AFRICAN'S BEST FEMALE SOUL SINGERS
The African sound is getting bigger with each passing day. This revolution has not become reality as a result of the saturation of talented acts in every corner of the continent alone, but because technology and strategic investments are finally shaking hands firmly with the talent and drive of stakeholders and players in the local music scenes all over to bridge the gap between Africa and the world. On the other hand,being a successful female musician and one of the best in a male-dominated industry is no easy task. It necessitates talent, prowess, effort, expertise, and a great deal of hard work. Despite the fact that being among the best musicians in the industry takes a lot of hard work, few female musicians have achieved this status over their female counterparts in music.
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Tiwa Savage was once a backing singer for icons such as Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, Ms. Dynamite and even George Michael. But now, she is the star… and a global star at that.
Her story began in Lagos, Nigeria. Born in 1980, Savage spent her childhood soaking up African culture and music before moving to London with her family aged 11. Here, she focused on her education, gaining a degree in accounting from the University of Kent before getting a job at the Royal Bank of Scotland.
It wasn’t long though until Savage found her way into music. After becoming a highly respected backing vocalist for some big names in the late ’90s, Savage entered the UK’s X-Factor and progressed to the latter stages. On the back of this, Savage felt compelled to quit her accounting job to embark on a new path that would change her life. In 2013, her debut album Once Upon a Time was met with critical acclaim. Her follow up album R.E.D in 2015 was just as successful and Savage was now a star in her own right. In November 2018, she became the first woman ever to win Best African Act at the MTV Awards.
Savage’s music blends afrobeat, R&B and reggae-pop, all rooted in African culture. Whilst the percussive sounds of her recent song Koruba conjure up warm feelings of Africa, songs like Dangerous Love (which she performed on her US TV debut) offer a more stripped-back R&B style slow-jam. Such displays of versatility have made Savage adored worldwide and her bilingual use of English and Yoruba has seen her reach audiences beyond the continent.
In recent years, Savage has used her platform as a global star to make a positive change in the world. As a campaigner and charity worker, she has been involved in projects such as youth empowerment programs, breast cancer screening projects, supporting victims of abuse and fundraisers to build schools in Africa. Kudos!
2. AYA NAKAMURA
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It’s no surprise to see Aya Nakamura’s name in the stars. From a family of griots, now it’s her time to tell her own stories with her astonishing voice.
Born in Mali in 1995, Aya comes from generations of West African oral storytellers. In an interview with Dazed she acknowledges the importance of her background, ‘I would never have found this path if my mother was not a griot. Her singing is very much part of my story.’ Only now, it is Aya Nakamura’s story that is making headlines. And for a Mali born, French-speaking artist named after a TV superhero, it’s one worth hearing!
Today, we are used to seeing Aya on stage, on billboards and in music videos, but she remembers how once upon a time she couldn’t have imagined such attention, ‘When I was a child, I said to myself, “There’s no chance I could ever do what my mom is doing.” She had such a strong, confident voice and presence; I was far too shy to even think of singing in front of a crowd myself.’
Aya’s music fuses together sounds associated with her life. From the percussive sounds and rhythms of West Africa, to the urban sounds of Paris. Whether it’s afrobeat or French zouk, Aya draws on her life experiences in her music. Her lyrics also utilize the blend of languages and dialects from her life such as Parisian argot, Bambara, Arabic and Malian. The result? A singer whose music is enriched with cultural diversity and variety. In years to come, when those back home in Mali sit around sharing stories, they will talk about Aya; the young girl from Mali who became an international superstar, born in Mali, made in France, always proud of her African roots.
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Juliana is better known as a Musician and a judge in East Africa’s biggest singing competition show Tusker Project Fame. Because of her beauty, contestants oftenly flirted with her. The singer from Uganda also does acting; having appeared in the movie ‘Kiwani’. Her biggest songs include usiende mbali, mpita njia and haturudi nyuma.
She has won many awards in Uganda and across the continent. She also receives beauty accolades, like in 2013 when Big Eye Magazine voted her one of the most beautiful Ugandan women of all time.
4.TINASHE JORGENSEN KACHINGWE
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Better known as Tinashe, she is an American singer-songwriter, dancer, record producer, and actress who was born on February 6, 1993.
Tinashe moved to Los Angeles as a child to pursue a career in entertainment after being born in Lexington, Kentucky to a Zimbabwean father.
Tinashe was a member of the girl group the Stunners from 2007 to 2011. After their breakup, she released the well-received self-recorded mixtapes in Case We Die (2012) and Reverie (2013).
Tinashe got a deal with RCA Records after their success and released her third mixtape, Black Water (2013). Her first single, “2 On” (featuring Schoolboy Q and produced by
Mustard), peaked at number one on the Rhythmic airplay chart and at number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Music critics acknowledged her debut studio album, Aquarius (2014), as one of the most “solid” debuts by a new female artist in years.
She was nominated for Soul Train and BET Awards for the album. “All My Friends,” her collaboration with Snakehips and Chance the Rapper, won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song in 2016.
Tinashe made an appearance on Britney Spears’ single “Slumber Party,” which topped Billboard’s Dance Club chart that year.
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Rebecca Acheampong was born in the Ghanaian town of Kumasi. Throughout her childhood, Becca was very involved in church and school activities. Rebecca Akosua Acheampomaa Acheampong was born on the 15th day of August 1988. She is a Ghanaian singer, songwriter, and actress who goes by the moniker Becca.
She grew in fame and stardom after competing in the second season of TV3’s annual singing competition Mentor. Her first studio album, Sugar, was released in 2007 and received five nominations at the 2008 Ghana Music Awards.At the aforementioned awards show, the album’s lead single “You Lied to Me” won Record of the Year. On May 16, 2013, Becca released her second studio album Time 4 Me.