As 2019 winds up, new kids on the block – among them Joeboy and Rema – are lined up to help us usher in the season of year-end concert thrills. But just who else is threatening the status quo in the music industry?
At 22, breakout Nigerian singer Joeboy is rocking the international music charts with his hit song Baby (Visualizer). The single, which was released earlier this year, has been a hot number on DJ mixes, and garnered more than 20 million streams across YouTube and Spotify.
And Joeboy is also making international headlines, the latest being a feature carried by Rolling Stone after the release of his latest song, Don’t Call Me Back, a collabo he has done with Mayorkum.
“I was really into this girl. She doesn’t like me no more. She’s on to another person. I feel bad about it, but at the end of the day, I tell her not to call me back when she finds out I’m with someone else, too,” the singer told Rolling Stone.
Joeboy [Photo: @joeboyofficial]
“People are like that some times,” Joeboy went on about the song that deals with the potentially vengeful aftermath of a relationship.
“Once they find out you’re OK without them, they want you back.”
Joeboy [Photo: @joeboyofficial]
Having been discovered during the emPawa Africa talent incubation initiative last year, the talented lad released Baby, a track that promptly charted on Apple Music in a number of countries. He then released Beginning, another romantic single that is as big as the first song.
It is no wonder that Pulsers are eagerly waiting for the cool cat who is expected in Nairobi on November 30 for the much-awaited NaiFest, a concert that will be held at Ngong Racecourse.
Aimed at celebrating the Nairobi music culture, the show will be held only a week before yet another big event for Pulsers, Thrift Social, which will feature yet another break-out Nigerian singer, Rema. Sharing the stage with him will be Niombee singer Bensoul, Xenia Hiribae and Taio. The December 8 concert will be held at Waterfront Karen Mall.
Born Divine Ikubor, the Afrobeats 19-year old star who has won the hearts of many teens has been a hot sell this week after he released his new single, Lady. Signed to Mavin Records, Rema has been on a steady rise since last year after the release of Iron
Man, a song that appeared on Barack Obama’s summer playlist this year. His EPs include Rema, Rema Freestyle and Bad Commando.
Rema [Photo: @heisrema]
In 2013, Rema and his friend Alpha P formed a group called RnA. The group’s name is a combination of the first letters of their stage names. The group won season two of Pikolo’s Dream Alive talent show. They signed a record deal with Peak Entertainment shortly afterwards, and released their debut single Mercy. The mid-tempo song was recorded at Dream Alive Studio in Benin City. The music video for Mercy was directed by Whyte House Pictures. The group gained minor exposure following their performance at the Glo Slide and Bounce concert series in Benin and Lagos. Rema then signed a record deal with Jonzing World, a subsidiary of Mavin Records.
But it was after the artiste went solo last year that he started drawing the spotlight. After releasing his eponymous debut EP Rema, it peaked at number one on Apple Music Nigeria.
The spotlight on young 2019 talents has not just been about Nigerian cool kids. Right here at home, young music talent has not been difficult to identify.
It has been a good year for this hot girl who got into the limelight last year after releasing her Bad Bad and Facetime singles. In fact, she is arguably one of the hottest kids on the block thanks to her recent releases, such as If They Dunno, a diss-track aimed at Tanasha Donna
READ ALSO: Bey T: Tanasha Donna’s music is trash
Bey T [Photo: @yungbeyt]
“The reception has been good so far. Some hate but I do my best to amplify the love. There are still a lot of psychological barriers that need to be broken in terms of Kenyan mindsets though. We have the potential to be international if only we embrace our own,” she told Pulse during a recent interview.
“I feel good about my accomplishments. When I started singing, it all looked unrealistic and my parents were not very supportive. I am happy I stayed true to my craft.”
At just 20, she has managed to secure a spot for herself with her alternative Kenyan sound and a string of hits under her belt. Her major cameo on Khaligraph Jones’ latest instalment of his Khali Cartel cypher series further cemented her place as a lyrical goddess to keep a keen eye on.
Bey T [Photo: @yungbeyt]
Just like Joeboy, Bey T was also picked to represent Kenya at the emPawa Africa mentorship programme boot camp held in South Africa, courtesy of Mr Eazi.
“The one problem that I have noticed with the industry is that female rappers are being overly sexualised. I think it is sad and pathetic, honestly. It harms your soul. My self-worth should not be based on what my body can do for me. Stripping naked to sell records is not cool and the feminists can feel free to come for me if they want to,” she said.
He is one of the pioneers of the ‘Shrap’ movement in the country. Together with his protégés, the Alliance Domini Family, the skinny lad’s punch lines will give you an absolute eargasm.
Boutross Munene [Photo: @boutross_munene]
Munene rose to prominence after featuring on Octopizzo’s Tergat Gang hit, and has gone on to churn a number of hit records, the latest being the Barak Jacuzzi collabo, Bank. If such releases are anything to go by, Munene is bound to fully reign supreme on the hip-hop scene.
The year could not have been better for this Houston, Texas native. Revered for her over-the-top confidence and plus-sized physique, the singer-rapper burst into the scene earlier this year and gained massive popularity, thanks to her catchy records and larger-than-life personality.
Lizzo Beating [Photo: @lizzobeeating]
But it was not until her Truth Hurts empowerment record that it became clear beyond question that hers was a bona fide takeover. The song came out in 2017, but was only catapulted up the charts after her performance at this year’s VMAs (Video Music Awards), ultimately peaking atop the Hot 100 and shattering several records. As if those are not enough milestones, she just landed her first ever Vogue cover.
LIL NAS X
What to say about a little-known young man who breaks a long-standing Mariah Carey Billboard Hot 100 record? Old Town Road is one of 2019’s most impeccable phenomena.
Lil Nas X [Photo: @lilnasx]
Lil Nas X went from a nondescript music success hopeful, to collaborating with country legend Billy Ray Cyrus and achieving insurmountable success with just his debut EP. In just a few months since Old Town Road, its advent has grown a lot, so much so that it has been remixed in pretty much every genre.
Fifth Harmony has been hailed as the most successful girl group of this decade, but who knew that the quintet was home to a triple-threat superstar who would break out of the confines of being in a girl group to morph into a fierce, stage-shattering star.
Normani [Photo: @normani]
The inception of her now-enviable solo career kicked off after the critically-acclaimed Love Lies duet with Khalid became a big hit, and peaked at number 9 on the Hot 100. Then came their performance of the scorching song on the Billboard Music Awards that had everyone labelling her ‘the next Beyoncé’, quite the befitting title given that Beyoncé, among other A-list stars, has given her her stamp of approval as the next supremo.
In August this year, she released the lead single Motivation off of her debut album and had the whole world pleasantly surprised by the high-octane choreography and next-level visuals. Her upcoming debut album is one of the most anticipated albums of 2019 and 2020.