R&B music globally has themed love, romance, heartbreak, betrayal and everything in between. The genre which has its roots in Ryhmn and blues where it rightfully gets its name is one of the most diverse sounds of our generation. Getting numerous makeovers and facelifts the spectrum of R&B is a wide and colourful one. While the world enjoys the rise of Afrobeats, African R&B is a seed that is germinating slowly. The roots of the genre form deep bonds with fans of Afrobeats and R&B alike.
From the sultry sounds of Nigeria’s Temilade Openiyi, AKA Tems, to the rhythm and groove of emerging RnB stars, like Uganda’s MAUIMØON, this genre as expressed on the continent is one to watch as it fuses local and global elements expertly.
Here are 5 incredible African R&B songs we think you will relish.
Somali Rose – Ria Boss
Somali Rose is a soulful love letter penned by Ghanaian – Burkinabe singer Ria Boss. Ria’s songwriting appeals to all the senses from smell to touch evoking emotions that usher us into the belly of their relationship. A single off the singer’s album, ‘Remember’, the song is a perfect introduction to the emotion-filled vocals of Ria Boss.
South African musician and songwriter Ricky Tyler presents the swag of a boy band member wrapped in the vulnerability of a child. “Everything”, the lead single off Ricky Tyler’s Debut Album, “Small World”. is only a taste of the delicious storytelling in his art.
In Between – Ayra Starr
The smooth bellow of her voice over this track envelopes the dark nature of its contents as she addresses her mental health.
Tay Iwar is a master of melodies and soul. If you’re looking for an R&B tune with some bounce this is the track for you. Reeling from the highs of a tumultuous relationship, Healing will treat you like a terrible lover; teasing your senses and leave you wanting more.
Envy – Ogi
L.A based Nigerian musician Ogi delivers an amazing old-school blend on this honest track Envy. Raised on Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone and Culture, this single is a perfect example of her influences. Envy speaks of truths that we often try to avoid.