10 African RnB Queens to listen to right now

23 March 2022
Every day is the perfect day to celebrate the finest talent Africa has to offer in the R&B girls. Here's a list plugging you to the best female RnB singers in the continent right now.
RnB singers

One thing about us - we are always on standby to plug you to the coolest things in the world of music. And today, the spotlight is on some of the best R&B female singers in Africa right now. While the genre is the common thread connecting their otherwise sprawling styles, there are enough flavours here to elevate your playlist and melt some lush scapes into your ears. Here is a list of 10 R&B girls to look out for right now. 


The Nigerian singer is all the rage. And it's not without reason; she's definitely the moment. Tems bagged no less than two US top 40 hits in 2021 on the Billboard Hot 100. Her first encounter with the big leagues first came through her guest feature Wizkid's 'Essence', and later on Drake's 'Fountains' from his Certified Lover Boy album. The former, which had already been making waves for both artists, finally reached the Top 10 on the chart after Justin Beiber jumped on the remix.

The single also earned Tems her first Grammy nomination. Waiting for no grass to grow, the 26-year-old signed to RCA Records and unleashed her second EP If Orange Was a Place, a critically acclaimed sibling to her debut tape For Broken Ears. The former ascended to the top 10 on the Billboard World Album chart. 


While she's captured the international RnB scape as that South African girl everyone should be looking out for, it's clear Elaine would rather keep a low-key profile in between records. But, having recently delighted fans with the release of her brand new single 'Shine', the songstress has marked a triumphant return back to the charts. Her tempo is slow to mid, with songs that tug at the heartstrings of alternative RnB and neo-soul.

The Pretoria native shot to instant prominence with the release of her debut EP Elements in September 2019. The tape spawned a number of hits, including the breakout love anthem You're The One and Risky. Both singles and the EP reached number 1 on iTunes and Apple Music, marking a splashy entrance for the 22-year-old. Following her signing to Columbia Records in 2020, she followed the record with 'Right Now', which helped her score her third #1 single on digital streaming platforms. 


Back in her high school days in 2015, Rowlene released her debut single 'Imposter'. It wasn't until she hit the studio with the Nasty C for collaborations on follow-up singles 'Phases' and 'Dance With You' marked her official entry into the music industry. It is then the Cape Town-born, Johannesburg-based RnB singer decided she would be making her music career a priority. She went on to work with A-Reece on a track called 'Pride', which appeared on the rapper's second album 'From Me To You'.

A slew of features followed later, no doubt enhancing a promising come-up. The release of SMA, the massive Nasty C hit on which she featured in 2018, became a moment that propelled Rowlene to the forefront. In 2020, Rowlene released her debut album 11:11. 


The Nigerian songbird officially launched her professional music career in 2019. Then aged just 20, she delivered her first single M.O.M.M.S, which is an abbreviation for 'Me or Mask My Sin'. Though already promising at this time, it wasn't until Fave SZN's viral freestyle to a beat produced by Lagos-based producer Jinmi Abduls caught fire online that her star started to shine. The applause to her performance marked a turning point for the singer, who leveraged the buzz with the release of another single N.B.U.

The arrival of her third single 'Beautifully' led to Fave SZN's official landing to the mainstream, where she continues being touted as the next leading female artist in the West African RnB scene. Her single Baby Riddim later sealed her rise when it reached #1 in Nigeria and Ghana. Later, she was featured in two tracks of rapper Olamide’s album in 2021. The songs are “Pon Pon” and “Wants”


She is not considered the Queen of streaming and digital sales for nothing; Shekhinah's success has placed her at the helm of the South African R&B sound. The Durbanite first came into public prominence when she appeared on the 8th season of Idols South Africa in 2012. Despite a simmering buzz around her outstanding vocal abilities, Shekhinah only made it to the Top 6. Silence was about to be the last thing anyone would hear from Shekhinah, who would explode into the scene with the release of 'Back to Beach with Kyle Deutsch in 2015.

In the same year, the success of that single was followed up by 'Let You Know' with Sketchy Bongo. Her debut album Rose Gold landed in 2017. It contained the #1 singles 'Suited', 'Please Mr.' and 'Different'.  Her second album Trouble in Paradise came out in May 2021. 


Valerie Omari is a Congolese-born and Cape Town-based singer-songwriter who blends neo-soul and old-school R&B. While the world settled into a lockdown in 2020, Omari dropped her debut EP Therefore I Am. The project contains 7 flawless tracks, in which the husky-voiced singer finds a perfect blend of classic love songs with edgier alternative R&B. The 7-track record was released independently at the end of 2019 and began to gain mileage on streaming platforms in 2020.  In 2021, she released a new single called Goodtimes, which she later spiced up with a remix that enlisted a guest verse from Rouge. 


A true internet success story, the genesis of Lucille Slade's success tracks back to when she put her own spin on Cassper Nyovest's hit single Tito Mboweni back in 2017. In the following year, she parlayed this hype into a cohesive stream with the release of her debut studio album Scratch The Surface. The 10-track project was released under her then label Boom Studio. Lucille Slade followed up with the release of other singles, including 'Velvet' and 'Khuluma Nami'. 


The Ghanian R&B heavyweight is no newbie to this. It's been up and up for her since the arrival of her debut mixtape TINT, which premiered on 11 November 2013. The project spawned two mainstream successes through promotional tracks 'Getaway' and 'Best in Me'. Following delays and postponements, her highly buzzed debut studio album Janesis finally debuted on 22 April 2016.  A month later, the 31-year-old inked a record deal with Wizkid's Starboy Entertainment. 


Gyakie's fusions of afrobeats with R&B helped her first single Love is Pretty to achieve chart success back in 2019. She continued marking her own territory with the release of her second single 'Never Like This'. The Ghanaian singer later released her breakout hit 'Forever' from her EP 'Seed', which found her enjoying mainstream chart success in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. 

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