Top 10 Countries that Make the Best Music in Africa

by | Africa

Oct 23, 2022

Over the years, we have seen how African music continues to develop and get more streamed in every streaming platform every passing year, reaching new milestones. We look at ten countries that produce the best music in Africa. 

Want to have a feel of what true African music feels like? Then keep reading as we explore the top 10 countries that make the best music in Africa.

1. Nigeria

Nigeria is a populous nation in West Africa; its people have quite a love for art and entertainment, and so, as expected, they make some of the best music on the continent. 

According to the latest data on the best music in Africa, Nigeria has the best music in Africa.

Mainstream Nigerian music has evolved over the years, but most of it is an offshoot of Afro-beats. Nigerian artistes have been able to blend Afrobeats with other genres of music in what is described as Afro-fusion.

Afro-fusion is sure to make you dance. It features heavy instrumentation and vocal range. Some of Nigeria’s prime Afrobeat singers include the Late Fela Kuti, David, Grammy-winning Wizkid, Burna Boy, etc. 

Iwara describes Nigerian music as being: “Rhythmic and magical.”

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2. South Africa

Second, on the list of countries with the best music in Africa is South Africa.

Often, South Africa has been described as the land of music, as music has played a huge role in South African societies. 

Of the many genres of South African music, Marabi, Kwaito, and Amapiano seem to be making it more into the mainstream media of late. 

Amapiano is rhythmic music that can be danced to. It is what you will hear in most South African clubs and dance houses. 

It has become so common that many other countries are adopting it. Nigerian artistes, for example, have begun to explore the possibilities of Amapiano in Afrobeat. 

One of the most intriguing things about South African music is that it is expressive. There is almost always some dancing.

South African artistes also explore other contemporary genres like rap and reggae. Nasty C, a favored rapper in South Africa, uses music as a tool to explore self, belief systems, and government.

3. Ghana

Like Nigeria, Ghana makes some of the most beautiful music on the continent. It makes Afrobeat as well, although a variant of it. 

You should know that Afrobeat was made in Nigeria by Fela Kuti and has since spread into neighboring countries.

Ghanaian mainstream music is heavily influenced by the culture and history of Ghana. 

In addition to Afrobeat, Ghanaian artists also succeed quite well at hip-hop and rap. Sarkodie, an award-winning rapper and one of the best in Africa, hails from Ghana and uses music as a tool to reform the country.

Music is best enjoyed in Ghana clubhouses or bars on evenings when you have a drink in hand. 

Read: 10 Romantic Weekend Getaways in Africa

4. Morocco

Morocco is one of the most musically sound countries in Northern Africa. Morocco has recently seen more activity in its mainstream music. 

New artists are beginning to pop out, giving the music spice and depth. You should pay attention to Najim and Bahaoui, and Zouhair.  

5. The Democratic Republic of Congo

Over the years, music has evolved so much in Congo that Congolese music has become quite popular and influential across Africa. 

Contemporary Congolese music is often referred to as Soukous by people outside Africa, a name given to a common dance in Congo, although this name does not completely describe music in Congo.

Congolese music is diverse and rich. But of the many forms of music performed in the country, the Congolese Rumba happens to be the most preferred.

It features heavy instrumentation and vocal ability. Yes, there is going to be some dancing too.

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6. Ivory Coast

By sound, the music of the Ivory Coast is similar to that of the Congolese. 

The most popular music genre in Ivory Coast is called Alloucou. Ah! Heavy instrumentation. This music evolves from Bete, a region in Ivory Coast. 

Another common genre is Coupe Decale, which bears an outstanding resemblance to music made in Congo. It is typically ‘upbeat’ music and is played throughout Francophone Africa. 

Some popular Ivory Coast musicians include Alpha Blondy, Dobet Gnahore, and others. 

7. Algeria

Algeria produces some of the best hip-hop on the continent, even though the country’s music is only beginning to enter mainstream media. 

Mokobe and L’ Algerino, both Algerian artists, give hip-hop such a great flavor.

8. Tanzania

Music from Tanzania is quite similar to music from Ghana and Nigeria. 

The most common music genre here is Bongo Flava and Afrobeat. 

Bongo Flava is mid-paced music that is sure to make your head bob as you feel into the sound. 

Afrobeat made in Tanzania is quite similar to that made in Nigeria. Just, there isn’t quite the fusion yet. It seems like Tanzanians are only starting to explore the genre, and boy! There are doing quite a great job at that.

One of Tanzania’s most prominent Afrobeat singers is Diamond Platinumz. You’ll enjoy his songs more with a bottle of wine in hand. 

Read: The Top 10 Safest Countries to Visit in Africa

9. Kenya

Kenyan music is becoming quite popular across Africa. It is broad and borrows a lot of style from neighboring African countries such as Congo. 

Most of its music is done in Swahili and features heavy instrumentation, especially with the guitar. 

Benga music, often described as Kenyan pop, is popular around areas like Lake Victoria and its neighboring regions. 

It is heavily influenced by Music from Congo and surrounding areas. Benga music has a danceable rhythm; people catching the rave and moving to Benga isn’t an uncommon sight in Kenyan clubhouses. 

10. Angola

Angola makes it to this list of countries that make the best music in Africa because of how amazing its hip-hop is. 

Hip-hop in Angola is thought to be the best in Africa, as its fast-rising acts seem to be exploring the genre in a new form that hasn’t been seen before. 

Semba, one of Angola’s folk music, can be greatly enjoyed by anyone. It is believed that this music is an offshoot of Samba. 

Kuduro, another newer kind of music, is totally enjoyable as well. It is a blend of the many styles of music found in Angola.

Music in Africa is heavily influenced by history and culture. It is art in its purest form.

By Ubong Jonhson

Ubong Johnson (Ubee) is a relationship expert, medical student, and writer. He writes articles which cover everything from relationships and nutrition to lifestyle. His works of short fiction have appeared in several literary magazines including The Shallow Tales Review, Ngiga Review, and the Kalahari Review. He is the founder and editor of Fiction Niche.

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