Kenyan female singer Nadia Mukami has been lined up against other continental greats in the inaugural Trace continental awards set to take place in Rwanda in October.
In the just released nominations list, the Kenyan star has been slotted in the Best Female category alongside Ayra Starr (Nigeria), Josey (Ivory Coast), Soraia Ramos (Cape Verde), Tiwa Savage (Nigeria) and Viviane Chidid (Senegal).
Mukami has enjoyed a progressive music career in the past five years having scooped numerous awards among them the Pulse Music Video Awards (PMVA) double Female Artiste of the Year win. Her 2023 releases among them Bolingo and Mi Na We, off her upcoming EP Love and Vibes have enjoyed massive play in the region.
The Trace Awards is a live event and global TV spectacular that celebrates the creativity, talent and influence of African and Afro-inspired music and artists.
“African and African diaspora artistes are extraordinarily creative and dynamic. They represent a massive cultural force and deserve more global recognition and celebration. The Trace Awards’ nominations salute achievement and excellence from more than 150 performers, producers, DJs, writers, composers, directors, established artists and rising stars, and their management and labels. We congratulate all the nominees, most of whom will attend and perform in Kigali on 21 October. It will be an unmissable experience for lovers of African and Afro-inspired music,” says Olivier Laouchez, Chairman and Co-Founder, Trace.
From North to South, from East to West, the entire African continent will be represented by its best artistes at the awards, showcasing the excellence and diversity of Afro-centric music in genres such Afrobeat, Dancehall, Hip Hop, Afro-pop, Mbalax, Amapiano, Zouk, Kizomba, Genge, Coupé Décalé, Bongo Flava, Soukous, Gospel, Rap, Rai, Kompa, R&B, and Rumba.
Competing in 22 award categories are platinum-selling artistes from more than thirty countries in Africa, South America, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and Europe including Algeria, Angola, Brazil, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Comoros, DRC, France, French Guiana, Gabon, Ghana, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Martinique, Mayotte, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Reunion, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, the UK and Uganda. The winners will take home one or more Trace Awards Trophies - unique pieces of art designed by acclaimed Congolese sculptor and designer, Dora Prevost.
Leading the nominations are West African artistes, particularly Nigerian artistes, who underscore the global popularity of Nigerian Afrobeat with over 40 nominations in total, including multiple nominations for Burna Boy, Ayra Starr, Davido, WizKid, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Fireboy DML and Rema.
The diverse music of the African diasporas is represented by nominations for some of the most acclaimed artistes in France, Brazil, UK, The Caribbean and the Indian Ocean including Stormzy (UK), Booba and Aya Nakamura (France), Leo Santana (Brazil), Shenseea (Jamaica), Donovan BTS (Mauritius), Princess Lover and Kalash (Martinique), Bamby (Guyane) and Admiral T (Guadeloupe).
Africa’s enduring love of the uplifting Gospel genre is reflected in the Best Gospel Singer category, which sees South Africa’s Benjamin Dube going head-to-head with Kenya’s Janet Otienao, Uganda’s Levixone, KS Bloom from the Ivory Coast and Moses Bliss from Nigeria.
In a fitting tribute to the host country for the inaugural Trace Awards, Rwandan artistes come to the fore in Best Rwandan Artist, highlighting the talent of Rwandan musicians Bruce Melodie, Kenny Sol, Ariel Wayz, Bwiza and Chriss Eazy. Also representing the east of the continent, Tanzania’s Diamond Platnumz notches up several nominations, including Best Male and Best Music Video, while Azawi, Lexivone and the Uganda Ghetto Kids carry the torch for Uganda.
South African artistes make their mark in the nominations, with Hip Hop artiste K.O scoring an impressive three nominations including Best Male, Song of the Year and Best Collaboration. Also honoured are Musa Keys (Best Live, Best Collaboration), and Blxckie (Best Music Video), while Pabi Cooper squares up against a strong field in the Best Newcomer award category. Just over the border in Swaziland, Uncle Waffles scores a well-deserved nomination in the Best DJ category.
Further north, Algeria’s Raja Meziane and Kader Japonais are competing against Tunisia’s Artmasta and Morocco’s Amira Zouhair, Dystinct and El Grande Toto in Best Artist - North Africa.
Francophone music and artistes take their fair share of the accolades with 10 nominations including two nods for Didi B from Ivory Coast as Best Male and Best Artist - Francophone while Libianca from Cameroon earned two nominations, for Best Newcomer and Song of the Year, respectively. DRC’s Fally Ipupa also scored two nominations: one for the Best Live (Global) and one for the Best Artist Africa - Francophone categories.