List of Music Genres in Africa

There's more to African music than it just being "African"! Music genres are plentiful on this continent. Here's a short list of just a few of them: 


Afrobeat

Fela Kuti created Afrobeat by fusing traditional Nigerian music, jazz and highlife. Today, it is often mixed with hip hop or makossa and well known even outside Africa.

Apala

Apala is a percussion-based style of the Muslim Yoruba people in Nigeria, West Africa.

Assiko

Assiko is a rhythmic dance from Cameroon.

Bikutsi

This dance music developed from the traditional music of the Beti in Cameroon. The sexy dance moves remind of the popular Mapouka from the Ivory Coast.

Fuji

Popular music genre from Nigeria, based on traditional Muslim Yoruba music.

Funana

Music style and dance from Cape Verde based on the accordeon.

Gbema

 (Liberia)

Highlife 

Highlife is a genre from Ghana and popular in all of English-speaking West Africa. 

Hipco

 (Liberia)

Hiplife

Fun and extremely popular among Ghana's youth is the fusion of highlife and hip hop. 

Isicathamiya

Harmonious and gentle a cappella sung by all-male choirs from the South African Zulu.

Kizomba

Kizomba means "party" in an Angolan language. The same named dance style is becoming inccreasingly popular in Europe and North America. (More about Kizomba on Wikipedia)

Kwaito

South Africa's black youth loves this new mix of house music and African sounds.

Kwassa Kwassa

 (Congo)

Makossa

This urban dance music from the capital city of Cameroon reminds of Soukous.

Maringa

 (Sierra Leone)

Mapouka

 (Ivory Coast)

Mbalax

Senegal's most popular music style. Mbalax is a brilliant fusion of traditional griot praise songs and sabar rhythms with modern Western elements.

Morna


Melancholic music style from Cape Verde.

Ndombolo

 (Congo)

Palm-Wine Music

 (Liberia)

Semba

Music style from Angola. This music and partner dance is the origin of the increasingly popular Kizomba music and dance style.

Soukous

 (Congo)

Taarab

 (Kenya/Tanzania)

Tcha tcho

This Congolese dance music was created by Koffi Olomide. It's a more sensual and melancholic subform of Soukous.

TrapCo

 (Liberia)

Benga music

Popular music in Kenya. The electric bass guitar imitates the melodies of the traditional Kenyan eight-string lyre called Nyatiti.

Bongo Flava

 (Tanzania)

Cabo-Love

 (Cape Verde)

Chimurenga music

A popular style from Zimbabwe. The melodies played by modern instruments are based on the traditional Mbira music of the Shona people.

Coladeira

 (Cape Verde)

Coupé-Decalé

Pop music from the Ivory Coast/France with danceable percussion and deep bass. This style is said to help Ivorians through tough times and difficult political situations.

Desert Blues

The people living in the Sahara desert have been making blues music long before it got famous in the West. This sounds absolutely brilliant!


Next up
This site uses cookies to deliver our services and to show you relevant ads and job listings. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service. Your use of our Products and Services, including our Network, is subject to these policies and terms.
Got it
loading....