All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) released the 2021 Nominees list and we are excited to see more and more Kenyans shine on the list this year. In June 2021, the AFRIMA organizers had made a call for nominations from African artists, songwriters, video directors, music producers, DJs, choreographers, dancers, entertainment journalists, and unrecorded artists for its upcoming 8th edition.
Last year, Kenyan artists such as Otile Brown, DJ Fully Focus, Nadia Mukami, Akothee, Tanasha Donna, and Fena Gitu were among the nominees. Out of the several Kenyan nominees, DJ Fully Focus was the only one who bagged an award. This year, we are hopeful that more Kenyans will bring the coveted awards home. Below are the 2021 Kenyan AFRIMA nominees:
Sultry voiced teenage sensation Nikita is a trendsetter. She is the youngest ever Best Female in Eastern Africa AFRIMA nominee and winner. Her most recent EP, A Side Of Me, earned her many fans and is clearly doing well from the numerous streams and airplay that it is getting. She has 3 nominations which include: Best Female Artiste in Eastern Africa, Songwriter of the Year, and Best Artist, Duo or Group in African RnB & Soul, all for her hit, Ex.
The Sol Generation signee is one of Kenya’s most sought-after artists. Early this year, he received a Grammy Award for his songwriting in Burna Boy’s Album, Twice As Tall. The Peddi Hitmaker has two nominations i.e. Songwriter of the Year and Best Male Artiste in Eastern Africa for his banger, Nairobi.
Fast-rising RnB singer and Berklee School of Music alumni Xenia makes refreshing music. Her impressive musical career features working with global icons such as Teyana Taylor, Burna Boy, Sauti Sol, and Mr. Eazi just to mention a few. With AFRIMA nominations in the Most Promising African Artist and Best Female Artiste in Eastern Africa categories for her hit Lowkey, Xenia is one artist to watch out for.
Comprised of Bien, Savara, Polycarp, and Chimano, they are without a doubt Kenya’s favorite boy band. Their impressive repertoire is packed with hits such as Suzzana, Money Lover, and Sura Yako among others. Midnight Train, their most recent album was received well by fans and critics alike. Categories in which Sauti Sol have been nominated are Best Male Artist in Eastern Africa and Best African Duo, Group or Band for the song Rhumba Japani.
Bubbly youngster and Groove Award winner Shanah Manjeru is a contemporary Rock Gospel singer. The multi-talented singer is also a dancer, TV host, acrobat, model, and gymnast. Her song God Will Make A Way was nominated in the Best Artist, Duo or Group in African Traditional category.
Gospel sensation Ali Mukhwana is proudly representing Kenyan Gospel music on this nomination list. Popularly known as The Amplifier, Ali is a Worship leader. The respected Gospel singer and songwriter is also a 2-time Groove Award winner. His song Maombi Yangu has been nominated in the Best Male Artiste in the African Inspirational Music category.
Consisted of 4 members, Danson Rabuka, Eric Kimaru, Peter Kingori, and Denilson Babu, this band blends African melodies with modern pop and electronic sound to create their unique sound. Their amazing live performances have earned them lots of live gigs and a growing number of fans. They have been nominated in the Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African Jazz for their song Dance.
Singer and multi-instrumentalist Noel Nderitu is one of Kenya’s most underrated musical gems. His soulful sound is a fusion of RnB, Soul, Afro-Pop, and Gospel. With several EPs under his belt, Noel will be dropping a new album titled City On A Hill this October. Noel has been nominated in the Best Male Artist in the African Inspirational Music category for his song Enough.
Dynamic singer and songwriter Tetu Shani is popular for his unique blend of Indie Rock, Afro-pop, and Kenyan Folkloric Rhythms. He recently got his very first Netflix music placement in the popular South African Drama Series, Blood and Water. Tetu has been nominated for Best Artist, Duo or Group in African Rock for his song Furukazi.
RnB singer Karun is super talented. Her sultry voice and amazing songwriting skills have put her above her peers. A former member of Urban Pop Band Camp Mulla, Karun has grown as a solo artist and gotten various accolades which include a Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 2019 Award. Her most recent EP, Catch A Vibe, received a lot of great reviews and streams. Karun’s song off the same EP, I Know, has been nominated for the Best Female Artist in Eastern Africa category.
This list would be inconclusive without Kenya’s Hip Hop heavyweight Khaligraph Jones. The rapper is well known for his unlimited bars and great stage presence. He has been nominated for his song Wavy in the Best African Rapper or Lyricist category.
Nviiri The Storyteller
Nviiri is a darling to his fans. His musical catalogue is filled with hits such as Pombe Sigara, Birthday, Kitenge, and Overdose just to mention a few. The Sol Generation signee is currently basking in the success of his latest EP Kitenge. His song Niko Sawa has been nominated in the Best Male Artiste in Eastern Africa category.
RASH is a Swahili Rock Band that is comprised of 5 members who are: Maximiliano Filardi, Samuel Warui, Samuel Gakungu, Colbert Akunga, and Evans Mutanduki. The band has received various awards such as AFRIMA Award for Best Artist, Duo or Group in African Rock 2019 for their song Grave Robbers. This year they have been nominated in the same category for their track Structures.
Many people behind the scenes don’t get enough credit for their hard work. Rodney Wachira popularly known as Roadman is the video director behind some of Sol Generation’s popular music videos such as Birthday by Nviiri and Peddi by Bensoul. He has rightfully earned a nomination in the Best African Video category for his amazing work in Bensoul’s Nairobi music video.
Winners will receive the highly coveted 23.9-carat gold AFRIMA plated trophy and one of Africa’s highest forms of recognition for their talent. Hurry and vote for our Kenyan stars before the deadline by clicking here.
Congratulations to all the nominees.