Tanzania’s ‘Bongo Flava’ has come a long way from the days when it was just a derivative of American hip-hop styles mixed with parochial styles like the taarab and dansi genres to what it is now, a larger blend of reggae, rhythm and blues, and recently, Afrobeats.
The streets of Dar es Salaam have churned and are still churning out some of the finest artists In East Africa and Africa at large, From record-breaking, Zuchu, to the sensational Diamond Platnumz, to the legendary Ali-Kiba. The music In Tanzania is booming more than ever, and the competition is healthily fierce.
Today, these artists aren’t slowing down as they keep on raising the Tanzanian flag with their vibrant and colorful sounds usually sung in native Swahili, English languages, and Nigerian Pidgin.
These are five Bongo Flava songs you shouldn’t miss In January 2023.
Whozu – Vavayo (feat Marioo)
Amapiano and choral echoes take ena ter course in Whozu’s ‘Vavayo’ which features fellow Tanzanian artist, Marioo. Produced by S2kizzy. The Tanzanian hitmaker seems to be going for another club banger with this one.
Jay Melody – Nitasema
Twenty-five-year-old Jay Melody Is one of the most exciting acts in Tanzania presently. The singer-songwriter released the single ‘Nitasema’ which literally means ‘I will say’ in the Swahili language. Seasoned Tanzanian producer Genius Jini was behind the musical production of the record. ‘Nitasema’ is a soft Bongo Flava love song that borrows musical influences from the Caribbean.
Yammi – Namchukia
‘Namchukia’ is the newest single from fast-rising Tanzanian singer, Yammy. The track comes off her three-track extended playlist titled ‘Three Hearts’. ‘Namchukia’ is heavily sung in the traditional taarab style, which explains the south Asian influences. The song was produced by Tanzanian producer, Kimambo.
Ben Pol – Wewe
Tanzanian music veteran, Ben Pol released his first single of the year 2023, titled ‘Wewe’. The song is solemn and serene. ‘Wewe’ is one of the best songs to have been released recently as it has been Mounting Bongo flava charts on streaming platforms with ease.
Diamond Platnumz- Yatapita
As much as ‘Yatapita’ by Diamond Platnumz is a didactic score, it is also very melodic and catchy. The Lizer-produced track is the singer’s year opener and it is extremely relatable amongst Tanzanians.