Ones To Watch 2021: 31 Artistes To Look Out For This Year

Artists you should have on your radar!

2020 saw the rise of several young artists doing their thing on their own terms. Whether it be experimenting with new soundscapes and genres or their image, the artistes on this list took it one step further to connect to their various audiences around the continent and beyond and it showed! With no end in sight to the current pandemic, these artistes continued to thrive turning a difficult situation into break-out success, keeping fans, music execs, and the industry thoroughly engaged and wanting more. Tastemakers usually evaluate the progress of artists based upon their year in review so without further ado “we don’t talk much, we just show action” here is iMullar Top 31 Acts To Anticipate in 2021.

1. Yaw Tog

After his introduction in 2020 on his hit single “Sore”, the young bull has been consistent with his flow and lyrical prowess. His verse on ”Ekorso”, the anthem for December 2020 confirms the above. Starting the year with a remix of Sore track-assisted by Stormzy and Kwesi Arthur, Yaw Tog definitely has the wind in his sails for 2021. Watch out for his project “Time” scheduled for the last week of March.

2. Kofi Jamar

Jogging between singing and rapping, the Truth Ep showed us just how versatile Kofi Jamar is. Proven to be on top of his game, Kofi Jamar delivered what was the perfect ending to a crappy year with the track of Dezemba, Ekorso” assisted by number one spot holder, Yaw Tog. This song was on repeat at every function. Watch out for this lad.

3. Amaarae 

Staying true to herself and her vision, Amaarae went atomic in 2020 with her project, ‘The Angel You Dont know’. Already dubbed as one of the best projects coming out of Africa, TAYDK also made Pitchfork’s top 50 in 2020. The artist also became the first Ghanaian to perform on the COLORS studio stage redefining at every turn what being a bad B**** is really about. Tap into Amaarae’s world or miss out!

4. Moliy & Princess Adjua 

Moliy surfaced earlier in 2020 with her debut EP, Wondergirl. The 6 track EP served as a wavy introduction to this emerging star’s universe who was ready to shine even brighter after being tapped to feature on Amaarae’s “FEEL A WAY” & “SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY” alongside her sister, Princess Adjua. Though Princess Adjua is yet to drop a full project, her performance on the Amaarae’s #TAYDK alongside freestyle teases on her Instagram makes us confident that like her sister, Princess is ready to wow us in 2021. With raw, relatable lyrics coupled with angelic voices, the sky is the limit for these budding young artistes and we’re excited to see just how 2021 unfolds for both of them.

5. Azanti

YP & Azanti, Vol. 1 is where we chanced upon this young talent. Azanti’s songwriting ability was shown on “Focused” and “Caro” ft Psycho YP. We want to see more of Azanti this year since his teaser from 2020 was tempting enough.

6. Psycho YP

The young rapper from Abuja was certainly a delightful ingredient to a lot of hit singles by various artists in the emerging category. YP’s ‘talk yo sh**’ style and sound stand out and we want to see more of him this 2021.

7. Yung Demz

After dropping one of the hottest tapes back in 2020 “Girls Like You”, the multifaceted artist ended the year with a remix of “Virgil” featuring Psycho YP. We’re suckers for new artists killing it! Keep tabs on Yung Demz.

8. Bad Boy Timz

Talking about new artists, Timz landed in the building and made his mark on multiple anthems in 2020. From “Have Fun” to Olamide’s celebratory “Loading”. It is clear that this is only the beginning for Bad Boy Timz. If you didn’t “loading ding ding loading” in December, rewind the clock!

9. Reefer Tym 

Naming some sensations from 2020, Reefer Tym and his chart-topping project “No Game” got the “Booty Gang” excited to “Carry Go”. I’m sure we’re in for more surprises from this young lad.

10. ToluDaDi 

Stimuli is energy and ToluDaDi delivered an energetic project which gave us the feel of being outside while many of us were still under lockdown. ToluDaDi’s storytelling and ability to make you move remains one of his strongest qualities and we want more of that.

11. Questo

Underrated but filled with potential. Questo’s Ananse was one of the projects with a real storyline concerning self-image and real-life situations. I think Questo has more to offer and 2021 might just be his big break.

12. Cheque 

We can’t get enough of “Zoom”. The new wave of artists are not afraid to express their true feelings and emotions and Cheque is no exception. We’re excited to see what else he has in his folders for us.

13. Bella Shmurda 

This young Nigerian rising star took 2020 by the neck with his single “Cash App”. Another anthem for 2020 which made every playlist and played at every function. Looking forward to more anthems from Bella Shmurda.

14. Skillz 8figure 

Steady rising is Sierra Leinonen born Ghana-based Skillz. Post his Gangsta Luv era, the rapper and singer proved to the world that you can be equal parts gangsta and a lover boy. Skillz has also featured star acts like Twitch 4EVA, V.T, Boye ‘The Genius’, and more. Rounding off his 2020 with Yakpa, Skillz8figure is steadily creating an impressive discography and we can’t wait to see another tape from everyone’s favorite gangsta lover.

15. Gyakie

Having maintained consistency over the past two years, we’re looking to put our money on Gyakie again in 2021 to deliver some very fine tunes. Gyakie’s fan base is also steadily growing with her taking the top spot as the most followed Ghanaian female artiste on Audiomack. Her “SEED” EP showed that the budding songstress continues to thrive and we’re excited to see her blossom.

16. MannyWellz

Mirage was one of the most comforting projects released last year. Mannywellz made some soothing music featuring a range of amazing artistes: Tems on “Peace”, the duo VanJess on “Floating” and Wale on “A Million”. Mannywellz is definitely one to watch out for.

17. Kay-T

Known for his crisp visuals, Kay-T was one of the tricks 2020 pulled out of the hat. The artist landed one of the biggest Hip-Hop tracks in Ghana with “Up and Away” & “Obi Ne Yem” in 2020. Kay-T has also worked with the likes of Medikal and Ahtitude on his hit singles, “Ghost”. We can’t wait to see what Kay-T does in the new year.

18. Rvdical the Kid

Rvdical took us to his own “Little Planet”. A journey that expressed his creativity and prowess through sound (his productions ). The artiste-producer also tapped some star-powered names as part of his crew with features from the likes of Nonso Amadi, Yonkwi, Maesu, and Amaarae. His dynamic electronic EP was wrapped, flipped, and dipped in Ghanaian identity and we want more of that this year. Check out Rvdical the Kid now.

19. RIMON

The singer released her EP “I shine, u shine” back in May 2020 working with Darrell Cole and Denzel Curry. Her consistency, storytelling skills, and captivating visuals will leave you wanting more. She is most definitely one to watch out for this year.

20. WhoisAkin

His Full Moon Weekends EP is what caught everyone’s attention last year and it is safe to say the 22-year-old Lagos-based artist has a promising future ahead of him! This perfect body of work made up of Akin’s atypical vocals coupled with mellowed vibes on production managed to draw the attention of music moguls like the head of EmPawa Africa, Mr. Eazi. With his foot on the gas, there’s no reason why WhoisAkin shouldn’t wow us in 2021. 

21. MaMan

MaMan is a new-school artist from Sudan. Under Youngjustus Entertainment, MaMan is quickly becoming one of the top artists from East Africa. The eclectic artist has been consistent all 2020 exploring several soundscapes without disappointing his audience. His sounds reflect the image of the new Sudani music industry; several collaborations with Sudanese acts from the diaspora, he never failed to deliver. You should watch out for him in 2021!

22. Elias Tag’em

Elias Tag’em is an artist you should look out for in 2021. Being one of the pioneers of what we know as Alté music in France, it means a lot to him to deliver dope stuff in order for people to discover his universe as well as alté culture. Catch up with the amazing music and world he’s been creating below, this act is sure to come with more fire in 2021.

23. Hoosh

The Miami-based artist originally from Sudan had a good year music-wise, dropping a number of gems back to back. Songs like “Nights” and “Kabasa” expressed his ability to roam between different genres, from pop music to Afropop or even raw hip-hop and R&B, Hoosh is always at the top of his game and is definitely going places this year!

24. Ferow

The Habesha Princess has been dropping some awesome stuff this year. From Afro-fusion tracks to slick R&B ones, Ferow also collaborated with East African music legends like Teddy afro; proving to her audience that her range was out of this world and we can’t wait to see what else Ferow creates.

25. Rotation

The one and only Rotation from Sudan had an amazing year and kept on feeding us good sounds back to back! From his bangers to the joint project with TooDope, we had the opportunity to dive into a different world with singles like “Trees” or “Ejaza” featuring TooDope. Watch out for Rotation.

26. Tayc

The French Afropop artist has been on top for a few years now even though his music tends to be underrated. His last project that featured artists like Tiwa Savage, or Christine and the Queens showed France and the world the diversity of his sounds. “N’y pense plus” was one of the bangers that made the whole of France dance before, during, and after lockdown; it is safe to say he opened another door of the afro-fusion genre in France. Watch out for him in 2021! 

27. Xenia Manasseh

The amazing vocalist from Kenya has delivered great content this year alongside major highlights including an appearance on Sauti Sol’s Midnight Train album and Mr. Eazi’s “Something Else”. A promising act in Kenya’s R&B scene, Xenia’s songwriting never fails to impress and with a great 2020 under her belt, there’s no reason to not tap into her sound.

28. The C!rcle

The poets and soldiers from the 249 aka the Circle are some of our favorites artists from this year. They never fail to represent the 249 and managed to extend their art to the whole world thanks to the several members based in Sudan or in the diaspora through their rhymes and soulful instrumentals. One of their major milestones is their project called ‘The Circle vs the world’ and it is safe to safe the body of work is close to perfection. Keep an eye on them. 

29. Ro x

The Somali artist based in Switzerland is always repping his people and showcasing the beauty of  Somali culture through his sharp rhymes and amazing creations. You should definitely keep an eye on him this year as he may come up with a project and visuals this year! Get more familiar with Ro x below.

30. Marince Omario

We definitely want to see Marince shine brighter in 2021. The artists gifted his fan with an EP entitled “Oblitey”. Omario’s storytelling ability makes him stand out of the lot. Check out his dedication project “Tsotsoo” made in memory of his late grandmother, Margaret Tsotsoo Quarcoo. Rooting for the young buck to keep making music that makes us feel things.

31. Jay Bhad, Cityboy, Reggie, O’Kenneth, Kawabanga, Sean Lifer, Kwaku DMC (The Geng Geng)

Shaking lockdown with their raw flow and character, the collective known as the Asakaa boys or Kumerica went viral scattering the Ghanaian music scene, grabbing the attention of the world as they introduced us to the dopeness of Ghanaian drill music. United inflow and consistent with releases, the boys are definitely ones to look out for in 2021.

Keep tabs on these young superstars in the making. Follow us on @theimullar on Instagram & Twitter and check out our playlists on Apple Music, Spotify, and Audiomack here.

The iMullar is the definitive voice of emerging African music and the lifestyle that surrounds it, showcasing exceptional talent from all around the globe focused on promoting the most distinctive new artists and original sounds, we are the authority on who is next.