The first in our series of year-end wrap ups (yes, it’s that time again) looks at the music videos by African artists that most caught our eye for whatever reason. The songs they accompany are equally great and helped decide from 2015’s long list which ones held us captive several views after.
Reniss – Michael Jackson featuring Jovi
Cameroonian rap god Jovi jumps on his label signee Reniss’ homage to the king of music videos.
Youssoupha – Niquer Ma Vie
Youssoupha, easily one of the continent’s best MCs, never misses an opportunity to combine his dense lyricism with gripping images.
Burna Boy – Soke
With an unconventional choice for a first single, clearly demonstrating his well-known Fela admiration, the Don Gorgon ditches the usual party-driven format for something more in the realms of performance art.
Mashayabhuqe KaMamba – Shandarabaa Ekhelemendeh featuring Okmalumkoolkat
Grit, style and bass merge in this explosive video for this long-standing, genre-defining cult hit.
RedRed – Ghetto featuring Sarkodie
FOKN Bois’ producer/rapper M3nsa and Hungarian reggae collective Irie Maffia’s ELO are RedRed. This song, which features Ghana’s most prolific rapper right now, is a taster of their “African EDM”, and its video charms with its stunning authenticity.
Baloji – Capture featuring Petit Noire and Muanza
If you know anything about Baloji, you know by now that visually his intention is always epic or nothing.
Baloji – Unité & Litre featuring Mipipo
Miss Tati – Don’t Let Go
To watch this video is to feel yourself slowly levitate as all the cares that weigh you down lose their grip of one by one. This feel-good single from Norway-based Angolan Miss Tati has us giddily expectant of her full-length album next year.
Nakhane Touré – The Plague
If Nakhane’s flawless vocals here don’t knock all the breath out of you, this video, which borrows David Lynch’s surrealism and the high contrast paintings of Caravaggio for inspiration, certainly will.
Stromae – Carmen
Frankly, you could choose any of Stromae’s videos for this exercise and not be faulted. We went with Carmen for the cutting commentary on social media, celebrity culture and consumerism, and the ground-breaking animation.
Mickey Lightfoot – Ashanti Bitxh
Quite a few themes are addressed here: gender relations, contradictory speak within relationships, the dying art of genuine connection are some. They all come together with ML’s wry humour, one of the many things we love about him.
Fantasma – Cat & Mouse featuring Mim Suleiman
Following young ballet dancers through the Cape Town township of Khayelitsha, this video is made all the more beautiful for its inspiring back story.