nigerian pop singer gained international acclaim for her soulful melodies and has opened for everyone from Beyonce to Snoop Dogg to John Legend. Her tweets are slightly less diverse. She mostly posts links to her Facebook and Instagram accounts:
Identical twins Paul and Peter Okoye, who signed with Akon in 2011, make up P-Square. The Nigerian duo are famous for their fusion of Western and African lyrics and beats. On Twitter, Peter is the chirpy one with the verified account pictured here.
One of South Africa’s most famous musicians, Johnny Clegg has been effortlessly blending African and Western pop lyrics and beats for decades now. He doesn’t appear to be super active on Twitter, however, having only tweeted 28 times since joining. The account listed here, however, is the one linked to his website so we have to assume it is legit.