List Of Music Genres In Africa

Get Hooked On African Genres And Music Styles

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


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


Assiko is a rhythmic dance from Cameroon.


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

Benga music

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

Chimurenga music

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


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!


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Tcha tcho

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

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