Free Download: 6 Fastest Growing Artists in West Africa

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By Kinyua Mwangi

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Music in West Africa is a big trade, thanks to a rapidly growing crop of artists with a special appeal to the masses, not to mention Afrobeats reigning supreme.

From its Nigerian origin, the genre has given birth to new afro-fusion genres which greatly spur the growth of the West African music industry.

Coupled with other regional genres such as highlife, hiplife, Asakaa, pop and drill, the musical landscape hasn’t had much of a choice other than evolving. Overall, the increasing investment in this industry has also motivated artists to create music that is at par with international standards.

Mdundo digs deep into the fastest-growing artists in West Africa. 


TAR1Q (TAH-reek) is a Nigerian singer-songwriter signed to Nutrybe, a development academy under Chocolate City Music where he honed his creative writing skills. Blessed with smooth vocals and electrifying stage presence, he is rapidly becoming the king of Afro rhythm, a relatively new genre.

It is this genre that infuses modern Afrobeats, Pop, Hip-Hop, and vintage R&B that makes him so famous. Some of his most popular songs include Bad intentions, Signal and Emotions.

To date, he looks to Wizkid, J. Cole, Kwam 1 and Chris Brown as his mentors in music.

Young Jonn

You probably knew about Young Jonn from these popular hits under his belt; Xtracool, Dada Remix, Normally, If you leave and many others.

The Ibadan-born artist started off as a producer for Afropop and transitioned to an artist who enjoys unbridled success.  His artistic mind is behind some big songs such as Mafo (Naira Marley), "Bobo, and Story for the Gods (Olamide (Baddo) and most recently Don't Call Me (Lil Kesh).


The Nigerian rapper is another creative mind signed by Chocolate City music. His passion for music goes way back to when he was 13 years old. He rapped really well and but his parents disapproved his career path of pursuing music at first.

It was at the Obafemi Awolowo University that his passion for rapping went full-blown after partaking in several rap battles. He then capitalized on the power of social media where he posted many of his freestyle raps and he became an internet sensation.

Before long, he was already a mainstream rapper with powerful street raps such as. Fashiona, Back in Uni, Commander, Whistle, and Go Home.

Candy Bleakz

Candy Bleakz wears many hats; that of a rapper, songwriter and actress and she shines in all of them. Her brilliant lyricism earned her ‘The Queen of the Streets’ moniker and she proudly wears it.

Her songwriting skills go back to her younger days as a high school student. But it was her victory at Lagos Got Talent that thrust her into a full music career courtesy of MI Abaga who was then CEO of Chocolate City.

Today, when you hear songs like Tikuku, Red and Dragon Anthem, and Kelegbe, you see how powerful of a force she is in West Africa’s rap industry.


Major AJ is a rapper and an Afrofusion singer born in Okpokwu Local Government in Benue State. Through his church choir and his early exposure to Hip-hop and Afrobeats, he developed a lifelong passion of music. He couldn't start a career in music until 2019, though.

While a student at the University of Ilorin, where he majored in computer science, he developed a love for the hip-hop genre as a result of listening to artists like Lil Wayne, Ice Prince, Choc Boys, and a host of others. It is then that he started rapping and composing songs like Ominirascal, Taboo, and Superstar.

Noon Dave

Noon Dave is another top talent from Chocolate City. Growing up in Lagos exposed him to the glitz and glamour of music. He listened to many genres in his teenage years which evolved to a wonderful fusion of sound as his signature style as a multi-genre artist.

J.Cole, Burna Boy, Drake, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Bryson Tiller and Partynextdoor inspired him to do music. And the result of their mentorship is Brunch, a sizzling single he released.


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