The sounds putting Africa on the global music map

Dancing to megahit “Jerusalema” in Cape Town, South Africa.
Dancing to megahit “Jerusalema” in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
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Afrobeats, afropop, soukous, rumba, gengetone, kwaito and Arabic pop—these are some of the sounds breaking through Africa’s borders and bringing the world’s attention to the continent.

This week, Quartz Africa published an exclusive look at the interest the African entertainment scene has attracted in recent months, spurred by streaming services, social media platforms, and  investor interest. African artists are reaching new levels of listenership and viewership both within and outside the continent, which is allowing them more control over their stories and careers.

Social media platforms are also changing the game, with the luckiest artists able to attract massive audiences, watch their songs go viral along with dance challenges, and even strike record deals or major collaborations via direct messages.

We’ve compiled a playlist of some of the top songs from different parts of the continent at the moment, which also feature in our guide. Happy listening.

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