In Profile: MOBO Best African Act nominees 2012
What do you know about the nominees for the 2012 Best African Act MOBO Award? We thought we'd introduce you to our ten diverse nominees to help inform your choice.
Fatoumata Diawara is a Malian musician, writing songs that blend Wassoulou traditions of Southern Mali with international influences. She started out as an actor and backing singer before capturing the attention of World Circuit Records, and released her debut album Fatou in September 2011. This album is sung in the Malian language Wassoulou, and explores themes of war, abandonment of children and female circumcision. Vote now!
P Square is a Nigerian R&B duo composed of identical twin brothers Peter and Paul Okoye, who produce and release albums through Square Records. In December 2011, they signed with Akon’s Konvict Muzik. They have released five studio albums, most recently The Invasion which was released in 2011. Recent single ‘Chop My Money (I Don’t Care)’ has and continues to receive much airplay, and there’s a popular remix out there featuring Akon and May D. Vote now!
The Very Best is a collaboration between London based DJ/production duo Radioclit and Esau Mwamwaya, a singer from Lilongwe, Malawi. Their music has been described as an Afro-Western mix of dance, hip-hop, pop and the traditional music of Malawi Their first full-length album ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ was in 2009, and features collaborations with M.I.A. and Ezra Koenig. Vote now!
Spoek Mathambo is a Soweto-born, South African producer/DJ from Johannesburg, who released his debut album Mshini Wam (translation: ‘bring me my machine’) in 2010. He’s also released a series of visually thrilling music videos depicting a fresh-to-death urban gothic vibe – and toured the US, Europe and South America. His second album ‘Father Creeper’ was released in 2012 and offers a hybrid of traditional South African styles, contemporary rock, dancehall, hip hop and soulful, falsetto pop; his varied flows and topics show him off as a versatile storyteller who flips the concerns of mainstream rap by embracing a deep sensitivity for a traumatised society. Vote now!
D’Banj is a Nigerian singer-songwriter. His stage name ‘D’Banj’ is a combination of his first name Dapo and his surname Oyebanjo. In June 2011 he signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music record label, along with his producer Don Jazzy of the Nigerian record label MoHits Records. His big international hit single ‘Oliver Twist’ is an uptempo dance fusion of Afrobeats and electronic dance music, and it topped the African charts and went top 10 in the UK. He is also an amazing self-taught harmonica player, commenting: “I play the harmonica like it’s made for me”. Vote now!
Fally Ipupa is a singer-songwriter from the Democratic Republic of Congo and a former member of the band Koffi Olomide from 1999 to 2006. His first solo album ‘Droit Chemin’ was released in 2006 and went on to sell over 100,000 units – helped by his stateside hit single ‘Chaise Electrique’ – a bilingual love song featuring former G-Unit singer Olivia. Vote now!
Sarkodi Duncwills has been making a lot of waves on the Ghana music scene. His ability to string several words together in a very fast pace puts him in a league of his own – he’s often named Ghana’s fastest lyricist. He hass been king of underground hiplife and hiphop for almost five years before becoming more commercial – he sees hiplife as a relevant source of spreading information in a few seconds, and sees music as a form of lecturing. Vote now!
Cabo Snoop is a kuduro artist from Lianda, Angola. For those unfamiliar, Kuduro is a type of music and dance originally born in Angola in the late 1980s, characterised as uptempo, energetic and danceable. The ‘Snoop’ part of his name is a reference to Snoop Dogg because he is skinny and tall like Snoop. He’s well known for his successful single ‘Prakatatumba’ and its music video, which has had over one million views on YouTube. Vote now!
Camp Mulla is a Kenyan hip-hop/rap group originating based in Nairobi, Kenya. It was founded in 2009 by rappers Taio Tripper, Young Kass, Super-Producer K’Cous, Miss Karun, and their syndicate C.E.O., Tonii. They’ve collected a big fanbase over a short period of time, and over 25,000 followers on Twitter – more than any other Kenyan artist. The majority of Camp Mulla’s songs incorporate hip hop and contemporary R&B respectively. Vote now!
Amadou and Mariam are a blind musical duo from Mali, composed of the married couple Amadou Bagayoko (guitar and vocals) and Mariam Doumbia (vocals). They met at Mali’s Institute for the Young Blind, and have been prominent in Europe now for more than a decade. They have supported Coldplay and U2, and gone on to be the most successful musical export to come out of Africa this century. Their 2012 album Folila (which means ‘music’ in Bambara) features Santigold and Jake Shears from Scissor Sisters. Vote now!
Listen to 2012's Best African Act nominees on Spotify here: