Here’s an introduction to the amazing performers who will be headlining the AFWL show this year in celebration of their 5th year Anniversary:
Atumpan has gone from strength in the Afro beats scene, he started doing reggae tracks then he mixed Afro beats with reggae. He is a phenomenal entertainer who is making his mark globally. One of the best Afrobeats artists in Ghana, Atumpan is a versatile artiste who is very much influenced by urban trends in music especially Caribbean dancehall and reggae.
Atumpan which literally means The Talking Drum is the name of a popular traditional African drum. He is a strong pan African who believes that the only way African musicians can capture the attention of the world is to stay true to themselves as Africans and reflect that through their music.
‘The Thing’ which gained him nominations for Best New Artiste of the year, Best Afropop Song of the Year, and Best Collaboration of the year in the 2012 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.
In 2013, he was nominated for Best African Act in the MOBO Awards and also won the Best International Afrobeats Act in the 2013 at the BEFFTA Awards. In 2014 was also nominated for the Urban Music Awards for the Best African/Afrobeat Act along with Sarkodieh and Fuse ODG. Currently signed to Bass 1 Entertainment, Atumpan’s next hit “Baby Mamma” will be released soon.
Today a new breed of producer is rising to the forefront of music. The ability to manipulate modern technology and intertwine it with the roots of real music makes an irresistible combination. Shining through this movement is “Ajay” (Ayo Johnson).
The UK based producer and live instrumentalist was signed earlier this year to “Strictly Entertainment” with a management and publishing deal. Ajay has been into music from his early age. Playing several instruments (piano, bass, and drums), to an excellent standard having learnt from a very strong church background.
Through his hard work in the music industry, Ajay has worked with some of the talented artist in the UK and African scene. Artists include Yolanda Brown, Mica Paris, Sway, N-dubs, Starboy Nathan, Ice-Prince, Brymo, Iyanya, YJ, Mike Aremu, Terri Walker, Atumpan, Sarkodie, Zigi to name a few.
Chelsea Sianga, 20 years old, who is also known by her stage name Cherrié Elle, is a British singer, model, dancer, entrepreneur and make-up artist. She is originally from Zimbabwe, but she was raised in the UK from the age of 6.
Chelsea’s singing career commenced when she engaged in a singing competition, XFactor UK 2011, where she managed to secure her place in bootcamp finals and was one of the top 16 girls. Her singing talent was recognised by Gary Barlow, one of the most prestigious and talented judges all over UK, who then announced to the audience that Chelsea was going to be the ‘next face of British music’.
‘Bonetics’, is an emerging artist and British dancer whose works have been viewed as extremely extraordinary and rare. In his recent achievement as a semi-finalist at this year’s Britain’s Got Talent (BGT), Simon Cowell described his performance as one of the most incredible things we’ve ever seen on the show. Apart from leaving the judges jaw-dropping and mesmerized, his chosen type of art has been found to reflect boundlessness as Bonetics could be expected to transform himself into unimaginable shapes and forms.
Deborah Rose is a sensational afro-soul singer/songwriter. The talented young singer who hails from South London is set to take the music industry by storm, not just in the UK but worldwide; with her one of a kind distinctive vocals. The 21-year-old describes her sound as “soul with an African fusion” creating her own music genre titling it “afrosoul”.
Already having been compared to the likes of Adele, Amy Winehouse and Asa for their powerful voices, Rose draws influences from Asa, Lauryn Hill and Mary J. Blige for her songwriting skills and gift to turn her stories into songs.
Infusing English and her native tongue of Yoruba together, Debrah Rose’s bubbly personality and her raspy vocals really come out in her music, where she effortlessly brings the two together.
Her work and authenticity speaks for it-self, having already released amazing singles such as ‘Superwoman’, ‘Roses’, ‘For You’ and ‘Blessed’ they will leave you intrigued to hear more from the aspiring singer.
Emeka Elendu Presents – Kalakut
After spending his formative years as a shadow guitarist working his way up to chief guitarist in the late great Fela Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti’s band, Emeka Elendu moved to the UK setting up ‘Emeka Elendu Presents – Kalakuta’ a tribute band with the aim to teach many people the music of Fela performing alongside them. The band is gradually gaining momentum dazzling audiences around Europe.
Emeka’s vision is to give to the world new, modern music which innovates and pushes the boundaries of Afro Beat music, continuing on from where it was left by Fela Kuti.
Multiple award-wining VALENTINE is no doubt one of the fastest rising Afrobeat artists in the UK. Born in Cameroon, the young African with total star quality, multiple awarding winning Afro-beat singer, song writer and dancer, Valentine, known for his high energy, electrifying and intensive performances has being compared with the likes of P Square, Usher and Chris Brown and influenced by the one and only icon, Michael Jackson. Having opened up for Davido, Oskido (I Believe Tour Dublin) and was the main act for African Fashion Week London 2014. Having performed around the U.K from Manchester, Coventry, Glasgow, London and to name a few.
Katongo Temba is a Zambian born, British bred singer songwriter, Katongo, has been writing songs since the age of 11. Her musical style is best described as Afropop.
This comes through in her self-released debut EP entitled ‘My Way’ which is packed with dance influenced tracks laced with African drums and Caribbean rhythms that instantly grab your attention and showcase Katongo’s ability to deliver meaningful lyrics with strong, yet soothing vocals. With fan favourites such as ‘Tonight’, ‘So Good’ and ‘Something Bout the Way’ it’s understandable why Katongo continues to garner media attention.
Dola Billz is a talented Nigerian Rap Mc, Sound Engineer/Producer /Poet born in London raised in Nigeria. As a young man he was always interested in the social activities and was always at the forefront of the school’s entertainment.
Dola-Billz has performed along-side Nigerian music elite such as Dbanj, Don-jazzy, the late Da Grin etc, as well as international acts such as Terry Walker, 50-cent, Montel Jordan, Mos-def , Dono-mar in venues such as the 02, Brixton academy, all-over Europe and Nigeria at Large.
Samatha Sandle is the genuine article. A British artist with distinctive vocals, writing her young life experiences into songs. ‘HOOPS’ her debut single is a song about her down to earth style and flair. The up=tempo tribute to the iconic hoop earings will lift you and make you want to bop along.
Discovered by Celetia Martin and Lewi White, Samantha Sandle is the most unassuming young talent to emerge in 2015. Inspired by Mary J Blige, tom Jones and Aretha Franklin, she has based her music on life’s experiences. She has been signed to American label Royalty Network for her publishing, after recording a demo for Rihanna, Samantha Sandle’s cover of ‘Hold On To Get Lucky’ got over 10,000 in a week.
Samantha is currently putting the finishing touches to her debut EP due for release in September.
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